Our 10 Best Brown Sugar Recipes
A must-have pantry item for any aspiring baker, brown sugar gets its distinctive brown tint from molasses, either naturally occurring or added. Brown sugar lends a more complex, slightly caramelized flavor profile than plain white sugar to cookies, cakes, and more. Whether you're just setting up your pantry or have some leftover brown sugar you'd like to experiment with, these delicious recipes, from Bourbon Pecan Pie to Quick Ramen Pho, showcase the versatility and ease of cooking with brown sugar.
Cookies 'n' Cream Cookies
Cookie-inspired cookies? Yes, please. The incorporated Oreos soften during baking and mix well with every bite, making these cookies surprisingly tender—and the chopped cookies on top add a pleasant crunch. Don't skip chilling the cookie dough, as this cream-cheesy dough will be a bit difficult to handle at room temperature. Also, refrigeration helps the cookies maintain their pillowy shape. Serve with a glass of milk.
Sweet Potato Squares
These autumnal dessert bars combine the elements of the classic, marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole into a gooey and glorious blondie. (After all, sweet potato casserole kind of belongs on the dessert table anyway.) We use rice flour for these Sweet Potato Squares because this gluten-free flour absorbs moisture from the sweet potato better than all-purpose flour, resulting in a wonderfully tender—not wet or overtly cakey—texture. Browning your butter may, at first, seem unnecessary, but this step infuses the blondies with an incredible toastiness you don't want to miss out on.
Bourbon Pecan Pie
This is not your average pecan pie. Classic, ooey gooey, rich praline pecan pie filling meets just enough bourbon —think fragranced, without being boozy—in our Bourbon Pecan Pie. This pie may look and taste impressive, but it's deceptively easy. It tastes great warm, cold, or at room temperature and pairs excellently with ice cream or whipped cream. Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 3 days, or mix with vanilla ice cream and some extra bourbon for a killer milkshake.
Green Tea Granola
In essence, this is our Best Basic Granola adjusted to work without an egg white and have a slightly earthy, moderately spiced taste. By chance, it also contains no animal products, so it's vegan (depending on how you feel about certain nuts, particularly almond). In lieu of the egg white, this granola uses dark brown sugar to stick together and maintain a crunchy texture. Pressing the granola down into an even layer every time you stir the mixture will help it clump, as will waiting for the granola to cool completely once it's out of the oven. Feel free to add in even more spices and tea powder to create a stronger flavor, and any other ingredients that can add texture, like chia seeds or dried berries.
Easy Individual Peach Pies
These easy, personal-sized peach pies allow you to skip the peeling, slicing, measuring, rolling, and crimping involved with making a whole pie, but deliver everything you crave about the sweet summer dessert. They're incredibly doable, even for the least experienced baker, and happen to be pretty adorable too.
Strawberry Shortcake Casserole
This decadent baked twist makes the classic summer dessert all the easier to serve and share. Even better, you'll be surprised just how easy it is to whip up thanks to a canned biscuit shortcake shortcut. If you find yourself tempted to skip par-baking the first layer of biscuits—resist! This step is important to creating a bottom layer that's a tender and fluffy sponge for the strawberry juices, and bypassing it will result in undercooked biscuit dough.
Easy Monkey Bread
This delectable, family-friendly monkey bread is much easier than it looks, all thanks to a secret weapon: canned biscuit dough. All you really have to do is shake the sugar and cinnamon onto the biscuits, set them in your tube pan, and stick them in the oven. The result is that gooey, sticky-sweet, monkey bread we all know and love.
Fudgy Flourless Brownies
No flour? No problem. The richest, fudgiest brownies you'll ever bake don't actually need it. The key to keeping these decadent one-pot brownies flour-free is cornstarch, and a combination of cocoa powder and melted chocolate give them their incredible chocolatey personality. The recipe calls for unsweetened natural cocoa; however, you can use Dutch processed if that's what you have on hand (the flavor will be slightly different—but still delicious). With this flourless brownie base, you truly can't go wrong—so while it's not required, we highly encourage adding your favorite mix-ins. We found that peanut butter cups take these fantastically fudgy brownies over the top (in the best way). Find more tips for baking perfect brownies in this guide.
Quick Ramen Pho
Using instant ramen as your base, the possibilities are endless. In fact, with a few additional ingredients to jazz the noodles up, you can create an ultra satisfying bowl of shortcut pho. Consider this recipe a template and use whatever you have on hand to make your own custom bowl.
Churro Ice Cream
This Churro Ice Cream sounds (and tastes) impressive, but it's super easy to make and doesn't require any special equipment like an ice cream maker—if you've got a loaf pan and a freezer, you've got everything you need. The no-churn method is great for parties or spur-of-the-moment cravings, and makes one seriously creamy dessert. It's filled with nutty, sweet, slightly, and cinnamon-rich goodness, and gets an extra kick from brown butter and bits of spice cake. We recommend serving it with chocolate syrup, like a traditional churro, but it's also great with a drizzle of dulce de leche or caramel. Or all three.