I know there are a lot of sugar cookie recipes floating around out there. And I know you probably have a tried-and-true sugar cookie recipe passed down from your great-great-grandma. But I’m telling you, you can throw those all in the trash, because this is the perfect sugar cookie recipe for cutouts.
I’ve been using this recipe for years, and it has never ever failed me (in fact, this recipe is already on the blog, but I figured it’s such a family favorite, it needs to be properly honored with good photos). It results in soft, tender, fluffy cookies that don’t spread in the oven—making them absolutely perfect for cut-outs. And they have the most beautiful, mild vanilla flavor. I also have the perfect frosting that goes on top that ends up drying hard enough to pack these cookies in a tin, but is still soft enough to bite into without chipping a tooth. And it shines so bright and glossy in the light. It makes for some obnoxiously pretty cookies. I mean, seriously, don’t you just want to dive into this cookie and go for a swim in the frosting? My husband says he wants to “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” himself and jump in and play with the sprinkles like beach balls.
There are some absolutely exquisite frosted sugar cookies out there, and I don’t even pretend to act like I can compete in that category. My piping skills tap out at frosting a cupcake. I actually just normally frost my sugar cookies using a popsicle stick (since I’m an adult now, I really should invest in a proper icing spatula). You could most definitely pipe this frosting on if that’s your (piping) bag, but I’ll stick to my lazy girl popsicle stick method for now, thank you very much. I normally make my frosting thick enough that it will stay on top of the cookie, but still thin enough that it will self-settle and dry with a smooth, bump-free top. It’s really the fool-proof way of frosting cookies.
I usually just flavor these cookies with high-quality vanilla extract (I say “high-quality” not because I’m an ingredient snob, but because you can really taste the flavor of the vanilla in these, so you want to make sure it’s something good), but you can easily go with other flavorings, too. Peppermint it delightful for the holidays. Almond and coconut are also both delicious. In fact, I made a batch of these cookies for my co-workers one halloween (pumpkin and bat shaped, of course) and used almond flavoring, and I repeatedly had people stopping by my office telling me they were the best sugar cookies they’ve ever had. Most folks don’t expect an almond-flavored sugar cookie! It’s a really nice change of pace.
One caveat about this recipe: it makes a ton. Like a ton, a ton of cookies. Depending on the shape of your cookie cutter, I’d say you could get a good 5-7 dozen cookies out of this recipe. If you’re baking for holiday tins, that isn’t too much, because you can just ship them off to your friends and family, but if you’re baking for everyday use, it’s a lot.
Of course, you could always divide the recipe, but my recommendation is to go ahead and make the whole recipe, divide it into four discs as the recipe calls for, and then freeze the discs. One disc of dough is the perfect amount for one “batch” of sugar cookies. It’s the just right amount if you just get the hankering to decorate some cookies, but don’t want to devote hours and hours and hours. I usually make up a full-sized batch of this dough twice a year—once at Christmas, and I use it all then, and then again for Valentine’s Day, but I freeze three of the discs. Then I pull them out again throughout the year at other holidays. Just let the disc defrost on the counter until it’s not hard anymore, and still a little cool. Then flour your work surface and roll out as normal. They always bake up and taste just as great as the fresh version does.
If you’re a master sugar cookie baker, you know that the key to sugar cookies is watching the oven very carefully. You’ll see some sugar cookie recipes saying to bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes (or even more), and that’s great if you want a dry, crunchy cookie, but who wants a dry, crunchy cookie? No one. Sugar cookies bake fast. So fast that just a couple of degrees discrepancy in your oven can cause your cookies to go from soft and tender to hard as a rock in just a minute or two.
While I do provide a baking time as a general rule of thumb in the recipe below, I highly recommend that you go by appearance instead of time. Your cookies should be just the tiniest bit brown along the very edge of the cookie (right where it meets the pan). I’m not talking “golden brown”, I’m talking like you have to really squint to see it. And the top of the cookie should look solid, instead of jiggly. In most ovens, this happens between the 6-8 minute mark (yup, that fast!). In my last apartment, we had an oven that ran hot, no matter how low I turned it down, and my sugar cookies were almost always done at five minutes. Watch ‘em.
