Brown Sugar Cookies

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Brown Sugar Cookies made with dark brown sugar and butter are sweet, soft, chewy, and the PERFECT spin on the traditional cookie ready in under 30 minutes!

We’re getting ready to serve up some classic desserts for the holiday, and to go with these cookies we’re also making Award Winning Gingerbread Cookies my Ultimate Apple Crisp!

Brown Sugar Cookies
Brown Sugar Cookies

Brown Sugar Cookies are a great twist on this traditional cookie recipe, and gets its color and rich flavor from dark brown sugar and butter. They’re soft and chewy and super EASY to make. They also have a prep and cook total time of 30 minutes, which means you’ll be in cookie heaven in almost no time at all.

I hadn’t ever had these cookies before I spent a hosted weekend at the Kohler Food and Wine Festival eating the most delicious food I’ve EVER eaten.I know, I know, that’s a huge statement. But it is true. there is really no other way to describe a weekend so full of pampering and delicious food that I have already begun looking into the 2019 festival for a repeat trip.

If you were following along on my Instagram stories you saw some of the delicious food, but it was full of A5 Wagyu steak (The Immigrant Restaurant is a four star restaurant and the best restaurant meal I’ve ever had), beef cheeks, coffee, melt in your mouth pastries, the BEST chocolates ever (these Peppermint Crunch Terrapins were amazing) and I got to attend no less than three days of events where I learned how to make some delicious food including these Brown Sugar Cookies at the Cooks Illustrated Cooking event.

Plus I stayed at the American Club (a five diamond resort) and the spa made me feel like I was in heaven. If you go, you have to try the healing waters treatment which is basically the best spa treatment I’ve ever had. Also its the only place in the world you can get it! Trust me, if it were available local to me, I’d need it in my life all the time.

You can use this recipe to cut out cookies in fun shapes, but I like to roll little cookie dough balls and let them drop into circles while they’re baking. You can roll the balls in light brown sugar or granulated sugar, to give the cookies extra sweetness. I’ve also used cinnamon sugar to top cookies in this recipe for some extra flavor.


Sugar cookies will last in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. You can also freeze them for several months to make them last longer, or get ahead on holiday baking!

You can make this dough ahead of time and freeze it for up to a month. Just pull it out and defrost in the refrigerator before rolling, cutting, and baking.


You’re going to want to take them out when the edge just barely start to brown and the middles still look wet.

Easy Brown Sugar Cookies

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For soft and chewy brown sugar cookies you want to add ingredients that have a lot of moisture in them. Dark brown sugar contains some molasses, so combining that with butter makes these cookies have an amazingly soft and chewy texture.

This recipe will also work with light brown sugar or white sugar, but the cookies may turn out less chewy and more crumbly. If your cookies are too crispy, try less baking time and making sure your oven is at the right temperature with an oven thermometer.

For a deeper flavor, try brown butter instead of regular. You can make brown butter by cooking butter over medium heat until it melts. Let it keep cooking until the butter turns brown and smells slightly nutty. Let the brown butter cool before adding it to the cookie dough.



  • Add all purpose flour as needed if your dough is too sticky to work with. You can also flour your rolling pin, and just dust the extra flour off of the cookies before baking. Be careful not to add too much flour, or your cookies may turn out too dry after you bake them.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper under your dough when you’re rolling it out. It’ll make it easier to pick up and prevent it from sticking to your surface. You can also add parchment paper to an ungreased baking sheet to make cleanup easier.
  • If you don’t have vanilla extract, you can try this recipe with a teaspoon of almond extract in its place. It will give them a really indulgent flavor, but only add a teaspoon because it has a stronger flavor than the vanilla.

Brown Sugar Cookies

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Brown Sugar Cookies

5 from 52 votes
  • Yield: 24 cookies
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Course: Dessert
  • Cuisine: American
  • Author: Sabrina Snyder

Brown Sugar Cookies made with dark brown sugar and butter are sweet, soft, chewy, and the PERFECT spin on the traditional cookie ready in under 30 minutes!


  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour , plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a skillet melt 10 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Whisk constantly until butter starts to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Pour into bowl, add remaining butter to same bowl and set aside.

  3. In a separate bowl whisk together sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
  4. Add remaining brown sugar and salt to butter and whisk until smooth. Whisk in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  5. Combine butter mixture with dry ingredients, stirring until a dough forms.
  6. Either roll dough out to 1/2-inch thick and use a cookie cutter, or roll into a ball and place on cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar.
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until cookies begin to set.

Recipe Notes

Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.

Nutrition Information

Yield: 24 cookies, Amount per serving: 181 calories, Calories: 181g, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 32mg, Sodium: 80mg, Potassium: 44mg, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 225g, Calcium: 23g, Iron: 0.7g

All images and text © for Dinner, then Dessert.

Keywords: brown sugar cookies, chewy cookies, christmas, cookies, holidays

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  1. This recipe made delicious cookies that were chewy without tasting undercooked. They were precisely what I was craving.
    I never would have thought of browning butter, so thank you for that.

