This is an interesting post about tweaking the sugar in recipes.
"Can I reduce the sugar?"
You can do whatever you like in your own kitchen.... but do so knowing there will likely be consequences!
Baking is truly a science. Alter or change one ingredient, and the entire result can change drastically.
In this experiment, we took my favorite Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookie recipe and altered the amount of sugar. The 100% sugar cookie in the middle is the control, AKA the original recipe as written.
The cookie on the left has half the amount of sugar. The cookie on the right has additional sugar.
Clearly, sugar does a whole lot more than sweeten the taste. It adds moisture and tenderizes, assists in leavening when creamed with butter, assists in browning and caramelization, and helps to extend shelf life!
The reduced sugar cookies spread the least and had the driest, crumbliest texture. The increased sugar cookies spread the most (sugar liquefies in the heat of the oven) and were SUPER moist and chewy with an almost candy-like taste and texture.
Ideally, well-crafted recipes balance the sugar required to produce a great texture with other ingredients to produce a balanced flavor.
My advice? If you want or need to reduce sugar in recipes, take the time to make the recipe as originally written first to understand the intended taste and texture. Then begin lowering the sugar in small increments. Reducing too much sugar can result in a bland, dry product.