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Soft and Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies with Walnuts

These Soft and Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies with Walnuts are rich and sweet, featuring a chewy texture with a nutty crunch from walnuts. They’re easy to make and perfect for year-round enjoyment, especially during holidays. The recipe includes simple ingredients like brown sugar, butter, eggs, and walnuts. These cookies can be made ahead of time and are freezer-friendly.

brown sugar cookies with walnuts.

These simple Brown sugar cookies are a perfect blend of rich, caramel-like sweetness and a hint of nuttiness. They are made using only brown sugar for the chewiest cookies! This Brown sugar cookie recipe is easy to make and requires just a few simple ingredients. They are made in one bowl with no need to chill the dough! If you’re looking for more cookie recipes, check out our Classic Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies for more baking inspiration.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe


  • Rich and deep flavor from the brown sugar.
  • A delightful chewy texture with crisp edges.
  • Nutty crunch from walnuts adds a unique twist.
  • Perfect for holidays and special occasions.
  • Easy to make with simple ingredients.
  • Can be made ahead and frozen for convenience.
  • A comforting treat that pairs well with tea or coffee.

Ingredient Notes

  • Unsalted Butter (room temperature): Adds richness and moisture.
  • Brown Sugar: Key for the deep, caramel-like flavor and a chewy cookie.
  • Salt: Enhances the sweetness and flavor.
  • Eggs (room temperature): Provides structure and helps bind the ingredients.
  • Vanilla Extract: Adds a sweet, aromatic flavor.
  • All Purpose Flour: The base of the cookie dough.
  • Baking Soda: Helps the cookies rise and spread.
  • Chopped Walnuts: Add a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.
brown sugar cookies ingredients.

Be sure to check out the recipe card for the full ingredient list below

Step by Step Instructions

creamed butter with brown sugar in a mixing bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar on medium-low speed until light and fluffy.

creamed butter with brown sugar and eggs in a mixing bowl.

Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed for an additional minute.

brown sugar cookie dough.

Add in the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, ensuring not to overmix.

brown sugar walnut cookie dough.

Fold in the chopped walnuts until evenly distributed in the dough.

unbaked brown sugar walnut cookie.

Portion out the cookie dough using a scoop onto the prepared baking sheet.

brown sugar walnut cookies.

Bake for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly golden brown. Optional: Press additional walnut pieces into the tops of the hot cookies.

Tip: For a richer flavor, try adding 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to your cookie dough. This warm and aromatic spice pairs beautifully with the rich, caramel-like flavor of the brown sugar, adding a subtle spiciness that complements the nutty crunch of the walnuts. Cinnamon not only enhances the overall taste but also adds a comforting, homely aroma to your cookies as they bake, making them even more irresistible.

Substitutions

Gluten-Free: Gluten-Free: Substitute the regular flour with a gluten-free blend to cater to dietary needs.

Equipment

To achieve the best results, specific baking equipment is recommended:

  • Stand Mixer: A stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment is ideal for creaming the butter and brown sugar together, ensuring a smooth and well-aerated base for your cookies. This helps in achieving that desired chewy texture. If you don’t have a stand mixer, a hand mixer can be a suitable substitute. Though it requires a bit more manual effort, it can still effectively cream the butter and sugar together.
  • Cookie Scoop: A cookie scoop is a handy tool for portioning out the cookie dough. It ensures that all your cookies are uniform in size, which helps them bake evenly. This tool is especially useful for achieving professional-looking cookies with minimal effort.
  • Baking Sheets: High-quality baking sheets are essential for even baking. They should be sturdy enough to conduct heat efficiently, which is crucial for achieving those perfectly baked cookies with just the right amount of crispness on the edges. Lining your baking sheets with parchment paper can help prevent sticking and makes cleanup easier.
brown sugar cookies with walnuts.

How to Store

To keep these soft brown sugar cookies fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Placing a piece of parchment paper between layers can prevent them from sticking together. Stored this way, the cookies will retain their moist, chewy texture and brown sugar flavor for up to a week. Ensure the container is sealed properly to protect the cookies from air and moisture, which can affect their texture and taste.

How to Freeze

  • Freezing Unbaked Cookie Dough: Shape the cookie dough balls and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze them until solid, about 1-2 hours. Once frozen, transfer the dough balls to a freezer-safe bag or container, separating layers with parchment paper. Label the bag with the date, and they can be frozen for up to 3 months. To bake, place the frozen dough balls on a prepared baking sheet and bake as per the recipe, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.
  • Freezing Baked Cookies: After baking, allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the frozen cookies to a freezer-safe bag or container, layering them with parchment paper to prevent sticking. They can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. To enjoy, simply thaw the cookies at room temperature or gently reheat them in the oven for a fresh-baked taste.

expert Tips

  • Ensure all ingredients are at room temperature for a smoother dough.
  • Do not overmix the dough to maintain the chewy texture.
  • Use a cookie scoop for uniform-sized cookies.
  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to set properly.
brown sugar cookies with walnuts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use white sugar instead of brown sugar?