And then, once they are done, you want to get them off the hot baking sheet as quickly as possible, because they’ll keep right on baking on that hot metal. I usually take a large thin spatula (I love using a fish spatula to get hot cookies off of baking sheets) to the cookies almost immediately after they get out of the oven. Then I transfer to cooling racks or paper towels to cool completely. And do make sure they are 100% cool before you frost. Any residual heat in the cookie will warm up the frosting and make it a gooey, runny mess. It’ll still be delicious, it just won’t look as nice.
Looking for the perfect sugar cookie recipe for cutouts? This is it! Delicious, mildly flavored, and they don't spread in the oven!
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter (3 sticks), softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, almond, peppermint, or coconut extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2-4 tbsp. milk
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla, almond, peppermint, or coconut extract
- Food coloring
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and extract until well-combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together remainder of cookie ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet in batches until combined.
- Divide dough into quarters, form into discs, and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Removed one disc from fridge and roll out on floured surface until dough is 1/8"-1/4" thick.
- Cut with cookie cutter and baked on an ungreased cookie sheet for 6-8 minutes, watching closely. Cookies are done when bottoms are just barely golden brown. Let cool completely on wire racks before frosting. Make sure cookie sheets are cool to touch before place more cookie dough on them.
- For frosting, combine sugar, two tablespoons milk, and honey, adding more milk until frosting reaches desired consistency. For piping and spreading, you're looking for a thicker frosting (like cake frosting), for dipping cookies, you'll want something a little bit thinner.
- Pipe, spread or dip onto cookies. Will dry to a soft frosting with a glossy coating. If you'd like to use sprinkles, apply them before the frosting dries.
We should probably just call December “Bourbon Month on Back to Her Roots,” because if you’ve been paying attention, this is my third bourbon-spiked recipe this month. Apparently, when I think of Christmas, I think of bourbon. You can blame the fact that I live 30 minutes from Kentucky (and that I was born there), or, you can just blame it on the fact that I love me some holiday cheer.
It’s interesting, because I actually don’t drink much bourbon, but I do love cooking with it. It adds such a rich flavor to foods. If you’ve never cooked with bourbon before, I wouldn’t say the end result tastes boozy (well, unless you add a lot). It’s more of a caramelly warm taste—like, literally, it tastes warm. Like those chocolate ice cubes (remember those?) but the opposite.
I’ve been talking a lot about chewy cookies over the past week, because those are my favorite kind of cookie, but I haven’t forgotten about you folks who enjoy a good tender, fluffy, soft batch cookie. I hate to say these are “cakelike” but I actually don’t love cake all that much (I know, weird, right? I don’t like donuts either.), but these do have a little bit of a cake-y quality to them. They’re kind of the texture of those soft-batch sugar cookies with the bright-colored frosting you get in the bakery section at your grocery store. Fluffy and tender, with a bit of chew. Even I, quite possibly the biggest fan of ooey gooey chewy cookies ever, love these cookies.
So, I’ve managed to make it nearly 300 words without mentioning the big ole elephant standing the corner over there—THERE IS BACON ON THESE COOKIES. I know, that sounds crazy, but the little bit of salty richness is so wonderful with the deep brown sugar flavor of these cookies.
This isn’t the first time I’ve seen bacon in cookies. At my old job, we used to have a highly competitive cookie contest at the holiday party each year. After winning Best in Show two years in a row (*dusts shoulders off*), I was disqualified from entering ever again and named a judge. My first year judging, one of my coworkers baked us a cookie with bacon in it. His execution was a bit off—the bacon was soggy and the cookies were a bit overdone—so he didn’t win the big prize, but the originality won him the award for Most Creative Cookie. And I socked his idea away in my noggin for future use.
Putting bacon into sweet things has become quite trendy, and you’ll find a number of bacon cookie recipes out there (I even saw one that calls for using 1/2 cup of bacon grease in the cookie—that seems a little too bacon-y for me, but what do I know?). I hope the weirdness factor has diminished now that the market is saturated with this wonderful sweet and savory combo.
