Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

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

brown sugar cookies on a white plate

brown sugar cookies

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, 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.

brown sugar cookies on a cooling rack

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!

stack of brown sugar cookies

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. 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.

brown sugar cookies

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
brown sugar cookies on a white plate

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 20 cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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 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

Instructions

  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 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7.  Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for 1 week.

Notes

  1. 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. Click here for my tips and tricks on freezing cookie dough.
  2. 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!
  3. Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps promise a softer, thicker cookie. I highly recommend it. I use it in my chocolate chip cookies, too. Feel free to leave it out if needed.
  4. 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

235 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. I just finished making these, we’re already eating them. SO delicious! Love the tip about flattening them and then baking for another few minutes. I kept most of the recipe exactly as is but instead of all purpose flour I used a combination of whole wheat white flour and quinoa flour, which I’ve been using a lot lately as it makes baked goods very soft and tender. SO GOOD! Once I get it blogged I’ll come back & post a link here, plus of course link back here from my post. Your recipes are always so good!!! I am a true fan.

    1. Thanks Laurie! I’ll have to try out quinoa flour soon. I love these cookies!

      1. I have to add this, my whole family went CRAZY for these cookies. My son said, “Next time you make cookies, let’s not even talk about what kind, just make these again.” I need to take photos of them today and there are hardly any left! And the cracks on top make them really beautiful too. I know I already commented but that was before I saw everyone’s face light up as they ate them.

  2. Sally, THANK YOU for posting this recipe. I made these cookies with a slight variation and they tasted AMAZING. I replaced the cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder and also added 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder to the granulated sugar.

    Result: FANTASTIC chocolate brown sugar cookies. I cannot get enough!

    1. KJ, your chocolate version sounds incredible! Thanks for reporting back. So happy you love them!

  3. Annie Bouchet says:

    Just made these after seeing them on Pinterest, but used brown butter in exchange for the regular melted butter. They were amazing! Added some additional depth and nuttiness. Definitely my go to recipe for easy cookies now. Thanks so much for this blog – I’ve become a huge baker since I discovered it! The instructions + pics make it so clear 🙂

    1. Hey Annie! I’m so happy you love these cookies. And they are fantastic with brown butter, that’s for sure!

  4. I love these cookies so much. I’m a copy cat baker and I am constantly looking for my perfect go-to cookie, as I am super picky and a total perfectionist. Let me tell you, this is it. These are not only delicious, they are BEAUTIFUL and EFFORTLESS! So easy to make, detailed directions, simple ingredients, and the crinkled top trick? AH-MAZING! This is my new favorite blog! Thank you for existing, Sally!

  5. Can I use greased baking pans for this instead of parchment paper?

    1. Yes. I always recommend silicone baking mats for lining baking sheets. They help reduce spread in cookies.

  6. So glad to have found this recipe!! They are delicious!! I live in the upstate of SC and I am glad to have found your site! Keep those cookie recipes coming!

    1. I certainly will, Katie. Thanks for saying hi!

  7. So, I finally made these for a party and I never expected I would get sooo many compliments. They went fast. The only thing I did different was bake them longer, about 15 mins, to make them more crispy. Anyways, I am glad I found this recipe. Thanks a bunch =)

  8. Perfect. I came across this recipe during my quest for the best sugar cookie. This is it! Throwing away all my other sugar cookie recipes and sticking to this one. Thanks a lot!!!!!

    1. These happen to be one of my favorite sugar cookies too, Dorah. Thanks for reporting back!

  9. Hi I made these cookies before and they were amazing! I was wondering if I excluded the cornstrach what effect would that have on the cookie,I ask because I have no more cornstrach on hand.

    1. Hey Ashlee! The cookies won’t be as soft and thick. But if you don’t mind that – you can make without the cornstarch.

  10. Hi Sally,

    Thank you for the recipe. I baked this yesterday and the cookies are absolutely delicious. My boyfriend and I almost finish the whole jar of cookies.

  11. So I was having a really bad day, and decided to make cookies. I wanted to make sugar cookies but apparently we were lacking on white sugar, so I looked up something I could make with brown sugar since we had plenty of this and I found this little blog. I didn’t use cornstarch because I was lacking that as well so I just used a bit more flour and they came out perfect! Honestly these cookies tasted so good and I even got the perfect crinkle top. Thank you, they were great!

  12. This recipe is a keeper! I made some modifications bc I am lactose intolerant and my boyfriend is vegan. This recipe was so easy to make vegan and I can’t imagine them tasting any better! I mixed white and wheat flour, I used Ener-g egg replacer (I also used 1/4 cup of applesauce in place of the egg in another batch with a bit of baking powder and it turned out just as good). For butter I melted earth balance vegan butter but once I get more coconut oil I’d like to try the recipe with that!! Other than those things the recipe is the same. I’m making them again tonight!

  13. I was in the mood to bake cookies and stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest. Just made them afternoon and I have to say they might be the best cookies I have ever made–and I bake a lot! Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

    1. Great to hear – thanks Laura!

  14. This is, hands down, my husband’s and my favorite cookie recipe!! So much so that I typically double or triple the recipe– I keep the dough in the fridge for days and just bake a batch once we finish the previous. It never lasts more than 3 days in our house! I’ll be adding caramel chips to them today. 🙂 Thank you so much for such an amazing recipe!!!

