Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies – no mixer required!
Sometimes 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, peanut butter cookies, frosted cookies – the more stuff going on, the better.
But not all the time.
Sometimes I prefer a pure, simple cookie like sugar cookies without the icing. (I can’t believe I’m saying that because I love icing!) Today’s recipe highlights my favorite flavor: 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 chip cookies. I used a few of the same ingredient ratios and recipe techniques in today’s brown sugar cookies.
Start with 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!
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, like shortbread!
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. We’re heading to a work holiday party and clearly, I can’t go empty handed. 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.
Super soft and chewy brown sugar cookies – no mixer required!
- 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 and slightly cooled*
- 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed light or dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar, for rolling
- Toss together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Pour the granulated sugar into a bowl. Take 2 scant Tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball, then roll into the sugar. Place 3 inches apart on the baking sheets.
- 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 2-4 more minutes. The total time these cookies are in the the oven is 10-13 minutes. The cookies will be puffy and still appear very soft in the middle. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. They will continue to cook in the center on the baking sheet after being removed from the oven.
- Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: You can make the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Baked cookies freeze well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving. Unbaked cookie dough balls (before rolling in sugar) will freeze well for up to 3 months. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll in granulated sugar. Bake as directed. Read my tips and tricks on how to freeze cookie dough.
- Butter: Simply melt the butter in the microwave. Let it cool down for about 5-10 minutes before mixing with the other ingredients. Don’t want to cook that egg with the hot butter!
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps promise a softer, thicker cookie. I highly recommend it. I use it in my chocolate chip cookies and shortbread cookies, too. Feel free to leave it out if needed.
- Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.
Keywords: brown sugar cookies, chewy brown sugar cookies