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Brown butter shortbread crisps

Brown butter shortbread crisps



  • 8 oz. 225g unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup unsifted all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  • 1 Tbs milk
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar


  1. In a medium bowl, put ice cubes and fill with cold water, so you have an ice cold water bath to stop the browning of the butter.
  2. In a medium saucepan melt butter. Stir often and let it boil. The mixture will be yellow and the bubbles will be large. After 8 to 10 minutes it will start to darken and smell nutty. Dark flecks will appear in the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Stand back, since it will bubble up furiously. Put the saucepan on top of the icy water and let the butter firm up.
  3. Transfer the cold browned butter to a large bowl.
  4. Add, sifting, the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula. Add vanilla, milk and sugar. Mix until everything is well combined. It may appear a bit dry. If you need to, put everything on a working surface and knead it into a ball. Don't over work the dough.
  5. Make a log and wrap it in plastic. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until it is firm enough to cut without cracking or loosing its shape.
  6. About 15 minutes before cutting the cookies, preheat oven to 300º F / 150º C.
  7. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  8. With a sharp knife, cut ½ inch rounds and put side by side on the paper, leaving an inch in between them.
  9. Bake for about 30 minutes, until they are a bit golden.
  10. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Store in a covered tin.