I like to brown the butter for the best cookie flavor, but, if you want to skip this step, simply melt the butter in a large bowl, and continue to the next step (without changing anything else in the recipe). To brown the butter: place butter in a light colored pan over medium heat. Stir the butter or swirl the pan constantly. Soon after the butter has melted, it will begin to sizzle and foam. Within about 3-5 minutes the butter will turn golden brown and you’ll see tiny milk solids in toasty brown color. The smell will be nutty. Once it happens, immediately remove the pan from the heat and transfer to a bowl.
Add brown sugar to the butter. Whisk until well combined. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined. Do not overmix.
If the cookie dough is hard to handle, leave it on the counter for a few minutes. Place 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Shape the dough into balls, the size of 1.5 tablespoons each (I use this ice cream scoop), then roll them in the sugar and place on prepared cookie sheets, spacing them 2-inches apart. Bake for 11-12 minutes until cookies just begin to set, and tops are crackly. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then gently transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.