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Dec 18

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Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe {Cut Out Cookies}

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This new recipe has been a looong time coming, and I’m so excited to share it with you! Batches and batches of experimentation – playing with flour and delicious cocoa powder amounts, some input from readers over the years (especially Marina who tried a similar version of my sugar cookies – thank you!), and finally, the yummiest chocolate sugar cookie recipe!

I was happy to put the final touches on the recipe for Go Bold With Butter, a must-see baking and savoury recipe resource for those serious about all-natural ingredients and excellent buttery taste. You can find my chocolate sugar cookie recipe here as well, and enjoy all the other mouth watering recipes there!

I have a few notes to share with you about baking cookies in general as well:

Notes:

  • One of the reasons I experimented with this recipe so much, is that I wanted to find the best ratio of butter to flour etc., to create the perfect cut out cookie which holds its shape. This one definitely does, but no matter what recipe you use, these tips on how to prevent cookies from spreading are important to know.
  • Use the best quality ingredients you can. The cocoa powder will make a big difference in the final taste of your cookies.

Enjoy baking and nibbling on decorating these!

xo,

Marian

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe

Yield: Approx. 35 medium sized cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed (Use a paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated – for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more. Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough. If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape.
  2. Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.
  3. Add liquid vanilla extract. Stir briefly.
  4. Sift your dry ingredients together. (Flour, cocoa powder and salt).
  5. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won’t escape. Mix on low speed for 3o seconds. Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it’s ready. It’s also important at this stage not to over mix the dough.
  6. Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
  7. Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
  8. Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. They will then hold their shape better when baked.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.
  10. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the center of the cookie no longer looks wet. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.
  11. Let cookies cool to room temperature and decorate!
http://sweetopia.net/2013/12/chocolate-sugar-cookie-recipe-cut-out-cookies/

 

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381 Comments

  1. Paige
    October 26, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink
    278

    I was wondering if you can use the Hershey’s “Special Dark” cocoa powder. The difference is that the Special Dark is dutch chocolate.

    • Carrie
      March 6, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
      332

      I’ve used both the Special Dark and regular cocoas and both batches came out perfectly!

  2. Heather
    November 26, 2017 at 8:12 pm | Permalink
    279

    My dough was completely awful. It was runny like brownie batter.. not good cookie dough at all. I’m not sure what went wrong, but I’ve baked dozens of batches of vanilla cookie dough and was hoping this would be a good recipe to try for my kids, but it was terrible.

    • November 27, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink
      280

      Hi Heather,
      I’m sorry to hear that. With all due respect, something must have been off in your measurements, the dough is not runny.

    • Anna
      December 5, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Permalink
      287

      I just made this and mine wasn’t right either. It was not runny but there was no way that I could roll it out. The dough does taste delicious though as I’m eating it on my kitchen floor while drinking champagne. Heartbroken because I was excited to make these.

    • marian
      December 16, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink
      296

      Hi Heather,
      Perhaps it’s the measurements or the butter quality? Baking can be finicky and like a science. If I try new cookie recipes and the dough is too sticky, I just add flour until I like the texture. Glad you liked the taste and hope the baking experience is better next time!

    • Danyel
      December 23, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink
      305

      This is the BEST. My go to recipe and always requested by family members. Love the way the dough holds its shape! Also it is worth it to go for the more expensive dutch cocoa. Thanks so much for this amazing recipe!

    • Kathy B
      January 2, 2018 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
      314

      Perhaps your butter was not at room temperature but melted. That would probably cause it to be runny.

  3. Rebecca Rodriguez-Teater
    November 27, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink
    281

    I was wondering if this recipe is firm enough to use house cutouts as if to make a gingerbread house? If not, what would I change to make a more solid/firm cookie. Not a big fan of gingerbread, but these cookies are similar in color so I thought maybe I could try to make a house using this recipe?

    Thanks!

    • Robin Robertson Stammer
      November 30, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink
      283

      I too am interested in finding out if this would work for a gingerbread house.

    • reevadrind
      December 6, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink
      289

      I just made my first two batches. They came out beautifully and taste amazing. The cookies I have are very fragile. I can’t imagine making a house out of these.

  4. Jennifer hughes
    November 30, 2017 at 2:21 am | Permalink
    282

    what brand of Coca powder did you find to be best for these cookies?

