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Dec 18


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:


  • 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!



Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe

Yield: Approx. 35 medium sized cookies


  • 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


  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!


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  1. Mary Lee
    February 2, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Marian, thanks for another wonderful recipe! I was so impressed with how well these cookies held their shape (no rounded-over edges!). Have you had any issues with the royal icing being VERY SLOW to dry on these chocolate cookies? They seem much more moist than the regular “blonde” sugar cookies, and I wondered if that could be a factor in icing drying time. Also, have you found that icing is slow to dry when humidity is high? It was a rainy day here in Alabama when my friend and I were decorating 🙂

    • marian
      February 5, 2015 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Hi Mary Lee,
      I’m glad you like them! I haven’t had an issue, no, but I’m wondering if it was more humid than when you made the sugar cookies? Humidity definitely makes a big difference when it comes to drying time, bleeding etc.

  2. Jessica
    February 7, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    These taste like the corner pieces of a tray of brownies! They are so delicious, everyone loved them during the holidays. I made them plain for Christmas, they don’t need any icing. Making again for a Valentine cookie exchange!

    • marian
      February 9, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      So glad to hear that Jessica. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sally
    February 8, 2015 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Hi cant wait to try this recipe!!! I wanted to know how long do these cookies last? what cookie recipes do you have that last a month?

    Thank you ! 😀

  4. Jennifer
    February 8, 2015 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Hi – I need to make these ahead of time for an event. What is better to freeze the dough and then bake or bake the cookie then freeze? It would be frozen for about a week. Thanks 🙂

    • marian
      February 9, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Hi Jennifer,
      It’s up to you really. Freezing your cookies without baking them will take a little longer because you then have to bake them and wait for them to cool, but really, while you wait for them to cool you could make and color the icing. Freezing them for so long will help them keep their shape when baked too. On the other hand, if you make and freeze the cookies, you’ll be done the baking and cooling steps, and all you’ll have to do is let them thaw for about an hour or so at room temperature, and then go ahead and decorate. You could make and color your icing in that time as well.
      Hope that helps!

  5. Rabiha
    February 9, 2015 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Did you use Dutched Cocoa or Natural Cocoa?

    • marian
      February 17, 2015 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Hi Rabiha,

      I have been using natural. I like this post by Joy the Baker, which explains when to use either Dutch or natural cocoa. http://joythebaker.com/2013/10/baking-101-natural-vs-dutch-processed-cocoa-powder/

      Most choices have to do with the chemical reaction between baking soda or baking powder. I haven’t used a leavening agent in this recipe(baking soda and baking powder) due to the issue of cookies spreading too much and not holding the cookie shape well. It would seem that besides flavour and colour (Dutch usually being darker), either cocoa could be used. I will definitely experiment in the next few months and see and would be interested to hear how it goes for you.

  6. Kristen
    February 16, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    Made these last week for valentine’s day. Well received by my co workers and myself. Super easy and not a sticky dough. I love that I did not have to keep the dough refrigerated. This will be my go to chocolate cut out cookie recipe.

    • marian
      February 17, 2015 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Great to hear Kristen!

  7. Elizabeth
    February 16, 2015 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m baking them now. They smell really good, but the tops look different than yours. They look, however, more like brownies than cookies. Any advice or tips?

  8. Purple
    February 24, 2015 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I just tried this recipe but halved it because I didn’t want to make too much in case they didn’t turn out well. I’m now regretting doing that because OMG, these cookies taste delicious!!! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, this is perfect! I only chilled the dough for 10 minutes before baking and they still did not spread at all, they baked flat and perfect, just what I’ve been looking for! Baked for 14 minutes because I like my cookies to be a bit crisp. These are soooo good! Can’t wait to use these for decorating. Thanks again so much, can’t stop raving about these cookies!

  9. Julie Moodler
    April 14, 2015 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Can you use Hersey coco in this recipe?

