Browned Butter Lemon Cookies with Macadamia Nuts are addictive low sugar cookies that are extra rich from the browning of the butter and the nuts, yet bright from the lemon. And they are plenty sweet from the Turbinado coating. Keep reading to the bottom to check out everything the other Creative Cookie Exchange hosts baked this month! Affiliate links have been used to link to items I am discussing.
I expected to like these cookies. I did not necessarily expect to find them cannot-stop-eating-them addictive. And they seriously are.
I was looking for a sturdy cookie that keeps well. I realize that a cookie does not have to meet those requirements to be taken on a picnic–the theme for this month’s Creative Cookie Exchange–but as it happened I was baking these cookies to take with me to Chicago the following day so I did not arrive empty-handed at my brother’s house. Amusingly, the girls got a bug to bake also (of course they did–long time readers with good memories may remember my girls always have some weird urge to bake about a week from school starting), and so they took this chocolate cookie recipe and added Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips–so we actually arrived with 2 different cookies. And of course because my girls made them, the chocolate cookies got all the “air time,” so to speak (plus they were just a more kid-friendly flavor)–which was fine by me because I could not stay out of my cookies.
Anyhoo, I went looking for some inspiration in Joanne Chang’s Baking with Less Sugar: Recipes for Desserts Using Natural Sweeteners and Little-to-No White Sugar. Now these particular cookies do not call for any kind of less refined or natural sugar, although I did make them with organic evaporated cane juice sugar (always my sugar of choice) and roll them in WholeSome Sweeteners Raw Cane Sugar (Turbinado). I chose the Turbinado because I thought it would play off of the browned butter nicely–and I was right. The cookies do use less sugar than most other cookie recipes, but I would not call them revolutionary or anything. They are similar in ratio to my Scottish shortbread.
The original recipe does not use browned butter, but my thought is that if you are using melted butter (which Chang’s recipe does) and the prominent flavors are not overwhelming ones (for example, browned butter might get lost in a chocolate cookie), then why would you not use browned butter? It makes everything better. So rich, so much depth of flavor. And did I mention how awesome these cookies are?
Keep reading down below for more ideas on cookies to pack for a picnic–or just to make any time!
Adapted from Joanne Chang. This dough requires chilling, so plan ahead. Note that prep and cook times do not include chilling time.
I think any nut that sounds good to you could work well here. Chang's recipe used pistachios, which would be lovely with the lemon (I was out, but we adored the macadamia nuts).
- 1 cup (230 g, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned
- 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
- 2 T lemon zest (you can also sub a little lemon oil- I used zest of 1 lemon and maybe 1/16 t lemon oil)
- 1 T vanilla bean paste
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups (280 g) AP flour
- 1/2 cup (80 g) medium-fine grain stone ground cornmeal
- 2 t baking powder
- 1 t kosher sea salt
- 1/4 cup turbinado/raw cane sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted and salted macadamia nuts
Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Now brown the butter.If you have not browned butter before, I describe it in more detail here. Then pour it into a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar. When it is cool enough to dip your finger in (it can still be hot, just not burning hot), whisk in the lemon zest (or oil). Whisk in the vanilla bean paste.
Whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Whisk briskly to make sure the ingredients are emulsified (blended together completely without the butter fat separating).
Now switch to a rubber spatula. Add the flour mixture one third at a time, mixing completely each time. When the dough is completely mixed together, press wax paper or plastic wrap down on the dough and then cover the bowl and chill for at least one hour or overnight (I always prefer overnight but in this case I was rushed and chilled for 1-2 hours).
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 F. Place the oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Whisk together the chopped macadamia nuts and sugar in a flat bowl.
This recipe makes 24 cookies. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Using a 2-tablespoon cookie dough scoop, scoop out the cookie dough, roll briefly into a smooth ball, and then roll each ball in the sugar-nut mixture, pressing lightly to adhere the nuts. Then lightly flatten the ball while still in the sugar and nuts--this will adhere them even further. Then move the ball to the cookie sheet. This cookie should not spread much, so you can get 12 cookies to a sheet, placing them 2 inches apart.
Bake both sheets at once--they will bake for a total of 15-18 minutes, but you should rotate the pans top to bottom and front to back after 9 minutes.
The cookies are done when they start to brown along their edges.
Remove the sheets from the oven, and let the cookies cool for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheets. Then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.
The theme this month is Pack for a Picnic Cookies–any kind of cookie that sounds great for a picnic! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact me at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and I will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.
You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes–be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:
- Browned Butter Lemon Cookies with Macadamia Nuts from The Spiced Life
- Gingham Picnic Cookies from Food Lust People Love
- Demerara Shortbread Cookies from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Naan Khatai – Indian Shortbread Cookies from Spiceroots
- Potato Chip Chocolate Chip Cookies from Our Good Life
- Key Lime Coolers from 2 Cookin’ Mamas
- Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from Noshing With The Nolands
- Raisin Biscuits from A Shaggy Dough Story
- Soft Brown Sugar Cookies from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Chocolate Chip Cookies from SimplyVeggies
- Gluten-Free Trail Mix Cookies from Rhubarb and Honey
- Cashew Butter Bites from Magnolia Days
- Blondies from A Baker’s House
- Nutella Energy Bites from Study at Home Mama
And for my Pinterest collage fans….