Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting

These Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting are some of my favorites.

I heard it was Cookie Season.

Which I think should actually be a real life season, by the way.  Spring, Summer, Fall and Cookie.


And rule numero uno in Cookie Season would be that there is no dieting.  Ever.  Like you would get arrested. Totally more serious than if you wear white  after Labor Day.  It wouldn’t be merely a suggestion… it would basically be a Commandment.  Or an Amendment.  Or whatever you call a rule that is totally not breakable.  There would be severe consequences and all that.  Maybe jail?  Or being bound to a life of Atkins?  Either way, it would suck.

Cookie season would be major.  There would be fashion surrounding Cookie Season, most likely including a lot of elastic and spandex.  And craft fairs would sell wooden signs with fancy writing with cute Cookie Season catch phrases…like instead of “Spring has Sprung” it could be “Cookie Season is Baked” or “Happy Cookie Season Y’all”.  I can see it now.

I sure wish people would ask me before making universe laws.

And also I need help.  With my brain.


Ok, back to real life…

I feel like I have been making a lot of brown food lately.

And yeah today is not exception….I mean the word brown is in the title…twice.

Actually there SHOULD be brown in the title 3 times, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Because these cookies will basically kill your heart.

Metaphorically, people.


Ok, so these are brown sugar cookies, that are actually made with browned butter, topped with a yummy caramelly brown sugar frosting.

And what is best about these cookies is I just combined two of my older recipes together.  THESE cookies plus THIS frosting.


So let’s do this.. Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting (that also start with Browned Butter)…

aka: Cookies that will metaphorically kill your heart.


So first, melt your butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Once it’s melted continue cooking until the butter starts to get brown and nutty and delicious and will solve all the wars in the world.

Keep swirling the pan so the little solid bits don’t burn.

PhotobucketThen let that cool for a few minutes.

Then mix in the brown sugar into the browned butter.

And try not to stick your face in it…

PhotobucketMix that up with your eggs and vanilla and all and pour it into your dry ingredients…
PhotobucketMix all that together to form your dough and then roll them into balls.
Mix your reserved brown and granulated sugars together and roll each ball in the sugar…
PhotobucketBake them up.
PhotobucketThen you should definitely frost them.
PhotobucketCheers to brown food.


Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting


makes approx 24 cookies



  • 14 tablespoons salted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
  • 1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar


  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar



  1. Preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat butter in medium skillet over medium heat until melted. When butter melts slowly swirl the pan and continue to cook the butter until it becomes a nice, brown-caramel color. The swirling helps it from burning. Let cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl and set aside.
  4. When butter is cooled mix 1 3/4 cup light brown sugar and browned butter with electric mixer until no lumps remain, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add egg, yolk and vanilla and mix for another 30 seconds, until smooth.
  6. Slowly add in your flour mixture and mix on medium-low until incorporated.
  7. Combine remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a small bowl.
  8. Roll cookie dough into balls and then roll in sugar mixture.
  9. Place on lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart.
  10. Bake approx 10-12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Do not over-bake.
  11. Transfer to wire rack to cool.


  1. Combine brown sugar and butter in small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a boil and continue cooking 1 minute. Remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes. Mixture will slightly thicken.
  3. With hand mixer beat in milk until smooth. Slowly add in powdered sugar until spreadable consistency. ( I used all 2 cups).
  4. Spread approx 1 teaspoon on each cookie.


94 Responses

  1. Before I left on our trip, I wanted sooo much to make brown sugar cookies but never got around to it. Will be ziplisting these babies so I can make them when I get home. I love the brown sugar frosting, too. Brown sugar, browned butter, lots of vanilla, chewy cookies – I am all about these, Shelly!

  2. Leah

    These look great! Question- what is the recipe source for these? You don’t have it listed (as you seem to often not list your recipe source) and I would be surprised if you came up with the exact proportions of the ingredients on your own. Just wondering! Thank you.

    1. shelly

      Umm, well these cookies are actually made from a recipe that I made earlier in the year that I did indeed post the link to. And why would you “be surprised” that I was capable of developing recipes? When I adapt a recipe from a source I always make a point to credit the source.