  10. Kristina H.
    May 21, 2015 at 12:22 am | Permalink

    I made these today, and I just wanted to say that they’re exactly what I was looking for in a chocolate sugar cookie. The dough was easy to work with, they held their shape in baking perfectly, and the taste/texture is just right. I was afraid I’d messed them up because I had to leave the dough overnight, at room temperature, but they are marvelous. Thank you for the recipe!

  11. lourdes
    June 8, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi there, would sweetened ghirardeli baking cocoa be ok to use for this recipe?

  12. Alisson
    June 25, 2015 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    Me ha encantado éste receta !!, la verdad pensé que era mucha cocoa, pero oh!! sorpresa, las galletas saben deliciosas, está receta será de mis favoritas, muchas gracias por compartir… 🙂 🙂

  13. Nylah
    June 30, 2015 at 8:21 pm | Permalink


    I have been looking for an awesome chocolate sugar cookie recipe for some time now and I am soooooo glad to have found one. This cookie recipe was the bomb. I did make a few changes however…. instead of butter I used margarine, I used my hand mixer to incorporate all the dry ingredients with the exception of 1 cup of flour (which I mixed in by hand). My batter was a bit sticky, but nothing some refrigeration didn’t cure. I rolled out on parchment after making the dough, allowed it to set for 1 lhour, cut out the shapes, chilled and baked. The cookies, according to my son, were “EPIC”. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Melissa
    September 15, 2015 at 3:33 am | Permalink

    Hey, I haven’t tried these yet but i intend to do so very soon. Is it possible for me to replace the cocoa with melted chocolate? If so, how much would you recommend?


  15. Sammy
    November 20, 2015 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    How many grams is 2 cups of butter?

  16. Missy D
    November 20, 2015 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I am intrigued by your chocolate cut out cookies. I am ready to tackle these babies this weekend. Any recommendations of frosting/icing? I am not a fan of Royal Icing. For my regular cut out cookies I use powdered sugar, almond extract, corn syrup and milk/water. I ‘paint’ the cookies and let them dry. The chocolate cookies look intimidating and I don’t think my standard icing will work on chocolate. Have any ideas? Thanks –

  17. Laura
    November 28, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Are you able to freeze the chocolate sugar cookies after baking? If so, for how long? I was hoping to freeze about 4 days before decorating. Thanks ☺️

  18. Michelle
    November 28, 2015 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

    I really liked these cookies, but for my taste they were a little bitter. Could I use some confectioner’s sugar as part of the cocoa? I am not sure I would ever find sweetened cocoa powder in my area.

    • marian
      November 29, 2015 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      The cocoa powder you use does make a difference. If you can’t find one you like, yes, try mixing with some confectioner’s sugar to sweeten the cocoa powder up.

  19. Kristeen
    November 30, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Has anyone tried brown sugar instead of white? Just wondering if they would turn out the same. Thanks so much!

    • Cynthia
      December 1, 2015 at 4:15 am | Permalink

      As far as I know, brown sugar leads to a soft and chewy cookie instead of a crunchy one.

  20. November 30, 2015 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    I’m not trying to question someone so knowledgable, but 1.5 c of flour? Did I read that right? Also: are these soft, or crunchy? Thanks!

    • DANEAN
      December 1, 2015 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      It’s 4 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups of cocoa powder

  21. Amanda
    December 1, 2015 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    My son has a milk allergy. Can I substitute shortening (with a little bit of water) instead of the butter and still have a good cookie?

    • Kristin
      December 6, 2015 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      You can use Fleischmann unsalted it’s dairy free my son is anafalactic to dairy and we use it

  22. Samina
    December 2, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Is it possible to get the ingredients in grams please?

  23. Morgan
    December 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    i am making these for a class party, is there any way to make these without cocoa powder to make them vanilla or will that cause an issue in the baking

  24. Katelyn
    December 4, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Just wondering if I wanted to add some other flavor extracts, like peppermint, would I need to tone back on another liquid or would it be okay to just add in?