You really should try it. I promise it doesn’t taste like pork. There is just enough of the bacon sprinkled on top to add a really pleasant salty, rich flavor to help balance out the mega-sweet cookie. If there are vegetarians in the crowd, you could of course leave off the bacon on a few of the cookies. Because I reduced the salt content in the dough to account for the salty bacon, you might way to sprinkle the vegetarian versions with a bit of coarse sea salt to help balance out the sweetness. You can just call those “Salted Bourbon Brown Sugar Cookies” and people will be equally impressed (you might even be able to win a cookie contest).
I rolled each of these cookies in brown sugar in addition to the brown sugar inside. It adds a really beautiful sparkle to the outside of the cookie, and some of the sugar also caramelizes and gets nice and crunchy right around the edge of the cookie. So when you first take a bite, you get the nice crunch of cooked bacon and caramelized sugar, and then inside you get chewy, soft, bourbon-tastic cookie.
A quick note about cooking with bourbon before I hand over this recipe. In my neck of the woods, there is a lot of to-do about bourbon. You can order bourbon flights at local restaurants. You can go on bourbon tasting tours. There are bourbon tasting classes and workshops. There are bourbon bars. And bourbon pairing dinners. Bourbon. Bourbon. Bourbon. I’m sure that some of my local friends (and bourbon lovers) will disagree with me on this, but I think you should buy cheap-o bourbon to cook with.
Now, of course, for drinking and mixing, you want to find a good quality bourbon you love and stick with it, but for baking? Dude. Go with the bottom shelf stuff. Maybe my palette just isn’t refined enough, but I honestly can’t tell a difference between the baked goods I make with our (not very cheap) bottle of good bourbon and the stuff I make with our plastic bottle from Larry’s Bourbon Factory ‘n’ Stuff. Save your good stuff for sipping. Keep a small bottle of the not-so-good stuff in a cabinet somewhere for baking.
Bacon and bourbon both in a cookie? Absolutely! These Bourbon Bacon Brown Sugar Cookies combine the salty flavor of bacon with the warm and rich taste of bourbon all in a fluffy, soft-batch style cookie.
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, plus more for rolling
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- Preheat oven to 350°. In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy—scraping the sides as necessary. Add in the vanilla, eggs, and bourbon, and mix until well-combined.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in three separate additions, mixing well after each addition. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll the dough into 1-1/2 inch balls, and then roll into brown sugar—knocking off excess. Place dough onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven, and press in a small amount of bacon on top of each cookie. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
The concept of “being a good neighbor” is a totally different idea in the country than in the city or suburbs. First, and most obviously, you’ve got distance on your side. Our little chunk of Southern Indiana countryside is definitely becoming more populated, but even still, our closest neighbors are a good 1/4 mile away. There’s no prying eyes or too loud music. Fences make for good neighbors? Nah, I think having a nine acre buffer makes for good neighbors.
The other thing that is a major difference in the country neighborly relationship is something I like to call friendly avoidance. We all know one another exist. But, for the most part, we stay out of one another’s way. We might not speak or even see one of our neighbors for months and months at a time. There is no popping over to borrow a cup of sugar (unless you want to uh, probably get shot or eaten by a dog). There are no block parties (ha! what blocks?). We co-exist without really co-existing. Again, the joys of having a nine acre bubble.
The great part about everyone having their own space (both physically and mentally), is that there are rarely any ruffled feathers. And that means, that when someone in the area needs help, the neighbors turn up in droves. We might not have spoken since last summer, but if your horse got out or your kid ran away or a tornado knocked your roof off (real world example there)—you’ve got friends. People in the big cities do a lot of making fun of us country folks, and there are a lot of country ideals I don’t subscribe too, but being there for your fellow human when they’re in need—that’s something I can get behind.
