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Can You Have Too Much Brown Sugar in a Cookie?

Brown Sugar Cookie with Coffee

I was just about to make my favorite chocolate sugar cookies when I realized we were out of cocoa powder. How did we not tell Mom to get more? Or did we? Who really was forgetful? I guess we will never know, but I have a hunch it wasn’t me. So I thought this would be a perfect time to try a new experiment. After looking through some possibilities, and the pantry, I found a recipe for an oatmeal lace cookie that seemed pretty easy. Since we had plenty of brown sugar, and I love a crunchy, buttery cookie, I decided to go for it. Turns out these are really brown sugar cookies!

Close up of Brown Sugar Cookie texture

First Experiment for Brown Sugar Cookies

The first step is to brown the butter. Experiment time! I plopped it in the pan, turned it to low, and stirred and stirred and stirred. It was making me nervous.

Melting Butter in Pan

It first turned bright yellow, almost sort of an odd yellow.

Then the bubbles started forming. For sure I thought it was done, but my Mom came over to smell and said to just keep stirring, and stirring, and stirring.

The thing that made me worried was the fact that I could not see the color of the butter under all of those bubbles! Was it turning brown? I had no idea.

Finally, I put my face right into the steam and it did have a nutty smell to it. And then there was some brown in my swirls.

I turned off the stove and let it cool as the recipe instructed. It was brown alright! But it had little grains on the bottom of the pan. Was that supposed to happen?

Preparing Cookie Dough

After getting my ingredients, I then noticed that we only had quick oats from our “How to Make Mom’s Granola” There has been a serious granola production around here, due to the death of all of our favorite store bought cereal.

After a bit of research, turns out you can use either in most recipes. The quick oats are just a bit smaller and their texture is smoother. Fine by me. I doubt we would notice in a cookie.

Adding Egg to Cookie Dough

Now that my butter was cooled, I mixed the oats, vanilla, and egg. Before measuring the brown sugar, I took the storage container, showed it to Mom, and said, “I hope we have enough.” Of course, she balked at this comment.

But she didn’t know that this recipe calls for 2 and 1/4 cups! That is A LOT of sugar. Again, fine by me!

After pouring in the butter, salt, and a tiny bit of flour, the dough came together and I started rolling.

At first, I thought the recipe was wrong when it said only six cookies for an entire baking sheet. But then I looked at the pictures and realized that these would probably spread out all over the place. I did not want to make one big cookie sheet, though actually that does not sound so bad now that I think about it.

Placing Brown Sugar Cookie Dough on Baking Sheet

After six short minutes, I could see the edges were nicely browned. The middle did look a bit gooey, but I figured I would pull them out and see if they hardened after cooling.

If I make these again I would probably cook them a bit longer as they were still pretty chewy after about 15 minutes of cooling.

Brown Sugar Cookies on Pan

Is there Too Much Brown Sugar?

Finally, when they were cool enough to pick up without completely falling apart, we took our first bite. WOW. These have an extreme brown sugar taste. In fact, that is all you can taste. Again, fine by me.

Mom, however, disagrees. She said they were like taking a spoon to raw brown sugar and just eating it plain.

Close up Brown Sugar Cookie Texture

With that in mind, we lowered the sugar amount for our recipe. Not fine by me.

Stack of brown sugar cookies

Extreme Brown Sugar Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 24
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes

If you love brown sugar, you will love this recipe!


  • 1 Cup Butter Salted
  • 1 3/4 Cups Brown Sugar Packed (brought down from 2 1/4)
  • 2 ¼ Cups Rolled or Quick Oats
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour


    1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mat.
    2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, brown butter until it turns brown in color and nutty in aroma. Remove from heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
    3. In a mixing bowl or mixer, combine brown sugar, oats, egg and vanilla. Gradually add brown butter. Mix until combined.
    4. Add in salt and flour.
    5. Using a cookie scoop, drop onto prepared cookie sheet, leaving plenty of room to spread. Bake 6-7 minutes or until golden brown.
    6. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for approximately 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.


Adapted from Julie Banner

Did you experiment with this recipe?

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