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Brown Sugar Cookies Recipe

Delectable image of brown cookies served on a brown plate with brown paper background.

Other people prefer their cookies to be a bit softer. They will always go for a soft, chewy cookie over one that is crunchy. Sometimes these people underbake their cookies to get exactly the right texture. If you are a soft cookie person, this is a recipe that you will want to add to your recipe box. 

There are a couple of baking tricks in this cookie recipe that lead to a softer textured cookie. First, adding a bit of cornstarch to the flour mixture gives an extra bit of softness to the cookie. Second, brown sugar is another thing that generates softer cookies and we use all brown sugar instead of white. Brown sugar contains molasses, a sweetener that attracts water, and that is what gives these cookies their characteristic softness. We call for dark brown sugar in our recipe, which contains more molasses, and therefore more soft chewiness. If you don’t have dark brown sugar on hand, light brown sugar will work instead.

Delectable image of brown cookies served on a brown plate with brown paper background.

Brown Sugar Cookies Recipe

April Freeman
Many people are crispy cookie people. They like the satisfying crunch of cookies that are baked a bit longer, feature nuts, and just snap against the teeth.
Prep Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 35 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2 dozen of cookies


  • Microwave
  • Large bowl
  • Refrigerator
  • Oven


  • 2 cups cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 ¼ cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup white sugar


  • In a medium sized bowl, microwave the butter for about thirty seconds. Stir it and return it to the microwave, heating it in about 30 second bursts until it is melted completely. Stir the butter until no more lumps remain, and then, set it aside to cool a bit.
    Close-up photo of brown mixture in a large bowl.
  • In a separate large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch,salt, and cinnamon. Mix these until the ingredients are fully combined. 
  • Returning to the bowl with the melted butter in it, add the brown sugar and stir it into the butter until the mixture is smooth. Add the egg and beat it into the mixture. Then, add the vanilla, stirring to incorporate it. 
  • Pour the butter mixture into the bowl containing the flour mixture. Stir until both mixtures are completely combined. The dough will be somewhat soft, so you will need to refrigerate it to help the butter solidify. If you do not refrigerate the dough, your cookies will not bake properly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate the dough for at least two hours. If you get distracted and forget about it, you can leave it in the fridge for up to three days. 
    Thick mixture mixed on a white bowl using spatula.
  • When you are ready to bake, take the bowl out of the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter to soften a little as you preheat the oven to 325 degrees.Line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Put the white sugar in a shallow bowl and scoop out the cookie dough into a ball the size of a walnut. This should be roughly the size of two tablespoons.
  • Roll the cookie dough balls into the white sugar in the bowl and then place them on the baking sheet about three inches from one another. 
    Ready to bake rolled cookie mixture on a baking tray.
  • Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for about 8 to 10 minutes. Take the cookies from the oven and press down the tops a bit to flatten them. Then put them back into the oven for another 2 minutes.  They should be lightly browned around the edges but still soft and a little puffy in the middle.The cookies should sit on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes before you scrape them off with a spatula to cool completely on a wire rack.
  • When the cookies are fully cooled, store them in an airtight container for up to a week. 
    Close-up photo of three pieces brown sugar cookies on a plate.


The way that you bake the cookies can also make a difference in how chewy they turn out. If you bake cookies with dough that is room temperature or warm, the cookies will spread out and be thinner, increasing the likelihood that your cookies will turn out crispier. On the other hand, if you cook dough that is chilled and cool, the cookies will not spread so much and the finished product will likely be softer and chewier. 
Scooping out large dough balls means that your cookies will be softer in the middle than if you scoop out smaller dough balls. Our recipe calls for fairly large dough balls that are about two tablespoons in volume. 
Also, to store your cookies for a few days and keep them moist in storage, you can add a slice of fresh bread to the container that you keep the cookies in. The bread will help keep the cookies from drying out and getting crispy in storage.
Keyword Brown Sugar Recipe, Cookies, Crispy cookie, Dessert

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