Chocolate Sugar Cookies
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These chocolate sugar cookies are easy to roll, cut, and bake! They have a rich, chocolatey flavor and soft, chewy texture. Decorate with royal icing or enjoy as-is.
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe:
A bittersweet spin on a classic, chocolate sugar cookies are everything you want in a sugar cookie with an indulgent chocolatey taste!
- Shape – They hold their shape in the oven without spreading too much. Christmas tree blobs just won’t do!
- Texture – They have a soft, buttery texture with crisp edges.
- Flavor – A rich, chocolatey taste! Dutch-processed cocoa powder provides a deep, dark color and smooth chocolate flavor.
While taste is crucial for a good cookie recipe, simplicity is important too! Once chilled, the cookie dough is firm enough to roll and cut with ease.
Chocolate cut out cookies are perfect for the holidays! I use them to make ghosts around Halloween and stars at Christmas.
Key Ingredient Notes:
- All-purpose flour – For the most accurate results, I recommend a kitchen scale. If you don’t have one, use the spoon and level method to measure your flour. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup, then use the flat edge of a butter knife to level it off.
- Dutch-processed cocoa powder – You can find Dutch cocoa right near natural cocoa in the baking aisle. Hershey’s sells it and refers to it as dark cocoa powder. It imparts an intense, smooth, and dark chocolatey flavor!
- Sugar & brown sugar – A combination of white and brown sugar provides the perfect amount of sweetness and spread!
- Unsalted butter – Be sure to buy unsalted butter, so the cookies don’t taste salty!
- Vanilla – You won’t know it’s in there, but it enhances the flavor of the chocolate.
How to make this recipe:
1. Prepare the dough
- Mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Alternatively, you can use a large bowl and a hand mixer!
- Add the butter and mix until the mixture is evenly moistened, about one minute.
- Add the egg and vanilla, then mix until just combined, about 30 seconds.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Place each ball of dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll each dough out into a 1/4-inch thick discs.
Place the dough-filled parchment paper onto a silicone mat before you roll it. The mat prevents the parchment from moving around!
- Refrigerate the rolled out cookie dough for 30 minutes. Firm cookie dough is easier to cut and transfer!
2. Shape and bake the cookies:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Parchment paper prevents sticking!
- Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out the cookies and place them on the prepared baking sheets. Chill for at least 5 minutes before baking.
Chilling the cookies before you bake them prevents them from spreading in the oven.
- Gather the scraps of dough, form them into a ball, and roll out as directed above. Repeat this process until all the dough is used.
- Bake the cookies for 10 to 13 minutes, or until the edges turn a light golden brown.
- Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan for at least 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for Success:
- Don’t overmix. Overmixing cookie dough creates a flat and chewy cookie! Mix until well incorporated, then stop.
- Chill the chocolate cookie dough! Warm cookie dough is difficult to work with. As it’s handled, the butter inside of it warms up and it gets stickier. Chilling the cookie dough makes rolling, cutting, and transferring the cookies much easier.
- Chill the cookies after you shape them, for at least 5 minutes or more if possible. Chilling the cookies right before you bake them prevents any spreading and promotes clean lines/shapes.
- Let the cookies cool on the sheet pan. Do not transfer hot cookies! Cookies set up as they cool, so give them 5 minutes before you move them.
Decorating with Royal Icing:
Then, flood the cookies with more icing. I use the same consistency of royal icing for outline and flooding, but in separate piping bags with different size of holes.
- This chocolate sugar cookie recipe is freezer-friendly! You can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it until you’re ready to roll, cut, and bake.
- Separate the cookie dough into two balls and flatten into thick, round discs. Place the discs in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Thaw the cookie dough in the refrigerator overnight, then let the cookie dough sit on the counter until it’s firm and cold, but soft enough to roll out with a rolling pin.
- Store chocolate cut out cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Freeze them in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag for up to 3 months. After that, you risk freezer burn and an unpleasant taste.
- Thaw the cookies on the counter for at least an hour before enjoying!
Overbaking the cookies! An overbaked cookie will cool into a hard, crispy cookie. When you remove cookies from the oven, they should look golden brown on the edges and underbaked in the middle. Cookies set up as they cool and the middle will firm up into a soft and chewy cookie.
Butter cookies have a higher ratio of butter to flour! This ratio gives them a rich, buttery texture. Sugar cookies are slightly sweeter and contain more flour, which makes them easier to roll and cut.
Yes, sugar cookies are easier to roll, cut, and transfer when the cookie dough is cold. Warm cookie dough sticks to surfaces, making it difficult to work with.
More Cookie Recipes:
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- 1½ cups (190 g) all-purpose flour Note 1
- ½ cup (40 g) unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder Note 2
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 1 ½ sticks (170 g) unsalted butter
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- stand mixer with the paddle attachment
- Rolling Pin
- baking sheets
To prepare the dough:
- In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, mix flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add butter and mix until the mixture is evenly moistened, about a minute.
- Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Place each dough ball between 2 parchment sheets and roll it out into a 1/4-inch thick disc. (TIP: Place the dough with parchment paper on a silicone mat to roll it out, so it stays in place. And this adjustable rolling pin is really nice for rolling out even dough.)
- Refrigerate the rolled out dough for 15-30 minutes to firm it up. (You can also put the dough in the freezer to expedite the process.)
To shape and bake cookies:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment papers, or silicone mats.
- Using cookie cutters, cut out the cookies and arrange them on the prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate the cookies for at least 5 minutes before baking.
- Gather the scraps of dough, roll out and then chill before cutting more cookies. repeat until all the dough is used.
- Bake the cookies for 10-13 minutes, or until the edges start to turn a light golden color.
- Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
Tips & Notes
– Store chocolate cut out cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
– Freeze them in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag for up to 3 months. After that, you risk freezer burn and an unpleasant taste.
– Thaw the cookies on the counter for at least an hour before enjoying!