    • marian
      December 5, 2015 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Hi Katelyn,
      If you’re not adding too much, it would be okay to just add it in.

  25. Dee
    December 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Have you ever frozen the dough or frozen baked cookies from this recipe? And if so, did it affect taste or texture? What’s an acceptable length of time to keep frozen. I love these cookies and am trying to get a head start on holiday baking.

  26. Cassidy
    December 7, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi there, I have a question about the mixing. I don’t own a stand mixer, however I have an electric mixer but no paddle attachment either. Would it be best to use the electric mixer or just try to do it by hand? Thanks!

    • Kymmie
      February 17, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Find turned out just fine with the handmixer, but I did it very slowly and at one point I ended up just mixing it with a large spoon.

  27. Tabatha
    December 10, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Does this dough Freeze well? I am looking to make all of my cookie dough next Friday just before Christmas and bake them off the day before. Thank you!

    • marian
      December 10, 2015 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Hi Tabatha,
      Yes it freezes well. Happy baking!

  28. Jamie
    December 12, 2015 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    I made these today, and they are perfect. I wanted to make a cookie that I could gift as a gift. I wanted them to be large enough that I didn’t have to make a zillion of them. I followed the recipe and they came out perfect. I am not a big chocolate eater, but these taste really good.

  29. Jamie Nondorf
    December 14, 2015 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    I was wondering if you could tell us what kind of cocoa powder you prefer when making these cookies.


  30. Tamarah
    December 14, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Can the dough be rolled into a log, frozen then sliced and baked? Thank you

  31. Cassandra Kent
    December 16, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely amazing! We bake large amounts of cookies every year. We followed this recipe exact. Do not change a thing! PERFECT. They hold shape perfectly. They are hard enough on the outside to decorate and chewy in the center. They taste similar to a brownie. Absolutely delicious. My only recommendation is to handle with care until they are cooked completely. Thank you for sharing this!

  32. Holiday baker
    December 19, 2015 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Made these tonight. Followed recipe exactly. They. Are. Spectacular! Batter is super easy to manipulate, even over and over again. My only disappointment is that I didn’t double the recipe! My new favorites! Thank you!

  33. shelly
    December 20, 2015 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    These are the best cookies!this will be the 3rd year that I am making them and everyone loves them. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  34. ruth kape
    January 6, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    can i use margarine instead of butter? in equal parts? thanks

    • January 6, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      Hi Ruth,

      I’m sorry, I haven’t tried that. From what I’ve found with other recipes, generally using margarine instead of butter doesn’t work out the same.

  35. Tanya
    January 7, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Question do we need baking soda or powder in this recipe and is it a Harday cookie?

    • Tanya
      January 7, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Hard cookies not Harday lol sorry

    • marian
      January 7, 2016 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Hi Tanya,
      I take the levening agent out so the cookie doesn’t spread. It doesn’t end up being a hard cookie unless it’s overbaked.

  36. Shilpa
    January 15, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Hi, PLZ tell substitute for egg. We don’t eat egg.

  37. Carol
    January 22, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    This recipe is delicious! Now I need a great tasting sugar cookie that also holds its shape as I’m making molded cookies. Would it work to simply substitute more flour in place of the cocoa? Or do you have an equally fab recipe? Thank you!!

    • Laura
      February 14, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      I was wondering the same thing. All the recipes on the site look yummy, but this chocolate one has no equals. The cookies are perfectly fudgy inside, yet maintain a little hard shell on the outside. Now we need a white version of it. Which one out of your recipes should we choose?

    • marian
      August 12, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Hi Carol,

      My sugar cookie recipe is in the recipe section of my blog if you like. xo

    • marian
      August 12, 2016 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Hi Carol,

      My sugar cookie recipe is in the recipe section of my blog if you like. It seems to be a favorite for many. xo

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Vegan Chocolate Sugar Cookies

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