Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies – no mixer required!

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Welcome to Day 8 of Sally’s Cookie Palooza! We took a quick break yesterday for some engagement photo excitement. Kevin and I are having a hard time choosing our favorites. Definitely getting the first one printed! A very huge thank you to our amazing photographer, Megan Beth. If you’re in the DC/Virginia/Baltimore area, definitely look into miss Megan. Words cannot describe this wedding photographer’s talent!

Let’s put the thoughts of wedding dress fittings aside for at least 5 more days. It’s the holidays. Tis the season for baking cookies. And more cookies. And more cookies. And I’m sure I’ll still be saying that on our wedding day!

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I like cookies with a lot going on. Chips of chocolate, swirls of peanut butter, butterscotch morsels, chunks of nuts, stuffed with caramel, and other delightful candies. Sprinkle cookies, chocolate chip cookies, frosted cookies – the more stuff going on, the better.

But not all the time.

Sometimes I prefer a pure, simple cookie. And ladies and gents, today’s recipe is just that. It’s full of one of my favorite flavors: brown sugar. Moist, molasses-spiked brown sugar in every single bite. Soft, chewy, and kissed with cinnamon. These simple brown sugar cookies are undeniably impressive.

They’re not at all “plain” – rather, today’s cookies are exploding with flavor.

You’re going to recognize today’s cookie recipe. It’s a spin-off recipe of my chewy chocolate chunk cookies. I used a few of the same ingredient ratios and recipe techniques in today’s brown sugar cookies.

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

You’re going to start with some melted butter. Most of the cookies I make call for creaming softened butter with the sugars. However, sometimes I prefer to use melted butter instead of creaming it. Melted butter, when paired with the correct ratio of dry ingredients, increases the chewy factor in the baked cookie. Since you are using melted butter, you don’t need a mixer for this cookie recipe!

You’re also going to use only brown sugar in this cookie recipe (except for the rolling… more on that below). 1 and 1/4 cups of dark brown sugar bring so much moisture to these baked cookies, as well as a modest molasses flavor. Light brown sugar may easily be substituted here!

In the original chocolate chunk cookie from which this recipe is adapted, I call for 1 egg and 1 egg yolk. Today, you just need 1 egg. 1 egg and less flour than the original recipe. Don’t worry, these cookies are still just as chewy! You’ll also add a touch of cinnamon to the cookie dough. The cinnamon is completely optional, but the pronounced brown sugar flavor paired with the slight kiss of cinnamon spice really takes these cookies to the next level!

Look at how thick these cookies are. To achieve their thick texture, chill the cookie dough. Also, I make sure there is enough flour to soak up the melted butter. Melted butter is greasy and unless there is enough dry ingredients to soak it all up, you’re going to have some cookie spreading sadness!

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I also add a bit of cornstarch to the cookie dough. Cornstarch thickens cookie dough just as it thickens gravies, soups, and jams. It’s a miracle worker in cookie recipes!

Don’t you love the brown sugar cookies’ crinkled tops? That’s achieved by slightly pressing the cookies down. After chilling the cookie dough and rolling the dough in a bit of sugar, you’ll bake them. Now, pay attention to this: Remove the cookies from the oven after 8-9 minutes, gently press down on the tops with the back of a spoon or fork, and then place them back into the oven for 1-2 more minutes. Why are you doing that? Not only so you can achieve some crinkly tops, but also because the cookies need a little help spreading during bake time. You could always just press the cookie tops down after the entire bake time, but then your cookies may just look like you carelessly smashed them down. I feel that they looked better when put back into the oven for 1-2 minutes after pressing down. I’m all about pretty cookies, ok?

I have a confession. I baked these cookies for a Christmas party we’re going to tonight. Kevin’s work is throwing a little bash and clearly, I can’t go empty handed. PS: I’m bringing these mocha delights too. Always a hit. However, I made these cookies two days ago. And guess what? They are STILL just as soft on day 3 as they were on day 1. And to be completely honest, their cinnamon and brown sugar flavors are heavily pronounced today. You know a cookie recipe is a winner when its softness isn’t compromised as the days go by. I just love that about this recipe! True “soft-batch” style, just like the cookies you get at bakeries and those tempting mall kiosks.

Side note: Kevin and I went to the Columbia mall last night and it took every inch of us to resist an Auntie Anne’s buttery soft pretzel. We were heading to dinner and a show, so clearly we didn’t a pretzel. But still. I love you Auntie Anne’s pretzels.

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

So what’s not to love about today’s cookie recipe? There are so many wow factors! You have an abundance of brown sugar flavor, a white sugar sparkle on the outside, a chewy exterior, a kiss of cinnamon spice, and beautiful crinkles on top. Plus, they are soft, thick, and make one heck of a coffee companion. And tall-glass-of-milk-accompaniment. Ok, these cookies totally go with everything.

