Not only are these Brown Sugar Cookies loaded with flavor, they also have cinnamon and cardamom in them making for a super delicious, subtlety spiced bite that's sure to please taste buds near and far.
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*Original recipe published March 2019. Recipe updated September 2020
Brown Sugar Cookies vs. White Sugar Cookies
Traditionally, sugar cookies are made with white sugar which produces a crispier cookie.
I wanted to vary it up a bit and throw some different flavor combos in there, ya know, to keep life interesting!
And this Brown Sugar Cookie does not disappoint.
It resembles a snickerdoodle in a way, however, the addition of brown sugar instead of white creates a moist (sorry for using that word!) and chewier cookie with notes of molasses.
The addition of cardamom brings a subtle spicy flavor combo to the cookie.
You can, of course, use all cinnamon instead of adding the cardamom, however, I highly recommend giving it a try.
Cardamom is a warm, very special spice that adds something really nice to this cookie.
And, let's just talk about those crackled tops... Yum!
Rolling these Brown Sugar cookies in a combination of white sugar and brown sugar before baking helps create those beautiful crackled tops.
Meanwhile, the interior of these cookies remains oh-so-chewy due to all that brown sugar.
How to make Brown Sugar Cookies
Putting these cookies together is really simple.
Be prepared, however, the cookie dough does require at least two hours in the fridge before baking. So allow time for this when planning.
It all starts with melted butter. The melted butter helps produce the chewiness in this cookie.
Then, we add in a small amount of granulated sugar and a heck of a lot of brown sugar.
The granulated sugar helps add a bit of crispness to the cookie and that brown sugar, well, that creates a delicious flavor and superior softness and chew.
We add one whole egg and one egg yolk for extra richness, then add in the dry ingredients.
Allow the dough to chill in the fridge for at least two hours before rolling the dough then rolling in a mixture of granulated and brown sugars then baking.
The time in the fridge is critical to allow the flour to properly hydrate and for the dough to develop more flavor.
Why are my Brown Sugar Cookies flat?
These Brown Sugar Cookies are flatter than other cookies, however, don't let that fool you into thinking they'll be too crispy.
The brown sugar helps these cookies retain moisture and, hence, remain chewy when baked.
There are recipes for Brown Sugar Cookies out there that call for adding corn starch to achieve thicker cookies.
I didn't feel these cookies needed it. They are perfect just the way they are!
Can I substitute the Cardamom for another spice?
For a variation of flavor, try substituting ginger or nutmeg for the cardamom or omitting the cardamom and replacing in equal proportion with additional cinnamon.
Now go forth and bake up some of these beauties! You'll love 'em, and so will all your friends and family. Mine certainly do!
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Looking for more cookie recipes? Give these a try:
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 ½ cups dark brown sugar packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt*
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar packed
- In a large mixing bowl, add the melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar.
- Whisk vigorously to combine until smooth.
- Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla, again whisking vigorously to combine until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cardamom and whisk to combine.
- Add to wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Do not over mix.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes to make scooping and rolling easier.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. In a small bowl, whisk together the granulated and brown sugar to remove any lumps
- Using a 1-tablespoon scoop, scoop dough and roll into a ball between your palms then toss in the sugar mixture to coat all sides.
- Place onto a cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
- Bake until the edges are just brown and tops start to crackle, about 10-12 minutes, rotating trays front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking.
- Cookies may look underdone and slightly puffed when you remove them from the oven. They will continue to bake on the trays and they will flatten as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on the trays
- *if you prefer less salt, cut the amount in half to ½ teaspoon
- Store in airtight container for 4-5 days at room temperature
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These look so damn tasty - love the addition of cinnamon and cardamom! I don't think it would be safe for me to have these in the house because they would be gone in like 2.5 seconds. Yum!
Haha they are definitely not safe around me either! I had to give a bunch away to family and friends 🙂 But of course kept a few for myself. Hope you enjoy them!!
I should definitely try putting lavender in my pancakes! The Doughnut Plant in NYC actually made lavender doughnuts where they put the lavender right into the glaze. It was amazing! 🙂
I am not an avid baker of sweet things so I need to ask a question, please don't be insulted. This seems like a lot of salt, Is there a reason for so much? Do they taste salty? Thank you for your recipe & I can't wait to try it, from your description, it sounds fabulous!