    • Kathy B
      January 2, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink
      315

      I used the Rodelle Organic Baking Cocoa (Dutch Processed) that I purchased at Costco. The flavor cannot be beat and the smell is simply heaven. It’s very dark chocolate looking.

  5. November 30, 2017 at 10:19 pm | Permalink
    284

    I just finished making these cookies and they turned out beautifully! The first batch was almost eaten by the Kids before the second batch was out of the oven! I’ll definitely be saving this recipe to use again! Thanks!!

  6. Tina
    December 3, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink
    285

    Best cookies to hold shape and the flavour is wonderful. I use best quality cacao over cocoa powder. Much better.

    There’s no way on the planet that the dough is runny. You should triple check your measurements if this dough is runny…… you’ve made an error.

    This is my go to recipe for chocolate sugar cookies. The best.

  7. Marni
    December 4, 2017 at 12:18 am | Permalink
    286

    I made these as part of my cookie extravaganza I make every holiday for the fam. I have never made a chocolate sugar cookie…no idea why? This recipe is going in my recipe roster though. They were one of the best sugar cookies I have ever made! Thank you a million times for this one!

    • marian
      December 16, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink
      295

      Glad to hear it Marni! Merry Christmas!

  8. December 5, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink
    288

    Made these tonight – they are amazing! What a fun twist for a shaped sugar cookie!

  9. Kim Marvin
    December 10, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink
    290

    Want to try these. I’ve read a lot of sugar cookie recipes that have cream cheese in them. Have you tried adding cream cheese to these cookies? If so, how much would you add?

    • marian
      December 16, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink
      294

      Hi Kim,
      I’m sorry, I haven’t tried them with cream cheese. If you do, I’d love to hear about the results! Happy baking!

  10. April
    December 10, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink
    291

    Made these today and they were amazing.. smells and tastes just like brownies.. the batter wasn’t thin at all but the perfect thickness for rolling out.. I rolled them out pretty thick and they cooked up just perfect and would be perfect for a replacement to gingerbread for a house.. will be making these again.. wish I could post a pic!!

  11. Nicole
    December 10, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink
    292

    I’m excited to try these cookies! I was wondering though if you put icing on these or if you just leave them as is?

    • marian
      December 30, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink
      312

      Hi Nicole, sorry for the delayed response, just saw your comment now. I have served them as is, but mostly I decorate them with royal icing. Delicious either way, I just love decorating.

    • Carrie
      March 6, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink
      333

      I’m not a huge fan of hard royal icing myself, so I use a higher quality buttercream-style fondant (e.g., Fondarific) or modeling chocolate to decorate these and it tastes wonderful – the perfect amount of sweetness to complement the slight bitterness of chocolate.

  12. Kathi
    December 11, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink
    293

    Hi I don’t see a recommended thickness for rolling out the dough. How theck do recommend for cutting out the cookies?

  13. Lauren
    December 18, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink
    298

    This is the best recipe ever. I made it last year and the cookies were such a hit I am making them again. It’s fool proof. Your instructions were spot on. They really keep their shape. It’s amazing and so delicious. THANK YOU!

    • marian
      December 19, 2017 at 8:26 pm | Permalink
      299

      Wonderful to hear Lauren, glad you like them!

  14. Kris
    December 19, 2017 at 9:38 pm | Permalink
    300

    I made these tonight. They are the best cookies ever, and they’re not even frosted yet!

  15. Tiffany
    December 20, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink
    301

    I am really confused how anyone came out with a runny product, this dough is so thick that it bent my whisk attachment on my Kitchen Aid (my fault, should have used the paddle, thats what I get for being lazy). The dough tasted absolutely delicious! I am going to bake the cookies today, I let the dough hang out in the fridge overnight which of course has caused it to be even more firm. I will likely let it sit out for a little bit to allow it to get more pliable. For those reading about the runny results, dont let that deter you, something had to have gone wrong with their measurements. I can tell by the dough consistency that these are going to make a beautiful cutout cookie.

  16. Jonathan Plumb
    December 21, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink
    302

    I made a half batch of these a few weeks ago and used Green and Black’s organic cocoa. I rolled them out 1/4 inch thick. They looked beautiful and tasted fantastic! I have already transferred this recipe to my “favourites” recipe book. I’m planning to make more this weekend and will decorate the snowflake shapes with royal icing, sanding sugar and silver dragees. Thanks for all your work in perfecting this recipe!

