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Brown Sugar Brownies

Brown Sugar Brownies are stunningly delicious and easily the best Blonde Brownies recipe you will ever make!

Brown Sugar Brownies on white parchment paper resting on a on a cutting board with a glass of milk..
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An Easy Blonde Brownies Recipe

Crunchy, crackly tops and bottoms. Soft, chewy and rich, caramel-y centers filled with pecans.

This is another vintage and absolutely scrumptious recipe from my Grandma’s Hearth and Home church cookbook. I love going through it to find lost treasures I can bring back into circulation.

That’s exactly how I feel about these Brown Sugar Brownies. I’ve never eaten anything quite like them.

They have the texture of the best fudgy brownie, but contain no cocoa powder or chocolate of any kind. They’re a lot like a blondie or blonde brownie, but much more moist, gooey, chewy and flavorful.

Brown Sugar Brownies turned out on a cutting board to cool and be cut

Even the mixing process is the opposite of what we intuitively do when baking. There’s no creaming the butter and sugar.

You start with dry ingredients — ALL of them, plus the nuts. Then you add eggs. And last you add melted butter and vanilla.

I couldn’t believe it would work, but I was so curious to try it. Wow! Am I ever glad I did. Brown Sugar Brownies are spectacular! I can’t wait for you to make this delicious blonde brownies recipe.

They’re perfect for backyard gatherings, family reunions, lunchbox treats and everyday snacking. And, I won’t put together a cookie tray or holiday basket, now, that doesn’t include them.

Whoever you share these Brown Sugar Brownies with will want the easy recipe. You’re gonna love them!

The Ingredients

Brown Sugar Brownies Ingredients - Easy Blondies recipe ingredients - flour, brown sugar, eggs, melted butter, pecans, vanilla, extract, baking soda and baking powder
  • DARK Brown Sugar
  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Eggs
  • Butter, melted
  • Homemade Vanilla Extract (or your favorite brand)

Dark Brown Sugar vs Light Brown Sugar

3 wooden spoons - one with granulated sugar, one iwth light brown sugar and one with dark brown sugar

Did you know that both light and dark brown sugar start with exactly the same sugar? They do!

To make brown sugar, molasses is added to granulated sugar. The only difference between light brown sugar and dark brown sugar is the amount of molasses that’s added.

Dark brown sugar contains almost double the amount of molasses as light brown sugar. That contributes to the darker color, of course, and its deeper more complex caramel or toffee-like flavor.

Dark brown sugar, having slightly more moisture and acid content from the extra molasses, will also change the texture of recipes calling for light brown sugar. But, only slightly. The increased acid means that you’ll get a slightly higher rise from the baking soda. And, light brown sugar cookies might spread a little more.

I chose dark brown sugar for this recipe because of the richer flavor and the extra moist, chewy texture it creates.

Brown Sugar Brownies on a wire rack resting on a cutting board. Glass of milk and potted plant in background.

FAQs

What does brown sugar do to brownies and bar cookies like Brown Sugar Brownies?

It is most important for the “fudgy” texture. The molasses in brown sugar melts during baking, adding extra moisture to the finished product.

Brown Sugar Brownies on a wire rack resting on a cutting board. Pecan pieces scattered about and glassof milk off to the right side.
How do I know when my brown sugar brownies are done?

They will brown around the edges and begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. That’s the best indicator. Also, when I touch the center of the pan of brown sugar brownies, they feel firm, but still have some give (movement) indicating the softness inside.

When you feel that slight movement you’ll be tempted to bake them a little longer. But, please don’t. They will continue to “bake” a little outside the oven, just from residual heat. And, they will set up as they cool. Over-baking will result in dry and disappointing brownies.

We aren’t trying to achieve the dry, cake-like texture of traditional blondies. Brown Sugar Brownies really are their own unique style of cookie bar.