    There is some information about them that I had read in recipes while looking for the right one (this one). I’m not an experienced baker, so I would not have known these:
    * Don’t overstir the batter when you mix the two bowls together. You just want all the flour wet.
    * Mix dry into wet, a bit at a time to avoid clumps
    * Chewy cookies “set” when the edges brown and the middle is still wet. For these cookies, the browning is not very noticeable. You may want to rely on the crinkling instead.
    *The number of cookies (24) should have been at the bottom as well, where you make the balls. I had taken a screenshot of the recipe and had to go and search for it again in order to get the number of balls to make so I didn’t make them too big or small so they came out the right amount of chewiness.
    *I also recommend saying where to put the cookies – high/low in the oven. I put three sheets in, two high and 1 low. I took out the low one 2 minutes early and left the high one in 1 minute longer. The high ones turned out a bit chewier but slightly less developed flavor. The high ones barely browned, while the low ones had crinkled layers on the edges.

  2. First time to make these and they are very delicious! I’ve been looking for a recipe I used as a kid that we called Texas Drop. That is the first cookies I learned to bake in about 1961 and the recipe was lost in the many moves over the years. It was one that was passed down from my great grandmother in Louisiana and it is very, very similar, but I don’t recall starting with brown butter.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing and we love this one!

  3. These were so good! My brother wanted me to make some sugar cookies today and I came across this recipe! So glad I did! These are sweet, chewy and soft. Will be making these again for sure! I used margarine instead of butter and I had no problems with it

  4. these are a family favorite! i’ve made them about 10 times. Even my extended family requests i make them some anything we meet up.

  5. At the last minute of baking my cookies spread perfectly and they have that perfect cracked top! And like I said in my first post-the flavor is there. Yummy!

  6. I am rating these cookies 5 stars, because my family really liked them, and so did I! The recipe is very good, and i printed it out too!

  7. I made these cookies once and they were perfect!

    I just made them again today exactly how I did it the first time, but they didn’t crinkle at the top and got really hard despite only being in there for 12 minutes. I think it might be because my brown sugar wasn’t sealed airtight and when I opened it, it was slightly drier than fresh brown sugar. Would this be where I went wrong?

  8. Just whipped up a batch and they are as good as all the Five star comments say. Chewy, rich and delicious. I added a cup of toasted pecans and they remind me of another favorite…Pecan Pie. Doesn’t get much better than that.

  9. Omggggggg thanks so much for this!!! They are the best cookies I’ve had! They taste of autumn ? if you know what I mean ?… They came out perfect; crisp on the outside and chewy in the centre. Thanks!

  10. I used a gluten free flour blend that is 1:1 as we are allergic, and also used almond extract at the ratio you suggested (1tsp). As GF is always a weird one to work with, we scooped the cookies onto the parchment and put in the freezer for 5-10 min before baking. They are so yummy! Soft in the centre, chewey on the outside. A perfect cookie. Thank you so much.

  11. Hi! I was wondering how the roll-out version of these cookies work? Do we refrigerate them for longer, do they hold their cookie-cutter shape well, etc. Would it be better if I used softened butter instead of brown better for cutout cookies? Thanks!

  12. Hello again just made these with golden brown sugar…supery chewy and yummy…Thank you for simple yet delicious recipe.

  13. Absolutely delicious! I made with light brown sugar since I already had a Costco bag, and agree that baking for 10-11 mins is perfect. Made these to make ice cream sandwiches with, and paired with homemade fresh strawberry ice cream…pure heaven!!

  14. Oh my goodness Sabrina!!! I made your Brown Sugar Cookies today…delicious!! I have been looking for a cookie with that particular buttery, brown sugary goodness for some time and I’m so glad you posted this recipe. Ohhh, especially nice and warm out of the oven with a cool glass of milk?!! Yeah buddy, that’s what I’m talkin’ about!
    Thank you again

  15. Love these cookies. The dough was dry and I had to add some water. Maybe because if the high altitude where we live. Delicious ?

  16. Loved these cookies 10/10! I know this sounds weird but rolling them in cinnamon before you bake them makes them so good.

  17. Can I freeze the dough I don’t bake? Since it’s just me enjoying them I don’t want to make too many at a time

    Thanks, excited to enjoy!

  18. I had first found these yummy cookies on
    (Which I know remember) but I had lost the recipe and really wanted some cookies recently. I am the one of few who LOVE chocolate chip cookies…without the chocolate chips. I KNOW, I KNOW CRAZY but they are so yummy without so I went on a search and found these and they turned out to be identical so Thank You for helping me meet once again with great cookies. If you are thinking about trying them, just do it!!

  19. I had first found these yummy cookies on but I had lost the recipe and really wanted some cookies recently. I am the one of few who LOVE chocolate chip cookies…without the chocolate chips. I KNOW, I KNOW CRAZY but they are so yummy without so I went on a search and found these and they turned out to be identical so Thank You for helping me meet once again with great cookies. If you are thinking about trying them, just do it!!

