chewy sugar cookies
These easy soft and chewy sugar cookies are anything but plain. Perfectly crisp on the outside, chewy in the centers with the sweet flavor of vanilla throughout and a crunchy sugar topping, I dare you to eat just one.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Are you team yay or nay when it comes to this holiday? For me, I really just like using it as an excuse for a date night in, to be honest. That, and having dessert, like one or five of these chewy sugar cookies — not that I need any excuse to do that.
Friends, if you like cookies (which, if you do not we need to talk), you will LOVE these cookies. They might seem like plain sugar cookies, but that couldn’t be farther from reality. The fact is, well, can I let you in on a secret? These might just be my new favorite cookies of all time.
How to Make Chewy Sugar Cookies
Before I get into the whys of what makes these chewy sugar cookies so awesome, let’s talk about the hows — as in, how to make the best sugar cookies of your life.
There are a few factors here that make these cookies extra chewy: we refrigerate the dough for 1 hour, which will help keep the cookies from spreading too quickly in the oven. Along with that, we roll the dough into fairly large balls, which also helps them bake a little more slowly in the oven, thereby ensuring that chewy center.
There are a lot of factors at play when it comes to making the chewiest cookies possible, but I’ve found in the case of these sugar cookies that the ingredients and ratios here yield a cookie with a sweet, delicate sugar-vanilla flavor with a perfectly crisp edge and chewy center.
Why This is My Favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe
OK, so now that we know how to make a chewy sugar cookie, let me tell you why I really love this recipe: It’s EASY. This is always my goal when developing recipes — to find that perfect balance between a functional recipe and an easy one. I think we’ve nailed it here.
But even beyond that, I love these sugar cookies because of their texture — when you bite into the chewy center with the crunchy sugar topping, it’s pure cookie bliss. I also love that we only need to refrigerate the dough for 1 hour, as opposed to overnight or even longer in some cases. To me, I just can’t wait that long for a cookie, ya know? So the fact that we can have perfect sugar cookies with only an hour’s chill time is more than acceptable to me.
Tips for Baking the Best Cookies
Before I leave you to run to the store to get everything ready to make these cookies in time for dessert tonight (though you likely already have on hand everything you need!), let me share a few tips for baking the best cookies:
1. Always use the scoop-and-sweep method when measuring your dry ingredients! We want the ingredient amounts to be as accurate as possible here so the end result is the cookie of our wildest dreams.
2. Use a cookie scoop to help shape the cookies and to scoop out the correct amount. I love to use this cookie scoop when making these cookies.
3. Don’t overbake the cookies! We bake these cookies until they’re just barely baked through, even a little underbaked in the centers, so that as they cool they finish baking but retain that glorious chew. This is also why we let the cookies cool directly on the baking sheet for a few minutes — the residual heat from the baking sheet continues to lightly bake the cookies, but they’ll also firm up a bit more so you can transfer them more easily to a cooling rack.
That’s it! Now go forth, bake the best chewy sugar cookies of your life, and treat yo self this Valentine’s Day.
P.S. Need a last-minute dinner idea for tonight? Might I suggest this Creamy Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel, or this Saffron Risotto with Shrimp and Pistachios? Both go really well with sugar cookies, just sayin’.Print
Chewy Sugar Cookies
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 24 cookies 1x
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
These soft and chewy sugar cookies are simply the BEST. Exceedingly tender on the inside with a crisp edge, every bite is perfectly sweet and soft with a delicate crunch from sparkling sugar. If you’re looking for a sugar cookie that stands out on its own, this is it!
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Sparkling sugar, for topping (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined.
- In a separate large bowl (using an electric hand mixer) or in the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar on medium speed 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
- Slowly stir in dry ingredients just until a dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate dough 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar to a small bowl. Scoop and roll chilled dough into balls about 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter (about 1-2 tablespoons each). Roll each dough ball in sugar, then transfer to cookie sheet, spacing cookies about 2 inches apart (the dough balls might not all fit on one sheet; refrigerate whatever doesn’t fit until you’re ready to bake the second batch).
