Sweet and crunchy brown sugar tea cookies are buttery with a hint of vanilla! They are a delicious spin on the classic sugar cookie and excellent with a cup of tea or coffee plus perfect for any holiday cookie tray.
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Soft Brown Sugar Cookies
Using only brown sugar adds a soft, chewy and rich flavor to these brown sugar tea cookies! They are easier than cut out powdered sugar cookies as there is no need for cookie cutters but softer than this classic crunchy sugar cookie.
Brown sugar adds moisture to these cookies that have a light molasses flavor similar to a gingerbread cookie but not quite as pronounced. They are great year round whether you make them to enjoy as a snack or make them as part of your holiday baking.
They are simple to make with less than 10 ingredients, cut into squares and then sprinkled with brown sugar cane for sweet shimmering results! This easy brown sugar cookie recipe will be a new favorite.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- Easy to make: These cookies are ready to eat in less than an hour and that includes chilling time!
- Soft and chewy: Thanks to the brown sugar and carefully selected ingredients.
- Simple ingredients: Less than 10 ingredients make these a favorite!
- Versatile: Serve at snack time, enjoy with a cup of tea or include on a Christmas cookie platter.
Ingredients for Brown Sugar Tea Cookies
Brown sugar adds a soft texture and incredible flavor to this brown sugar tea cookie recipe!
- Butter: Unsalted butter is best. If you use salted butter, decrease the amount of added salt.
- Large eggs: Using the correct size of eggs ensures you are not adding too much extra moisture to the cookies.
- Brown sugar: Lightly packed brown sugar.
- All-purpose flour: Flour provides structure. These cookies have only been tested with all purpose flour.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract adds rich taste.
- Baking powder: Adds lift to these brown sugar cookies.
- Salt: Just ¼ teaspoon for taste.
- Brown sugar cane: This may be labeled Demerara sugar or raw sugar. This is to sprinkle on top of the cookies for texture and delicious sweet taste.
- Roll into balls: Instead of cutting into squares you can roll these into dough balls then roll in the sugar.
- Cut into shapes: Make these brown sugar cut out cookies and use your favorite cookie cutters to cut into shapes.
- Extract: Change the flavor by changing the extract. Try almond extract, rum extract, or coconut extract.
How to Make Brown Sugar Tea Cookies
These brown sugar cookies are simple to make and since we cut them into squares instead of using cookie cutters they are so easy!
Combine dry ingredients: In a medium sized bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt to remove any lumps then set aside.
Cream butter and sugar: In a medium mixing bowl beat your softened butter, add the eggs and combine until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, then add brown sugar mixing after each addition.
Combine wet and dry ingredients: Add the sifted flour mixture to the wet ingredients a little bit at a time and mix together to form a compact, not sticky dough.
Chill: When the brown sugar tea cookie dough is ready, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 20 minutes.
Roll and cut into squares: Roll cookie dough out to ¼ inch thickness and cut it into squares. Transfer the squares onto the prepared baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle them with brown cane sugar and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 20 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.
Cool: Let your cookies cool for 5 minutes on top of the baking sheet then transfer them on a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Enjoy!
- Use a mixer: This will allow the ingredients to be fully incorporated together.
- Sticky dough: If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time. Be careful not to add too much though or you will end up with dense cookies.
- Chill time: This helps prevent spreading.
- Light colored baking sheet: Dark colored baking sheets tend to get hotter on the bottom leading to faster browning of the cookies.
- Don’t overbake: Your cookies will continue to cook outside of the oven and may appear underbaked when you remove them. They will continue to firm as they cool.
- Do not use granulated sugar: This brown sugar cookies recipe has only been tested with brown sugar. Granulated sugar will lead to different results as it is lower in moisture.
What type of brown sugar is best to use?
It really comes down to preference! Dark brown sugar has twice the molasses content of light brown sugar which means your cookies will have softer centers and a richer flavor. Using light brown sugar will give your cookies a lighter appearance and flavor. You could even use a mix of the two!
How thick should I roll out the cookie dough?
These brown sugar cookies are a thicker cookie, so rolling the dough to a ¼ inch thickness is recommended. If you like thinner cookies, roll them thinner, but they may bake faster.
Are these the same as tea cakes?
Southern tea cakes are made with butter, flour, sugar and eggs but are often topped with a lemon glaze. English tea cakes are usually a sweetened yeasted bun. These brown sugar tea cookies, though, are perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee and can be served as a snack during tea time!
Can I freeze the cookie dough?
Yes! You could freeze the cookie dough whole, thaw, bring slightly to room temperature and then roll out while still cold and proceed with baking directions. You could also freeze the brown cookie dough in squares, thaw, and then bake as well. For either way, be sure to tightly wrap your cookie dough in plastic wrap then store in a freezer safe container up to 3 months.
These cookies can also be stored at room temperature. Place them in an airtight container and they will last up to two weeks.
More Cookie Recipes
- Brown sugar pecan cookies
- Almond butter cookies
- Butter cookies
- Chocolate chip cookies
- Easy nut cookies
Brown Sugar Tea Cookies
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon Butter – unsalted, soft (125 grams total)
- 2 large Eggs room temperature
- ⅔ cup + 1 tablespoon Brown Sugar (lightly packed) (130 grams total)
- 2¾ cups + 1 tablespoon All purpose flour (350 grams total)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons Baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ cup Brown sugar cane – granulated (Demerara sugar) to sprinkle on top of the cookies
- In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In another medium bowl beat the butter, add the eggs and combine. Add vanilla and mix, add brown sugar and mix again. Add the sifted flour mix to the wet ingredients a little at a time and mix together to form a compact, not sticky dough. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time.
- When the dough is ready, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 20 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 F (180C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- After 20 minutes take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out to ¼ inch thickness and cut it into squares. Transfer the squares onto the prepared baking sheet, sprinkle them with cane sugar and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.
- Let them cool for 5 minutes on top of the baking sheet then transfer them on a wire rack to finish cooling completely. Enjoy!