Chocolate Sugar Cookies are a delicious twist on a traditional sugar cookie, with a soft texture and rich, chocolatey flavor. Every bite is perfectly sweet, chewy, and wonderful.
These 3-inch rounds are a simple drop cookie – no rolling, no chilling, no cutting. Easy! Full of chocolate flavor, with slightly crisp edges and a tender middle, they’re sweet, but not overly, with a nice chew and sugar-crusted crackled surface. We just love them.
Chocolate Sugar Cookie Recipe
Ingredients you’ll need for these cookies include:
- All-purpose flour: Regular all-purpose flour for these cookies. Spooned and leveled (not scooped), so they end up moist and not dry.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: Use a high-quality Dutch processed cocoa powder, if possible, which is darker and less acidic, for best flavor and texture (we love Ghirardelli.)
- Sugar: For sweetness, of course, but also to keep the dough moist, which results in more tender cookies. Granulated sugar is included in the dough and also to roll the raw cookie dough balls in before baking. They give the finished cookies an awesome textural crunch.
- Instant espresso powder: Our secret ingredient! It does not make the cookies taste like coffee, but truly enhances all the other flavors. You can simply omit it, if preferred.
- Baking powder: This is our leavening agent and helps the cookies be lighter and chewy.
- Kosher salt: A little salt in desserts actually helps bring out the sweetness.
- Butter: For this recipe, we’re using regular salted butter, which gives great balance to the sweetness. If you’re concerned about sodium levels, unsalted butter can be used.
- Egg: To help bind the dough.
- Vanilla extract: For added flavor. A little really does make a difference.
Chocolate Cookie Recipe Variations
We love the simplicity of these chocolate cookies, but there are some ways to jazz them up.
- Make them even more chocolatey: Add 3 ounces of mini chocolate chips into the batter.
- Mint flavor: Add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract along with the vanilla.
- Love coconut? Stir in 1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes.
- What about nuts? Try mixing in some chopped pecans.
- Decorate: After they’re done baking and completely cooled, dip a portion of the cookies in melted white or dark chocolate, and then top with sprinkles.
Cookie Recipe Tips
- Spoon and level the flour: Scooping the flour for the dough could result in using too much, and the cookies will end up dry and crumbly. So make sure you spoon and level the flour into your measuring cup.
- Don’t over-bake: These only bake for 8-9 minutes. It might not seem like a lot, but they continue to cook slightly as they cool. Over-baking will get you dry, hard, crunchy cookies.
Make Ahead and Storage
- Storing leftover baked cookies: these chocolate sugar cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- Freeze baked cookies: Allow baked cookies to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe, airtight container. They’ll keep frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, if desired, before serving.
- Make the dough ahead: you can prepare the cookie dough and chill (covered in an airtight container) in the refrigerator up to to 3 days ahead of baking it. Let it come to room temperature before rolling and baking the cookies.
- Freeze raw dough balls: Form the dough into balls, place on a baking sheet, then transfer to the freezer until solid (about 1 hour.) Transfer the frozen cookie dough balls to an airtight freezer-safe bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to use, let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, pre-heat the oven, then roll in sugar. Bake as directed.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies Video
Craving More Chocolate? Try These:
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter , room temperature
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar , divided
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- With a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla and blend until well-combined. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder; blend until completely combined without any white patches. Batter will be thick.
- Scoop cookie dough by the tablespoon full and roll into a ball with the palm of your hands.
- Pour the remaining 1/4 cup sugar into a shallow bowl. Roll balls in the sugar to coat.
- Transfer balls to the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Lightly press each cookie down with the back of a measure cup or glass.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes (don't over-bake.)
- Remove from oven and let sit on the baking sheets for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Enjoy with a tall glass of milk or coffee!