Brown-Eyed Susan Cookies

Brown-Eyed Susan Cookies

The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Chill: 60 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 24 cookies
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
241 Calories
15g Fat
24g Carbs
3g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 241
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 19%
Saturated Fat 9g 44%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 59mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 60mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These delicious thumbprint butter cookies are topped with a chocolate candy, making them look similar to brown-eyed Susan flowers, hence the name. Portions of the simple cookie batter—made with butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and flour—are rolled into balls, placed on the baking sheet, and then topped with chocolate candies partway through baking. In this recipe, a chocolate kiss is used to push the dough ball flat while on the baking sheet.

"Making these cookies couldn’t be simpler. The dough comes together quickly with a few pantry staples and is super easy to work with. The tender cookie is lightly sweetened to pair perfectly with the sweet, melty chocolate kiss. Bake the cookies on the middle rack to prevent the tips of each chocolate from browning." —Kayla Hoang

Brown-Eyed Susan Cookies Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

  • 2 dozen milk-chocolate candy kisses, or use a similar chocolate candy, unwrapped

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Brown-Eyed Susan Cookies ingredients

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, and salt.

    butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt in a bowl, hand mixer

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

  3. Stir in the flour. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

    dough in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

  4. Heat the oven to 400 F. Shape the cookie dough into 1-inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet.

    cookie dough balls on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

  5. Bake for 6 minutes, remove baking sheet from oven, and quickly press one kiss into the center of each cookie.

    chocolate chips on top of dough balls on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

  6. Return to the oven to bake for 2 to 4 minutes, until cookie is light golden and chocolate is soft.

    Brown-Eyed Susan Cookies on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

  7. Cool cookies on the pan for 2 minutes, then transfer individual cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container with waxed paper or parchment paper between the layers.

    Brown-Eyed Susan Cookies on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Abby Mercer

Recipe Variation

You may come across other recipes for brown-eyed Susan cookies where the chocolate candy is melted and spread onto the cookie, or instead of a chocolate candy, the center is filled with chocolate frosting.

Cookie Lingo

In addition to the flavors and ingredients, cookies are distinguished by how the dough is used, whether it is simply spooned onto the baking sheet or molded into a shape. Thumbprint cookies are considered a type of molded cookie, where the dough is shaped by hand into a ball and then flattened with an indent in the center. Molded cookies can also be rolled into logs or crescents, as well as other shapes. Drop cookies, also known as scooped cookies, are the most basic type of cookie to make. Using a tablespoon or teaspoon—or a cookie dough scoop, which is like a mini ice cream scoop—the batter is dropped onto the prepared pan and then baked.

Another easy cookie method is the slice-and-bake cookie. The dough is formed into a log, chilled, and then sliced into rounds. Each round is placed on the baking sheet to result in a circle-shaped cookie. To use cookie cutters to create different shapes, you need to make a rolled dough; the cookie dough is rolled out using a rolling pin and then cut into shapes using cookies cutters or a knife. You can also make decoratively shaped cookies, called pressed cookies or spritz cookies, with a cookie press or pastry tube; the dough is pushed through resulting in intricately detailed cookies.

If you don't have time to make individual cookies, then bar cookies are the answer. The dough is spread in a rectangular or square pan and baked; it is then cut into bars, hence their name. Most drop cookie recipes can be baked as bar cookies.