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Cracked Top Brown Sugar Cookies

by on March 5, 2009 · 31 comments

A sugar cookie made with a mix of light and brown sugar.

Cracked Top Brown Sugar Cookies

Cracked Top Brown Sugar Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour**
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 oz unsalted butter ( 2 sticks)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Turbinado sugar or additional granulated sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt together in a bowl; set aside.

Cream the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla together in a mixing bowl using high speed of an electric mixer. Add the egg and beat for about 30 seconds, then add the flour mixture and stir by hand until it is mixed in.

Roll the dough into 36 little balls and coat tops with sugar. Arrange about 2 ½ inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake 12-13 minutes or until edges are nicely brown and tops appear crackly and set.

Makes 36 cookies

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Published on March 5, 2009

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria March 5, 2009 at 1:14 pm

What a morning! I hope you are ok!! The cookies look great, never had brown sugar cookies before. I am sure I will love them!

Katrina March 5, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Yum to the cookies! Yuck to the kapow to the eye! Hope you can keep the healing going! Be careful. I totally agree, housework-thumbs down, baking-two thumbs way up! Take care.

Kristacular March 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm

These look so YUM! Good to know about the gel! Hope you aren’t too sore!

K:)

Lara March 5, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Oh my gosh, you poor thing! Be careful! :) Also, I would kill for one fo those cookies RIGHT NOW.

Louise March 5, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Wow! Never heard of the gel, but I’ll have to look for it. Another reason to avoid housework — it can be down right dangerous.

Heather - Ghost Baker March 5, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Yep, that sounds like something I would do! Glad you had the rhubarb on hand! Do these taste like brown sugar sugar cookies? They look great!

Amy March 5, 2009 at 2:05 pm

Now THAT’s my kind of cookie!

pooh, I hope you don’t end up with black eye:(

Louise March 5, 2009 at 2:07 pm

April 2009 Bon Appetit has a recipe for Strawberry-Rhubarb Tarts, but I’d suggest you get some new rhubarb. It’s coming into season now. I’ll be making the tart this weekend. :-)

Sara March 5, 2009 at 2:16 pm

Yikes – I’ve never had lemon in the eye, but I have had chile pepper in my eye on more than one occasion.

Carole Resnick March 5, 2009 at 2:39 pm

I gave up cleaning for Lent about 20 years ago and never took it up again. And, I’m Jewish.

Feel better, Anna.

J March 5, 2009 at 2:43 pm

You poor thing! I’m glad you got the arnica.

About these beautiful cookies: What is the texture?

and:
LOL @ Carole Resnick!

Louise March 5, 2009 at 2:52 pm

The Italian bishops are asking people to give up their iPods, texting, internet, etc. for Lent. Now we’ll see how committed everyone is. ;-)

Janice March 5, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Anna,
You have had a he**ofa week!
Time for a weekend at the spa.
The cookies look great but you need some Anna time!
;-)
xoxo

Elyse March 5, 2009 at 4:09 pm

You should never clean again! Stupid broom. I hate it when things like that happen, it makes me want to throw a bit of a temper tantrum. But, I feel like these cookies might have some major healing powers. They look delicious!

Sue March 5, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Ack! You’re definitely having one of ‘those’ weeks. Tomorrow you’ll be able to say TGIF, and really mean it!
The cookies look so good!

clumbsycookie March 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm

That was quite a morning you had! I’m glad at least the cookies turned out good, so you can eat them and fell a bit better! Hope your eye doen’t turn blue, but if does you should totaly post a picture with the title: See what happens when you do housework instead of baking! Take care!

unconfidentialcook.com March 5, 2009 at 4:32 pm

Stop cleaning, keep cooking….These look simple and simply delicious!

Rina March 5, 2009 at 4:33 pm

You poor thing! I love arnica – discovered it through my dance instructor years ago and can’t imagine life without it.

