Chewy, crisp, and tender brown sugar shortbread is made with a combination of light and dark brown sugar for the best flavor. These slice and bake style cookies are simple to make and you’ll love the extra sparkle of coarse sugar on the edges!
I teamed up with Domino® Sugar to bring you today’s cookie recipe. Domino® Sugar is sold where I live, but if it’s not sold near you, look for their sister brand, C&H® Sugar. It’s been my choice for years and that’s not because they are a hop, skip, and jump away– but because it’s pure quality. You can taste the difference in your baking when you use an exceptional sugar. Today, we’re baking with Domino® Brown Sugars.
Brown Sugar is The Best
Brown sugar is my favorite ingredient in the kitchen and hopefully I’ve convinced you by now why (all of my brown sugar recipes here). It’s THE BEST. Brown sugar leaves its alluring moisture wherever it goes, not to mention the home-sweet-home aroma and flavor of sweet molasses. Reminds you of grandma’s baking, doesn’t it? Grandma knows best.
Soft and simple, brown sugar is a best friend to some of life’s greatest treasures: cinnamon, BACON, maple, pumpkin, caramel, oatmeal, peaches, and did I mention bacon? The list goes on. Respect, brown sugar, respect.
Don’t let simplicity fool you. My favorite traditional shortbread recipe is in Sally’s Cookie Addiction. I took that recipe as my starting point and worked to create a super buttery brown sugar version. Crisp on the edges and tender in the center, this is a simple brown sugar shortbread. But don’t let its humble look fool you. Even though it’s quite modest without the addition of chocolate chips, caramel drizzles, nuts, fudge explosions, candy pieces, etc… it stands up to even the most decadent cookie.
Brown Sugar Shortbread Ingredients
You only need a few staples to make brown sugar shortbread. That’s the thing about shortbread– it’s awesomely simple using only a handful of basic ingredients, no eggs or leavening agents needed. With so little ingredients, you want to make sure you’re using the right ones– and the best quality ones. Let’s review:
- Flour: Sturdy all-purpose flour is the base of this shortbread cookie recipe.
- Salt: We use a little salt to balance out some of the sweetness.
- Butter: Can’t have buttery shortbread without butter. Make sure it’s at proper room temperature before beginning.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is the most important ingredient in today’s cookie. We’ll be using both Domino® Light Brown and Dark Brown Sugars in this recipe. Why both? This combination offers a developed, complex flavor in your cookie. You can, of course, use only light or only dark, but I highly suggest the combination of the two.
- Vanilla Extract: A cookie’s best friend! Try using homemade vanilla extract.
Slice and Bake Style
We’ll make the cookies slice-and-bake style, my favorite. This isn’t a new concept– I’ve shared a few other variations on Sally’s Baking Addiction before (and 3 more recipes in Sally’s Cookie Addiction):
- Sprinkle Slice & Bake Cookies
- Chocolate Orange Slice & Bake Cookies
- Toasted Hazelnut Slice & Bake Cookies
- Pecan Shortbread
Chilling the dough is key to baking slice-and-bakes. You’ll divide the buttery dough in half, then roll each half into a log. Chill these logs for at least 4 hours. Seems like awhile, but I actually prefer to chill them overnight– this is a fantastic recipe to make ahead. After the logs are chilled, slice them up and bake.
If you skip the chilling, expect the cookies to massively spread on your baking sheets.
For a little extra sparkle, roll the logs into coarse sugar. Totally optional, but you know how I feel about sparkles. PLUS it gives the edges more crunch. Love the added texture, especially paired with the softer centers.
If brown sugar is your weakness, this shortbread is a no-brainer!!Print
Chewy, crisp, tender, and EASY brown sugar shortbread!
- 2 and 1/4 cups (280g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks; 230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
- 1/3 cup (67g) packed dark brown sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- optional: 2/3 cup (135g) coarse sugar, for rolling
- Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl using a handheld mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, light brown sugar, and dark brown sugar together on medium-high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
- On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer up to high speed and beat until the dough comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and, with floured hands, divide into two. Shape each half into an 8-inch log, about 2.5 inches in diameter. Tightly wrap the logs in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 5 days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough. I always chill mine overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
- Remove logs from the refrigerator and roll into coarse sugar, if desired. It’s added only for a little crunch! Slice each log into 12 equally thick cookies and place cookies on baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until brown around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
- Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Cookie dough logs freeze well too, up to 3 months. Allow the logs to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then continue with step 6.
- Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Baking Sheet, Silpat Baking Mat, Cooling Rack, and Coarse Sparkling Sugar
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.