When I was growing up in this house, our closest neighbors lived at the top of the hill, and they were the sweetest family. My family and theirs had that kind of country neighbor relationship. We might go months without talking, but if either of us were in need, it wasn’t even a question. They babysat me when my parents were in a jam. My Dad drove in a snow storm to pick them up because he was the only one with four-wheel drive. And once a year, the Mom would drop off a plate of Monster Cookies. She didn’t stay to chat or visit (because unannounced visitors are not why people move out to the country), she’d just drop the cookies, ask how everyone was doing, and then head back home.
Monster cookies were never something we made in our house, but I always looked forward to these giant, chewy, M&M speckled cookies from our neighbor each Christmas. The version that our neighbor made for us were huge—like dinner plate sized, I make mine a bit smaller—so I always assumed that the “monster” part of the name came from the size, but really, it comes from the fact that this is a Franken-cookie. It’s about a half-dozen different types of cookie all rolled into one delicious dessert. There’s peanut butter in there and oats and M&Ms and chocolate chips and a whole lot of sugar and butter. Some folks throw in Rice Krispies or nuts or raisins or shredded coconut. Pretty much anything you’d put in a cookie can go in Monster cookies and they’d still be delicious.
Make sure you serve these cookies with a tall glass of cold milk. These are the kind of cookies that need milk. Not because they are dry (they’re quite gooey and moist) or crunchy (they’re soft and chewy), but because they’re rich, decadent, and full of candy add-ins that require a big swig of milk to wash them down.
If you aren’t lucky enough to have your own neighbor buffer of acres and acres, and your neighborly relationship has turned a little less than neighborly this year, might I recommend whipping up a batch of these cookies, swallowing your pride, and delivering them to the folks next door? It’s Christmas. Spread the love. (And the cookies).
Monster Cookies are Franken-cookies that have everything but the kitchen sink in them! Feel free to add in raisins, Rice Krispies, nuts, or coconut, too!
- 1 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup M&Ms
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla, and beat until mixed, scraping sides as necessary.
- Add in the salt, flour, and baking soda and beat until well-mixed. Add in the oats and mix on low until incorporated.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in the M&Ms and chocolate chips by hand.
- Form the dough into 2" balls and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes, or until the cookies are just barely browned. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
This might be the most ridiculous cookie I’ve ever made. I know there are a lot of really serious cookie recipes floating around on the internet. They’re stuffed with this and topped with that, but I’ve always tended to keep my cookie baking to the classics. Until now. Because I made dark chocolate brownie cookies, and then, like that I wasn’t enough, I stuffed them with ooey, gooey caramels and topped the whole thing with a generous dusting of sea salt.
These cookies are my Christmas gift to you.
The dark chocolate brownie cookies on their own are pretty spectacular. As you can see from the photos, they have that chewy, craggy, cracked edge thing going on that makes brownies so awesome (and the reason why brownie edge pans exist). And then they are fudgy, soft and intensely chocolately on the inside. You could just make the brownie cookie part of these and make a darn good cookie.
I like that the caramel in these is a total surprise. Looking at the outside of these cookies, you’d probably never guess there was a pocket of caramel-y goodness waiting for you inside.
Depending on the softness of caramels you use (I used Trader Joe’s sea salt caramels), these cookies will be nice and gooey even at room temperature, but for optimal decadence, I recommend heating them up just a touch before eating. Five or ten seconds in the microwave does wonders.
I’ll be the first to admit that this batter is a bit…strange to work with. When you’re mixing it up, you’re going to look back at the recipe a good dozen times and think, “Now, that just can’t be right.” But it is!
When you first mix up the batter, it’s going to be super thin and liquidy—think cake batter. Something you’d never be able to form into a cookie shape, let alone smoosh around a caramel. But as the batter rests and chills in the fridge, it thickens up something fierce, and ends up turning into the consistency of fudge. It’s still a touch sticky to deal with, but with damp hands, you can make it work. And a little bit of cookie dough on your hands is totally worth it for these intensely chocolate cookies.
I’ve talked in previous cookie posts about the importance of watching your cookies like a hawk while they’re in the oven to make sure they end up soft and chewy, and that’s even more important with dark-colored cookies like these. It’s almost impossible to tell when these start to brown at all, so you’re really testing doneness based on texture and jiggle. You want to pull these when the tops just begin to crack and crinkle, but they still feel very liquidy.
