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 Cookies Recipe

Prep Time: 20
Cook Time: 20-30
Keywords: bake dessert unsweetened cocoa powder cookie
  • 1 cup slightly softened butter (not quite room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 or 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

* Preheat oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with silicone baking sheets or parchment paper.
* Cream butter, shortening and sugar together.
* Add eggs, vanilla, baking powder and salt and mix well.
* Stir in the cocoa until well blended.
* 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 flour. If you are going to "chill" the dough, or just wait for another day to make your cookies, STOP AT 3 cups. 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.
* Roll out on lightly floured surface. Bake at 375° F for 7-10 minutes. (I roll my cookies 3/16" thick and bake 3 inch cookies for 7 minutes.)
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DO YOU HAVE METRIC CONVERSIONS? -- I don't currently. I'm sorry. Please don't leave me hating messages. But I will tell you that this may be the most forgiving cookie recipe in the world. You can just google conversions and anything that's remotely close to being right will work for these cookies.

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 icing 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 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.

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.

Translations and Variations from around the world:
~~Variation in Spanish and Metric at Mensaje en una galleta~~
~~Translation in ITALIAN courtesty of Sarachan~~ 


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.


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