Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Bars

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Bars
Brown butter snickerdoodle bars

Meet your new favorite cookie, the brown butter snickerdoodle bars. Snickerdoodles are one of those cookies I should love more than I do. Not that I dislike them, I’ve just not spent as much time enjoying them. I love cinnamon sugar, I love a chewy cookie. They have the best parts of bakes I love, yet I rarely eat them. I don’t know why.

I love a good cookie bar. Cookies but even less work? Sign me up. Snickerdoodles are also a pretty simple cookie as it is. I love that with these bars you still get the same flavor and look, just with less work and it feels like more because they are thick. In my research some snickerdoodles use only shortening and some use half and half and some use only butter. America’s Test Kitchen uses a 50/50 ratio in theirs and King Arthur has one recipe using only shortening and one with only butter.

Since both of my baking bibles said shortening is definitely a way to go, I decided to go with a 50/50. Butter for flavor, shortening for texture. Many of my bakes I take this approach. Most of my brownie recipes use both butter and oil because it (in my opinion) creates a best of both worlds. A lot of my cookie recipes use both brown and white sugars for the same reason. This recipe included! But to counteract the flavor loss in the use of shortening, and because shortening would provide a bit more to the texture. I swapped regular unsalted butter for the flavor powerhouse that is browned butter.

Start to finish these brown butter snickerdoodle bars can be ready in under an hour, and man are they tasty. They do use cream of tartar which is apparently an ingredient a lot of people like to not use in snickerdoodles. I’m not sure why, it creates a tang in the aftertaste which makes the cookie more complex (personally I think what makes the cookie unique), and also helps create that beautiful wrinkly texture by aiding in temporary lift. I say, don’t skip! When baking these, I recommend under baking vs overbaking. These will continue to bake slightly in the pan, so even if they might be slightly underdone that’s okay!

Other recipes I’d recommend if you love these are:

brown butter snickerdoodle bars

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Bars Key Ingredients

  • Browned butter – Browning the butter adds so much flavor. Can you make these without browning, 100% yes. Will they be anywhere near as flavorful? 100% no. The small amount of extra time is worth it. Extra flavor points for buying a butter with a higher butterfat ratio, which adds just a bit more flavor as well.
  • Vegetable shortening – I’m not sure why but shortening feels like a bad word in baking, doesn’t it? But something like Crisco (which is what I used) can add a lot to the texture of your bake. It’s also fairly inexpensive compared to butter. You don’t need to buy a 5 pound jar but, I would not try to substitute. Shortening helps keep the texture of the bars soft and chewy.
  • Cinnamon – Of course, we cannot substitute the star flavor of this bake. Whether you use Ceylon or Vietnamese, doesn’t matter but cinnamon is a must! If you love cinnamon, when you’re making the cinnamon sugar topping feel free to use extra. If you want it less spiced, use a little bit less. The ratio will not change the bake, just the level of spice you taste.
Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Bars

Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Bars

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Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes
Servings: 16 Squares



  • 113 g Unsalted butter ½ cup
  • 96 g Vegetable shortening ½ cup
  • 200 g Granulated sugar 1 cup
  • 100 g Dark brown sugar ½ cup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 large Egg + 1 yolk room temperature
  • 300 g AP Flour 2½ cups
  • tsp Cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp Baking soda
  • ½ tsp Sea salt


  • tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp Granulated sugar


  • Cut your butter into 4-6 chunks. In a small sauce pan (preferably stainless or with a light colored bottom), add your butter and place over medium heat.
  • As the butter melts, stir or swirl the pan gently. Once it has melted, the butter will foam and cook loudly. After that subsides, the milk fats will begin to brown. When they are a golden to medium brown, remove from heat immediately and pour into a bowl to cool for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 baking tin with parchment and/or baking spray, and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, add flour, salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar and whisk together.
    In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon and granulated sugar for topping. If you like the mixture to be more or less cinnamon heavy feel free to adjust ratio.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add your cooled browned butter, and shortening and mix until combined.
  • Add your granulated and brown sugar. Cream together on medium for about 3 minutes until well combined.
  • Add your egg, egg yolk and vanilla, and mix until the eggs have been incorporated into the sugar mixture completely.
  • Add your dry ingredients to the wet, mix on low until dough just comes together. Do not overmix.
  • Spread your cookie dough into an even layer in your prepared baking pan.
  • Generously sprinkle your cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of your pan.
  • Place pan on the center rack of your oven, and bake for about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, and allow cookies to cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!
  • Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days, but cookies are best enjoyed fresh.

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