Chocolate sugar cookies
I do love a good sugar cookie, but sometimes chocolate is all that will hit the spot! I think sugar cookies really are the perfect treat for the holiday season, so I felt like we needed a chocolate option.
If vanilla is what you're craving, I made a chocolate frosted version of my Chewy vanilla sugar cookies that is one of my favorites and easy to make festive for the holidays. This chocolate sugar cookie recipe is a twist on my original sugar cookie recipe with a double hit of chocolate - both melted chocolate and cocoa powder in the dough.
I tried out a few different toppings for these cookies and in the end, a milk chocolate base was my favorite. The winner was a mixture of chocolate and butter, almost like a milk chocolate buttercream, that pours on and sets. That's the optional topping I'll share below but you could also do a chocolate ganache with milk chocolate and heavy cream that can be poured on for more of a "drip" look (I'll share guidance for that at the end too in case you'd prefer it, and you need the same amount of chocolate so need for additional ingredients other than the heavy cream).
The chocolate sugar cookie itself almost has the taste of a brownie. It's on the thinner side with an intensely chocolatey and fudgy center. Though the two topping options I'll share have a milk chocolate base, you can totally get creative here. You could instead do a white chocolate drizzle, or even a vanilla frosting...the options are really endless!
I do recommend using a stand mixer for the cookies if you have one, but a hand mixer would work well too. The dough comes together in a pinch and just requires some time to chill in the fridge prior to baking. It's also a dough that freezes really nicely in case you want to make and scoop the dough ahead of time. Once baked and decorated, the cookies will stay fresh for a few days and store quite well in the fridge.
A final note on ingredients before we get to the recipe. When it comes to cocoa powder, my favorite is the unsweetened Valrhona if you can find it because it gives baked goods a deep chocolate flavor. That said, I have also often used store brand unsweetened cocoa powder and you're still going to get a delicious end result. For my semisweet and milk chocolate, I used Guittard chips. They are a favorite of mine so that's what I typically keep on hand!
Chocolate sugar cookie dough
1 stick (1/2 cup, 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (2 oz) semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Optional: Chocolate topping
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup (3 oz) milk chocolate chips
1 tablespoon sprinkles of choice
Total time: 3-4 hours including chill time
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Chill time: 2-3 hours (up to 12 hours)
Bake time: 8-10 minutes
Servings: 10 cookies
Stand mixer with a whisk attachment
Spatula or large spoon
Scooper (2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons)
Melt your butter and then add it along with your semisweet chocolate into your mixer with the whisk attachment. Turn your mixer on at a low speed to start, and then bring to a medium speed and continue mixing until your chocolate melts into your butter.
Add in both sugars, and bring your stand mixer slowly from a low to high speed and allow it to combine the butter mixture and both sugars for 2 minutes. Pause your stand mixer and scrape down to the bottom with a spatula or spoon to ensure your chocolate gets fully incorporated.
Add in your egg and vanilla extract to your mixer. Slowly bring your stand mixer back to a high speed and allow it to combine your mixture for 2 minutes.
Scrape down your whisk attachment and remove your bowl from the stand mixer. Add in your dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Use a spatula or large spoon to slowly fold in your dry ingredients until just incorporated. You can transfer your dough directly into plastic wrap, a bowl with plastic wrap pressed onto the dough, or a container (anything airtight) and place into the fridge to chill. This should be done for at least 2 hours, but if time allows you can chill the dough up to 12 hours or overnight.
Once your dough has chilled and is firm to the touch, if you're ready to make cookies now you can preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Remove your dough from the fridge and use a cookie scoop (2 1/2 - 3 tablespoons per cookie) or a large spoon to portion out your dough. It should make about 10 cookies. Space them out onto two lined cookie sheets, I used parchment paper. If your dough feels warm or too soft, place it back into the fridge to cool for another 15-20 minutes. When you're ready, bake for 8-10 minutes then allow to cool. Note: because of their chocolate color it can be hard to tell if they are done - it's best to under bake rather than over bake, so once you think they're fully cooked trust your gut and remove them from the oven!
If you want to save some of your dough to bake later, you can place your scooped cookie dough onto a baking sheet and into the freezer for 12-24 hours. Then, transfer your frozen dough to a plastic bag or airtight container and store in the freezer. To bake from frozen, set your oven to 325 and bake for 11-13 minutes.
Decorating your cookies
If you'd like to decorate your cookies, once they're fully cooled you can make your chocolate topping. Begin by melting your butter in a bowl. Add your milk chocolate, stir to combine and place the bowl back into the microwave for about 15 seconds. Allow the mixture to sit for a minute or two and then use a spoon or whisk to combine your topping. Once it is smooth and fully combined, use a spoon to dollop the topping onto each cookie however you'd like and finish with your favorite sprinkles! The topping can set at room temperature, or if you're in a rush you can place them into the fridge to speed up the process.
Any sort of chocolate drizzle or frosting would work great on top of these chocolate sugar cookies. Another great option is a chocolate ganache. You can heat 1/4 cup of heavy cream (carefully) in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. Add in a half cup of milk chocolate then place back into the microwave for about 10-15 seconds. Use a whisk to combine your ganache topping and then allow it to sit and thicken for a few minutes before topping your cookies!
Carb and serving info
Servings: 10 cookies Carbs per serving: 32 Carbs for full recipe: 315
Carbs from chocolate
In cookies: 110
In topping: 36
Carbs from sprinkles: 10
Note: Carb information is calculated based on the specific ingredients I used to cook with to help guide my own insulin to carb ratio when dosing before I eat my home cooked recipes.