A variation on the classic sugar cookie, these brown sugar cookies are just a little deeper and richer than their inspiration.–Gretchen Holt-Witt

The last instruction in these cookies tells you to let the cookie cool on the sheets before starting the next batch. And then letting the cookie sheets themselves cool. Why would anyone ever be so fussy? This step leads to the most perfect cookie texture of all time–crisp edges and chewy insides. These cookies puff in the oven and then collapse as they cool, forming those gorgeous cracks across the top.

Then, letting the cookies cool on the pan for the time called for helps them set and ensures the perfect texture. And starting cold cookie dough on a hot cookie sheet means that your cookies are going to spread in the oven. You’ll definitely end up with large flat cookies–possibly even one enormous, very flat cookie.

A wooden table with a pink gingham bag with 7 brown sugar cookies in it and a label.

Brown Sugar Cookies

4.80 / 10 votes
These brown sugar cookies add brown sugar and a few festive spices to the classic cookie.They still have the beloved texture of a sugar cookie but with a subtle upgrade.
David Leite
Servings48 servings
Calories68 kcal
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time45 minutes


  • 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 375˚F (190°C).
  • Beat the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Dump the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a separate bowl and mix well. Add to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until everything is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.
  • Drop large teaspoonfuls of the dough on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake until the edges of the cookies are just beginning to brown, 8 to 12 minutes. If you prefer crisp cookies, let them cool on the sheet; if you prefer soft, chewy cookies, transfer them to a wire rack to cool. Let the baking sheet cool completely between batches and repeat with the remaining dough.
Cookies for Kids' Cancer Best Bake Sale Cookbook

Adapted From

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 68 kcalCarbohydrates: 10 gProtein: 1 gFat: 3 gSaturated Fat: 2 gMonounsaturated Fat: 1 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 11 mgSodium: 73 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 6 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2011 Gretchen Holt-Witt. Photo © 2011 Lucy Schaeffer. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I love these brown sugar cookies. They were quick and easy to make, and all the ingredients are usually in my pantry. Confession: I accidentally bought light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar, so that’s what I used, and the cookies were still wonderful.

I got barely two dozen cookies, although the recipe said it would make 48. I prefer my cookies softer, so I only baked them for eight minutes, just until they started browning. These will become part of my regular rotation.

These brown sugar cookies are a real keeper. This recipe results in a rich buttery cookie with a great chewy texture. They’re so simple; you don’t even need to plan to make them. I loved that the dough didn’t require refrigeration.

The list of ingredients is so short, I didn’t expect such a complex cookie flavor, but these are downright delicious. They don’t need chocolate chips or any other addition. This makes for a wonderful fall or winter cookie.

These brown sugar cookies were a delicious little drop cookie! They were spicy, very chewy, and super with a glass of milk. The dark brown sugar made them taste like molasses cookies. The recipe came together quickly and didn’t require any chilling of the dough. Drop cookies are the way to go when you’re in a hurry.

The cookies did seem very flat after they came out of the oven and started cooling. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, because as they stuck together you just had to eat more!

This is a delicious brown sugar cookie, and a really easy recipe with great results. I made half the batch using the “crispy” method (cooling on the sheet) and half using the “soft” method (wire rack cooling), and both were wonderful. I also think it’s a versatile recipe — you could add toasted pecans or raisins, etc.

If you make them soft, they would make awesome little ice cream sandwiches. That’s what I’m going to do next, for sure. One small tip: It seemed weird to make cookies without vanilla, so I added about one teaspoon to the recipe when I added the egg. Yum!

Very, very tasty cookies. Although there are just a few ingredients, these cookies have a really well-rounded taste. The taste of ginger and cinnamon isn’t pronounced–just sits there in the background. Really quite good. They are also quite easy to make.

When I started to drop them by “large teaspoonfuls” onto the baking sheet, I got to about 50 cookies and realized that they should probably be a little larger. I then made them with a 1-tablespoon measure and got 14 more. Both were equally delicious. The small ones took 8 minutes to bake, and the larger ones took about 11.

What a simple, fast, yet delicious brown sugar cookie recipe filling our home with the nice scents of ginger and cinnamon. As soon as I took them out of the oven, a few hands came straight to the wire rack to try them, even warm.

These cookies are not overly sweet and have a slight taste of cinnamon and ginger that is not overpowering. They feel very light and certainly are tasty. Something tells me they will not last until tomorrow. The recipe says it makes 4 dozen, but I was only able to make 40 of them.

These cookies are terrific. They’re buttery and slightly aromatic from the warm spices, but not as strongly flavored as a molasses cookie. I loved this take on the classic sugar cookie, and everyone who tried one loved it. I think the texture of the dough benefits from some time in the refrigerator before baking.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    These are deceptively delicious and strikingly beautiful. I wasn’t expecting the sum to be greater than the parts, but that’s what you get. I’m excited to add these to my rotation.