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

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

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.

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

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!

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. 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! 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!

Print

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. 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

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

381 Comments

  1. I’ve said this before but I am always so, so impressed by your cooking notes and thorough instructions. You make it easy for us to get good results from your amazing recipes! Love the look of these sugar cookies… so gorgeously moist and delicious, crinkly topped and drool-worthy. Definitely on my to-bake list when I finish the Christmas essentials (argh, I have no holidays so I’m cooking at night at the moment. V stressful, definitely not the way I would like Christmas to be!). Merry Christmas to you, Kevin and your families Sally. I hope that you have an amazingly blessed and merry time! xxx

    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family Laura! Try to step away from the business during these next couple of days to just breathe and enjoy. I often forget to do that! xoxo

  2. I googled flat cookie ..there was a suggestion to throw the pan and raw cookie dough balls in the freezer for 15 min. It helped but the cookies were still flat and slightly raw inside (but not as raw as before). My husband said to increase the baking temp to 375 but the same thing happened but they were darker.
    I had a question about baking soda…my box has been opened for more than 3 months but is still within the expiration date by at least a year…could this still be a reason why the cookies were flat?…because the box had been opened for more than 3 months? Thanks for your help! My problem is the same as Heather’s below!

    1. Hi Cheryl! It sounds as though you’ll need to chill the cookie dough for a longer time. This cookie dough is the same dough I use for my very popular Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies and I rarely hear about spreading issues for that recipe. Are you at high altitude? Do not increase the baking temperature. Just chill the dough for about 4 hours if you try them again. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to buy a fresh box of baking soda.

      1. Hi, My original comment was deleted? But it said I had the dough in the fridge for more than 2 hours. It was 4 hours. Heather’s comment must have been deleted too. If I make these again, I’ll be sure to follow the suggestions posted in the other comments (I.e., more flour, cool hands). I live in Maryland, so no high altitude here. Thanks.

      2. Hi Cheryl, I see your original comment right here. Let me know how these cookies go the 2nd time around. Enjoy.

  3. Somehow I missed reading this post! These look fabulous. I’ve got the Reese’s cookie dough chilling in the fridge now. These will be next!
    Merry Christmas!

  4. I made these over the weekend (along with your peanut butter cookie recipe) and they were a huge hit! I seriously cannot lose when it comes to trying out any of your recipes! I can’t wait for your cookbook because I know it will be one of my go-to’s!

  5. These turned out so well, I reduced the amount of butter to just one stick and added more cinnamon for my taste. These were PERFECT. Thank you!

  6. These were so easy, and so delicious, Sally! I love following your blog/Facebook page, and have tried a few of your recipes. Mine also turned out flatter than I expected. Perhaps the dough got too warm in my hands and my daughter’s hands when we were rolling them? Regardless, they are SO yummy! Oh, dear, I guess we’ll just *have* to make them again to see if we can get a better result. 😉

    1. Hi Sally! Yes, you don’t really want *warm* dough. This is the same dough recipe asI use for my chewy chocolate chunk cookies and those are so thick! So try chilling the cookie dough for longer and even adding another 2 Tbsp of flour in the recipe.

  7. Sally, this recipe looks fab. Going to try it or the snicker doodles to take to a friend’s house tomorrow instead of cupcakes. Do you think either recipe would work with freshly ground nutmeg instead of / as well as the cinnamon in the dough mix? I love the taste of nutmeg especially at Christmas. X

  8. I’ve never had a mall pretzel or a mall cookie! It’s ridiculous.

    I’ve also never had brown sugar cookies! They sound and look AMAZING, though! And on another unrelated note, did you know that the US is one of the only countries with brown sugar (in other places, “brown sugar” = unrefined sugar). It’s a pain in the butt! I bring over liters of molasses so that I can make my own.

