Add a new twist to a confectionery classic with this quick and easy recipe for Chocolate Sugar Cookies that can be cut out into endless shapes and sizes.
Hey there, The Best Cutout Sugar Cookies! Ready to meet your dessert match? Soft, chewy Chocolate Sugar Cookies have arrived! And they’re every bit as easy to mix, roll, cut and re-roll as their vanilla counterpart.
Whether it’s the holiday cookie season or just a we-need-cookies-ASAP situation, sugar cookies are often my go-to because the decorating options are endless. And endless decorating options = a dessert that can be made festive for any occasion with a few shakes of some sprinkles.
I’ve kept this batch’s toppings the good ol’ classic vanilla buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles, but I was almost swayed into showering a batch with a douse of confectioners’ sugar. There’s just something about the simplicity of a chocolate cookie paired with powdered sugar that hits all the dessert high notes in my book.
But perhaps the sweetest part of these coco-rific cookies is that they can be cut out into any shape imaginable without spreading too much during the baking process.
And if you’re ever laying awake at night wondering, “But Kelly, how do I make sure my cookie dough is rolled out evenly?” Then I am so glad you asked! Check out this super nifty trick to ensure every batch of cookie dough gets rolled to the exact same thickness.
Circles, stars, hearts—the options are plentiful! Just make sure you adjust the baking time based on the size of the cookies you are making. As we’ve learned in the past, it is always better to underbake cookies and then let them sit on the still-hot-from-the-oven baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
Enough of the chit-chat, am I right? Let’s get to it! Grab the cocoa powder and preheat your oven for soft, chewy and endlessly festive Chocolate Sugar Cookies!
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- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- Frosting and sprinkles, for decorating (See Kelly's Notes)
- In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set the mixture aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition, then add the vanilla extract and continue beating, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the flour mixture and beat until the dough is smooth. Divide the dough in half then roll each half in between two sheets of parchment paper or wax paper until they are about 1/4-inch thick. Slide the sheets of dough onto baking sheets (with the parchment paper) and refrigerate them for a minimum of 2 hours and up to overnight. (The refrigeration prevents the dough from spreading when baked, so don’t skip this step!)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove the sheets of dough from the fridge and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes, arranging them about 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes until they are firm around the edges. Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets until you transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired with frosting and sprinkles or a dusting of confectioners' sugar.
- The scraps can be re-rolled and cut out, however they may need to be refrigerated again.
- Need decorating inspiration? Check out my recipe for the best Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting!
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Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking.
Is the cocoa natural or dutch-processed?
Can you chill the dough then form in small balls before baking rather than rolling and cutting?
Since I don’t have much counter space for rolling out cookie dough, I like to form dough into a log(s) and, wrap in wax paper, and chill thoroughly. Then if I don’t want to bake all of the dough at once, I’ll freeze part and then use thread or dental floss to “slice” the dough and bake as directed. Works great for slicing cinnamon roll dough too!
Great advice, Linda! Thanks so much for your comment :)