How to Make Brown Sugar Brownies

(Full How-To Video in the Recipe Card)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Prepare an 8×8 baking pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and then spraying with pan spray (even the parchment).
  3. Mix flour and baking soda in a medium-size mixing bowl.
  4. Add brown sugar and pecans and stir until everything is evenly distributed.
Brown Sugar Brownies batter after mixing in eggs
  1. Beat the eggs and add to the dry ingredients.  Stir until they are fully incorporated and a stiff dough forms. To have them fully mixed in takes a full 2 to 3 few minutes. The batter is stiff at this stage. Don’t skip mixing it fully before moving on. You shouldn’t be able to detect any dry ingredients left in the bowl.
  2. Add the melted butter and vanilla.  Stir until they are incorporated and a smooth, thick batter has formed. The batter should be homogeneous, with no signs of melted butter left anywhere.
Brown Sugar Brownies batter after mixing in melted butter and vanilla
  1. Spread the batter into the prepared 8×8 pan and bake at 350° for 35 – 38 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven and cool on a wire cooling rack for about 5 minutes. At this point, I lay another cooling rack over the top of the pan and flip it, letting the brown sugar brownies slide out onto the second cooling rack.
  3. Remove the parchment paper and then do the cooling rack flip one more time, so the brownie slab is right side up while it finishes cooling.
  4. Don’t attempt to cut the brown sugar brownies until they have cooled to lukewarm or room temperature. They are continuing to set up as they cool.
Brown Sugar Brownies turned out on a cutting board to cool and be cut

Variations and Serving Suggestions

Brown Sugar Brownies are perfect just on their own. They are rich, caramely and extremely flavorful. I cut an 8×8 pan into 16 bars and that seems to be the perfect size for just grabbing and going.

To make a Brown Sugar Brownie Sundae, I would cut the pan of bar cookies into 12 pieces and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of thick caramel sauce.

I haven’t tried it, yet, but I think you could also get away with adding 1/2 cup of the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to the dry ingredients (when you add the pecans). I wouldn’t go over 1/2 cup. The brown sugar brownies already have a lot of moisture, so more than 1/2 cup would probably alter their texture. And, I would stick to the minis so the chocolate is more evenly distributed.

Though, for me, pecans are a natural pairing with dark brown sugar, you could also try the recipe with different nuts.

Brown Sugar Brownies on a cutting board with a glass of milk. One broken brownie is held up to show the chewy pecan interior.

I hope you and your friends and family love these delicious Brown Sugar Brownies as much as we do. I hope you’ll get the chance to make the easy recipe, soon. Enjoy!

The Recipe

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Brown Sugar Brownies on white parchment paper resting on a on a cutting board with a glass of milk..

Brown Sugar Brownies


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 17 reviews

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 42 minutes
  • Yield: 16 brownies 1x

Description

Brown Sugar Brownies are stunningly delicious and easily the best Blonde Brownies recipe you will ever make!  Crunchy, crackly tops and bottoms.  Soft, chewy and rich, caramel-y centers filled with pecans.  This easy recipe is loved by young and old alike!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup (137 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon homemade vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • Prepare an 8×8 baking pan by lining the bottom with parchment paper and then spraying with pan spray (even the parchment).
  • Mix flour and baking soda in a medium-size mixing bowl.
  • Add brown sugar and pecans and stir until everything is evenly distributed.
  • Beat the eggs and add to the dry ingredients.  Stir until they are fully incorporated and a stiff dough forms. To have them fully mixed in takes a full 2 to 3 few minutes. The batter is stiff at this stage. Don’t skip mixing it fully before moving on. You shouldn’t be able to detect any dry ingredients left in the bowl.
  • Add the melted butter and vanilla.  Stir until they are incorporated and a smooth, thick batter has formed. The batter should be homogeneous, with no signs of melted butter left anywhere.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared 8×8 pan and bake at 350° for 35 – 38 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool on a wire cooling rack for about 5 minutes. At this point, I lay another cooling rack over the top of the pan and flip it, letting the brown sugar brownies slide out onto the second cooling rack.
  • Remove the parchment paper and then do the cooling rack flip one more time, so the brownie slab is right side up while it finishes cooling.
  • Don’t attempt to cut the brown sugar brownies until they have cooled to lukewarm or room temperature. They are continuing to set up as they cool.
  • Prep Time: 7 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Cookies, Bars, Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

More Delicious Cookies and Bars

Buckeye Brownies from Laura, at Little House Big Alaska, are a must-try treat! Delicious!

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glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

31 thoughts on “Brown Sugar Brownies”

  1. Sooo good! I was afraid that these would be too sweet but they were just right! Loved them and have hidden a few squares in the freezer for later!






    Reply
  2. These were unreal!! So much nicer than a blondie, and packed with caramelly flavours from the brown sugar. They didn’t last long!!!






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  3. The texture on these brownies is unreal! The chewy middle was addictive and the crumble top barely made it onto the brownies because the kiddos kept sneaking tastes haha.






    Reply
  4. I love using dark brown sugar in my baking for that extra flavor. Your recipe couldn’t be easier and love the flavor and the added nuts.






    Reply
  5. Love this Brown Sugar Brownie. My sons are obsessed with brownies and this will be a nice variation to make. Thanks for the recipe!






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