We were down south in Carlsbad a couple months ago for our usual fall vacation. Every time we’re down there I go to the Carlsbad Farmer’s Market and load up on fruits, veggies, and bread. There’s also quite a few donut shops in Carlsbad Village and I always treat myself to a donut when we’re down south.
No one in Mammoth can make a good donut, which isn’t saying much as there’s only three places to buy them here. So whenever we go out of town, I always like to indulge and grab a donut somewhere. I love cake donuts, they’re my absolute favorite! And I usually go for the classic cake donut with chocolate glaze. I have yet to find an organic donut shop, so please if anyone knows of one, please, please tell me!
Even though we were down in Carlsbad for almost 2 weeks the time just got away from us and we finally picked up donuts on the way out of town. They didn’t have my usual cake donut with chocolate glaze, and the only cake donut they had was a brown butter donut. I love brown butter, so I gave it a go. It was no chocolate glazed cake donut, but it was really good! It had a very interesting flavor profile and there was definitely more than brown butter in that donut.
The entire time I was eating it, I was trying to figure out what else was in it. And as I was eating it, I was thinking of how I could recreate the flavor profile in a cookie. I knew it would be delicious! So, that’s what I am sharing today. I made an orange cardamom cookie with a brown butter glaze. This cookie is really light, despite having the brown butter glaze on top. Sometimes brown butter can be rich, but this cookie balances it out perfectly! I would say these are a close second, after my Chocolate Donut Cookies (recipe in my book Cookies for Everyone), of course. Get the recipe for my Brown Butter Glazed Orange Cardamom Cookies below.
Tips for Making the Best Brown Butter Glazed Orange Cardamom Cookies
• Make sure your butter is soft when beginning the cookie dough. I always like to leave butter out on the counter in the morning if I’m going to bake cookies later that day. Or you can even leave it out overnight. Butter softens the best at room temperature, so it’s always best to allow it to soften on its own. In a pinch, soften 1 stick of butter in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time. More than that at once can melt pockets of the butter.
• Use a high quality orange and almond flavor. I really like Frontier Co-Op which I’ve linked below. But, if you don’t like the taste of the orange or almond flavor, then you won’t like the cookies. Flavors can be very different across brands, and not all of them are good! A flavor can make or break your cookies, so make sure to spend the extra money here and buy high quality flavors.
• Make sure to let the brown butter cool before beginning the glaze.
• Make sure to store your cookies properly! Glazed or frosted cookies are a difficult one to keep fresh. This is because these cookies are soft and chewy, so they need to be stored in an airtight container. But, they also have glaze on top, so they will stick to one another if you stack them in a Tupperware. So, it can be challenging. The trick here is the glaze will set up within 24 hours. So, if you can put all your cookies onto one cookie sheet, you can wrap that cookie sheet in plastic wrap, to keep it airtight overnight. Then, the next day you can pack cookies into a Tupperware and they will not stick as bad. Or, my new favorite thing to do is put all the cookies on one cookie sheet and place that cookie sheet in the freezer! Then, the next day you can place them in a Ziploc or tupperware together. You can even store them back in the freezer as well, they only take liTe 5 minutes to thaw!
Brown Butter Glazed Orange Cardamom Cookies
Makes 24 cookies
1/4 cup (57 grams) organic salted butter
255 grams (1 3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon) organic powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup organic milk
1/2 cup (113 grams) organic salted butter, softened
85 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) organic cane sugar
85 grams (1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons) packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Frontier Co-Op Almond Flavor
1/4 teaspoon Frontier Co-Op Organic Orange Flavor
2 organic large eggs
255 grams (2 cups) organic all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon organic cardamom
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
In a small saucepan, add the 1/2 stick of butter. Put over low to medium heat and melt. Once melted, stir frequently until it starts to bubble. If it becomes so bubbly that it turns white, making it hard to see the color of the butter, remove it from the heat and stir until the bubbles calm down. Return it to the heat, and keep cooking until the butter turns the color of maple syrup and smells nutty and sweet. The milk solids will sink, which is another indication of doneness. The entire process can take as long as 5 to 10 minutes. Be patient, but watch carefully, because it can burn quickly. Remove from heat. Allow it to come to room temperature before starting the glaze.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the butter, cane sugar, light brown sugar, almond flavor, and orange flavor. Mix on low until combined and there are no chunks of butter. Add the eggs and mix just slightly, enough to break the yolks.
In a separate bowl, add the flour, cardamom, baking soda, and sea salt and whisk together. Add to the butter mixture and mix on low until combined.
Using your hands, form the dough into 24 balls and place on the prepared baking sheets. Space them at least 1-inch apart, then flatten them slightly so they are about 2-inches in diameter.
Bake for 11 minutes or golden brown. Allow to cool completely on the cookie sheets.
To make the glaze: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the browned butter, powdered sugar, and milk. Mix on low until combined and smooth.
Using a butter knife or spatula, frost the tops of each cookie.
Allow the glaze to set completely (this takes 24 hours). They need to be stored in an airtight container during this time so they don’t dry out. I like to just pop my entire cookie sheet in the freezer and leave them there overnight. You can continue to store them in the freezer or remove and store in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
Gluten Free – Replace the all purpose flour with 269 grams (1 3/4 cups) organic gluten free flour blend.
High Altitude – Bake at 375°F for 8 minutes or until golden brown.