My New Favorite Cookie Recipe :: Brown Sugar Cookies (with a Bonus Variation!)

If you caught my recent takeover of New Orleans Mom’s Instagram, you may have noticed my toddler and me making cookies. A lot of people messaged me asking what kind they were, and since my son was pictured rolling them in sugar, many people assumed they were snickerdoodles. (Spoiler Alert: They weren’t!)

They were Brown Sugar Cookies.

Simply stated, these cookies from Sugar Spun Run are the best damn cookies I’ve ever made. (And I’ve made them A LOT since I found the recipe almost 3 years ago!) They’re phenomenally soft and chewy, and they stay that way long after they’ve cooled off. They’ve got the faintest trace of saltiness to offset their sweetness. And there hasn’t been a single time that I’ve brought these cookies somewhere that there was any leftover or that someone hasn’t asked me for the recipe. Y’all, they’re THAT good. 

My benchmark for a lot of recipes is how well it does being adapted for the freezer. Well, I’m happy to report that these freeze very well! I haven’t tried freezing the final product, but I’ve frozen the balls of dough and baked them from frozen and you’d never know that I didn’t make the dough that same day.

This is the perfect recipe to keep in your freezer for when last-minute guests pop by or when it’s the night before the bake sale and you don’t want to drop off something store-bought. 

So make a giant batch or two of dough, refrigerate the dough for 45 minutes as per the recipe, roll them into balls (but do NOT roll in sugar), and freeze them on a parchment paper topped cookie sheet. Once they’re frozen solid, throw them in a labeled freezer bag for up to 3 months. To bake from frozen, simply remove from the freezer as you start to preheat your oven, roll in sugar, and bake according to the directions. 

*NOTE* The recipe creator states “The centers of the cookies may still seem slightly underbaked — allow cookies to cool completely on the cookie sheet to finish cooking there, cookies will be too fragile to move while hot.” THIS IS ABSOLUTELY TRUE! Do not mess with it!

BONUS: Brown Sugar Cookies with Pearl Sugar

A few days ago, my mom picked up some Decadent Pearl Sugar Cookies from the bakery section at Walmart. I’d never heard of pearl sugar, but it’s exactly what it sounds like: little pearls of sugar, much like crushed-up sugar cubes. The cookies were DELICIOUS and I knew I wanted to try to recreate them.

I went to my trusty brown sugar cookie recipe and decided to make a few tweaks. A quick internet search showed me that pearl sugar isn’t really carried in most grocery stores and was only available online. I ordered a (kind of pricey) pack from Amazon, but couldn’t wait that long to try out my tweaks.

I wanted to see if I could make my own pearl sugar by using crushed-up sugar cubes since I already had those on hand. I crushed up about 40 sugar cubes in a Ziploc bag using a meat tenderizer. I used a mesh strainer to separate the loose sugar crystals from the chunks. 

I made the recipe as directed, but I added in my pearl sugar just before the refrigeration step and didn’t roll the dough balls in sugar before baking.

The final product was delicious, but my pearl sugar hack didn’t hold up as well as I’d hoped. Since pearl sugar is more compressed than sugar cubes, most of the sugar chunks disintegrated during the baking process and the larger ones that visibly held up weren’t quite as crunchy as the ones in the bakery cookies. Overall, using real pearl sugar is definitely the way to go, but the sugar cubes in larger chunks (about half the size of the cube) did make for a really unique touch!

Joey is a New Orleans native, Dominican alum, and LSU grad who joined the ranks of motherhood in the summer of 2019. She and her Colorado born-and-raised husband, Phil, left their Mid-City apartment for a house on the Northshore about ten days before they welcomed their son, Sam, into the world. Though she’s always had a passion for writing, it’s her work as the Director of Marketing for a Louisiana-based electrical firm that pays the bills. She’s a longtime member of the dance troupe The Muff-A-Lottas and when she isn’t covered in glitter and dancing through the streets of New Orleans, she’s usually cooking, trying new restaurants, and listening to true crime podcasts. A consummate Pinterest fanatic, she’s always looking for her next DIY project or recipe to try. She believes good senses of humor and random acts of kindness make the world go ‘round.

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