Two weeks ago, Alex and I took advantage of the then-awesome weather and went out for dinner at a place with outdoor seating. One cocktail led to another and then Alex put his hand on my knee! No, just kidding. He actually suggested that we order dessert, and in particular, the homemade ice cream sandwiches on the menu. Who was I to argue?
The two tiniest, most precious ice cream sandwiches arrived a few minutes later and, you know, the ice cream, it was pretty good. But the sandwich? The two chocolate cookies? Forgive me for using this over-tired metaphor, but they were an almost Proustian experience.
You see, we made chocolate cookies exactly like that for Hanukah each year growing up. Why for Hanukah? Honestly, I have no idea. It might be that the only cookie cutters I remember were our Hanukah ones (a dreydel, menorah and Jewish star, the nuisance-y stamp type that it was impossible to get the dough out of) or that it was the only time my mother found the nuisance of rolling out dough worth it, but man, did I love those cookies, and I had to make them again, immediately.
I know what you’re thinking: chocolate roll-out cookies? How dull! But, well, I’m sorry–you’re wrong. What’s notable about these cookies is not what they are–which is, if you must know, intensely awesome–but what they’re not. There’s no sea salt in them, no melted 70 percent chocolate. There’s no brown butter or vanilla bean pulp or pinch of espresso powder. There is not a single thing in them we’d probably jazz them up with today, and instead of fighting this simplicity, I encourage you to revel in it.
They will not disappoint. The slight amount of baking powder gives them a softness not usually found in roll-out cookies, which are typically sandier and snappish. These are tender, like a pressed brownie and they particularly excel at a quarter-inch height, slightly thicker than a standard cookie cutter cookie. The cocoa is not an afterthought (like recipes that suggest you swap a couple tablespoons of flour for cocoa to make an chocolate cookie) but has a significant presence that blooms in the oven, leaving you with something that people won’t believe doesn’t have a single bit of melted chocolate in it.
I should also tell you that because of their shatter-free bite, they also make excellent lids and bases for ice cream sandwiches. But I won’t, because that would be dangerous. Okay?
One year ago: Chicken Empanadas with Chorizo and Olives
Brownie Roll-Out Cookies
- 3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup (60 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, any kind, sifted if lumpy
- 3/4 teaspoon (4 grams) fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 (300 grams) cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
On a floured counter roll dough to desired thickness. Most sugar cookies are rolled to 1/8-inch thick but shown here are 1/4-inch thickness, which is better at delivering a “brownie” effect. Cut into desired shapes, brushing extra deposits of flour off the top. (It does disappear once baked, though, so don’t overly fret if they go into the oven looking white.) Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes (the former for firm 1/8-inch thick cookies, the latter for firm 1/4-inch cookies; for softer 1/4-inch cookies, as shown, bake for 8 to 9 minutes) until the edges are firm.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool. To keep cookies as tender as possible, store in an airtight container, not just a covered tin.
An even easier way to make sugar cookies: You can use the cold butter, no-flour rollout method outlined in the Unfussy Sugar Cookie recipe here as well.
621 comments on brownie roll-out cookies
These look outstanding! I’ve never heard of this type of thing but it’s a genius idea, and I love the idea of putting ice cream between! They look almost like soft gingerbread cookies.
– The Peanut Butter Boy
Yum! I ce cream Sandwich’s are my favorite! Yum Yum Yum. I notice that one year ago was the empanadas! Yes the very ones that were stolen from me by Amy’s Cool Women Who Rock (uh, suck) club. I have never forgotten them. Guess that is what I get for getting drunk on Cinco de Mayo and leaving them in Amy’s freezer. Grrrrr. Maybe I will try to make them myself….. HA HA HA AH AH AHAHAHAHA AH AHAHAHAH
I always wondered why put “preheat oven” as step 1 if the dough has to be chilled for 1 hour…?
ohhh. i feel a sudden urge to go home “sick” from work and bake these immediately.
mmmm… my husband was just telling me yesterday that his favorite dessert as a kid was ice cream sandwiches- these look like just the perfect cookie!
i’m always disappointed when sandwiching icecream with regular cookies- they are always unpleasant to bite- and these ” brownie roll-outs ” are just genius! lets see, my husbands out watching a game- i may just surprise him with these now!
These look great, I’ll definitely be trying them!
Ooh, my husband would love ice cream sandwiches with these! Of course, he would love ice cream in any form, but that’s a minor detail. I suppose I need to procure a rolling pin…
I’m definitely making these for a party next week – ice cream sandwich style :) Thanks Deb!
do you think I can use non-Dutch processed cocoa with this? That’s all I have at the moment. I’m thinking the baking powder might not work in this case – could I use baking soda? How important is the leavening agent?
I used Hershey’s dark cocoa, and they were amazing!
Sorry for the same concern, mine didn’t come together like your picture of the dough. Could 3 cups of flour be too much in Missouri?
Mine were crumbly too. Now to try and.fix them so i can actually roll the dough
I noted in the recipe that although I used Dutch cocoa, I can assure you that growing up, my mother only used Hershey’s–i.e. you can use either. Personally, I think Dutched cocoas have a richer taste, which is why they are my preference.
I’m trying these as soon as I have a moment! I bought cookie cutters at the Sur La Table near me that is going out of business. That store only lasted like 2.5 years…such a shame. I love baking!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love your BLOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
These sound really, really good!!! Marking this spot to try them sometime soon. :D
Oh, and I have a question for the next Q &A…how many cookbooks do you own?
I wish I had one right now…I must make these for my next dinner party…too cute.
These look like little perfect packages of chocolately goodness!!
“Roll out cookie dough on floured counter until. ” – until what? Also, will these freeze for storage? Thanks so much for your blog – I absolutely love your photos and your recipes!