    Anyway, looove these cookies! Gorgeous, fat and perfect, as always. 🙂

  9. I made these last Friday and thought they were great! I had a bag of cinnamon chips in my baking pantry and they were calling to me since I had never used them before and because they’d been in the pantry for a while, so I added a half cup to the dough. They were brown sugary goodness!! The cinnamon chips only enhanced the flavor because with or without them, the cookies were amazing! My husband had some associates over the day I made these and one of them took some home with him, so I’d say that speaks volumes about your recipe!!!

    1. Oh Jacqueline! I have to try these with cinnamon chips. I love cinnamon chips, but hardly ever bake with them for some reason. They’re hard to find where I am. Happy New Year to you!

  10. I made these cookies the other day and they came out flat. They are delicious, but flat! I followed the recipe exactly, adding the corn starch and I chilled the dough for exactly two hours, covered with plastic wrap. Do you have any other suggestions for what went wrong? Maybe I should try chilling it longer? I love baking and the aesthetics are almost as important as taste so I’d love to try these again! Thanks!

    Kadie

    1. Sorry to take up your time Sally! I just saw the other comment about warm hands possibly making the dough too warm. Love this blog!!

      Kadie

      1. It’s ok Kadie! Try adding a scant 3 Tbsp or 4 Tbsp more flour next time. That should help with spread. Also, try chilling for 4 hours if you can. This should help!

  11. 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. 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. Laurie, I’m just so happy your family enjoyed them! The cracks make the cookies sort of special. They add to their charm in a way. 😉

  12. 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!

  13. 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 🙂

  14. Hi Sally, I just recently discovered your site and I have to say your cookies are amazing! Yesterday I made the white chocolate chip cranberry cookies which were a hit among my family, thankfully because every time I try to make cookies from scratch I always mess it up somehow. Today I made these and unfortunately i just couldn’t get them to cook completely, I added more time but ended up having burnt bottoms! If you could please let me know what the problem here was I would really appreciate it, your recipes are fantastic and you are literally a godsend.
    Take care!

    1. Hey Sabrina! What type of baking sheet are you using? I always suggest using a light-colored baking sheet (not dark) as well as a silicone baking mat. The mats ensure even baking (as well as reducing spread). They’re a necessity. You could also try to roll your cookies to be a little smaller. They may bake more evenly in your oven at a smaller size.

  15. These look amazing! I really want to make them but have no cornstarch and only have light brown sugar. I’m thinking about adding a tablespoon or so of molasses but would they come out as soft without the cornstarch?

    1. You may add a Tablespoon of molasses but I fear the added liquid may make your cookies spread. Add 1 Tablespoon of flour to make up for it. The cookies should still be soft, but not as soft with the cornstarch. Enjoy!

  16. 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!

    1. Thanks Savannah! This comment was so nice to wake up to. By the way, my name was going to be Savannah but my parents switched to Sally at the last minute. Thanks for reporting back!

  17. Hi Sally!! Your recipes look sooo yummy!! I want to start trying them by this awesome simply recipe. I have one question though, can I replace the baking soda for baking powder? Thanks in advance!

    1. Glad you like my recipes, Amaranta! Regarding baking powder – no, you may not. The two are not always interchangeable. You need baking soda here.

  18. By the way these cookies are amazing! … I made them and they are delicious both my husband and son loved them, but im out of eggs now and my son is asking for more is there any way I can make them with out eggs?

    1. I’ve never had luck doing so in cookie recipes. Though you could try any of these options: http://www.thekitchn.com/vegan-egg-substitutes-ingredie-136591

  19. 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!

  20. I’m so sad…I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but all cookies I bake spread all over and then even if they are a bit thick when I take them out, they totally sink once cool. I made these with high hopes and followed the instructions to the T – and I recently bought new baking soda thinking that might be the problem…chilled for 2 hours. My oven temp is right. What am I doing wrong? They are a big spread out mess on my silpat.

    1. Hey Claire! I am so sorry to hear your cookies spread. This is the same cookie base that I use for several recipes. I don’t have any issues with spreading. How about you add a little more flour? Go up to 2 and 1/4 cups. Then chill for 4 hours. This should help tremendously!

  21. 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 =)

  22. 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!!!!!

  23. 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.

  24. 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.

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