The End-All for Chocolate Cookies Recipe

 Chocolate sugar cookies that don't need chilling, won't spread and taste like fresh brownies -- the perfect recipe for decorated cookies!!

No chill, no spread recipe for decorated sugar cookies

I can't stop thinking about how everyone should really try my chocolate cookies with coconut icing. So I've decided to post my chocolate cookie recipe. And peer pressure you all into trying it. Seriously, anyone who is anyone is doing it. In case you haven't noticed...I make A LOT of chocolate cookies. It's what I do. You can trust me on this when I say that this is the go-to recipe for chocolate cookies. So, you know, just try it.

The End-All for Chocolate Roll-Out Cookies

A soft and chewy brownie-like sugar cookie that won't spread and doesn't need to be chilled!


  • 1 cup slightly softened unsalted butter (not quite room temperature) (227 grams)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (43 grams)
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (5 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (6 grams)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder (3 grams)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (80 grams) (Dutch processed cocoa is my favorite!)
  • 3 or 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour (420 or 490 grams)


  1.  Preheat oven to 375° F or 190° C. Line baking sheets with silicone baking sheets or parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter, shortening and sugar together.
  3. Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt and mix well.
  4. Stir in the cocoa until well blended.
  5. Add flour and mix until the flour is completely incorporated and the dough holds together in a ball. IF YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE COOKIES RIGHT AWAY, ADD 3 1/2 cups (490 grams) flour. If you are going to "chill" the dough overnight, or just wait for another day to make your cookies, STOP AT 3 cups (420 grams). It will be totally soft and look all wrong, and you will want to ignore me completely and add more flour, but I'm telling you -- DON'T DO IT. Practice self-restraint. You will be glad you did, and I will be proud of you.
  6. Roll out on lightly floured surface. Bake at 375° F/190° C for 7-10 minutes. (I roll my cookies 1/4" thick and bake 3 inch cookies for 7 minutes.)
Created using The Recipes Generator


DO I **HAVE** TO USE THE SHORTENING? --  You don't have to add shortening if that grosses you out or you hate it on sheer principle or you can't find it where you live. It just makes the cookies a little softer. You can omit it entirely or substitute it with an additional 1/4 cup butter.

MY DOUGH IS TOO SOFT! WHAT SHOULD I DO? -- If your dough is too soft, try adding a little more flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. ALSO... If it's very hot where you live and your butter was room temperature instead of just slightly softened - you might actually need to cool everything down in the fridge for 10 minutes before rolling out the dough.

MY DOUGH IS TOO DRY! WHAT SHOULD I DO? --  The two most common reasons for this dough turning out dry is:

1) Not using large eggs. It's SURPRISING what a difference that makes.
2) Using too much flour. I'm not saying you used more than the recipe calls for - but since this recipe is written by volume and not weight, you might be adding more flour depending on elevation and humidity. Next time you make this recipe, try starting with 1 cup less flour and adding flour until it's just right. But you can still save this batch too!

Luckily, the solution to both of them is the same -- Crack an egg into a bowl and whisk together. Mix a little at a time into the dry dough until the dough comes together again.

SHOULD I USE SALTED OR UNSALTED BUTTER? --  If we're talking purely about science - it doesn't matter in this recipe. It's purely a personal preference.  Use the butter you normally reach for. If you know you love things with just a little more salt - use salted butter. If you are someone who generally reduces salt in recipes - use unsalted butter.

HOW MANY COOKIES WILL THIS RECIPE MAKE? -- The yield for this recipe varies. It depends on how thick you roll your cookies. I can get about 3 dozen cookies when I roll them at 1/4 inch thick and use a 3 inch wide cookie cutter.

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN THEY ARE DONE? -- Watch the surface of the cookie. As the dough begins to bake, the butter starts melting - creating a shiny or "wet" look on the surface of the cookie. As it continues to bake, the outside edge of the cookie will look dry and the wet spot in the middle shrinks. When that shiny "wet" spot in the middle disappears and the entire surface of the cookie is dry -- your cookies are done!