    • marian
      December 30, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink
      313

      Wonderful to hear, thank you Jonathan!

  17. Samantha
    December 22, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink
    303

    I made these last Christmas and I’m making them again now! They are great for cutouts, but I don’t know about a house (mine were soft but chewy like brownies). My little girl can’t wait to decorate them with me again!

  18. Jonathan Plumb
    December 22, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink
    304

    Just made another half-batch today, which yielded about 42 4″ snowflakes. Again, everything worked out perfectly. I decorated some with Royal Icing, sanding sugar and silver dragees. See my Instagram posting, jdpb82, for a look if you’d like.

  19. Lori O’Leary
    December 23, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Permalink
    306

    These are the best. The cookie I’ve always dreamed of. None have ever been chocolatey enough. These are like unfrosted Oreos. I can’t stop eating them! Thank you!!!

    • marian
      December 30, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
      311

      Yay! Glad to hear it!

  20. Robbie
    December 24, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink
    307

    I made these with my girls last night. We chilled them overnight and plan to bake and decorate them today. When I pulled the dough out it is rock hard! I am hoping that it softens up and will be just fine – any tips on softening hard dough quickly? Also, did I chill it too long maybe?

    • marian
      December 30, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
      310

      Hi Robbie,
      Yes chilling makes dough hard, but it should soften enough to cut in about 15 mins. I actually like cutting my cookies when the dough is cold, I find it easier to cut them (except for small, skinny pieces on detailed cookie cutters, for those I wait until the dough is warmer). After the pieces are cut, if I have time I’ll chill them again until they harden… they keep their shape better when baked that way.

  21. December 29, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink
    308

    I’ve made this recipe for the past three years and it turns out great every time. I do have a question – could I bake the cookies and then freeze before using royal icing to decorate? I have an event coming up, but I’m not sure I’ll have enough time to bake and then decorate in one weekend 100 football jersey cookies for my son’s banquet! I’m hoping to bake/freeze one weekend and decorate the next.

    Thanks in advance for any guidance!

    • marian
      December 30, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink
      309

      Hi Becky,
      Yes I’ve done that before! Happy decorating!

  22. Kathy B
    January 2, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink
    316

    So I was making cookies to decorate for Christmas and a friend was going to help me decorate them. I had three recipes I was making. This recipe was my third type of sugar cookies. I made the dough and placed it between two sheets of parchment paper and rolled it out. I put it in the freezer to chill for a while. Then I found out my friend needed to postpone. Since things are crazy anyway before Christmas, I left the dough in the freezer where it stayed for a week (and broke into three pieces). I took it out once and let it soften and patched it back up (no big deal) and put it back in the freezer. Several days later I took it out and let it soften a while (didn’t take long). By now it’s already New Years and this cookie dough was so easy to work with, smelled fantastic, looked great and tasted delicious. I really believe this is going to be my “go-to” recipe for cut out cookies. Wonderful! I love them just plain. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • marian
      January 17, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink
      323

      Yay! Great to hear Kathy! I’m so glad you liked them! 🙂

  23. January 5, 2018 at 12:28 am | Permalink
    317

    I wanted to do a version of a candy cane for my granddaugther’s birthday since her name starts with a J making a regular sugar cookie twisted with a chocolate sugar cookie but decided the cutout of this would be better. Instead of vanilla can I use almond or caramel extract?

    • marian
      January 17, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink
      322

      Hi Kathi, yes, sure! Please let me know how you like the flavour!

  24. Judy
    January 6, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink
    318

    Can’t wait to try these. I would like to know what brand/type of cocoa powder you used Marian, and others who already made them. Thanks

    • Kathy B.
      January 6, 2018 at 11:54 pm | Permalink
      319

      I used Rodelle Organics, Organic Baking Cocoa (Dutch Processed) that I purchased at Costco. This gave them a fantastic rich chocolate taste and smell.

  25. Meg
    January 14, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink
    320

    Thank you for sharing your recipe! I’m just beginning my royal icing cookie decorating hobby and trying to learn all I can. Funny, but I was actually more worried to make the cut-outs than I was to decorate them (my mistake!)