No worries, even though they feel that way, these cookies aren’t raw in the middle. That’s just the caramel that has turned to liquid—it’ll solidify back up as the cookie cools. Because of all that liquid deliciousness in the middle of these cookies, they are pretty fragile when hot, so I recommend letting them cool almost completely on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a cooling rack to finish the job. If you do it too early, you’ll leave half of your caramel center on your cookie sheet. Sad panda.
Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Brownie Cookies are rich, decadent, chewy chocolate cookies stuffed with an ooey gooey caramel. Yum!
- 4 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 pound semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 dozen soft-style caramels
- Coarse sea salt
- Cream together the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add in the eggs, salt, and vanilla extract and beat on medium until smooth and light yellow. Add in the flour and baking powder, and continue to mix until just combined.
- Place the chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave on high for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, or until the chips are completely melted.
- With the mixer running at low speed, pour the melted chocolate into the cookie batter. Once all the chocolate is in, increase the mixer to medium-high and beat for one minute. The mixture will appear liquidy and thin (like cake batter) at first, but will solidify as the chocolate cools.
- Cover the bowl in plastic wrap, and chill dough in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Roll the dough into a one-inch ball, then flatten. Place a caramel on top, and then place another flattened, one-inch ball on top, sandwiching the pieces together and crimping the edges to seal in the caramel. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough and caramels.
- Bake in preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, or until the cookies begin to look cooked around the edges, and cracked on the top—but still liquidy in the middle.
- Remove from oven, and sprinkle immediately with sea salt. Let cookies cool almost completely on the baking sheet, about 15 minutes, before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
A few years back at one of our family gatherings, my Mama brought out a plate of these little, pale yellow cookies. They almost looked like unbaked sugar cookies. I really didn’t think anything of them. And then my husband had one, ran over to me and told me I had to go grab one immediately. I made my way over to the plate, grabbed one, took a bite, and was completely blown away.
They had a bright, sweet lemon flavor and the most incredibly chewy and smooth texture. The outside of these unassuming cookies didn’t do them justice at all, because they were, without a doubt, one of the best cookies I’ve ever had. And then I proceeded to camp out by the dessert table and eat my weight in these cookies.
Meet lemon snowdrop cookies.
I know, they really don’t look like much. I think it’s probably a defense mechanism. If they looked as incredibly tasty as they are, you’d never get them out of the kitchen. They’re in disguise. And hidden under that disguise is pure cookie magic.
Like all chewy cookie recipes, the absolute key to getting the texture right is closely monitoring your cooking time. As a matter of principle, I underbake all my cookie by 3-4 minutes less than what the recipes call for. These you have to watch like hawk. You want them to just be slightly (like, barely) browned on the bottom, and a beautiful pale yellow color on top. I wouldn’t leave the kitchen while these are baking, because a 30-60 seconds in the oven too long, and your delicious, chewy cookies are instead delicious, crunchy cookies.
You’ll be tempted to leave them longer because they seem just so liquidy and gooey, but I promise, as they cool, they’ll solidify. You want to err on the side of raw cookies on these guys. You want them to be jiggly enough that it’s a little hard to wiggle them onto a spatula to take them off the tray.
Trust me, no one will be upset if the middle of their cookie is a bit more like cookie dough that a cooked cookie.
Another key to getting the perfect chewy cookie: cool cookie sheets. When you’ve taken your first batch of cookies out of the oven and transferred them to a cooling rack, don’t immediately go and place raw cookie dough on the hot cookie sheet. Instead, either wait 10-15 minutes for the cookie sheet to cool (or have a second cookie sheet that is cooling while your other one is the oven), or, quickly run the sheet under cold water and dry it.
A warm cookie sheet starts the butter melting in cookies before they ever hit the oven, which means you’ll end up with a liquid mess of cookie instead of a perfect pillow of lemonness. Trust me on this one.
