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Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

This recipe for chewy brown sugar cookies made with golden brown butter and a caramel flavor is going to be your new favorite soft and chewy sugar cookie recipe!

If you love classic cookie recipes, add gingersnap cookies and butter cookies to your list, too!

Stacked brown sugar cookies.
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Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cookies

Soft brown sugar cookies are just as amazing as my traditional easy Valentine’s Day cookies made with white sugar, and some might say they’re even better!

Soft, moist, and chewy cookies with a slightly crispy edge, brown butter and sweet molasses flavor are simple, addictive, plus so easy to make.

They’re a brown sugar version of soft sugar cookies and come together with 20 minutes of prep time, some chilling then 10 minutes in the oven!

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy to make. All made in one bowl for easy cleanup, these simple yet spectacular cookies are basically life-changing!
  • Perfect texture. The softness and moisture of these cookies make every bite melt-in-your mouth. The cracked surface comes from the rise during baking and the collapse afterward and we love that!
  • No icing is needed. These are perfect as is! They require little effort to make but if you want to sprinkle in a little holiday magic, a dash of cinnamon is all you need.
Brown sugar cookie ingredients on counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Unsalted butter: Soften butter to room temperature 30 minutes before prepping dough. It needs to be soft enough to cream, but you’re also going to use half of it to melt into brown butter.
  • Brown sugar: You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar, it’s up to you. I like to mix both of them sometimes! The darker brown sugar will result in darker cookies with a slightly stronger molasses flavor.
  • Large egg plus large egg yolk: The extra egg yolks gives the cookies that fabulous chewy consistency.
  • Vanilla extract: The flavoring of pure vanilla extract complements the brown butter and brown sugar nicely giving the entire brown sugar cookie a delicious warm comforting flavor.
  • All-purpose flour: I prefer unbleached.
  • Baking soda: A rising agent that helps the cookies to rise before collapsing.
  • Fine sea salt: Brings out the flavor of the brown sugar sugar cookies.

Substitutions and Variations

  • For a crystallized sugar coating, roll them around in granulated white sugar before placing them on the cookie sheet.
  • You can also coat them in a cinnamon sugar combination.
  • For a holiday flare, add a pinch of cinnamon and drizzle with white chocolate and maybe some sprinkles. Then present them with traditional Christmas sugar cookies for a fun variety!
  • You could take a page out of the ginger molasses cookies recipe and add some ground ginger for a fall cookie flavor element.

How to Make Brown Sugar Cookies

Showing how to make brown sugar cookies.
  • Brown the butter. In a small light colored saucepan, melt half of the butter over medium heat, swirling it every once in a while. Once the butter turns an amber color and has a nutty aroma, transfer it to a bowl (including the brown milk solids) and cool.
  • Cream butter and brown sugar. In a large mixing bowl, add melted brown butter, remaining softened butter, and brown sugar. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for a few minutes until smooth and creamy.
  • Combine the dough. Mix in the egg, extra yolk and vanilla then continue mixing for another minute. Add flour, salt, and baking soda then mix again scraping sides of the bowl as you go. Chill dough for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  • Scoop and bake. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out cookie dough and place onto a prepared parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving 2 inches in between each cookie. Bake at 350°F oven for 10 minutes until the edges are golden and center is still soft.
  • Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving them to a wire rack. They’re quite soft just out of the oven, so moving them too early could cause them to fall apart.
  • You can use the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment if you prefer. You can also make the entire thing by hand if desired.
  • If you prefer a thicker cookie, add up to 1/4 cup more flour and chill the dough for at least 1 hour.
  • Line the baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat. These cookies spread quite a bit, and the lining will help to avoid overspreading.
Brown sugar cookie on pan.

Recipe FAQs

What does brown sugar do to cookies?

Brown sugar does a couple of things. One, it provides a different flavor than traditional white sugar because of the molasses it contains. And two, it traps moisture so it helps keep the texture of the brown sugar cookies soft and chewy.

Do I have to brown the butter?

You don’t! I do recommend it because the nutty flavor element is next level, but you can, by all means, skip the process and use regular melted butter along with the softened butter.

Do chewy brown sugar cookies need to be refrigerated?

These don’t need to be kept in the fridge. They’ll stay fresh at room temperature as long as they’re kept in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.

Can I freeze them?

Certainly! I suggest even doubling the batch and freezing one of them for later on. They’ll keep frozen for up to 3 months. Then you can thaw as many as you’d like at room temperature before serving them again.

How can I make thicker cookies but still keep them soft?

The secret is to add cornstarch to your brown sugar cookie dough! I’ve never felt the need to do this, but if you try it with yours, let me know what you think.

Brown sugar cookie on counter.

More cookie recipes we love include chocolate crinkle cookies, chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodle cookies!

More Soft Cookie Recipes You’ll Love

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Brown sugar cookie on counter.

Brown Sugar Cookies

5 from 8 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Chewy brown sugar cookies are made with golden nutty brown butter and a caramel flavor. With an irresistible taste they will be your new favorite soft and chewy sugar cookie recipe!
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill time + Cool Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 30

Video

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks; 226 grams) unsalted butter , at room temperature, divided
  • 1 ¾ cups (375 grams) light or dark brown sugar (I like to do a mix of both if I have them)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour , plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  • In a small pan, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium-heat. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, swirling the pan every so often, until the butter browns (when it turns an amber golden color and has a nutty aroma, it’s done). Transfer to a bowl to cool 5 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with a baking mat or parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mix the melted brown butter, remaining 1/2 cup butter, and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed 3 minutes, or until smooth and creamy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla for an additional minute. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda and mix until well combined. If dough seems too soft, add an 1 to 2 Tablespoons flour. Chill dough at least 30 minutes.
  • Scoop cookie dough onto the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake 10 minutes, or until the edges are just golden brown and the center is still soft.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, or until the centers are set, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Brown butter: Learn how to make brown butter with these easy steps. Use a lighter colored pan to brown the butter, so that you can easily see the color change.
For a thicker cookie: This recipe will produce a thinner cookie (crisp around edges and chewy in the middle). If you prefer a thicker cookie, add an extra 1/4 cup flour and refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
Holiday flare: For a little more flavor mix in a pinch of cinnamon and 1 to 3 teaspoons of molasses. You could also drizzle the tops with melted white chocolate and add some sprinkles. 
Mix-in’s: This recipe works best on it’s own. If you’d like to add chocolate chips, I recommend this brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe. This recipe also tastes great with a maple glaze drizzle on top. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 186kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 102mg | Potassium: 45mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 214IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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