If you love crunchy, flavorful, and rich-tasting sweet treats, look no further than these Cashew Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting. They were a top finalist in our Blue Ribbon Drop Cookie Contest.
Everyone who tastes these winning cookies raves about the frosting. Browning the butter was one of the winner’s secrets to success. Browned butter has a rich, nutty aroma and flavor. As a result, everything it goes into tastes divine, truly. Also, these cookies have a crispy addictive texture thanks to the whole cashews you bake in them.
Recipe credit goes to Gwen Benson who made these cookies for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair.
Gwen won the Blue Ribbon Drop Cookie Contest that we sponsored, placing third overall. She began entering her baked goods at the fair 5 years ago as something to do with her daughter Lynsay. Gwen now has four state fair award ribbons for baking and 9 for crafting. Impressive!
Gwen says this cashew cookie recipe originated with Land O Lakes, but she has seen variations on it over the years, including a version passed around in her family, which was her main inspiration.
Excellent & Effortless Recipe
With classic ingredients, these cashew cookies with brown butter frosting are a breeze to make. Seriously, you will love how easily they come together. Check it out. Follow along as we walk you through the steps. Easy peasy!
You start with brown sugar and butter, mixing until creamy, then add the egg and vanilla.
To that mixture, you add the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and baking soda), alternating portions with the sour cream.
You mix in the whole cashews last, by hand, reserving a portion for garnish.
We made our batch with just over a tablespoon of dough each, so small, to total 55 cookies. You bake them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for just 10-12 minutes.
The frosting’s star is browned butter, but it also has powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla.
Once baked, you finish the cookies with frosting and a sprinkling of finely chopped cashews.
Cashew Cookies with Brown Butter Frosting
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla, divided
2 cups all-purpose flour (240 grams)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup sour cream
1 3/4 cups whole cashews (8.5 ounce can), divided
1/2 cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine brown sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl (stand up mixer or other). Beat at medium speed — scraping down sides as needed — until creamy (1 to 2 minutes). Add egg and vanilla. Beat until well mixed (1 to 2 minutes); set aside. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and baking soda together. Turn mixer speed on low. Slowly add 1/2 flour mixture to brown sugar mixture. Follow with 1/2 the sour cream, then remaining flour mixture, and remaining sour cream. Mix in 1 1/2 cups whole cashews by hand. Chop remaining 1/4 cup of the cashews; set aside. Dropped dough by tablespoonfuls, 2 inches a part, onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely.
For frosting, melt butter in a quart sauce pan, over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook and stir until butter foams and just starts to turn golden (4-6 minutes). Watch closely and stir often, especially as it starts to brown. A nutty aroma will emerge. Immediately remove from heat and pour into medium bowl. Let cool 5 minutes, then add powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Immediately frost the cookies and sprinkle with chopped cashews. Makes 55 small cookies or 38 larger ones.