Soft & Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

December 17, 2020
With their crackly tops, tender middles, and unmistakable brown sugar flavor, these soft & chewy Brown Sugar Cookies will make frequent appearances in your cookie jar!  For the brown sugar fans out there, you may just find these to be your new favorite sugar cookie.

Stack of Brown Sugar Cookies Image

Can you make sugar cookies with brown sugar instead of regular granulated sugar?  Absolutely!  And as evidenced by how much we love these soft and chewy Brown Sugar Cookies, the result is simply wonderful.

Truth be told, I like Brown Sugar Cookies much better than regular sugar cookies.  They have a distinct brown sugar flavor, tasting a little like a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips.  And that's a flavor I love, for sure.

Now with that being said, if you don't like the taste of brown sugar, obviously you're not going to like these cookies.  But if you do? -- I think you'll be a big fan.

With their crackly tops, tender chewy middles, and unmistakable brown sugar flavor, these Brown Sugar Cookies are more than worthy of frequenting any cookie jar!

They have a distinct brown sugar flavor, tasting a little like a chocolate chip cookie without the chocolate chips.


What type of brown sugar do you use to make Brown Sugar Cookies?

Use light brown sugar to bake up Brown Sugar Cookies with a distinct, rich brown sugar flavor.  With light brown sugar, Brown Sugar Cookies taste of just that -- brown sugar.

You can certainly use dark brown sugar instead, however the dominant flavor in the cookies will more that of molasses than brown sugar. -- Much more like the flavor of molasses crinkle cookies.  

That's because when it comes down to it, brown sugar is simply a mix of white sugar and molasses.  And since dark brown sugar typically contains twice the amount of molasses as its light brown counterpart, it stands to reason the molasses flavor would come through more fully in the finished cookies.

We much prefer these soft and chewy Brown Sugar Cookies made with light brown sugar, and highly recommend light brown sugar as the recipe choice.


What makes these cookies' texture soft and chewy?

Oh, how we love the softness and chewiness of these Brown Sugar Cookies!  Curious about what brings that about? Three things work together to help create the cookies' texture:

  • Melted butter - Yes, mixing up the cookie dough with melted butter creates a chewy cookie.  Why?  Well usually we cream softened butter when mixing up a batch of cookies, right?  The process of creaming aerates the butter, and that air that gets incorporated plays a role in leavening the cookies.  Even if we didn't cream the butter, softened butter still has at least a little air and some "body" to it.  Melted butter does not, and therefore contributes nothing to helping the cookies rise.  The melted butter result instead? -- Chewiness. 

  • 1 whole egg + just the yolk of a 2nd - Egg whites cause cookies to puff as they bake, producing the more cakey cookie texture.  By using only 1 whole egg and just the yolk of a second egg in this recipe, the cakey cookie factor is reduced.

  • Not overbaking - To keep the cookies' soft and chewy centers, do not overbake Brown Sugar Cookies. If anything, err on the side of underbaking them.  For the best result, bake until the cookies are a golden brown with set edges, but soft centers that still look underdone between the cracks.

Soft & Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies Image

Brown Sugar Cookie Ingredients

The combination of ingredients in this recipe is key in producing both the texture and distinct brown sugar flavor of these cookies.  To whip up a batch, you'll need:

  • Light brown sugar - Light brown sugar is the star of these cookies, producing cookies that taste of just that -- brown sugar.  Be sure to use fresh, moist brown sugar that isn't hardened or dried out.  Hardened, dried out sugar will create finished cookies that are on the dry side, too.

  • Melted unsalted butter - Mixing up the cookie dough with melted butter (rather than creaming with softened butter) helps create a chewy cookie.

  • Vanilla extract - Lots of it! A full tablespoon of pure vanilla extract brings fabulous flavor and richness to these brown sugar cookies.

  • A whole egg + an egg yolk - Using just the yolk of the second egg contributes greatly to the cookies' chewy texture.

  • Baking soda + baking powder - Using a combination of these two leaveners creates the cookies' crinkled tops, and contributes to their chewy texture as well.

  • Salt - Works with the leaveners to allow them to their job, and balances out the sweetness of the brown sugar.

  • Brown sugar + granulated sugar mixture for rolling - Granulated sugar mixed in with the brown sugar for rolling keeps the brown sugar from clumping together too much.

Scoop of Brown Sugar Cookie Dough Image

How to Make Brown Sugar Cookies

Whipping up a batch of these brown sugar beauties is pretty straightforward, as far as cookie making goes.

Start by melting the recipe's butter, and allowing it to cool for 15 minutes before mixing up the dough.  It needs to be a little bit cooled before mixing it with the brown sugar and other ingredients.