  20. I’ve read the instructions over and over and it doesn’t clearly state when the last 4 tablespoons of butter should be added…. I’ve read the comments and it says step four… but step four just says butter.. it doesn’t specifically state which butter

    1. So sorry for the confusion. Once you’ve melted the 10 tbsp of butter, pour it into a bowl and add the other 4 tbsp to that. I’ve updated the recipe card so hopefully it reads clearer now.

  21. For the first time ever my brothers actually liked the cookies I made! We have too much brown sugar in the house so this was a good way to use it up. I used coconut oil instead and they still turned out great! Thank you for the recipe ?

      1. I’ve made this recipe at least 5 times and it always comes out great! After making it the first time and seeing how much my family liked it, I always double the recipe. Also, after following directions the first time, I skipped the last step since then. I find the cookie to be sweet enough without sprinkling sugar on it. A double batch for me makes about 7 dozen cookies (Unsure what size cookie scooper I use.).

  22. This will now be my signature, go-to cookie for the rest of my life. (I’m 61, lol.) The chew, the caramelly essence from the brown sugar. The simplicity. It’s a classic. Thank you!

  23. The cookies were the best of their kind I have ever made. I substituted 1 tsp of almond extract for vanilla. I also added about a tbsp of molasses (subtracting out and equal amount of light brown sugar). I brushed the balls of cookie dough with the egg whites and then pressed them down. I got more than 24 cookies even though my balls were about 1 in (large cookies), crispy on the edge and soft-centered. It’s just right for my 93 year old uncle who is isolating in a memory unit during the pandemic!

  24. Made these today, cuz I had a serious cookie craving, and I actually had most of these ingredients in my pantry. I’m not a seasoned cook/baker, but these came out great! I used maple syrup instead of vanilla (cuz that’s what I had and Google said this could be a substitute), but i forgot to cut down on some sugar so it got a tad bit too sweet for me. But my husband loves them. I’ll definitely make again, and add vanilla to my instacart list!
    Great with coffee,by the way!

    Also: i know this is gonna change the flavor a LOT, but anyone add orange zest to these? I’m intrigued by that

  25. I only heard of brown sugar cookies a few weeks ago, so today we decided to make these. Omg, they are amazing!! Sooo good! The mix appears a tad dry, but they are amazing!! Thank you for sharing! A new family favourite!

  26. These are my new favorite cookies! Absolutely delicious. Worked very well with light brown sugar. (all I had on hand) Excellent right out of the oven and the next day dipped in coffee.

  27. I made these this am and they are delish. But where do you use the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter? You only said to melt 10 tablespoons and the recipe does not say what to do with the rest. Also, when do you add the 1/4 cup of white sugar????

    1. Hi! So the white sugar is for garnishing on the top (at least that’s what I got from it all) it also says to add the remaining butter to your wet ingredients, because of the brown butter.

    2. I was wondering this same thing. Are you supposed to mix the other 4 with the melted 10 once you put it in the bowl??

  28. I made these cookies today. They are delicious but are not like the picture. They are thin and crispy. Delicious.

  29. Is the 1/4 c brown sugar added in step 3 taken out of the 2 c brown sugar in ingredients list? Or is it in addition to? Thanks!

    1. Yes, it’s taken out of the total of 2 cups. So you’ll use 1/4 cup in step 3 and the other 1 3/4 cups in step 4. Sorry for the confusion.

  30. Really delicious. You need to be patient with the butter. Just used a cookie scoop and rolled them in some “sugar in the raw”. Very addicting cookie, I’m not sure that I am glad that I found the recipe because I can’t stop eating them. I look forward to making these for friends and family.

      1. I’ve not tested it using a substitute for the white sugar. Usually you can use agave nectar, coconut sugar or honey to substitute. If you decide to try, I’d love to know what worked. Thanks!

  31. This recipe is pretty perfect but a few more things i’ll add here after some trial and error on my end:

    -Chill your dough first, it does enhance the flavor of your cookies and makes this dough less sticky

    -You can use light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar is definitely the way to go. Trust me

    -You can substitute cornstarch for baking powder for an even chewier texture

    -I find letting these bake for 10 minutes instead of the max 12 – 15 and letting them finish baking on the sheet pan for the remainder allows them to have a super soft center and crispy edges

    -Cream cheese frosting was made for these cookies

    All in all this is a totally swoon worthy recipe, my husband and co workers loved these!

  32. Just made these with light brown sugar as that is all I had on hand. I had to cut the baking time to 10 minutes. Cookies are best straight out of the oven, however, once cooled, they are still really good, with a crisp edge and chewy middle.

  33. These were AHHHHHmazing. I only had light brown sugar but it worked out pretty good. I’m definitely making these again!

  34. I’m an amateur at baking. When I read “one large egg” and “one large egg yolk,” I’m not sure what that means. Could you explain?