      1. Leah

        I think you misunderstood what I said. I actually checked the link to the other cookie, and read the entire post, and maybe I’m just not reading carefully enough, but I did not see a link listed. Could you tell me where to find it? And also, who sits around thinking, “Hmm…2 cups of flour plus 2 eggs and a cup of sugar would require what amount of baking powder?” I didn’t mean this as an insult, I was genuinely interested in seeing the original source and you have developed many great recipes on your own.

        1. shelly

          Well, as a baking blogger who bakes as a job almost everyday of the week I actually do sit around thinking about cookie recipes, and how much sugar, flour baking soda etc. This original cookie recipe is one that I came up with while wanting to include browned butter in a sugar cookie…honestly, most cookie recipes are very similar, mixing butter, sugar and flour in different ways is where you have to get creative. I hope this answers your question.

          1. I can say that I too sit around and think about how much flour to butter to baking soda.. I mean, that’s how recipes get created. All the recipes in the world haven’t yet been invented, but when it comes to baking, it’s chemistry, and there are specific formulas that have been worked out and should be followed. Like you said, Shelly, the creativity comes from what you do beyond the formulas.

            If sitting around thinking about butter, sugar, flour, and baking soda all day makes me weird and abnormal, well, I’m okay with that.

        2. Karmen

          I have just tried these for the first time! They are delicious!! I will try them again because I think I made a mistake somewhere… However, even with the mess up, they are still fabulous!!! Thank you for your creative mind!! 🙂

      2. Kila

        I just tried to make these – cookies taste awsome (they will only crisper when you take them OUT of the oven thats whymyourn overcooking them guys !! ) but my attempt at the icing was awful – I followed the recipe EXACTLY and I’ve added about 1/2 the sugar so far maybe a but more but it’s all sugar ?? What am I doing wrong it’s doesn’t look frosty ?? It’s dark and horrible 🙁

  3. There’s a brown butter brown sugar cookie that I’ve been making for the past few years and they are so good. SO good. I can just imagine how good they would be topped with this amazing brown sugar frosting!!

  4. Alisha

    Weellllll, since I opened up my pantry today, looking for powdered sugar for cookie icing, and found 10 (TEN!!) pounds of brown sugar, perhaps I need to make these.

    I apparently didn’t realize I already HAD 3 two pound bags, so I bought 2 more last time I went shopping.

  5. Lori

    I just have a question for the recipe, I want to make these but in the cookie dough there is (1/8 granulated sugar ) I suppose it is cup. I hope it is, LOL! I am also a follower on FB of yours and tried a few of your recipes, I am getting ready to make this now.
    <3 Lori

  6. Lori

    Ok I figured as much. Also, you need a disclaimer….not to eat the raw cookie dough! I’m surprised I even have any cookies in the oven! YUM! Baking these NOW! Thanks!

  7. Shani

    Thank you for classic brown sugar frosting ! It does not get enough attention, IMHO.

    My family is from the south and the Midwest, so as a child brown sugar frosting appeared at least a few times per year, but my daughter had it for the first time, at 10 years old, at my grandmother’s funeral luncheon. It was pretty amazing, because my grandmother frequently made that frosting and I associated it with her, and there at the luncheon was a big chocolate cake, covered in it. I told my daughter “you are going to like this” and ever since she has talked about it frequently.

    I made jam cake with this frosting at Thanksgiving, but these cookies will be even better for packing in lunches, or grabbing as a perfect sized treat.

    I have had the frosting on a soft cookie, but never a chewey cookie. Thank you for giving me a new way to enjoy, and share this special confection with my family !

  8. Shelly, I am saddened to say I have never had brown sugar frosting. Something I will have to remedy immediately with this mouth watering recipe 🙂 Does the frosting set up firm? I am guessing it does because you were able to pile your cookies in the photo. Brown sugar gives cookies such wonderful chewy texture and usually keeps the cookie moist for a good while. Do you think these would make good cookies for mailing? Thanks!

