This delicate cookie pairs woody sage with nutty brown butter and a splash of citrusy sweetness thanks to orange zest—and plenty of sugar.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 8 sage leaves
- 2 large room temperature eggs, yolks separated
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (about 1 large orange)
- 2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sanding sugar or demerara (raw) sugar
Optional for chocolate dipped cookies:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup candied orange peels, chopped
- Flaky sea salt
- Sanding sugar or demerara sugar
- Add butter and sage in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, swirling occasionally until butter smells nutty and there are browned bits at the bottom of the pan, 5-7 minutes. Remove sage and transfer to a heat-proof bowl. Chill butter over a bowl of ice or chill in the refrigerator for 45 minutes until cool and slightly opaque but not solid.
- Add browned butter into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy and very pale yellow, 3-4 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and mix in egg yolks, vanilla, orange zest, and powdered sugar to the bowl. Add salt, cloves, and then beat in flour in two additions until just combined.
- Divide dough in half and transfer each half onto 10-inch sheets of parchment paper. Form dough into 8-inch-long logs (around 1½-inches in diameter) and roll logs tightly with parchment. Twist the ends of the parchment to secure the dough. Chill logs in the refrigerator until firm, around 2-3 hours.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove dough from parchment logs. Sprinkle sugar in an even layer on a baking sheet or on a cutting board. Brush a very thin layer of leftover egg white on the logs, and then roll the dough in the sugar until fully covered. Using a very sharp knife, slice dough into ½-inch rounds, about 15-18 per log. Place cookies on the lined sheet trays 2 inches apart.
- Bake, rotating and swapping baking sheets (top pan to the bottom rack and the bottom pan to the top rack) halfway through, until cookies are golden and even, 15-18 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cookies completely cool.
- Optional: If dipping cookies in chocolate, place chocolate chips in a wide mouth glass or bowl. Microwave chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally, until fully melted. Dip cooled cookies into the melted chocolate. Allow excess to dribble off, then transfer cookies back to the lined baking sheet. Top with candied orange peels, granulated sugar, and flaky salt. Pop cookies into the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to allow chocolate to set.