Brown Sugar Cookies

Brown Sugar Cookies

The recipe for these Brown Sugar Cookies comes from America’s Test Kitchen. These tasty cookies are slightly crispy on the edges and chewy in the center. These Brown Sugar Cookies also uses browned butter for enhanced flavor and also helps make the entire house smell great! This is a bowl recipe, meaning you can make the cookie dough in 1 or 2 bowls using a wooden (or silicone) spoon. These Brown Sugar Cookies are not difficult to make, and they don’t take much time to come together, either. I’d put these Brown Sugar Cookies on my top 3 cookies to eat.

I went to visit my family and decided to make a batch for them and they flopped; instead of nice chewy cookies, I managed to bake dry and crumby cookies. I couldn’t figure out why this happened, so I tried again, measuring everything very carefully. My second batch flopped, too, producing the same results. I got back home and checked the recipe that I transcribed. It turns out that the cookies flopped because of my bad math! I converted volume to weight incorrectly; I was so off it’s embarrassing! The cookie calls for 1 3/4 cups of brown sugar and I only used 3/4 cup. Oops… I made another batch of these cookies when I returned home and they turned out perfectly again (sorry mom and dad)!

The ingredients needed for these Brown Sugar Cookies aren’t anything fancy (just make sure they’re all measured out correctly). I priced these ingredients out and figured out that these 24 cookies costs about $5.00 to make.


The part that requires the most work is the first step: measuring out 10 tablespoons of butter and browning it in a skillet. Some of the moisture evaporates from this process and also adds a great nutty flavor to the cookies.P1130186

The butter will pop and sizzle before a layer of tiny bubbles appears on the melted butter. This is my cue to stay put and pay attention to the browning. Gently displace some of the foam and swirl the pan around to reveal the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.

Pour the browned butter into a large bowl and add 4 tablespoons of solid butter to it and stir until the solid butter melts into the browned butter. Set aside the brown butter until it’s cooled down.

While the butter cools down, whisk the dry ingredients together.

Prepare the rolling sugar by combining brown sugar with granulated sugar in a small bowl, and set that aside.

When the brown butter is cooled to room temperature, add the brown sugar and salt. Mix until all the brown sugar lumps are worked out.P1130206

The next addition is the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Work in the egg/vanilla mixture for a few seconds; the mixture will become thick and sticky.P1130209

The last addition is the dry ingredients. Carefully fold in the sifted flour, baking soda, and baking powder, and mix only until the last bit of flour disappears.P1130210

Divide the dough into 24 pieces and form balls to be rolled in the bowl of brown and granulated sugar.P1130212

Make sure that the dough balls are spaced well because they will spread out a lot while baking.P1130215

After taking the Brown Sugar Cookies out of the oven, let them rest on the hot baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing.

Now comes the hard part: waiting.

These cookies are really good, but I think they’re at their best when they’re still warm. The crisp edges combined with the chewy center makes for a perfect cookie texture. The geniuses at America’s Test Kitchen also worked out the sugar ratio perfectly; these Brown Sugar Cookies are not overly sweet, despite its name.



  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks) (10 Tbsp (142g) + 4 Tbsp (57g))
  • 1 3/4 cups (347g)  packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (302g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For Rolling:

  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) dark brown sugar


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large (18 by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. In a bowl, mix granulated sugar and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, rubbing between fingers, until well combined; set aside. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter to melt; set aside for 15 minutes.

3. Add remaining 1 3/4 cups brown sugar and salt to bowl with cooled butter; mix until no sugar lumps remain, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg, yolk, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.

4. Divide dough into 24 portions, each about 2 tablespoons, rolling between hands into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Working in batches, toss balls in reserved sugar mixture to coat and set on prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, 8 dough balls per sheet.

5. 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. **Do not overbake**

6. Cool cookies on baking sheet 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Brown Sugar Cookies recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.

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