Then, mix up a basic cookie dough. -- Combine the melted butter with brown sugar, add in the egg and vanilla extract, and then mix in the dry ingredients until just combined.  Once that flour's added to the wet ingredients, you want to keep the mixing to a minimum so as to not create tough cookies.

These cookies are on the large side, so scoop 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie. Then gently and quickly roll each scoop of dough into a ball with your hands. 

Roll the dough balls in a mixture of equal parts brown sugar and granulated sugar.  The granulated sugar keeps the brown sugar from being too clumpy. -- But with that being said, you'll probably still need to fluff the mixture with a fork a few times during rolling to keep it from getting too packed down to roll.

How to Make Brown Sugar Cookies Image

Coat each dough ball completely with the brown sugar/granulated sugar mixture.  

Then place them on an ungreased cookie sheet, spacing each about 2 inches apart to allow for spreading as the cookies bake.  These are sizeable cookies, and need their room to grow!

Bake them up until the cookies are a nice golden brown with set edges, but soft centers that still look underdone between the cracks.  For the best result, do not overbake Brown Sugar Cookies. -- If anything, err on the side of underbaking them.  

Brown Sugar Cookies on Baking Sheet Image

And then you're good to go with diving into the deliciousness!

With their crackly tops, tender middles, and unmistakable brown sugar flavor, you may just find these soft & chewy Brown Sugar Cookies to be your new favorite sugar cookie.  They certainly are mine.

Soft & Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies on Cooling Rack Image
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brown sugar cookies recipe, brown sugar cookies, chewy sugar cookies, soft sugar cookies, sugar cookies with brown sugar
Cookies & Bars
American
Yield: about 24 cookies
Author: Tracey | The Kitchen is My Playground
Soft & Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

Soft & Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

With their crackly tops, tender middles, and unmistakable brown sugar flavor, these soft & chewy Brown Sugar Cookies will make frequent appearances in your cookie jar! For the brown sugar fans out there, you may just find these to be your new favorite sugar cookie.
Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 14 Mininactive time: 15 MinTotal time: 49 Min

Ingredients

Cookie Dough:
  • 14 T. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 3/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 2 c. + 2 T. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
Sugar for Rolling:
  • 3 T. light brown sugar
  • 3 T. granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. After melting butter, set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the 3 tablespoons brown sugar and 3 tablespoons granulated sugar for rolling. Set aside.
  3. Place the 1 and 3/4 cup brown sugar and cooled melted butter in a mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer on medium speed until no lumps of sugar remain, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add whole egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Mix until well combined, about 30 seconds.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  6. Add flour mixture to butter/sugar mixture, and mix until just combined. Give dough a final stir by hand to make sure flour mixture is completely mixed in.
  7. Scoop 2 tablespoons dough for each cookie, and gently and quickly roll dough into a ball with your hands. Roll balls in sugar mixture and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Space dough balls about 2 inches apart to allow for spreading as the cookies bake.
  8. Bake one 1 sheet at a time at 350℉ for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are golden brown with set edges, but soft centers that still look underdone between the cracks.
  9. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
TRACEY'S NOTES:
  1. Yes, a full tablespoon of vanilla extract may seem like a lot, but it truly brings fabulous flavor to these brown sugar cookies. That capital T. (= tablespoon) for the vanilla extract measurement isn't a typo!
  2. In the sugar mixture for rolling, the granulated sugar keeps the brown sugar from being too clumpy. -- But with that being said, you'll probably still need to fluff the mixture with a fork a few times during rolling to keep it from getting too packed down to roll.
  3. To keep the cookies' soft and chewy centers, do not overbake. If anything, err on the side of underbaking them if you prefer sugar cookies with some softness to them.
  4. Baking just 1 sheet at a time helps ensure even heat distribution as the cookies bake, which helps develop their soft and chewy texture.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Soft & Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies ~ With their crackly tops, tender middles, & unmistakable brown sugar flavor, these soft & chewy cookies will make frequent appearances in your cookie jar! For the brown sugar fans out there, you may just find these to be your new favorite sugar cookie. #brownsugarcookies #sugarcookies  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com


This post is linked with Weekend PotluckMeal Plan Monday.

6 comments

  1. These cookies look phenomenal! Thanks so much for sharing with us over at the You're the Star Blog Hop. We hope to see you again soon!

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  2. These Look perfect. The crackle on the surface looks perfectly delicious. #BloggersPitStop

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  3. Brown sugar cookies sounds delicious!
    Happy Fiesta Friday :)

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