Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies Recipe


Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked cookies wafting through the house? If you’re on the hunt for a sweet treat that’s simple to make but packs a punch in flavor, look no further than brown sugar shortbread cookies. These delectable delights are the epitome of comfort food, with their buttery texture and caramel undertones. In this article, we’ll dive into the world of brown sugar shortbread cookies, exploring the recipe, tips for perfection, and some delightful variations to try out.

Why Brown Sugar?

Before we jump into the recipe, let’s talk about the star ingredient: brown sugar. Unlike its white counterpart, brown sugar adds a depth of flavor and richness to baked goods. Its higher molasses content not only lends a caramel flavor but also helps to create a tender, chewy texture in cookies. So, when it comes to shortbread cookies, brown sugar is the secret ingredient that takes them from good to extraordinary.


Here’s what you’ll need to whip up a batch of these irresistible brown sugar shortbread cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat Your Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 325°F (160°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it.

Cream Butter and Sugar: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.

Add Vanilla: Mix in the vanilla extract until well combined.

Incorporate Flour and Salt: Gradually add the flour and salt to the mixture, mixing until a soft dough forms.

Shape the Dough: Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to about ¼ inch thickness.

Cut into Shapes: Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes from the dough.

Transfer to Baking Sheet: Carefully place the cut-out cookies onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing them slightly apart.

Bake to Perfection: Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges are lightly golden.

Cool and Enjoy: Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, indulge in these buttery delights!

Tips for Success

Room Temperature Butter: Make sure your butter is softened to room temperature for easy creaming.

Chill the Dough: For cleaner cuts and better shape retention, chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before rolling it out.

Don’t Overwork the Dough: Overmixing the dough can result in tough cookies, so mix until just combined.

Customize Your Cookies: Get creative with add-ins like chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or citrus zest for a unique twist on this classic recipe.

Variations to Try

Looking to switch things up? Here are a few variations to tantalize your taste buds:

Maple Pecan Shortbread: Add a hint of maple syrup and chopped pecans to the dough for a delightful autumnal flavor.

Lemon Lavender Shortbread: Infuse the dough with lemon zest and dried lavender for a refreshing and fragrant twist.

Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread: Dip cooled cookies halfway into melted chocolate and sprinkle with sea salt for a decadent treat.


In conclusion, brown sugar shortbread cookies are a simple yet indulgent treat that’s perfect for any occasion. With their buttery texture and rich flavor, these cookies are sure to become a staple in your baking repertoire. So, grab your apron and give this recipe a try – your taste buds will thank you!


  1. Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter?
    • While you can use salted butter, it’s best to stick with unsalted butter to control the saltiness of the cookies.
  2. How should I store leftover cookies?
    • Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week for maximum freshness.
  3. Can I freeze the cookie dough?
    • Yes, you can freeze the cookie dough for up to three months. Simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and thaw in the refrigerator before using.
  4. Can I substitute brown sugar with white sugar?
    • While you can substitute white sugar, keep in mind that it will alter the flavor and texture of the cookies.
  5. Can I add spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to the dough?
    • Absolutely! Spices like cinnamon or nutmeg can add a warm and cozy flavor to the cookies. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste.

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