At least your cookies are gorgeous, that would have been the last straw. I wonder how many funny looks you received en route to the store with a bag of rhubarb pressed against your face.

janet March 5, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Never heard of arnica but will definitely check it out at the drugstore. Ouch, you have had a morning! Hope the rest of your day went better. This recipe looks really good…I think I am going to have to get a bigger area for “Anna’s recipes to try”;-) Thanks! Take care of yourself.

dawn March 5, 2009 at 5:18 pm

Ouch! I hate those kind of days. After those kinds of days I really enjoy snuggling up in bed and collasping.
You know?

deeba March 5, 2009 at 7:12 pm

What a morning, but I love how well you handled it. Way to go girl…& YAY for the yummy cookies!

Judy March 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm

I put my back out a few years ago unplugging the vacuum cleaner! “that’ll teach you to try something new,” my husband said! He’s a funny one!

Jill March 6, 2009 at 1:58 am

Sorry to hear about that! It’s good thing you had frozen rhubarb for rescue. Thanks for posting the recipe.

Gluthlu March 6, 2009 at 2:02 am

I just made these cookies – for me they came out very thin, crunchy around the edges and chewy in the middle. The brown sugar and vanilla make their flavor reminiscent of a chocolate chip cookie sans chips. Delicious!

Suzy March 6, 2009 at 6:55 am

These look just like the Brown Sugar Cookies from Cook’s Illustrated. I saw them make them on TV and had to try them out. The difference is that they brown the butter first. It’s one of the best cookies I’ve ever had! You might try those and see if you like them too.

Anna March 6, 2009 at 7:13 am

Thanks for the sympathy! I think the arnica is really working.

Now it’s Friday. I’m going to try to stay out of trouble. I liked Janet’s spa suggestion so I think I’ll check into Barton Creek Resort today.

Gluthlu, thanks for the thorough review! I hope that answers J’s questions about texture. Mine came out exactly the same as yours.

I can’t help but wonder how these would be with a little more flour. I used 9 oz (2 cups), but some people’s 2 cups is actually 10 oz, so the original version *may* have used more flour. That is, a heavier-handed 2 cups.

Suzy, thanks for reminding me about the CI recipe. I have it in my files and will try it. Here are their measurements. They use more flour, less butter, more sugar, extra egg yolk, different leaveners and the technique is typical CI with some tricks thrown in.

2 C plus 2 T all-purpose flour (10.5 oz)
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
14 T unsalted butter
1 3/4 C packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 T vanilla extract
Some Gran & Brown for topping (1/4 gran, 1/4 brown)

Alexandra Bruskoff March 6, 2009 at 8:25 am

Those cookies look unbelievable! Exactly what I’m craving with my coffee with morning. I hope your eye is feeling better. Also try the Arnica oral tablets. You can take them and use the cream together to speed up the recovery process even more. Take Care!

Ghislaine March 7, 2009 at 8:47 am

I agree with Suzy, the CI brown sugar cookies are absolutely delicious. I’ve made them twice already and actually liked them better when baked after the dough had spent the night in the refrig (like a lot of cookies).

CPB May 4, 2009 at 7:41 am

I made these cookies last weekend and they were wonderful. I took some of them to a cub scout camping trip and they got RAVE reviews. I cut back the sugar some (1/4 c. less). With the turbinado sugar on top, I think I could cut it back even further and they’d still be super.

louis December 4, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Hello: This remindes me of a recipe for brown sugar, sugar cookies from ATK that involved browing the butter. I tried twice and each time ended up with big, flat however , very good tasting cookies. NOT the un-flat, cracked top like they made on tv. What happened? Thanks

Anna December 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Louis, did you weigh the flour? If you weighed the flour and used the same weigh as ATK, then it wouldn’t have been an issue. But if you measured by volume, your cup of flour could have held less than theirs and you might have (no fault of your own) used too little flour. I’ve found that when my cookies come out too thin it’s because I didn’t use the same amount of flour as the recipe developer (remember, 1 cup of flour can weigh from 3.8 oz to almost 6!).

Sometimes cookies spread because the butter is too soft or reasons involving the cookie sheet (too warm, too thin). but I think in most cases, it’s just discrepanices in flour amounts and I’m glad more people are using scales to measure rather than just volume.

This brings me to one last thing that *might* have caused spreading. If I use to much sugar, cookies spread. Since the ATK recipe calls for brown sugar, maybe you packed yours into the cup more than they did and used a higher percentage of sugar? Just a though. I still think it was the flour.

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