Cookies Holidays Winter

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

A brown sugar version of sugar cookies, with a touch of molasses. These cookies are rich in flavor, with crispy edges and an almost fudgy center. When they bake, they rise; when they cool, they fall, giving them a beautiful crackly surface. So simple, so good!

Brown Sugar Cookies on parchment paper

I will never say no to a simple sugar cookie or pan-banging sugar cookies, but adding brown sugar makes for an interesting twist.

A teaspoon of molasses increases the dark brown sugar flavor without making it taste like holiday fare (but, to be sure, these are a great addition to your holiday cookie tray). Rolling them in a bit of sugar gives them a beautiful sparkle, but even more important: another interesting texture.

These cookies debuted in my 100 Cookies cookbook, and have been a reader favorite!

A few tips for making Brown Sugar Cookies:

  • Don’t skip the egg yolk! It helps make the center fudgy and rich.
  • The cookies will puff in the oven and then collapse as they cool, forming cracks across the top.
  • Let the cookies cool on the pan for the time called for — this helps them set and will ensure the perfect texture upon first bite.
chewy brown sugar cookies on parchment paper

More Cookie Recipes:

chewy brown sugar cookies on parchment

Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies

Servings: 20 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
A brown sugar version of sugar cookies, with a touch of molasses. Rich in flavor, with crisp edges, an almost fudgy center, and beautiful crackles across the top.
Sarah Kieffer
4.88 from 39 votes
Print Pin Rate


  • 2 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon [364 g] all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup [2 sticks | 227 g] unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup [350 g] dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • 1 large egg plus 1 large yolk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup [100 g] granulated sugar for rolling


  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F [180C]. Line three sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar and the molasses and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the egg, yolk, and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.
  • Place the granulated sugar in a medium bowl.
  • Form the cookies into 1 1/2 oz [45 g] balls (2 tablespoons). Roll each ball in the sugar and place 8 cookies on a sheet pan.
  • Bake one pan at a time, rotating halfway through baking. Bake until the sides are set and the bottoms are light golden brown, 10 to 11 minutes.
  • Transfer the sheet pan to a wire rack and let the cookies cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the pan, then remove them and let them cool completely on the wire rack. Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.


This recipe is from my cookbook, 100 Cookies.
  • Reply
    Wednesday, July 6, 2022 at 10:09 pm

    If you don’t have a paddle for your mixer, can you use the normal beaters?

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Thursday, July 14, 2022 at 1:46 pm

      Hello! I haven’t tested this recipe using beaters, but it should be fine. It might just take longer to properly cream the butter and sugar.

  • Reply
    Friday, March 18, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    5 stars
    Amazing recipe! Sometimes the recipes I find on Pinterest are a total flop. This is the opposite! They came out absolutely perfect and the recipe was extremely easy to follow, with no second-guessing. I did use a small icecream scoop which ended up being between 40-50g per cookie so that worked out perfect. It also made 22 cookies but I can’t complain about the extra cookies! Thanks again and can’t wait to try more of your recipes.

  • Reply
    Sunday, February 20, 2022 at 11:57 pm

    5 stars
    I made 2 batches at the same time, one with regular dark brown sugar and the other exactly the same but with Splenda™ brown sugar and with 2 tablespoons less flour. I misread the amount of molasses and used a tablespoon instead for both and they turned out great, anyway. Both batches are still soft and chewy 3 days later and they don’t stick to each other in the cookie jar like a lot of soft cookies do. These will be on regular rotation in my house.

  • Reply
    Friday, February 4, 2022 at 11:56 am

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Followed the recipe exactly except I also added some cinnamon to my flour mixture. They turned out amazing, so soft and rich flavour! Great recipe, thank you!

  • Reply
    Friday, January 7, 2022 at 1:10 pm

    5 stars
    A note for others who do not have dark brown sugar on hand. I measured out white sugar and added 3 and 1/2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses. If you have light brown sugar, measure it out and add 1 and 3/4 blackstrap molasses. If your cookies are not puffing up, you might want to check if your baking soda is still good. Try Google search to see how to check. These cookies are deceptively simple, but complex in flavor. They are quite delicious.

    • Reply
      Thursday, March 31, 2022 at 5:41 pm

      When using light brown sugar do you mean to add an additional 1tsp and 3/4 molasses or increase the molasses to that amount?
      Thank you!

  • Reply
    Monday, January 3, 2022 at 8:31 pm

    5 stars
    I LOVE that you include weights for each cookie dough ball, it really ensures even-ness. I love how easy this recipe is yet yields great results. They came out so perfect, perfect texture, so delicious! What a winner.

  • Reply
    Friday, December 31, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    These look delicious! Quick question: Can you portion these and then freeze to bake from frozen a few at a time?

    • Reply
      Sarah Kieffer
      Sunday, January 2, 2022 at 10:48 am


    • Reply
      Friday, January 7, 2022 at 1:01 pm

      5 stars
      Hi Beth. That is just what I did. I used a cookie scoop to portion (36 cookies, so smaller than the recipe states) and froze on a tray. When I like to have a cookie or two, I take dough balls out of the freezer, roll in sugar, and place in 350 degree toaster oven for 11 or 12 minutes.

  • Reply
    Dawn Elrad
    Monday, December 6, 2021 at 9:19 am

    5 stars
    These cookies are so delicious! The best taste and texture! They will be a staple on my cookie list!

  • Reply
    Ashley B
    Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 10:55 pm

    5 stars
    These are so delicious! I had to give most away or else it’s all I would want to eat for each meal 😛 They are so soft, with a delicious flavor and easy to make. Everyone I shared them with loved them!

  • Reply
    Monday, November 1, 2021 at 4:24 pm

    5 stars
    I made these with fantastic results! So simple and so delicious! I appreciate you including the weighted measurements, especially for the brown sugar. Mine are on day 3 and still perfectly chewy, which is the texture I want in a cookie. These might make it onto this year’s Christmas cookie platters!

  • Reply
    Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    5 stars
    I was craving something sweet and these buttery decadent cookies hit it right on the head! Thank you for an easy to make delicious cookie recipe. And yes, these will be in the holiday cookie rotation!

  • Reply
    Marilyn Mahmud
    Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    I made these today, and they are delicious! One question, though, mine puffed up as you said but they didn’t really collapse much or get the crinkles? I did use European butter, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Any suggestions?

    • Reply
      Samantha Prouty
      Sunday, December 5, 2021 at 7:09 pm

      5 stars
      Had the same happen to mine, using land o lakes park butter! Hers seem so much more more puffy and crackley.

      • Reply
        Megan Suarez
        Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 11:39 pm

        3 stars
        Me too!!! Still good, but I was looking forward to the chewy crackles 🙁

    • Reply
      Friday, December 31, 2021 at 6:32 pm

      Same for mine as well! I used Tillamook butter and I’m not sure the butter is the culprit but who knows! Excited to try 🙂

  • Reply
    Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 12:30 am

    Very inspiring post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Sunday, January 3, 2021 at 7:19 pm

    Made these yesterday…fantastic! Soft and chewy, and sweet – with just the right amount of salt for balance. Sometimes you want a simple, straightforward cookie without all the competing flavors and textures, and this one nails it. Thanks for a really nice recipe.

  • Reply
    Saturday, January 2, 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Delicious cookies and I love how quickly this recipe came together!

  • Reply
    Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    Made these yesterday…fantastic! Soft and chewy, and sweet – with just the right amount of salt for balance. Sometimes you want a simple, straightforward cookie without all the competing flavors and textures, and this one nails it. Thanks for a really nice recipe.

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