Brown sugar cookies are a delicious spin on the basic sugar cookie recipe. You’ll love the rich flavor, chewy texture, and the sweet brown sugar glaze! They’re perfect for Christmas cookie trays or as a weekend treat.
You may have made sugar cookies for the holidays, but have you ever tried Brown Sugar Cookies? I think I might like them better!
They are soft and chewy and bursting with rich brown sugar flavor. Plus, they are really easy to make and only take about 9 minutes to bake. I added a brown sugar glaze made with powdered sugar, brown sugar and milk. It gives them a nice glossy finish and adds a little extra sweetness to each bite.
Once you try them, they’re sure to become a favorite! Who doesn’t love a chewy, soft cookie?
They freeze beautifully, so make some ahead of time to enjoy this Christmas season or to add to a pretty holiday tin to give to friends, family, and neighbors. But you don’t have to wait for the holiday season — this is the PERFECT fall cookie recipe.
You’ll also want to check out these Holiday Baking Must-Haves before you start making your Christmas cookie trays.
Why You’ll Love These Simple Brown Sugar Cookies
- A chewy cookie that bakes up fast — less than 10 minutes!
- The brown sugar taste is great for holiday cookie trays.
- A fun spin on classic sugar cookies.
- More flavorful than a regular sugar cookie.
- Stay soft and chewy longer thanks to the brown sugar.
- Similar in flavor to molasses cookies or gingerbread cookies.
For the Cookies
- Brown Sugar: Dark or light brown sugar (your choice). I used dark brown sugar. Dark brown sugar has a deeper molasses flavor than light brown sugar and helps create a chewier cookie, but both are tasty in this recipe.
- Water: The water helps thin out the wet ingredients a little so you can incorporate all of the dry ingredients.
- Honey: Honey adds even more sweetness to these delightful sugar cookies. For a deeper flavor, you can substitute the honey with mild molasses.
- Egg: Eggs combine with the flour to provide texture and structure to cookies.
- Flour: Use all-purpose flour or a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour if you have dietary restrictions on gluten. Carefully level your flour before adding it to the wet ingredients.
- Pecans: Finely chopped nuts add texture and a delicious nutty flavor to these cookies. You can omit the pecans if you prefer or substitute with another nut like walnuts or hazelnuts.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon pairs beautifully with brown sugar to amp up the flavor of these sugar cookies.
- Allspice: Another tasty addition, the allspice gives notes of gingerbread flavor to the cookies. If you don’t have allspice, you can make a spice blend with a similar profile using cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Pioneer Woman has a handy list of allspice substitutions.
- Baking Soda: This ingredient helps the cookies to rise while they’re baking.
For the Glaze
- Brown Sugar: Your choice of dark or light brown sugar.
- Powdered Sugar: Confectioners’ sugar makes a smooth glaze to drizzle over the cookies.
- Milk: It combines with both of the sugars to make the glaze. Add a little more milk if your glaze is too thick to drizzle.
How to Make Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies
- Step One: Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease a cookie sheet with cooking spray or line an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Step Two: In a large bowl, add the brown sugar, water, honey and egg. Beat on high or medium speed with an electric mixer until just combined.
- Step Three: In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients: flour, pecans, cinnamon, allspice and baking soda.
- Step Four: Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir or mix on low speed until just combined.
- Step Five: Drop cookies by the teaspoonful onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes until golden brown. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
How to Make Brown Sugar Glaze
- Step One: In a small mixing bowl, stir together brown sugar, milk and powdered sugar.
- Step Two: Drizzle on top of cooled cookies. Enjoy cookies once the glaze has set.
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What to Serve with Soft Brown Sugar Cookies
Enjoy a couple of brown sugar cookies with a tall glass of milk or a steaming cup of coffee!
Brown Sugar Cookie Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Prep ahead for the holidays. You can make the cookie dough up to 3 days in advance and chill it in the fridge until you’re ready to bake.
- Level your flour to ensure that you don’t have too much of it, which will make the cookies dry and crumbly.
- The brown sugar glaze is optional, but highly recommended. While the cookies are tasty without it, the glaze adds an extra pop of sweetness.
- The cookies may look a little undercooked when first removed from the oven, but they’ll firm up as they cool to create chewy centers.
Variations and Substitutions
- Make them gluten free. Use a 1-to-1 gluten-free baking flour instead of all-purpose flour.
- Add vanilla. Add a tablespoon of vanilla extract to the wet ingredients for a more complex flavor.
- Top with cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon and sugar over the top of each cookie before baking for extra sweetness and flavor.
- Add chocolate chips. Substitute half or all of the pecans with chocolate chips (or butterscotch chips) for a fun variation on this recipe.
Store these brown sugar cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Can I Freeze Brown Sugar Cookies?
Yes, store the baked cookies in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then let the cookies come to room temperature to enjoy.
You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months as well. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and place in a freezer-safe bag or container. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then bake as directed.
Can you use brown sugar instead of white sugar for sugar cookies?
Yes, you can substitute brown sugar for white sugar in many cookie recipes. However, the brown sugar has more moisture, which changes the texture.
Why does brown sugar make cookies chewy?
Brown sugar has more moisture in it due to the molasses, so it makes for chewier cookies. That’s a good thing, in my opinion!
What is the difference between brown sugar cookies and white sugar cookies?
White sugar allows for more aeration during mixing, which allows for cookies to rise more. Brown sugar, on the other hand, is more dense, resulting in cookies that are a little flatter and more spread out. Brown sugar cookies will also have a molasses flavor while white sugar cookies will get much of their flavor from extracts and added spices.
My brown sugar has hardened, what can I do?
Food Network recommends microwaving a lump of brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl covered with a paper towel in 20-second increments until the sugar can be broken apart. Mash it with a fork between each interval.
Great Cookie Recipes
Looking for more cookie recipes to make and share with friends and family? Try some of my favorite cookies!
- Cream Cheese Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
- Pineapple Oatmeal Scotchies
- Whipped Shortbread Cookies
- Lemon Coconut Macaroon Cookies
- Cowboy Cookies
- Sweetened Condensed Milk Cookies
If you make the recipe, rate it on the recipe card below and tag me on Instagram and use #simplystacie. I like sharing the photos on my Instagram stories!
Brown Sugar Cookies
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar firmly packed
- ¼ cup water
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 large egg
- 2 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup pecans finely chopped
- 2 ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp baking soda
Brown Sugar Glaze
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ⅛ cup milk
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, add brown sugar, water, honey and egg. Beat on high until combined.
- In another large mixing bowl, stir together flour, pecans, cinnamon, allspice and baking soda. Add dry mixture to wet mixture and stir to just combined.
- Drop cookies by the teaspoonful onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes. Place cookies on baking rack to cool.
Brown Sugar Glaze
- In a small mixing bowl, stir together brown sugar, milk and powdered sugar. Drizzle on top of cooled cookies.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.