Cashews are my dad’s favorite snack. Every year, he gets an oversized bag of them in his stocking, and we always have to make these cookies. They’re quite tasty plain, but the brown-butter frosting is what makes them really special.

1/2 c soft butter
1 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
2 c flour
1 t baking powder
3/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 c sour cream
1 1/2 c chopped cashews

Cream the butter and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Sift dry ingredients together and incorporate into butter-sugar-egg mixture. Add sour cream and cashews.

Because these are simple drop cookies, it’s okay not to chop the cashews very finely. The big chunks won’t cause the cookies to fall apart, like they can in other recipes.

For more information about the steps for preparing dough see Christmas Cookie Basics.

Shape into balls the size of a small walnut (they puff quite a bit during baking) and drop on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 min @ 375°.

When cool, frost with brown butter frosting. Decorate with a cashew, if desired.

Frosting:

1/3 c UNSALTED butter, cut into little chunks
3 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 T milk

Heat butter in a light-colored, stainless steel saucepan over medium heat. You don’t want to use a dark pan, because you won’t be able to see the color of the butter changing.

After the butter melts, it will start to foam, and eventually begin to brown. Swirl the butter around frequently so it cooks evenly. As soon as it takes on a nice caramel color, remove it from heat and immediately scrape it into a bowl. The residual heat from the pan can quickly burn it.

Mix the brown butter with the sugar, then stir in the vanilla. Finally stir in the milk, starting with just a single tablespoon, and adding a few drops at a time as necessary to create a frosting with a nice spreadable consistency.


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