Brown Sugar Cookies

I love browned butter in baked goods; it gives them such a nutty, rich flavor. So when I saw this recipe for browned butter brown sugar cookies I just had to make them. These cookies are phenomenal! With nutty, caramel notes from browned butter and a fair bit of salt and vanilla to balance the flavors, these cookies will become an instant favorite. Rolling the dough balls in a combination of brown and granulated sugar give these cookies a delicious sugar crust. Cook’s Illustrated nails it again with a cookie that has a soft, chewy center, a crackly-crisp top and a flavor that screams brown sugar.

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Brown Sugar Cookies

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  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. In 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat 10 tablespoons butter until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to the heat-proof bowl of a stand mixer. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter to melt; set aside to cool for 15 minutes.
  2. While butter is cooling, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. In shallow baking dish or pie plate, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between fingers, until well combined; set aside.
  4. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and baking powder; set aside.
  5. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter; attach paddle and mix on medium-low speed until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix on medium-low speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.
  6. Roll two heaping tablespoons of dough into ball between your palms, roll the ball in the sugar mixture, and then place it on the prepared baking sheet spacing the balls about 2 inches apart (you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet).
  7. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are browned and still puffy and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will look raw between cracks and seem underdone); 12 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking.
  8. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes then using a wide metal spatula, transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Yields: 24 cookies

Source: Cook’s Illustrated March, 2007

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51 Responses to Brown Sugar Cookies

  1. These really sound incredible!

  2. I’ve never seen any cookies like this! They look amazingly delicious and they’re getting added to one of my Pinterest boards!! =)

  3. What gorgeous and delicious looking cookies. I’m pretty sure a batch of these would win me a “sister of the year” award with my sisters. 😉

    Thanks for posting!


  4. The texture of these does look delicious and as described. Unique cookie-will need to try!

  5. This is one of my favorite cookie recipes! Everyone who has tried them just loves them. They’re amazingly rich and I love the caramelly flavor.

  6. These look absolutely wonderful!! I recently made a similar recipe for sugar cookies that called for brown sugar, but not browned butter (they were sinfully good though!). I subscribe to your blog via email so I don’t miss any recipes. When this showed up in my inbox this morning, I knew what I’d be baking today!!

  7. The Teenage Taste says:

    Confession: Sometimes, while baking, I sneak a few spoonfuls of brown sugar.
    I think these cookies should tame my brown sugar obsessed ways. 😉

  8. Woah. These look awesome. I love soft and chewy cookies. They are my favorite kind. Plus, I adore brown sugar…probably a little too much. These cookies were made for me. 🙂

  9. tiffany says:

    I can only imagine how these must have smelled baking! BUZZED!

  10. Lori says:

    I think I’ll try to make these this weekend! Maybe they’ll be added to the school goodies at Christmas time!

  11. RavieNomNoms says:

    Oh theses are just simply gorgeous!! They look phenomenal!

  12. I’ve been on a browned butter kick for the past few months myself (I think I’m driving my wife crazy). These cookies sounds amazing!

  13. Caroline says:

    I completely agree–browned butter is delicious in baked goods. Such a rich flavor. I must try these…they’re the perfect cookie for me (no chocolate)!

  14. deb says:

    Oh my goodness! These cookies look extraordinary. My daughter and I are cookie junkies, we will be making these soon!

  15. I love the idea of a cookie with a strong influence of brown sugar! I bet these are addicting.

  16. Susie says:

    These look fantastic. I am going to have to make some for the boys.

  17. Sandra says:

    You’re right, they will become an instant favorite!

  18. Well, OK then, twist my arm. Wait the yield is only 24? I’ll make two batches.

  19. O.K., I had to come look at these for a second time…I’m trying to not bake cookies/desserts this week, but these are soooo tempting…!