    These cookies were amazing—no spreading, and absolutely delicious! My husband said they are his new favorite cookie.

    I definitely need a lot more royal icing practice though—I need to learn the consistency tricks (so thanks for all the help with that, too.)

    I’ll try again next week—Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Practice, practice, practice! ❤️

    • marian
      January 17, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink
      321

      Hi Meg, that’s wonderful to hear! Have fun practicing!

  26. Kimberling James
    January 25, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink
    324

    What icing recipe do you use on your chocolate cookie cutout? Can’t wait to try! Thank you!

    • marian
      January 30, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Permalink
      325

      Usually royal icing, which is in my recipe section. Happy baking and decorating!

  27. April
    February 3, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink
    326

    Can I make the dough and then roll it out tomorrow if I store it in a air tight container?

    • marian
      February 4, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink
      327

      Hi April,
      Yes you can.
      I roll mine out, cover, then put in fridge overnight.

  28. Alex
    February 9, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink
    328

    Could you sub in hot chocolate mix for the cocoa powder? Should I adjust the sugar if so? I’d like to use the abuelita nestle hot chocolate 🙂

    • marian
      February 9, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink
      329

      Hi Alex,
      I haven’t tried that one, so am not 100% sure, but I’m guessing that it would work. I would hold off on adding the full amount of flour at first. For example, just add four cups of the flour, mix, and then see if is a wet dough, then add the 5th cup of flour. If it still is a wet dough then add more flour than the recipe calls for.

      I’m also guessing the flavour might not be as intense as a cocoa powder. Please let me know how it goes, I would love to know! Thanks!

  29. Sarah
    February 10, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink
    330

    This recipe tastes fantastic! I’d recommend either rolling it out to the desired thickness before refrigerating or let it warm up a bit after removing it from the fridge to roll it out. It is almost impossible to roll directly out of the fridge. Beautiful consistency and amazing flavour! Will be my go to for chocolate sugar cookies!

  30. Bobye
    February 12, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink
    331

    I noticed that there is no baking power or baking soda in this recepe. I made them as written. They did not lose their shape and are very dense. I did use the “Special Dark Coco” and they are very chocolate. The dough was sticky. Rolled it out between 2 pieces of parchment paper and chilled and the cut out cookie came off the parchment easily.

  31. Maria
    April 9, 2018 at 11:14 am | Permalink
    334

    Hi
    Thank you for sharing your recipe. May i ask why it doesn’t contain baking powder or baking soda?

    • marian
      April 16, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink
      335

      Hi Maria,
      I take the levening agent out to prevent the cookies from spreading. Still taste good and they hold their shape better!

  32. Peggy Chesnutt
    July 1, 2018 at 3:24 pm | Permalink
    336

    Where do I start? I made these for the first time and I followed you recipe EXACTLY…..except we have to eat gluten free in our home, so I used my fantastic cup for cup flour and they came out PERFECT!! I still have tears in my eyes. From another recipe I have an almost exact copy of Oreo filling. For the 1st time in 15 years I had a gluten free oreo that tasted like the original. Such a fantastic chocolate taste, they are great without icing. So if you have any questions about can these be made GF….YES, yes they can. Thank you for this gift.

    • Kathy B
      July 3, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink
      337

      Awesome!!! So happy, my niece is also GF so it’s nice to know.

    • July 6, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink
      338

      Hi Peggy,

      Happiness! I’m so glad to hear it!! Would you mind sharing what GF flour you used for other readers please?

  33. Peggy Chesnutt
    July 6, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink
    339

    The GF flour blend I rely on for everything is from Kate Chan’s website glutenfreegobsmacked. Here is a link
    http://www.glutenfreegobsmacked.com/my-gf-flour-blend/
    And if anyone wants to turn your perfect chocolaty cookies into an oreo I used the recipe for the filling from Annalise G. Roberts Gluten free Baking the Classics. And so we have gained a few pounds after eating too many of these cookies!!! Beware.

  34. Peggy Chesnutt
    July 6, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink
    340

    I forgot the most important part of the gluten free flour. You have to use Authentic Foods superfine rice flours. It makes ALL the difference. No other flour will give you the result.

    • marian
      July 7, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink
      341

      Thanks so much Peggy!

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