Brown Sugar Cookies

Brown Sugar Cookies

While they haven’t been able to overtake chocolate chip cookies as our favorite homemade cookie, sugar cookies are always welcome in America’s cookie jars. This version is made with brown sugar—sugar to which molasses has been added for texture and flavor. Make these cookies your own by topping them before baking with a pecan half. Or once they’ve cooled, drizzle them with melted chocolate or a simple powdered sugar and orange juice glaze. Then put on a fresh pot of coffee.

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  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1-1/4 cups dark or light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon dark molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-3/4 cup to 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Coarse sugar, such as turbinado sugar (also called Sugar in the Raw®)


Line a good-quality baking sheet—preferably air-cushioned—with parchment paper for easier clean-up, or leave bare and ungreased.

When ready to bake, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes). Set the temperature to 350 degrees F and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.

Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat the butter, shortening, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg, molasses, and vanilla and beat until well-combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add 1-3/4 cup of flour as well as the cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt. Try to roll a walnut-size ball between your palms. If the dough sticks to your hands and is too soft to roll, blend a bit more flour into the dough. Do not add too much, or your cookies will not spread properly and will toughen.

Roll the dough into balls, then give them a romp in a shallow bowl of coarse sugar. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet, then flatten each ball with the bottom of a drinking glass.

Bake the cookies for 7 minutes. Rap the baking sheet on the grill grate—this encourages chewier cookies—then rotate the pan 180 degrees. Continue baking for 5 to 7 minutes longer, or until the cookies are lightly browned. Let cool on the baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack with a spatula. Bake the remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container after the cookies have cooled completely.