While white sugar can technically be used, it will significantly alter the cookies’ flavor and texture. Brown sugar, with its molasses content, imparts a rich, caramel-like sweetness and contributes to the cookies’ moist, chewier cookie. White sugar, on the other hand, would result in a crisper, less flavorful cookie.

How long do these cookies stay fresh?

When stored correctly in an airtight container at room temperature, these cookies maintain their freshness and delightful chewiness for up to a week. Ensure the container is sealed tightly to prevent air and moisture from affecting the cookies’ texture.

Why did my cookies spread too much?

Excessive spreading can be caused by a few factors: too much butter, not enough flour, overmixing the dough, or the dough being too warm before baking. Ensure you measure your ingredients accurately, mix just until combined, and chill the dough if it seems too soft before baking. This will help maintain the cookies’ shape and texture.

Can I make these cookies with a different type of nut or without nuts?

Yes, you can easily customize these cookies by either substituting the walnuts with another type of nut or omitting them altogether. Almonds, pecans, or hazelnuts can be excellent alternatives, each adding their unique flavor and texture to the cookies. For a nut-free version, consider replacing the nuts with an equal amount of chocolate chips, raisins, or simply enjoy the rich, chewy texture of the brown sugar cookies on their own. This flexibility makes the recipe versatile and adaptable to different tastes and dietary needs.

Can I use dark brown sugar in this recipe?

Yes, you can use dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar contains more molasses, which will impart a deeper, more pronounced molasses flavor and slightly increased moisture content to the cookies. This results in an even richer, more caramel-like taste and potentially a chewier texture, enhancing the overall flavor profile of the brown sugar cookies.

What can I do if my brown sugar is hard?

Hardened brown sugar can be softened by adding moisture back into it. One effective method is to place a piece of bread or a slice of apple in the airtight container with the brown sugar for a day or two. The sugar will absorb the moisture from the bread or apple and soften. Another quick method is to microwave the brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl, covered with a damp paper towel, for 20-30 seconds or until it softens. Be cautious not to overheat as it can melt.

Why didn’t my cookies spread?

If your cookies didn’t spread as expected, there are several potential reasons. One common cause is using too much flour, which can make the dough too stiff. Ensure that you measure the flour using the spoon-and-level method, rather than scooping it directly from the container, which can compact the flour and lead to using too much. Another reason might be the dough being too cold if it was chilled for too long; allowing it to sit at room temperature for a bit before baking can help. Also, check if your baking soda is fresh, as expired or ineffective leavening agents can result in cookies not spreading properly. Lastly, ensure your oven is properly preheated to the right temperature, as baking at too low a temperature can affect how the cookies spread.

brown sugar cookies with walnuts.

If you make this recipe, take a photo and tag #bakedambrosia on Instagram and Facebook so that I can see your creations and feature them on Instagram! To stay up to date with the latest recipes, follow Baked Ambrosia on PinterestFacebookInstagram, and Youtube. ♡

brown sugar cookies with walnuts.

Brown Sugar Cookie with Walnuts

Angelina Papanikolaou
These Soft and Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies with Walnuts are rich and sweet, featuring a chewy texture with a nutty crunch from walnuts. They're easy to make and perfect for year-round enjoyment, especially during holidays. The recipe includes simple ingredients like brown sugar, butter, eggs, and walnuts. These cookies can be made ahead of time and are freezer-friendly.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 28
Calories 147 kcal

Ingredients 

  • 11 tbsp butter room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped (plus extra 1/4 cup for topping, optional)

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or in a mixing bowl using a hand mixer, beat butter & brown sugar until combined.
    11 tbsp butter, 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • Beat in eggs and vanilla extract until combined.
    2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • On low speed, mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in walnut pieces until well distributed.
    2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 tsp baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 cup walnuts
  • Using a medium cookie scoop, form balls of the cookie dough and place them onto your prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for about 10-14 minutes or until cookies are puffed and lightly browned around edges (centers will be soft). Remove from oven and top with more chopped walnuts.
  • Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Notes

Storage: Place in layers separated by parchment paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 7 days or freeze for up to 3 months

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookiesCalories: 147kcalCarbohydrates: 18gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 197mgPotassium: 49mgFiber: 1gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 155IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
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