Hi Lisa! For me, this is just the right amount of salt. However, you can adjust it down if you think it'll be too much - it won't change the texture or quality of the cookie. Let me know how they turn out!
Is the brown sugar packed or unpacked?
Packed! I'll make sure to update that on the recipe so others know, too.
These cookies are delicious! My only critique would be that they are too salty. I saw this comment before I made them and I went back and forth on wether or not I should take the suggestion and I wish I did. But at least I know for next time. Less salt and I would add a bit more sugar.
Thanks for the recipe 😊
Thanks for your comment, it's so helpful! I understand everyone's preference for salt level varies - I made a note on the recipe for other bakers. I appreciate you letting me know! Thanks so much for baking and sharing ☺️
Love this recipe, but need some advice! I've made this recipe over a dozen times by now (these cookies are delicious!) but they don't always come out looking beautiful. About 70% of the time they're cracked and sparkly from the sugar, but the other 30% of the time they don't crack and look kind of plain. Any tips for troubleshooting this?
So glad you love this recipe! It's definitely a good one! Hmmm... it may have to do with how you're measuring your ingredients and/or the quality of the ingredients you're using. Are you using the same brand of ingredients, same oven, same way to measure? These are the things that account for differences in my baking, so hopefully they help you too!
Mixing directions appear to reference an extra egg yolk which does not appear in ingredients list. What do you suggest?
The ingredients list should in fact include the yolk, my apologies for this mistake! I will add it back in, thank you for bringing this to my attention.
Love, love,love these cookies. They are easy to make and my daughter's love them. Even my husband who isn't big on cookies and things loves them as well. Thanks for sharing.
Wow that's some compliment especially coming from a non-cookie lover like your husband! Keep on baking, my friend! Thanks for your comment and support 🙂
Love this recipe. I just made and though I love the cinnamon and cardamom, I want a little more. I’m think of doubling both. Any suggestions?
I think that's a great idea! Those flavors will for sure pop with that amount. Let me know how they turn out 🙂
They are delicious! And the chew is phenomenal. Made them the first time and love already. I used a 1 Tbsp scoop and they seemed small - maybe they didn’t flatten enough? I also ended up with a lot more than 36. Do you use a rounded scoop or just 1 Tbsp worth? I did get the crinkle-so lovely. My color was lighter than yours in the stunning photo so am going to try that brand of dk brn sugar you use. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for your feedback! I would try using a slightly larger scoop or doubling the amount per cookie to 2 tbsp. Leave enough space between the cookies to allow for spread. And definitely try the dark brown sugar! It gives a bit more of a rich, caramel flavor and color.
I veganized these, so swapped out the chicken's egg for flax egg and used Becel vegan butter. I also added some nutmeg to the dough and a pinch of cinnamon to the rolling sugar mix, and they were phenomenal. No one would ever think they were vegan. They had a perfect crisp outside with a great chewy inside. These were some of the best cookies I've made and they will be in my regular rotation for sure.
That's amazing! Thank you for sharing what you did to make this recipe vegan and how it turned out. Thank you so much! Happy baking ☺️
I substituted the cardamom for 1/4 tsp nutmeg & 1/4 teaspoon cloves. I added chocolate chips too. once they're baked I turn them into cookie ice cream sandwiches.
obsessed is an understatementtttt.
thank you so much for this delicious recipe!
Remember that Kosher salt is not the same as regular table salt. Additionally it is supposed to be unsalted butter. So many peopledo nit think about that when they are baking. If you use salted butter then reduce the salt to 1/4 to 1/3 of the listed amount.
These are delicious! Chewy and perfectly sweet.
Fantastic to hear, Elizabeth!
Love, love this recipe! I’ve made it twice in the last month and about to make it again. I love the crispiness and chewiness of them! However, as you mentioned, some recipes call for a bit of corn starch to thicken it. If I wanted to do this, how much corn starch would you recommend? Would this at all create a less chewy or crispy cookie?
So great to hear, Mimi!! If you want to add cornstarch, I would recommend adding 1 teaspoon to start. You can increase by 1/2 teaspoon, up to 2 teaspoons. This will likely create a thicker cookie. They should still be chewy - the corn starch helps tenderize the cookie dough so the cookies should not get crispy from adding it. Good luck!