Chewy sugar cookies, that’s where we’re headed today, and you can all thank my Aunt for it! You see, she showed up to visit the kids a couple weeks ago with a box of cookies from a bakery in the city. Through the little cellophane window on the top I could glimpse what can only be described as the perfect dozen.
There were cookies topped with pieces of Oreos, Kit-Kat bars, and mini Reeses Pieces cups calling to my kids. But at the very back were two cookies, completely covered in sprinkles, calling to me. I snapped one up and basically inhaled it after the first bite. It was the perfect chewy sugar cookie, easily as big as my hand, and just slightly crispy around the edges.
It was the kind of cookie that I just couldn’t stop thinking about. I can’t be the only person who becomes obsessed with delicious things. Anna had already snagged the second sugar cookie from the box when I went back to it later that night. Did I take one of the Kit-Kat cookies instead? Of course I did. Was it also delicious? Yes, obviously. So delicious in fact that I’m currently working on that recipe too.
But the chewy sugar cookie covered in sprinkles just kept taunting me. Begging me to figure out the recipe and make my own version. Mainly because we would go broke if I started buying them from the bakery as often as I now wanted to.
Soft and chewy vs crisp and iced
Chewy sugar cookies are one of my favourites to make because they are SO EASY! You don’t have to roll the dough out and use a cookie cutter. There’s no need to chill them before baking so they hold their shape. The best part might just be that I don’t feel the need to ice them. My patience thanks me, because icing sugar cookies is tedious work.
The difference between those beautiful iced cookies I do at Christmas or for a party, and these ones, doesn’t end with the decorating though. I like my rolled sugar cookies to be pretty firm all the way across, with a crisp bite to them that crumbles just a little. That way, they stand up better with the added icing. It’s the same reason they have a bit less sugar in the cookie dough – the icing adds to the sweetness.
The 3 key things to making the perfect chewy sugar cookies
There are three specific things you need for the perfect soft and chewy sugar cookies.
The first is a mix of white sugar and brown sugar, in a 2 to 1 ratio. When I make my rolled sugar cookies, I only use white sugar. That’s because white sugar has less moisture in it, so the cookies don’t spread as much. Brown sugar is simply some white sugar with molasses added in. The added moisture from the molasses gives these cookies just a little bit of spread, and helps them stay soft for days when stored properly.
The second thing to guarantee soft and chewy sugar cookies, is to use both baking soda and baking powder. Just like the sugar, we’re using these two ingredients in a 2 to 1 ratio. Baking soda is what helps keep cookies softer and thinner. Baking powder makes cookies thicker and more cake-like. The combo of the two in this recipe is what gives them the perfect “chew”.
Finally, you’ve got to pay attention to your flour. When you’re doing rolled sugar cookies, you use a bit more flour because you need them to hold their shape better. For chewy cookies like these, you want just enough flour that it won’t stick to your hands while you’re shaping it, but not so much that it feels crumbly.
That’s it. Baking is made out to be so complicated sometimes when it really isn’t. It’s just a balance, and you can play around with that (at least a little bit), just like you do when you’re cooking dinner and adding a little of this or that.
Check out some of my other soft and chewy cookies
If you like chewy cookies, you are going to LOVE these lemon crinkle cookies! They’re super easy to make too, and I have never brought them somewhere without being asked for the recipe!
If you’re in the festive mood, these soft and chewy ginger cookies are on my baking list every single Christmas.
And because I’m on a lemon kick, these lemon Madeleines are incredible. They’re one of Oliver and my favourites (I’m actually planning on bringing them to my friends house on Friday for our Mom’s night in – booze and board games!).
Here’s my recipe for giant chewy sugar cookies:
I can not WAIT for you all to try my giant chewy sugar cookies! The kids have been bugging me non-stop to make them again ASAP. I think part of that is because they loved bringing them to school as a treat to show them off, lol. Two of my kids even had to bring extras to school the next day for friends that just HAD to have one!
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Coloured candy sprinkles for rolling (at least 1 cup)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line your cookie sheets with silicone baking mats, or parchment paper. Pour about 1 cup sprinkles into a bowl big enough to easily roll your cookies in without spilling, and set aside.
- Cream together the butter and sugars over medium-high speed until light and fluffy. I set a timer for 3 minutes, as you don't want to over mix this too much.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix on medium-low until combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pour into your butter and sugar mixture, and mix on low speed just until all of the flour is incorporated. Be sure not to over mix.
- Using a large cookie scoop if you have it (see notes for sizing for both giant and regular sized cookies ), scoop out 1/4 cup sized balls of dough. Shape into a ball, then place into your sprinkles. Use your hand to press lots of the sprinkles into the sides of the ball.
- Evenly space out the sprinkled balls onto your cookie sheets. You can fit 4 - 5 giant cookies, or 12 - 15 regular sized cookies onto each sheet. Use the flat bottom of a glass to gently press the cookies down, until they're about 1/2 inch thick.
- To get the really even coating of sprinkles onto the tops of your cookies, gently lift up each flattened cookie (you may need to give it a little twist to loosen from the lined cookie sheet). Put the cookie dough face down into the sprinkle bowl, then gently press down on it to squish even more sprinkles into the dough. Return the cookie to the cookie sheet, extra sprinkle side up.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges are just lightly golden. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheets for at least 5 minutes before moving them to cooling racks to finish cooling.
- Once completely cooled, store them in an airtight container for up to a week.
If you want to make regular sized cookies, you can use a small cookie scoop. My small scoop holds 1.5 tablespoons of dough, about the size of a ping pong or golf ball.
For these giant cookies though, I used my big cookie scoop which I usually use for filling cupcake liners with. It holds 1/4 cup (or 4 tablespoons) of cookie dough, about the size of a plum.
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