    1. Caramel chips – great addition! I’m trying that next too Andi. Thank you!

  15. These are one of the best cookies I have ever made! Definitely going to keep this as my go to cookie recipe.. so easy too! Thanks Sally! You inspire me to keep on baking 🙂

  16. I’ll start off by saying that up until recently I had never had an oven in my life. 23 years old and I had never had an oven. Anyway, I moved in with my boyfriend 7 months ago, and at last, I had an oven. I’ve baked all the dishes I’ve ever wanted to bake but I still have yet to bake anything pastry/cake/cookie related because all those ingredients, and the fact that I don’t have a mixer, were intimidating. I still bought baking stuff here and there whenever I went shopping though, baking soda here, ground cinnamon there, cornstarch over here, etc. So I said, maybe I’ll look up a recipe for something simple, like cookies, that hopefully doesn’t require a mixture. I landed on this recipe, and I’m really glad I found this. The cookies were really easy to bake, simple instructions, and simple ingredients. Stuff that most people have lying around the pantry, even if they don’t bake all the time. They came out delicious, and looking like COOKIES!!! I didn’t burn them, I didn’t overdo them, they are just pristine, and amazing. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe, and now at least you can say that someone that has never baked cookies in HER LIFE, managed to ace these cookies on the first try! Thank you thank you!

  17. Let me start by saying that I’ve baked a lot of cookies on a budget. As a college student on a budget needing to bake cookies for a party of 87 this weekend I was looking for a new recipe I hadn’t tried with this group yet, but that would keep me within budget. I found this on pinterest and cheered as I had everything I needed in my baking basket in the pantry. Finally a baking binge would stay within my budget! And then they came out of the oven and they were amazing. Perfect even. Each is soft, chewy, and delicious which a glass of milk only accentuates. Thank you for a wonderful recipe I’m sure my friends like family will be making me bake again. And that cost me nothing. 😀

  18. Hi,

    I’d just like to say that I made these with brown butter and they turned out great! I’m not sure if you’ve had brown butter if or not but it’s amazing and it goes so well with these cookies.

  19. I’ve been on a dark brown sugar kick lately, and googled “brown sugar cookies.” I found your recipe, and wow, these are amazing!! Thank you for the delicious and easy recipe — this has become one of my go-to cookie recipes.

  20. tracie @ beets+birch says:

    another fantastic cookie! thank you for the recipe! i make the soft chocolate chip ALL THE TIME it was nice to add another one to the list.

  21. Hi Sally,

    Just wanted to say that these are our new go-to cookies. I make them every couple of weeks and we just love them. I use whole-wheat flour instead of the white flour because that is all I have i the house. It works like a charm.

  22. Thank you for the tip about room temp eggs.. Been baking for years and I never remember to take out my butter or eggs to leave out till room temp. I’m getting better but your tip to put the eggs in warm water worked perfectly! THANK YOU!

  23. Hey there.
    Just curious about how my dough turned out. Im pretty sure I followed the recipe but my dough turned out more crumbly like a shortbread dough. The end result seems fine just took a little more time to form the balls. Should I maybe add more butter?

    1. Hi Stephanie– it’s a crumbly dough after chilling. That’s expected. I wouldn’t add more butter, but you can try to reduce the flour ever so slightly next time.

  24. Ab-so-lute-ly delicious! I made no alterations to the recipe and they came out perfect. I’m not into cookies with all the fixins’ so I genuinely gravitate toward a simpler sugar or butter cookie. This brown sugar recipe is a great compromise for my parents and I. They prefer a more decadent cookie!

    Thanks Sally!

  25. 2nd batch is in the oven right now. They’re delicious. I asked my daughter if she’d rather have molasses or brown sugar cookies and she said brown sugar and they are absolutely delicious. We let them chill for a day and a half and the cookie dough was hard even after leaving it out for 10 minutes. But I used a melon baller to scoop out two tablespoons per cookie. And rolled them into sugar. Then as soon as they came out of the oven I ate one. Which fell apart, haha. As soon as it cooled on the sheet for 10 minutes it was good to go and my daughter grabbed one right off the cooling rack. (: delicious.

  26. I’ve been looking and looking for a recipe with just brown sugar thank you so much for putting that on the internet this batch will be going to Waconia
    Minnesota for my 82 year old brotherthank you

  27. I made these last night as I wanted to test out my new oven but needed a cookie recipe that didn’t have ANYTHING special – not even chocolate chips…which left me with either sugar cookies, peanut butter, or another very simple cookie.

    These were super simple when looking at the ingredient list so I wasn’t expecting them to be fabulous…the batter looked rather loose which left me worried….and I wasn’t super excited about a 2 hour wait time…

    BUT

    Once I baked them and my husband and I tasted them, I knew they were a winner! Absolutely delicious! I even stole a piece of one this morning to have with my morning coffee and it paired absolutely perfectly! Great recipe!

  28. Can’t see if anyone has asked this yet, but has anyone tried it with light brown sugar? Any taste differences? Amybalterations need to be made? That’s all I have on hand. Thanks!

    1. I made it with light brown sugar and they were great! I also added a bit more vanilla and replaced 1/8 of a bar of butter with cinnamon sugar butter instead of adding cinnamon. Came out great!

  29. Hello! Just wanted to say thanks for these – my mom is in love with them because she thinks they taste like fried dough.

    I added a little bit more vanilla (just a splash) and I replaced about 1/8 of a bar of the regular stick of butter with cinnamon sugar butter instead of adding cinnamon and I think they came out much better. Thanks so much for posting this – can’t wait to try out other recipes!

  30. Thank you for the great recipe! I always get stuck in ruts of making chocolate chip cookies over and over again. I’m sure my roommates were glad to try something new!

1 2 3 6

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Sally's signature

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.Review Sally's Baking Challenge FAQ page if you have any questions.

View More

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

Sally's Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×