Every time I’ve brought these cookies somewhere, they’ve garnered the same reaction that I had the first time I tried them. At first appearance, people think they’re boring little sugar cookies, and then at first bite, people are over-the-moon, stumbling over themselves to get the recipe!
I haven’t tried veering away from the lemon flavor, but I’m sure this cookie could be equally incredible with other citrus tastes. Orange zest and juice, plus maybe a tiny pinch of ground cloves would make for a delicious, holiday-flavored cookie. And some key lime zest and juice would make for a cookie that is almost like a hand-held key lime pie! Or put lemon and lime in them and they could be Sprite/7Up cookies. Yum.
Chewy Lemon Snowdrop Cookies are perfectly little pillows of chewy lemonness. They look unassuming, but might be the best cookie ever made!
- 1 stick butter, softened
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter, lemon zest and juice, sugar, honey, and vanilla extract until well-mixed—scraping sides as necessary. The mixture may look curdled from the lemon juice.
- Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt, and mix until well-combined. Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
- Form the dough into one-inch balls and place on a cool, ungreased baking sheet, two inches apart. Bake in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, or until the bottoms just begin to slightly brown. Let cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two, then carefully transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, toss in powdered sugar.
My parents were over at our house watching JuneBug while I was testing these cookies. It’s always nice to have a larger sample size to use as guinea pigs for my recipes, so I handed two cookies, fresh out of the oven over to my Dad and Mama for sampling. I was telling them what they were, and I said, that I decided I wanted to make a chewy gingerbread cookie, because I’m just not at all a fan of the typical hard gingerbread cookies you find on dessert trays around the holidays.
This comment spiraled into a discussion over gingerbread semantics. In my Dad’s mind, the word gingerbread, means soft and chewy—you know, like bread. But in my opinion, gingerbread is all-encompassing of the flavor, but most frequently refers to the crispy cookies (like gingerbread men or gingerbread houses). If someone says, “here, have a gingerbread cookie” the first thing that pops in my head is a crunchy gingerbread man—which I’ll pass on.
But these chewy, soft, tender gingerbread cookies? Those, I’m all over.
I have to admit, being a five-alarm chocoholic, it was a real struggle for me to avoid making all the Christmas cookies I’m sharing this month chocolatey. I understand that some people aren’t quite as keen on chocolate as I am, so I wanted to include a wide variety of flavors, but honestly, I didn’t expect the chocolate-free cookies to really impress me.
But let me tell you. These chewy gingerbread cookies are quite possibly my favorite cookie from the entire batch of 12 cookies I made for you guys! They are just…perfect. They are the perfect texture (slightly crunchy on the outside, but totally gooey and tender on the inside). They are the perfect flavor (rich and warm, with a little bit of added kick thanks to black pepper). They even look perfect. Like perfect little pillows of sugary deliciousness.
I think what makes these cookies so spectacular is that they are spectacularly simple. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing cookies with sprinkles and candy and add-ins galore, but all these cookies need as far as accoutrements is a quick roll in granulated sugar before baking to give them a sparkly shine that looks a little bit like a frosty snowfall. That’s it. The dough does all the talking.
In case you were wondering, my larger sample group was very pleased with these cookies. So much so, it put an end to the gingerbread debate. It was decided that whatever the previous definition of gingerbread was, it should be erased from the books and replaced with a description of these cookies, because this is what gingerbread should be.
Chewy Gingerbread Cookies have all the warm and spicy holiday flavor you are used to, but in a soft and chewy cookie that is sure to please all your holiday guests.
- 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Granulated sugar, for rolling
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add in the molasses, egg, and vanilla and mix until well-combined.
- Add in the baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, pepper, and salt, and mix until just combined. Add in the flour and mix until well-combined, scraping the sides as needed.
- Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. Then roll the dough into 1-inch balls, and roll each dough ball in granulated sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them 2-inches apart.
- Bake in preheated oven for 7-8 minutes, or until the cookies just begin to crack and crinkle, and the edges barely start to brown. Do not overbake or they won't be chewy!
- Let cookies cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.