Brown Sugar Cookies

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These sweet and chewy Brown Sugar Cookies are deliciously indulgent. Made with a handful of simple ingredients including flour, rich brown sugar, and creamy butter, you’ll be amazed at the transformation that occurs as they bake into a cookie bursting with flavor and texture. The perfect balance of sweetness and chewiness in every bite. 

I love brown sugar so much. So much so that I will admit that I cannot open the canister without sneaking one of those little clumps and eating it like I am a little kid. My brother and I would always sneak it whenever we could. I remember my mom saying “I’m running to the store, I’ll be right back.” (it was the 70s, you could leave kids home alone then.) By the time she had her car backed out of the driveway, my brother and I were in the canister eating brown sugar. Good times.

That is why these Brown Sugar Cookies hold a special place in my heart. In my opinion, there is nothing not to love about them. A simple cookie that results in that chewy inside and light outside flavored with that caramel-like goodness that only brown sugar can offer. 

Brown Sugar Cookies

It’s always exciting watching cookies rise as they bake. When you think about it you take a few basic everyday ingredients, throw them together in a bowl, and then bake them up into cookies.  

There’s always a touch of that element of surprise when they puff up in the oven and turn golden brown. Don’t you think? 

Well, be prepared to be surprised and pleasantly pleased when you see these cookies bake up and smell their sweet buttery aroma as they rise to perfection in the oven. 

Easy Brown Sugar Cookies

Sometimes less is more and this cookie baked with just your basic staples, without any chocolate chips, sprinkles, shredded coconut or any other add-ins lets its true flavor shine. 

Perfect for the holiday table, cookie exchange, teacher’s gifts, or just when you are craving something simple and sweet, these cookies fit the bill. 

If you love chewy sugar cookies, you are sure to love these too: Chocolate Sugar Kiss CookiesSugar Cookie Bars With White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing, or these Frosted Sugar Cookie Bars

Brown Sugar Cookie

Baking cookies with brown sugar has many advantages like adding a caramel-like sweetness as well as guaranteeing a soft and chewy cookie. Don’t underestimate or bypass this recipe thinking it’s just a simple brown sugar cookie because you will be blown away at the mighty and robust flavor this cookie has. 

Ingredients for this brown sugar cookie recipe

For complete ingredients and instructions scroll to the bottom of this post for the full printable recipe

  • All-purpose flour–  I used all-purpose flour to make these sugar cookies.
  • Baking soda – A touch of baking soda helps the cookies rise. 
  • Salt – A pinch of salt enhances the flavor of the cookies.
  • Brown sugar – Dark brown sugar gives these cookies a nice caramel-like flavor and golden hue. If you only have light brown sugar feel free to substitute with it. 
  • Sugar crystals – I used sugar crystals (sanding sugar) to sprinkle on the cookies.

  • Butter – Salted or unsalted butter, softened.
  • Vanilla extract – Use real vanilla extract for the best flavor. 
  • Eggs – Large eggs are great but any size and type of eggs will work. You’ll need the whole egg for this recipe. 

How to make these sugar cookies 

Just a few simple steps to make these only brown sugar cookies. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, on low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing until incorporated after each. 

Add the sifted flour mixture to the butter mixture a bit at a time mixing until completely incorporated.

Using a 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the brown sugar cookie dough into balls. 

Roll in the sugar crystals before placing the cookie dough balls on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart.

Slightly flatten the balls of dough with a smooth spatula. Sprinkle the tops with a little more sugar.

Place each baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake until the cookies have spread and are light golden brown with crispy edges. Approximately 15-17 minutes. Don’t overbake or cookies will not be chewy. Place the cookies on a wire rack to cool before storing them. 

Allow the soft brown sugar cookies to come to room temperature before storing them in an airtight container or wrapping them in plastic wrap. These cookies will keep on the kitchen counter for up to one week or in the freezer for 3 months. 

Love it? Pin it!

If you love this brown sugar cookie make sure that you don’t lose it! Pin it to your favorite Pinterest recipe board before you go!

