Brown sugar cookies are going to be something that tastes very familiar even though you may have never had them. Really they are just chocolate chip cookies with no chocolate chips. I have just worked on them a bit to make the flavors stand out a bit more on their own.
Like many kids, growing up if my mom made cookies it was often chocolate chip. She didn’t use anything fancy, just the Nestle tollhouse recipe. Or, if you watch Friends, it just might be a fancy French chef’s recipe haha. But, I liked them perfectly fine. I’m going to just put this disclaimer before anyone gets worked up. I like chocolate!
That being said, when my mom made cookies I would generally pick ones to eat that had less chocolate chips. I felt like it was a more balanced flavor when there were less. I could appreciate both the flavors of the cookie, and the chocolate. One day I asked my mom to make one for me with no chocolate chips. And my ‘chocolate chipless’ cookies were born. Usually I’d just have her save a little dough for me at the end and I’d make a few. Then my dad tried one and loved it as much as me. So I’d make a whole tray of cookies with no chocolate chips.
I still love both chocolate chip and brown sugar cookies. Usually I’ll make a batch and a half, and end up with some of both. But these days I can’t share them with Dad as he’s no longer with us. He didn’t get to see this side of my photography and blogging career. He was one of my biggest supporters though and I know he’d love this because he loved food. Maybe that’s where my sister and I get our love of food and snacks. But I decided last time I made these, I’d call them Dad’s cookies from now on, as they make me think of him and smile. My hope is that you too can enjoy them.
If you don’t know how you ended up here and need the real thing, I’d recommend my Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies because they are pretty great too!
Brown Sugar Cookies Key Ingredients
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar is your key flavor of these cookies. Like a sugar cookie but the molasses in the brown sugar adds richness, caramel taste, plus color.
- Bread Flour – Substituting about a third of the all purpose flour with bread flour will add a little bit more chew to your cookie that personally I love.
- Browned butter – Browned butter will intensify the brown sugar. We only brown half of the butter though to get that classic texture.
- ½ cup Unsalted butter softened
- ½ cup Browned Butter
- 165 g Dark brown sugar
- 150 g Granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 large Eggs room temperature
- 210 g AP Flour 1¾ cup
- 120 g Bread flour 1 cup
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 1 tsp Salt
- Flaky sea salt for finishing
- In a small saucepan (preferably one light colored or stainless), melt one stick of butter over medium heat and continue until browned. As soon as butter has browned, remove from heat and pour into a bowl to cool for 20-30 minutes.If you have never browned butter, after butter has melted it will begin bubbling and foaming. After the foam has subsided, the milk fats will begin to brown. Stirring while this happens will help them brown more evenly. Butter is browned when the milk solids have become a medium brown and the butter is giving a very nutty aroma. Pay close attention as butter goes from browned to burned quite quickly.
- Mix together AP flour, bread flour, baking soda, salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer with paddle attached, beat sugars browned butter and butter together until creamy and fluffy (about 3-4 min).
- Add eggs and vanilla and beat until they have become homogenous and smooth (1-2) minutes.
- Add dry ingredients to wet, and stir in slowly. Stop mixing as soon as no more dry flour remains.
- Either scoop dough into about 2 tbsp cookie portions onto a lined sheet pan or cover dough in bowl and chill. Chill dough for at least 1 hour but overnight or up to 48 hours also works. Personally I find scooping before chilling to be the easiest as the dough can be tougher to scoop when chilled. If scooping before chilling, but chilling for an extended period of time, I would recommend transferring your dough to a ziplock bag after the first hour so your dough doesn't dry out.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line pan with parchment.
- Bake cookies for about 12 minutes or until they are golden and the edges are set. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt (optional but recommended). Let cool on pan for about 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.