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!!!

A stack of Brown Butter Coyotas on dessert plates
Brown Butter Coyotas

These Brown Butter Coyotas were 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, this time a Mexican cookie! This recipe comes from Megan’s new cookbook, The New Southwest (affiliate link), and is worth the cost of the cookbook alone.

Overhead view of Brown Butter Coyotas on a white plate

A Southwest Cookie Recipe

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…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. 



What are Coyotas?

Well, now I can educate you. 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.

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…but 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 was still wonderful in these cookies…so don’t fret, just try them!

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
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground canela or cinnamon (I used cinnamon)
  • 1/2 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.) 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.
  3. Once the butter is a deep brown color and has a strong nutty aroma, immediately pour it into a large heatproof bowl to cool.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Shape dough into large balls (a-3 tablespoon self ejecting scoop works really well here) and arrange on parchment-lined baking sheets. 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.
  7. 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

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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