How to make simple Chocolate Sugar Cookies! These cookies bake up beautifully with defined edges (no spreading!) and the best flavor! The recipe includes my favorite easy sugar cookie icing (it’s not royal icing)!
This recipe is a richer, chocolate version of my favorite, well-loved sugar cookie recipe. I’ve included notes on how to make them thicker for those of us who love our cookies soft, and thinner for thin & crispy fans. Be sure to check out the easy how-to video just below the recipe!
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
It’s officially (chocolate) sugar cookie season!
I hope everyone had a wonderful, filling Thanksgiving surrounded by their favorite people. I also hope you are just as excited as I am about all of the Christmas baking and candy-making recipes that I have planned for the upcoming weeks. I’ve been working on so many holiday recipes, and I’m especially excited to be sharing today’s chocolate sugar cookies.
Based off my faithful original sugar cookie recipe, this is a solid, reliable cookie base that won’t spread in the oven and delivers perfect cookies every time.
Many of the tips that I shared over in my original sugar cookie recipe still apply here, but I wanted to reiterate a few regarding the thickness of your sugar cookies.
How to Make Sugar Cookies Thinner and Crispier
This may sound pretty obvious, but to make your cookies thinner and crispier all you need to do is roll your dough thinner. I’ve found that about 1/8″ is a good thickness for thin cookies that have a nice, crisp texture when they’re finished baking. Keep in mind that very thin cookies will likely need to bake for less time in the oven, so keep an eye on them (you don’t want your edges to turn too dark or it means they’ve burned!).
How to Make Sugar Cookies Thicker and Softer
Even though I just shared my 100% addictive thin & crispy Maple Leaf Cookies, thick, soft cookies have always been my preference, especially when it comes to sugar cookies. For thicker cookies, I recommend rolling your dough about 1/4″ thick. You also want to be sure that you don’t over-bake them in your oven, or they’ll be crisp when they cool. I’ve found that about 10-11 minutes is the sweet spot for my soft sugar cookies.
Make sure you let your cookies cool completely before removing them from the cookie sheet as the thicker, softer cookies are a little fragile when warm and may break if you try to move them too soon.
Tips for Making Sugar Cookie Frosting
I’ve never been a fan of royal icing. I never cared for the taste and always thought it was a pain to make, so last year I perfected a simple (egg white-free) non-royal icing frosting.
It makes for a smooth and shiny, easy to work with icing that is almost impossible to mess up. If you find that it’s too thick when you’ve mixed all of your ingredients together, you can simply add more milk (about a teaspoon at a time) until the proper consistency is reached. Conversely, if your frosting is too thin, you can add more powdered sugar until it’s thickened.
I do recommend sifting your powdered sugar if you plan on piping your frosting. Sometimes powdered sugar has clumps in it that don’t break up when you’re mixing your ingredients together, and left unsifted these can clog your piping tips while you’re decorating. There are few things as frustrating as trying to pry a pocket of sugar out of your piping tip so you don’t have to dump out the whole bag and start over!
For a non-chocolate version, be sure to check out my classic sugar cookie recipe!
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How to Make Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Be sure to check out my video at the bottom of the recipe! I actually filmed this video on how to make my original cookie recipe, but I do talk about how to make the cookies chocolate as well. I think it will still be helpful here as the technique is almost identical.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened 226g
- 1 cup sugar 200g
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract**
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour 265g
- 1/2 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder 50g
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
Sugar Cookie Frosting
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted (weigh and then sift) (375g)
- 3-4 Tablespoons milk
- 2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Additional sprinkles for decorating optional
- Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl and use an electric mixer to beat until creamy and well-combined.
- Add egg and vanilla extract and beat well.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Gradually add dry ingredients into wet until completely combined.
- Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and transfer half of the dough onto the wrap -- it will be pretty sticky!
- Cover with clear wrap and mold into a disk. Repeat with remaining cookie dough in a separate piece of cling wrap. Transfer cookie dough to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2-3 hours.
- Once dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Generously dust a clean surface with flour and place one unwrapped cookie dough disk onto the surface. Lightly flour the dough and roll out to 1/8" (for thinner, crispier cookies) or 1/4" (for thicker, softer cookies). Continue to add flour as needed both on top of and beneath the dough so that it doesn't stick.
- Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and use a spatula to transfer shapes to prepared baking sheet. If you don't intend to frost your cookies with the icing listed below, you can instead sprinkle them with sanding sugar at this point (before baking).
- Bake on 350F (175C) for 9-11 minutes (may need more time for larger or thicker cookies, or less for smaller or thinner ones).
- Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before moving and frosting.
Sugar Cookie Frosting
- Combine sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl and stir until combined. If your frosting seems too thick, add more milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is thick but pipeable. If you accidentally add too much milk, add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached.
- If coloring the frosting, divide into bowls and color as desired at this point.
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag with a piping tip (I used Wilton 5), or place in a Ziploc bag and snip a small piece of the corner off (this technique is not as neat, but this will still work, just take care that the frosting isn’t so thick that it breaks open the seam of the bag when you are squeezing).
- Pipe frosting on cookies and decorate with sprinkles, if desired.
- Allow frosting to harden before enjoying (this usually takes several hours)
- Store uneaten cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.