  20. These cookies look so chewy and amazing! Def will have to try these 🙂

  21. Your cookies look so amazing. The texture looks perfect!! Im sure they will be an instant favorite.

  22. ChgoJohn says:

    What a tempting photo! Those cookies look so good next to that glass of milk. I can’t wait to give this recipe a try.

  23. Mary Beth says:

    Wow, these cookies look delicious! I’ve never had brown sugar cookies, so I’ll definitely be making these in the future.

  24. Joel says:

    These look fantastic! Any way to get the printable version working?

  25. Oh im so going to make these, they look GORGEOUS!

  26. candace says:

    Do you think that you could make the dough balls and refrigerate them, and bake when ready? I’d want to refrigerate them for about 36 hours and bake them the morning I’d be serving them.

    • Christina says:

      I don’t think that the cookies would turn out like I have them pictured if you refrigerated them beforehand. Since the browned butter is only cooled for 15 minutes, the cookie dough itself is kind of warm when you place them on the baking sheet to bake. When you place them in the oven, they spread into the chewy cookies that you see. If you refrigerate them, the cookies will not spread as much in the oven and will affect the overall texture and outcome of the cookie. That being said, I have never personally tried it, I am just speaking of the outcome on some of my other baking experiences. If you give it a try, I would love to know how they turn out for you! 🙂

  27. I have never tried brown sugar cookies but these look fabulous and I do love brown sugar!!! Yum!

  28. I already love these. I think brown sugar is my favorite ingredient in baking, these are beautiful and I would gobble them up!

  29. briarrose says:

    That flavor sounds divine.

  30. Oh my goodness… these absolutely sound like MY. KIND. OF. COOKIE. Salty, caramely flavors are my weak spot. I’ll be bringing these to Thanksgiving!

  31. Chau says:

    I just made these the other day for a school social and they were a hit! The flavor is fantastic and they filled my house with such a buttery sweetness :). I do have one question though, are these cookies supposed to be very sweet? I cut back on the brown sugar that goes into the cookies itself (1 3/8 cups instead of 1 3/4) because of the extra sugar coating, but they are still pretty sweet.
    They are still very delicious. Thank you for sharing, Christina 😀

  32. I’m baking these for a Labor Day cookout tomorrow…I just took the first pan out of the oven. These may be some of the BEST cookies I’ve ever tasted! They are *unbelievable*!!! And I’m already thinking they’d be just as wonderful at a tea party. =)

  33. Angie Walker says:

    Fabulous!! I’m going to have to try these too….

  34. Tara says:

    THESE COOKIES ARE ABSOLUTELY FAN-FRICKEN-TABULOUS!!!! I only allow myself to make them once per month. Thank you.Life-CHANGING.

  35. dana says:

    I’m planning on making these tomorrow to take to a friend’s house. Do you think light brown sugar would work or is the dark brown kind needed? Thanks!

    • Christina says:

      You can use the light brown sugar instead, but I would recommend using the dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar contains more molasses giving the cookies a stronger more intense flavor. I hope you enjoy them! 🙂

  36. Jen says:

    I just made these, and they are amazing!! That butter-and-brown-sugar flavor reminds me of a cobbler crust. I love a simple cookie that is surprisingly fabulous! Can’t wait to share them with my family. Christmas, maybe?

  37. Pingback: Brown Sugar Cookie Recipe | Jen's Favorite Cookies

  38. I just made these and topped them with just a little flake sea salt instead of the sugar mixture to cut the sweetness. Perfect!

  39. Jade says:

    Made these for some comfort food last night. Sure did the trick! The nuttiness of the browned butter is subtle but it adds a lot of interest.

  40. Anne says:

    These cookies are amazing! I added about half a tablespoon of cinnamon to the sugar mixture to give it a little bit more flavor and it turned out great 🙂

  41. Erica says:

    I made these cooking and they were amazing!! Thank you for the recipe,It’s definitely a favorite now…

  42. Pingback: Peach Shortcakes with Bourbon Whipped Cream | Sweet Pea's Kitchen

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