FAQs about these chewy brown sugar cookies

  • What does brown sugar do to cookies? Brown sugar adds a caramel-like sweetness to cookies and due to its high moisture content, brown sugar helps cookies stay moist with a chewy texture. Brown sugar also makes cookies slightly darker than if they were baked with white sugar though light and brown sugar will impact the color of a cookie differently. 
  • Is it better to use dark brown or light brown sugar for cookies? Whether to use light or dark brown sugar depends on your preference and the recipe you are following though they can most often be used interchangeably. 
  • Is soft brown sugar the same as light brown sugar? Yes, these two terms are often used interchangeably. 
  • Can I add molasses to light brown sugar? Yes, if you want to make light brown sugar darker you can add molasses to it. 

Substitutions

Remember that when it comes to making substitutions in recipes, you don’t need to be afraid to get creative and use ingredients that suit your personal taste and dietary preferences. Make it your own!

  • Instead of vanilla extract use almond extract for a slightly different taste.  

  • Use brown butter for a deeper toasted nutty flavor. 

  • For a gluten-free cookie, use a 1-1 gluten free flour.

  • If you prefer a dairy-free cookie, use a non-dairy butter though the texture and flavor of your cookie may be slightly different. 

Tips & Tricks

  • Don’t substitute white sugar for the brown sugar, you won’t get the same taste and texture. 

  • If you absolutely need to have some chocolate in your cookies, mix in chocolate chips; any kind will work; milk, dark, or semi-sweet. 

  • Use a hand mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer. 

  • Frost the cookies with a buttercream frosting or royal icing for a more intense flavor. 

  • Measure your flour correctly as too much flour will result in a dry cookie. To do so put the flour in the measuring cup and use a knife to level off any excess. 

  • Keep your brown sugar soft by investing in a terracotta disc or placing a slice of an apple in the container.

    This recipe is part of The Sweetest Season, an annual virtual cookie swap co-hosted by Erin of The Speckled Palate and Susannah of Feast + West. Every year, food bloggers get together to share new holiday cookie recipes to make and give.

    This year we are once again raising money for Cookies 4 Kids’ Cancer, which is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for new, innovative, and less-toxic treatments for childhood cancer.

    Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted nearly $18 million to pediatric cancer research in the form of 100+ research grants to leading pediatric cancer centers across the country. From these grants have stemmed 35+ treatments available to kids battling cancer today.

    Help us raise money for this important cause! Donate through our fundraising page.

    Another exciting thing is that Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is in a matching window with their friends at OXO, meaning OXO will be matching every dollar raised through the end of 2023, up to $100,000. Whatever money we raise will automatically double on our fundraising page!

More Recipes to Love

Whether enjoyed with a glass of milk, a cup of tea or coffee, or on their own, brown sugar cookies are a classic, the true epitome of home-baked goodness. I guarantee they’ll make a great addition to your cookie jar. 

Michaela signature

Yield: about 30 cookies

Brown Sugar Cookies

Close up of stacked cookies in a white serving platter

These sweet and chewy Brown Sugar Cookies are deliciously indulgent. Made with a handful of simple ingredients including flour, rich brown sugar, and creamy butter, you’ll be amazed at the transformation that occurs as they bake into a cookie bursting with flavor and texture. The perfect balance of sweetness and chewiness in every bite. 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup sugar crystals (sanding sugar), for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. 
  4. Add the eggs one at a time on low speed, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing until incorporated after each. 
  5. Add the sifted flour mixture a bit at a time mixing until completely incorporated.
  6. Use a 2 Tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop cookie dough into balls, and roll in the sugar crystals before placing them on prepared baking sheets  2 inches apart.
  7. Slightly flatten the dough balls with a smooth spatula. Sprinkle the tops with a little more sugar.
  8. Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake until the cookies have spread and are a light golden brown around the edges. Approximately 15-17 minutes. Don’t overbake or cookies will not be chewy.
  9. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks to cool completely.

 

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7 Comments

  1. I like this brown sugar cookies recipe, always a good time to make these cookies. Making this recipe soon for the family. It looks delicious and easy to make. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Love this twist on regular sugar cookies! The brown sugar gave the cookies a delicious caramel like flavor and chewy texture!

  3. A thousand times YES to these Brown Sugar Cookies! Like you, I’m a brown sugar monster, and I doubt these will last long in our home. Also, my kids are going to LOVE THEM.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe, Michaela!

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