1) You might be slightly over baking them. I know it's hard to tell because they are chocolate. I watch the surface of the cookies while they are baking and when the shiny spot in the center looks dry instead of shiny... I know they are done.
2) I've found that one of the common cocoa powders -- I can NOT for the life of me remember which one -- Hershey's or Nestle tends to make the cookie a little more on the dry side. I don't know why that happens. Maybe the fat content of the cocoa changes?
3)  You might be using a little too much flour. If your butter was too warm to begin with, the dough will seem soft, and if you add more flour to make it not will turn out dry. OR you might be adding too much flour for the amount of time that the dough sits. - This is why the recipe has two different amounts of flour. As the dough sits, the flour continues to absorb more moisture...making the dough more dry.

THE RECIPE SAYS NON-SPREADING...BUT MY COOKIES ARE STILL SPREADING A LITTLE BIT -- WHAT DID I DO WRONG? -- The most common reason for this is that your butter is too warm. Most cookie recipes call for room temperature butter. This recipe uses cool butter. It should be "dentable" -- you should be able to make a dent in the side of the butter...but not much more than that.  Check out this post for more tips to stop cookies from spreading.

HOW LONG ARE THESE COOKIES GOOD FOR? -- It depends on how they are stored, but generally you can expect these cookies to taste fresh for about 7-10 days at room temperature.

CAN I REFRIGERATE THE DOUGH IF I DON'T WANT TO BAKE RIGHT AWAY? -- Yes. The dough can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. If you aren't going to bake in that time, I recommend freezing the dough.

CAN I FREEZE THE DOUGH AND/OR THE BAKED COOKIES? -- Yes. Freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to 6 months. Baked cookies can also be frozen for up to 6 months in an airtight container.

WHAT FLAVOR ICING SHOULD I USE WITH THESE COOKIES? -- My favorite is coconut. (I currently use Happy Homes Coconut Extract.)  I also recommend vanilla, almond, or mint flavored icing. You can replace the vanilla from your regular recipe straight across with any other type of flavoring.

WHAT IS THE BEST COCOA POWDER TO USE WITH THIS RECIPE? My absolute favorite is Callebaut Royal Dutch. I also really, REALLY like Cocoa No. 3 and Cookie Cowgirl cocoa powders. All of these are cocoa powders that you will probably have to order though. BY FAR, the most popular favorite of the commonly available cocoa powders is a mix of half Hershey's regular cocoa and half Hershey's dark cocoa!

WHY ARE SOME OF YOUR METRIC CONVERSIONS DIFFERENT THAN THE ONES I GOOGLED? -- Because I'm a weirdo. Apparently I don't measure "to standard". 🤣🤣 I figured it was more important that you have the best possible metric weights than that I match a standard. I hope you don't mind.

No chill, no spread chocolate sugar cookie recipe 

These cookies don't spread. At all. And they are the perfect mix of soft and solid. And if you leave them in the oven too long, you can crush them up and make a great chocolate pie crust. And if you want brownies -- only add 1 cup of flour, leave out the shortening and bake in an 8X8 square pan for 25 minutes. Have left over cookies that didn't get decorated because you totally forgot about them when you went on a Mediterranean cruise? That's okay. Melt some mint chocolate chips and spread on top. And you have instant thin mints. (Sometimes I do that even if I didn't forget my cookies while on a cruise. Because... well...truthfully, I've never been on a cruise. There. My secret is out. I feel so much better.) Oh, and you can also use slightly overbaked cookies in frosting. Just crush them up and call it cookies and cream, and it is SO much better than Oreos ever thought about being. 

Whoa. I'm starting to worry myself. I promise you I'm not as obsessed with these cookies as it sounds. Okay, forget it, I totally am. If you were really my friend, you would make these.


Ready to start making and baking an army of decorated sugar cookies?! Check out my Beginner's Guide to Making and Baking Sugar Cookies for Decorating!!

Make sure all your cookies are the same thickness with the Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin. (Or any other rolling pin with rings.)

I use Callebaut Cocoa Powder most often. You should also try Hershey's Cocoa Powder mixed with Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder.

Bake more cookies at a time with a Half Size Baking Sheet.

Use a High Heat Thermometer to make sure your oven is the right temperature.

no chill and no spread recipe for decorated chocolate sugar cookies


This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.