Brown sugar lovers unite!

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (use 1 teaspoon if you love cinnamon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed dark brown sugar (or light brown)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar, for rolling

Directions:

  1. Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a medium size bowl, whisk the melted butter and brown sugar together until no brown sugar lumps remain. Whisk in the egg. Finally, whisk in the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a large spoon or rubber spatula. The dough will be very soft, yet thick. Cover the dough and chill for 2 hours, or up to 3 days. Chilling is mandatory.
  3. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes if you had it chilling for more than 2 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. Pour the granulated sugar into a bowl. Take 2 Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, then roll into the sugar. Bake for 8-9 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently press the top of the cookie down with the back of a utensil or even use your fingers. You're trying to obtain a crinkly top. Place back into the oven for 2-3 more minutes. Cookies will be puffy and still appear very soft in the middle. That's ok. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Cookies stay soft and fresh for 7 whole days at room temperature. Cookies may be frozen up to 3 months. Rolled cookie dough may be frozen up to three months and baked in their frozen state for 13 minutes.

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

See all of the cookie recipes so far in my cookie palooza. 🙂

Here is the original chocolate chip cookie recipe inspiring this one.

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies - learn the secrets to making them extra soft and thick! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies - no mixer required! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

293 comments

  1. Great recipe! I also browned the butter (why not:) I baked mine a touch longer as I wanted to caramelize the bottom of the cookies a bit more–they were perfect! Caramely-crispy on the bottom and chewy in the middle:). 

  2. Any recommendations for baking these at high altitude? 

  3. This is one of the best, reliably good every time cookie recipe I have ever made and I have baked for 40 years. Very chewy but not cakey-soft and mushy. Good mouth feel, wonderful flavor and the chewiness is as great on day 4 as it was when still fresh from oven. 

    Follow this recipe EXACTLY (key) and you will have the best cookies you have ever wrapped your lips around.  This is in my permanent collection now!

  4. Hello!
    I’ve got 4 precious Gr.Daughter’s & the 1 is absolutely allergic to so V much! Bless her heart, being 4 she handles it like a champ! So the other day all 4 girls were at the table talking about what the oldest had at lunch (school) that day and precious little Bella walked over & hugged her sister and said “Sissy, I’m really happy u don’t hv allergies like I do!” & my heart melted! So, I’m on a mission to find a cookie recipe just for her! She can’t have eggs-so far, that about me most difficult item I’ve found for a sub! She has to use soy milk, but that’s do-able. Any ideas for treat-type recipes where we can sub the eggs?
    Thank you kindly,
    Shellie in Mesa, Az.

  5. Is there anything I can substitute for the cornstarch? I’m a student and can’t afford to buy something that I’ll only use for one recipe.

  6. Hi Sally, I love your site so much it’s now my go to for all baking recipes. I just tried this recipe and my cookies turned into one big cookie! I guess my baking sheet was too small. Lol I’ve always been a pretty good Baker albeit a quick and somewhat lazy one. I never usually used room temp things except butter and never chill my batter but you inspired me to want to do better! So I follwed this recipe exactly. Although they melded together once separated they still taste amazing!

  7. Hi Sally, 
    I was wondering what would happen if I DON’T press down after 8-9 minutes and is I just bake them for 10-11 minutes. I know they wouldn’t have that crinkled effect but would they have a nice flat top and still be amazing?  

  8. Sally, can’t wait to try this recipe. Love anything with brown sugar!  Question is I don’t buy parchment paper, so to grease or not to grease and could I use self-raising flour and just add the cornstarch? Thanks a lot.

    • Violet– unsure about the self-raising flour and how the cookies will look and taste. I suggest following the recipe because that is what I’ve tested and am confident about. Very lightly grease the sheet pan if you are not using a nonstick surface.

  9. I’m all about trying new cookie recipes and this one is definitely a keeper! I may take the liberty of changing up a few things every now and again (based on others’ comments), like browning the butter first, which sounds amazing! But if I never change a thing, it’s still going to be one of my favorites. Thank you!

  10. Hi Sally! I don’t know why, but when I made these cookies, they came out really cake-y rather than chewy. I followed the recipe exactly, so I don’t know what happened. Most of my other attempts at cookies end up cake-y as well. Do you know what I could have done wrong? Thanks! I love your blog by the way 🙂

    • Hey Julie! Are you using a large egg or something larger, like extra large or jumbo? Eggs are typically the culprit with cakey cookies. Or how about the flour– are you spooning and leveling or weighing it? Making sure it’s all-purpose, right? Even the little things like that could matter here. Or the sugar– are you varying from the recipe with regards to the amount of sugar? Or even overmixing. This traps air inside the dough, which could result in cakier cookies.

  11. I made these last night and the taste was great!

     I chilled the dough for about 3 and a half hours and let it sit for the recommended time but it was still rock hard and really tough to scoop. Would it be ok to scoop these out with the softened dough, chill for two hours and then pop in the oven?

