Brown Butter Coyotas are delicious, caramelly sugar cookies enhanced by brown butter and flavored with a touch of cinnamon!

This Southwest Cookie Recipe is sure to please your family!!! These Brown Sugar Cookies have Mexican roots.

A stack of Brown Butter Coyotas on dessert plates
Why You Must Make

  • These Brown Butter Coyotas are chewy, caramelly with a subtle cinnamon undertone.
  • With a Mexican origin, they’re perfect to end a Tex Mex meal like tacos, enchiladas or quesadillas.
  • You’ve never heard of coyotas? If you like soft sugar cookies, you’ll enjoy this recipe with a boost of flavor from brown sugar!

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Flour, Baking Soda, Salt
  • Unsalted Butter  – May use salted butter, but eliminate the added salt in the recipe.
  • Dark Brown Sugar – May use light brown sugar, but mix in 1 tablespoon of molasses for each cup needed. Dark brown sugar adds caramel undertones to the cookies.
  • Eggs – Use large eggs. Have them at room temperature for easier incorporation. If you forget to remove the eggs from the refrigerator an hour or two before mixing the dough, you can place them in a bowl of very warm water (not boiling) to help take the chill off.
  • Vanilla Extract – Always use real vanilla extract, not artificially flavored. I use the Nielsen-Massey brand.
  • Ground Canela or Cinnamon – I used cinnamon.
  • Salt – Eliminate if using salted butter.

Overhead view of Brown Butter Coyotas on a white plate

Recipe Tips

  • For the most accurate flour measurement, spoon flour into the measuring cup, then use a straight edge, like an offset spatula or knife, to sweep the excess from the top of the cup.
  • Have your eggs at room temperature so they blend more easily into the dough.
  • To brown the butter, cook it over medium heat until it is golden brown with a nutty aroma. Make sure to cool it slightly before using.
  • Use a large cookie disher (3 tablespoon capacity) if you have one, to make even-sized cookies.
  • Roll the scoops into rounds if needed so they bake up into attractive circular cookies.
  • Place only six dough balls per baking sheet since these are large cookies and will spread. 

Oh, my. I could have eaten the whole bowl of this outrageously delicious cookie dough. But I’m glad I didn’t. These Brown Butter Coyota were just as wonderful baked as unbaked. They’re chewy, caramelly with a subtle cinnamon undertone. You’ve never heard of coyotas? Well, like with Meghan Micozzi’s Leek and Mushroom Migas, I learned a new foodie term and fell in love with another Southwest dish. 


Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Coyotas?

Coyotas are a Mexican sugar cookie that’s flatter and larger than a typical cookie. They are considered a staple of the northern Mexican state of Sonora. Made with brown sugar instead of white sugar, and the addition of lard or vegetable shortening is more traditional than butter. But Meghan’s twists made them new, modern, and spectacular. Butter replaced lard and provided a wonderful flavor booster, plus browning the butter added that certain je ne sais quoi, an underlying nuttiness.

What’s the Difference Between American Cinnamon and Mexican Cinnamon?

And if I had done a little research on “canela” before jumping into the recipe, I would have realized it’s a Mexican term for cinnamon. It’s not the cassia cinnamon we’re used to in the States but more like the milder Ceylon version with a subtle hint of citrus (which I’m certain I have in my spice drawer). But regular old cinnamon is still wonderful in these cookies, so don’t worry if you don’t have Mexican cinnamon.

How Should You Store Coyotas?

Coyotas can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. They can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

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Brown Butter Coyotas

Brown Butter Coyotas

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 16 minutes
Total Time 36 minutes
Yield 18 large cookies

Buttery sugar cookies from the southwest US.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (I used salted and eliminated the salt below)
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar (I used light brown sugar and added 2 tablespoons molasses)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoons ground canela or cinnamon (I used cinnamon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (eliminate if using salted butter)


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. To brown the butter, place it in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. (If possible, it is ideal to use a pan with a light-colored interior in order to best monitor the progress of the butter as it browns.)
  3. The butter will foam turn yellow and eventually brown; be sure to stir it regularly in order to keep the milk solids, which may pop and crackle as the butter cooks, from settling to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Once the butter is a deep brown color and has a strong nutty aroma, immediately pour it into a large heatproof bowl to cool.
  5. After the browned butter has cooled slightly, add the brown sugar and beat together for just a few minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and continue to mix just until incorporated.
  6. Whisk the flour, baking soda, canela (or cinnamon), and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing just until a uniform dough has formed (this dough is quite damp and dark, closely resembling wet sand).
  7. Shape dough into large balls (a-3 tablespoon self ejecting scoop works really well here) and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets.
  8. These cookies, just like traditional coyotas, are designed to spread quite a bit as they cook so don't put any more than six at a time on a standard large baking sheet.
  9. Bake cookies for 14-16 minutes or until they are spread, cracked and slightly puffed. Remove cookies from the baking sheet to a rack or sheet of parchment paper and set aside to cool.


! Recipe courtesy of Megan Micozzi from her The New Southwest cookbook

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 227Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 48mgSodium: 179mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g


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