  9. Michelle

    these look amazing! i’m in the process of making them right now – at the step where i’m trying not to stick my face into a pan of butter and brown sugar… anyway, is it really 1.5 tbsp of vanilla? seems like a lot, but maybe it’s supposed to be!

  10. Shawna

    These cookies did not turn out, though I followed the recipe exactly. At 12 minutes they were still dough. They were burned somewhere between 1-2 minutes later. Any ideas where It went wrong?

    1. shelly

      That’s really strange.. I have made these cookies so many times and never an issue. Honestly it sounds like an oven temperature issue ..

      1. Shawna

        I thought the same thing, too. We have a brand-new oven and I HATE IT! Nothing I have baked has turned out since. Sigh… 🙁
        Thanks for confirming my suspicions.

  11. Mark

    Thank you for this delicious recipe, I used your recipe to make a lemon cardamom brown sugar cookie. The recipe I originally saw was for putting in a cookie mold, and it was a dry awful dough, but I liked the flavor. By changing your recipe …..the vanilla to 1 TBLS instead of one and a half, adding the zest of one lemon, and 1/2 tsp. of ground cardamom…it made a wonderful chewy cookie, that I wouldn’t even want to frost
    thanks again!

  12. Ms. Vickie

    I just made these for my family and – oh my! They are definitely one of the best cookies I have ever had! Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. Ursula

    I saw this recipe on pintrest and I just finished baking the last batch. This is the best brown sugar cookie recipe on earth. My husband loves them.

    1. shelly

      Sorry, don’t quite understand.. there is an 1/8 cup granulated sugar that you roll the cookies in mixed with 1/8 cup light brown sugar…I slightly altered the amount of sugar in this recipe from the one I adapted from, is that what you’re asking?

        1. stephanie

          I made these and used 1/8 cup sugar, so I think that is what it is. They were great! (Shelly, in the ingredients list you have 1/8 cup sugar listed, but in directions you say add the remaining 1/4 cups of sugar) My little one gobbled these up!

  14. Amber

    It’s been snowing for 48 hours straight. I think that there is a law that I must bake something in this weather and it is indeed cookie season in my house. I have the butter cooling as we speak. Well, as I type because we really aren’t speaking. Although in my head you do speak to me. Not in a crazy, creeper- stalker way, but in a normal not scary way.

  15. Courtney

    While these cookies were considerably more time consuming than most drop cookies I normally make, they were very sweet, very soft and very good.

  16. Emily

    The cookies themselves turned out pretty well! However, I now have to go to another website to find a frosting recipe. The one provided was awful. Great cookies though!

  17. jules

    Just made these, and they taste awesome. Just be patient with the butter– don’t take it off too soon or you won’t get the right flavor

  18. Alyson

    Ill keep this short… I came across your blog last week while looking up brown sugar cookie recipes… I made these cookies twice in the last five days. I am absolutely hooked. They are sinful. Warning to anyone planning on trying these – you may need rehab after your experience with these. I think I’m on my way there, but I’m not ready to stop yet. No seriously… Best.
    Cookie. EVER. Thanks for your amazing recipes!

  19. Suzan

    I am just a home cook and I wanted to thank you for such a YUMMY cookie! These were so chewy and delicious! I made them without the frosting just because I wasn’t sure how they would travel and I had a volleyball team to feed (o: They were awesome without the frosting but I will be making more WITH the frosting since I didn’t bring one home because they got gobbled up! Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us online. You may be able to figure out quantities and flavors but to average cooks like me, you are a stud. Thank you!!!

  20. Kayla

    This might be a silly question, but if I wanted to roll out and shape these cookies with a cookie cutter as opposed to rolling them into balls, would they still have the same consistency? My baby shower is near and it is football themed, thought brown sugar cookies would look a little nicer than white.

    1. shelly

      I am sure you could cut them out, but they won’t give you sharp edges like a sugar cookie might..they will spread a bit more. Not too much that it’s won’t work, I just don’t want you to expect super sharp edges 🙂

  21. Heather

    First of all, I don’t understand the haters.
    Second, these cookies are brilliant! Such a unique, divine flavor. It reminds me a little of a maple bar. And that’s just the cookie! I liked them alone so much that I didn’t even try the frosting. I’m sure it would have made these over-the-top good. Even without frosting, it’s a clear favorite. Instant classic. I can’t say enough good.