    As well, I have a small cookie scoop and thought the time would still be fine as you were using a two inch but the tray was still underdone and my tops didn’t look crackly they looked like cookies with a fork mark in them. I’m baffled! Any thoughts as I’d like to perfect these. 

    Thanks

  12. Do you really mean 2 tablespoons of mixture per cookie? I did one and even they were huge? 

  13. I prepared the dough last night, chilled it overnight and baked some this morning. I packed the cookies for my daddy and my fiance when they left for work and they loved it! I am so in love with how chewy, delicious and addictive these cookies are! Thank you for the recipe!

    Much love!!!❤❤❤

  14. Just made these tonight, and they are delicious! Are they supposed to be soft in the inside? I’m wondering if they are underdone.

    Thanks!

  15. I just made these and they are delcious–a perfect soft batch cookie with just a hint of cinnamon. Will be making again and again. 

  16. I found these a bit dry and fairly unexceptional.

  17. Great recipe! We made these for my daughter’s bake sale. The hardest part was not eating them ourselves.

    We used them as part of a Pinterest challege: http://peterberries.com/pinterest-30-challenge/

    Thanks!

  18. BEST COOKIES I HAVE EVER HAD!!!!! These were amazing and I am definitely sharing them with all of my coworkers tomorrow! 

  19. Just made these, I froze then for 2 hours almost three and they were so sticky while I rolled them then they just flattened out in the oven. I followed the recipe but I didn’t put vanilla extract in i . Won’t be trying these again

  20. I made these for a dinner party, and they were gone before we even started to eat dinner! They were amazing! And so easy to do!

  21. I made this recipe and the cookie dough was delicious! However, after chilling for two hours, rolling 2 tablespoons of dough into balls, and baking, the cookies were still not done. They tasted like dough still and were only slightly hardened on the outside. All in all, the cookies ended up in the oven for almost half an hour, at the correct temperature, but they still weren’t right. I checked three times, the oven was DEFINITELY on, so I’m not sure what went wrong…otherwise, they could have been great cookies. I’m really disappointed with how bad things went.

  22. My toddler likes these. She asked for them specifically today, after we made them once a few months ago. She actually remembered! I added a few things to bump up the flavour: 2 teaspoons of fresh grated ginger, one teaspoon molasses with only one teaspoon of vanilla instead of 2 and I used salted butter. She can safely carry these to her nut-free kindergarten. For her dad and I (we love nuts) I did the last batch (separate from the nut-free set) by rolling the dough balls in a combo of sugar and crushed walnuts and for the smooshing part, sank a whole pecan in the middle. I smoosh successfully with a teaspoon to achieve the crinkling. The original chocolate chip recipe that this is based on is my favorite cookie recipe and I’m glad to discover that it’s so flexible that I can add in ingredients (like a bit of oatmeal, which I did the last time) or dried fruit. Also, because this uses melted butter, the whole recipe is very easy and clean-up friendly. A couple bowls and one fork and I’m done 🙂 Thank you! I really like your writing and explanations.

  23. I made these today and they came out perfect!!! Great recipe, I’m a huge cinnamon fan so I substituted the granulated sugar for cinnamon sugar and they turned out amazing!!!

  24. My FAVORITE cookie recipe. Perfect in every single way. Thank you!

  25. Great recipe!  The cookies look beautiful as always.  Do you know any easy substitutes for the cornstarch?  I’m living in a small town in Thailand right now and have limited access to western supermarkets, but would love to make these so my Thai coworkers can try good American cookies

  26. These were the best brown sugar cookies we have ever had.  They’re quick and easy to put together.  I followed the recipe (almost] exactly but did make a few minor changes…  Since we don’t like cinnamon and it’s optional, we left it out.  We also used light brown sugar instead of the dark because that’s all I had.  

    I’ve made them twice in 24 hours, that’s how good these are.  Thank you sharing your wonderful recipe and thank you for creating an easy cleanup recipe. Love love love!

  27. I made two batches of these this weekend. Both came out of the oven looking thick and delicious but shrank to flatter than a pancake as they cooled. The first batch, I chilled for 2 hours. The second batch I chilled for 16 hours, hoping that would solve the flatness problem but it didn’t. The dough was absolutely delicious! The cookies were too, but I couldn’t get past the flatness. Not sure where I went wrong – I followed the recipe exactly, none of my ingredients were expired, etc.

  28. The dough tastes wonderful!…..I can’t wait to bake them in the morning 🙂 

  29. Delicious!! Although mine completely flattened out too! What did I do wrong? Believe me, we ate every last one lol, but wish I could have experienced the thick chewy-ness! 🙂

  30. I have also made these cookies twice now and have had the similar shrinking problem. Everyone loves the cookies but I would like them to be thicker. Any solutions?

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