- Bake 9-11 minutes until cookies are just set in the centers and lightly golden on the edges. Remove cookies from oven; immediately sprinkle tops with sparkling sugar, if desired. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet, then carefully transfer with a spatula to cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.
- Freeze fully baked and cooled cookies in an airtight container up to 3 months.
- You can store cookie dough in the refrigerator up to 24 hours before baking.
Keywords: sugar cookie dough, large sugar cookies, Christmas sugar cookies
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These cookies look so delicious! I love sugar cookies – perfect with a cup of coffee. Can’t wait to try your recipe ?
Natalie, Thank you! They taste amazing with coffee, if I do say so myself. 🙂
Made? them.? Loved.them!
Making.them again? tonight? for.the.Holidays!
Might? add some? corn starch to? make? using? cookie.cutters easier.
Robert, Love it! Thank you!
I will have to say that I think I didn’t realize how big I had to make them to only make 24. But that was on me. These cookies were amazing. I made them for my office family and home family. And everyone loved them! ??
Tiffany, I’m so glad you all enjoyed them. 🙂
Can you use self rising flour
Melissa, I’ve never used it for any recipe so I can’t say for sure if it works!
Stephanie, these are my go to cookies. Because I am horrible at baking. But I love these! Thank goodness ? can I use a cookie stamp!?!?
Tasha, I’m so glad — thank you! I haven’t tried these with a cookie stamp but it could be worth a try.
Dough was way to sticky. You can’t do any fun shapes out of it. 0/10 would NOT reccomend one
N, Sorry to hear that! I would not recommend this sugar cookie dough for cutting out into shapes — it’s much softer, and definitely meant to be a drop cookie.
I love this recipe! The only thing is that I wish it told me the yield. But overall this is a great recipe and I recommend it to those who haven’t baked before.
Ashley, Actually the yield is written right in the recipe: it makes 24 cookies! Thanks for your feedback!
I followed the recipe exactly as well as read the suggestions in the comments. I rolled the dough into sugar and dropped onto the baking sheet. I double checked to make sure that these were meant to be made as drop cookies rather than to be rolled flat and cut. My cookies did NOT spread and flatten in the oven as shown in the pictures. They are just cooked dough balls, and the sprinkle sugar did NOT stick to the cookies once immediately removed from oven. I was supposed to bring these into work but I am too embarrassed to show these to anyone. Will not be making these again.
K, I’m sorry to hear that! I have never had that experience so I’m not sure what happened, but I know how frustrating it is to go through a recipe and have it not turn out like you’d hoped. I hope you can find a different recipe that works for you!
I also ended up with really dry cookies that didn’t spread. I might cut back on flour, or add more sugar/butter to get thinner chewier cookies.
Made these cookies twice and both times everyone LOVED them. Several friends asked if I got them from a local bakery.
Came out AMAZING!! Thanks for the recipe 🙂
Hello, Stephanie! This cookies look so yummy and pretty!!! I’m very excited to try this recipe of yours 🙂 thing is, i’m having a hard time trying to convert the ingredients to grams. Could you help me with that? I would really appreciate it and sorry to bother you… have a nice day ?
Romy, I have a conversions chart available if you sign up for my email list! That should help you make the conversions to grams (until I am able to offer gram conversions in the actual recipe… hopefully soon!). Thanks!
I tried baking these cookies with my cousins and we followed all the steps. However, when removed from the oven, they were raw and needed to stay in for another seven minutes. The batter was very dry and hard to mold, even after being put in the fridge. They do not taste like sugar cookies or even look like cookies at all. Unless we did one of the steps wrong (which I think we didn’t), this recipe was underwhelming. I’m rating it two stars because it was still fun to bake.
Darla, I am sorry to hear that this recipe didn’t work out for you! I know you said you didn’t do any of the steps wrong, but it almost sounds like an ingredient was missing, or maybe there was too much flour? In any case, I’m glad you still enjoyed baking!
Love these!!! They are delicious!
Can we make these without refrigerating them?
Kodijo, I wouldn’t recommend it! The refrigeration is key to keep the cookies from spreading too much in the oven. I highly recommend following the recipe as written for best results!