  22. Yuri

    I just finished baking these Brown sugar cookies they were good, but I felt they were a little too salty. Next time I make these I’ll add half the salt and not leave them in the oven for 10 minutes. But the frosting….OMG it was DELICIOUS!!! I could easily put some on ice cream or anything!! Great recipe though 🙂

  23. Becca

    I made these cookies last night, and they taste very good, but are not chewy. I followed the directions, but even as I was making them, I thought I must have screwed something up. The dough was very crumbly and I had to kneed each ball into my hand to make them stick together. Maybe my eggs were too small or something? I figured it needed more liquid, or fat, or something. Anyone else encounter this problem?

  24. Elle Willis

    Just Made these. At 10 mins my cookies were still balls I took then out and flattened them and put them back for a few more mins. They taste really nice bet not chewy. Not sure what I did wrong as followed your recipe. I was a little confused though as in your intro you say to mix the eggs into the flour and in the step by step it says the other way round. Would that make a difference? Thanks!

  25. Elle willis

    Hey maybe you didn’t see my message.. I’d like to make these again today and hoped they would turn out better please see my previous comment. Thanks.
    Ps the frosting was so great. Omg.

    1. ashley

      I made these today and had the same problems mentioned by a couple of commenters. Dough too crumbly, staying in balls as it cooked, and not being chewy. After my first dozen I knew I had to make some changes. I added 2 tablespoons of whole milk and the cookies were so much easier to form. Then before they went in I flattened them out with a glass. The cooking time was reduced (mine took 7 but my cookies were small). With these changes they tasted so much better…and looked like the picture. I don’t know if it is because my eggs were smaller, or because I am at a high elevation…but I followed the recipe to a T and kept checking over and over to make sure I hadn’t missed anything. They sure turned out yummy after I modified it just a bit.

  26. Stacy R.

    I usually NEVER comment after reading a recipe, but I have to share what my roommate thought about them.

    “Oh…oh my God…wow..that’s…ohh…are there more?”

    These are AMAZING. Can’t wait to bribe people with them!

    Thank you!

  27. Ginny S.

    Holy yum. So so good! I thought they might be a little plain, but man was I wrong. The sugar coating was a lovely touch too.
    Just in case someone’s like me and new to browning butter, it bubbles quite ferociously if you don’t keep swirling or stirring (even on my gas hob’s lowest setting).

    Thank you! 🙂

  28. Cyndy

    I just saw these on pinterest made by another blogger. When I saw that she adapted the recipe from you I had to come & see, then make them. Glad I did. They are AWESOME & I’ll be making these for our fundraiser at work because I know anything that I make of yours will sell out fast. Thanks Shelly!

  29. Charlotte

    I can’ trait to make these cookies. My Mom has been making a pumpkin cookie with a brown sugar frosting for 30 years. I always loved the frosting but the cookies were a little too cakey so looking forward to trying the chewy combination with the brown sugar frosting….sounds like a match made in heaven.

  30. Julie

    I’d been wanting to try these for some time, but was waiting for an “occasion”. Silly me… finally couldn’t wait any longer yest & just made them “for us”. OMG!!! SOOOO good!!

  31. Karen

    Beautiful little tasty delectimundos. The one thing I did wrong that I regret is that I used unsalted butter. Mine were flat because of this I think. Just wanted to pass that on for anyone who gives a poop.

  32. bonnie szul

    do you have to use kosher salt? never heard of that in all my baking years in fact i hardly use salt at all. anxious to try

    1. Shelly

      I like to use kosher salt because it’s a coarser grain salt and it helps me control the amount I am adding better. If you are using table salt decrease the amount by 1/4 teaspoon.

  33. Amy

    I wonder if I got the recipe wrong in regards to the frosting….I sifted then measured the powdered sugar and the frosting was very runny, so I added more powdered sugar. Was I supposed to measure then sift?

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