Chocolate Sugar Cookies are the easy chocolatey version of your favorite rolled sugar cookies! You’ll adore their soft, chewy texture, buttery chocolate flavor, and pretty presentation!
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Decorated cookies are one of my favorite baking projects, especially for holidays like Valentine’s Day. You can involve the kids, get creative, and make something special to share. Usually, I go with a standard sugar cookie dough, but sometimes I’m in the mood for chocolate!
Enter this easy recipe. The dough comes together in minutes, with just a few basic ingredients. And instead of royal icing, easy candy melts and sprinkles make decorating a breeze! You still get a festive, homemade cutout cookie, but with a fraction of the work.
If you’re looking for an easy recipe to make for Valentine’s Day, this just might be it!
Tell Me More!
Of course! These easy chocolate sugar cookies are…
- Perfect for any occasion, thanks to the pleasing chocolate flavor and versatile dough
- Buttery and sweet
- Easy to roll and cut
- Chewy and soft inside, with just-crisp edges
- Fun to decorate
What Ingredients Will I Need?
Chocolate sugar cookie dough is almost exactly like regular sugar cookie dough, with cocoa for the chocolate taste and color, and a bit of brown sugar for texture and depth.
- Butter: For best results, use unsalted butter. The butter should be at room temperature
- Sugar: I use both granulated sugar and brown sugar, for a tender and chewy cookie texture.
- Egg: Two large, whole eggs add richness and bind the dough together.
- Flour: I use all-purpose flour, but you can substitute a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend (the texture of the finished cookies may vary somewhat).
- Cocoa Powder: For the perfect chocolatey taste, you’ll need a small amount of your favorite cocoa powder (regular or Dutch process, either is fine).
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: To lighten the cookies and keep them from turning out too heavy or hard.
- Milk: If the dough seems too firm, you can beat a spoonful of milk in.
- Candy Melts: Pink and red candy melts give these cookies a fun Valentine’s Day flair.
- Sprinkles: Use your favorite sprinkles to add the finishing touch.
Are Cocoa Powder and Hot Chocolate Powder the Same?
Technically, no—and in this case, you shouldn’t swap one for the other. Hot chocolate mix includes sugar, dry milk powder, and other ingredients. Cocoa powder, on the other hand, is simply ground chocolate with all (or nearly all) of the liquid and cocoa butter removed: no sweeteners or other ingredients involved!
Making these mouthwatering cookies is so simple and fun! I love cutout cookies in general, and it’s especially rewarding to make a chocolate version, now and then. Here’s a quick overview of the process:
Cream the Butter and Sugar. Combine the butter, sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat well on high speed for a minute or two, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, until the ingredients are smooth and fluffy.
Add the Remaining Ingredients. Next, add in the eggs, and beat the mixture again until it’s smooth. Measure in the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, and beat for about one minute, until the flour is fully incorporated and smooth. The dough should be soft but sturdy. If it seems too firm or dry, beat in the tablespoon of milk.
Chill the Dough. Wrap the dough well with plastic wrap, and chill it for one hour in the refrigerator.
Cut the Cookies. Once the dough has chilled, preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet (or two) with parchment, and set them aside while you cut the cookies. Lightly flour a clean work surface, and place the unwrapped dough on it. Roll the dough out into a sheet, about ¼ inch thick. Use a 2 ½ inch cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as possible. Transfer the cookies to the baking sheets as you go, and re-roll the scraps of dough as needed to use it all up.
Bake and Cool. Place the cookies in the preheated oven, and bake for 12 minutes. Once the cookies are done, remove them from the oven, and place them on a cooling rack to cool fully.
Decorate. When the cookies are completely cool, drizzle the pink and red candy melts across the tops, and add sprinkles right away before the drizzle hardens. Allow the drizzle and sprinkles to set for 5 minutes before serving.
Enjoy! Store these cookies in an airtight container, with a piece of parchment between them, to prevent damage to the icing and sprinkles, for up to one week.
Ready to bake some gorgeous Valentine cookies? Fantastic! But before you do, make sure to read these easy tips. They’re sure to help you make the most of this festive recipe.
- Let The Dough Rest: Make sure to allow your dough to rest for the full hour. You can let the dough rest for a full 24 hours before baking. This allows the flour to absorb more of the liquid, making a better cookie!
- Mix Well: The generous amount of butter in this recipe helps prevent the gluten in the flour from over-developing, so don’t be afraid to mix the dough thoroughly.
- Chill Strategy: If the cookies seem to melt and lose their shape in the oven, try chilling the next batch in the refrigerator for about ten minutes, before baking as instructed. Cold cookie dough is less likely to spread.
There’s more to this recipe than just red candy windowpanes! You can customize them in a lot of different ways. Here are just a few:
- Various Shapes: You can definitely use different cookie cutters to make all kinds of festive shapes with this cookie dough. Make it fun!
- Different Melts: Not a fan of pink and red melts? Try a decadent dark chocolate drizzle, and maybe a contrasting butterscotch or white chocolate one, too!
- Different Sprinkles: Try adding slivered almonds, Heath bar crumbles, crushed Andes mints, or tiny flakes of edible gold leaf for a fancy decoration alternative!
Store these cookies in an airtight container, with a piece of parchment between them, to prevent damage to the icing and sprinkles, for up to one week.
Yes! Just store as you normally would, but keep them in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw to room temperature before serving.
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tablespoon milk, optional
- Red and pink candy melts
- Valentine sprinkles
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Beat on high speed for 1- 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and fluffy.
- Add in the eggs, and beat to combine. Add in the flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix until fully incorporated. If the mixture is too thick, beat in the milk.
- Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour.
- Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line one to two large baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Unwrap the chilled dough, and place it onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out to a sheet about ¼ inch thick. Use a 2 ½ inch cookie cutter to cut as many cookies from the sheet as possible.
- Place the cut-out cookies onto the prepared baking sheet(s), and bake for 12 minutes. When the cookies are done baking, remove them from the oven and transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.
- Roll the remaining dough again, and cut as many cookies as possible. Continue doing this until all of the dough has been cut and baked.
- When the cookies are completely cool, drizzle them with pink and red candy melts as desired, and top with sprinkles immediately before the drizzle hardens. Allow to set for 5 minutes before serving.
More Valentine Favorites
Looking for more easy Valentine’s Day desserts? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Strawberry Mousse
- Cherry Almond Bundt Cake
- Strawberry Nutella Poptarts
- Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream
- Red Hot Cookies
- Red Velvet Hot Chocolate
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