I am drooling over here, these look wonderful! I am making these tonight…..thanks for sharing the recipe!
Wow. I cannot wait to make these. My roommates are going to go nuts.
Also, now I want to make those empanadas again. I made them for a vaguely Mexican themed party about a month ago and at one point my friend Tom came over to me with two in his hands and one in his mouth and asked me why I didn’t tell him they were so delicious. Thanks for the inspiration, Deb!
The error is fixed now.
If you wish to freeze them, I always think it’s best to do so before they are baked. I only baked about a third of my batch. The rest I rolled out, cut into shapes, flash-froze so they would not stick together and then layered them between pieces of wax paper (to be extra cautious) in a freezer bag. Can’t wait to bake them off in the coming months!
I’m in love with Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches, and I might just have to try my own version with these. Though…I suppose they won’t be quite as skinny then :)
you have never steered me wrong in cookie land before (I found my favorite cookie thanks to you, and chocolate chip cookies that finally pleased my husband texture wise) so I suppose I must make these.
Plus now I might have an excuse to buy the ice cream maker I have wanted for 2 1/2 years now.
I remember those!
These are getting made this week! Wow! they look devine and the idea of making ice cream sandwhiches…. Gotta try it!
yesterday I made english muffins from your pancakes, english muffins, frisee salad post. They’re tricky because the dough is so sticky. The first four were badly burnt. They set off the smoke alarms. So I lowered the temp on the griddle to about pancake heat and halved the dough for the next batch. When they were browned nicely on both sides I thought they were still uncooked in the middle, but… I was wrong. Split with a fork and toasted, they were heavenly.
Your dessert recipes do it to me every time… I think I should start a new blog, something like… sinful smitten kitchen recipes – done gluten free… because your recipes torment me so :-)
Yum! I can’t wait to try these cookies. Can you please tell me where you bought your set of cookie cutters? Thanks
I am so making these on Thursday – France labour’s day! I’ve been quite anxious about not having the time to go grocery shopping for some leisure baking, but since I have everything at home, you’ll certainly find my on Thursday pm, still wearing pajamas, in my kitchen, rolling and cutting these!
deb, you’ve made me a believer
Here’s the link for the cookie cutters. However, if you look closely, you can see even in the picture that they are not sealed well. Because it is only at the top, it doesn’t affect the final shape of the cookie, but it is annoying/a sign of not-wonderful construction. Sur la Table has two sets that look like they may be better.
i have a quick question :) how come you dust the tops of the cookies with flour before baking? just curious…
i am SO making these !
thanks ! :)
Just lightly brush them. The concern is if there is too much flour, the cookies will not have that lovely dark chocolate color. A little bit is fine, though.
Dear Deb’s mom,
right now I love you and I hate you.
I love you because I am about to get up from my computer, walk into my kitchen and make these cookies that i have been DROOLING over ever since your dear daughter posted pictures on flickr.
I hate you because I am about to get up from my computer, walk into my kitchen and make these cookies that i have been DROOLING over ever since your dear daughter posted pictures on flickr. And then I am going to then sit down on the couch and eat 15 of them in one sitting. And that’s not good because swimsuit season is around the corner.
Thank you do much for making my day and ruining my summer plans.
With mixed feelings,
About how many cookies does this recipe make? And what is the reason for the flour dusting? Is it necessary? They look fantastic, I think I’m going to conquer them tonight!
Oh! Just saw that you brush excess flour OFF, not adding extra on. Nevermind. But am still curious about the number of cookies this recipe makes. Thanks!
Great photos and as always, your post made me laugh out loud! I know I don’t need to tell you-these look mahvelous, dahling!
Sometimes we forget that the simplest things can also be fantastic. These cookies look fantastic!
Look at the soft crumb on those cookies! I’m tempted to make these for little caramel (and/or nutella/peanut butter/banana/ganache) sandwiches.
I commend your excellent use of “Proustian” as a descriptor here. So often people mean “I like madeleines” by that reference, but you actually used it to indicate the power of food to bring back memories. Yay! Not over-tired at all!
so simple! so delicious looking! my tendency is indeed to embellish with the latest ingredient trend but often I fall back to that original simple goodness too. and the fact that I will have access to an ice cream maker this summer guarantees that I’ll be making these soon!
What? You didn’t have the chai cookie cutter in that Chanukah set? That one was such a pain that I pitched ours.
Definitely going to have to try these cookies. Yum.
Mindy — The number of cookies this recipe makes depends very much on the cookie cutter you use. My small one made “a lot”–about four dozen, probably more.
Oooo I love the idea of this. Like a prettier more portable brownie!
Okay, I confess that I am not a fan of ice cream, so if I can skip that and just serve them with coffee I will be really quite happy!
I’ve never made ice cream sandwiches before, but I will now. Thanks
A propos cookie cutters – beware of the william sonoma ones. I just got mine, gave them a good rinse before use… and… they went all rusty on me. which was very sad, because I’ve been itching to make pretty-shaped cookies for over a month now. I’m going to try the Sur La Table ones – they’ve been so good to me lately. And yes, these look incredible particularly because they are that simple. Can’t wait to make these!
looks really great! I was wondering if you have any suggestions in adding in a coffee flavor to this? It would be delightful to have chocolate-coffee flavored ice cream sandwiches :-D
coffee ice cream?
These look really amazing. I remember going to my aunt’s friend’s house with her for a dinner/birthday party when I was younger and having homemade ice cream sandwiches for the first time. It had never even occured to me that you could make them at home. These look like they’d be delicious even without the ice cream (though I can see them being delicious with vanilla/coffee/cinnamon/butter pecan…)
I’m convinced already, Deb. I haven’t made rolled out cookies in ages and these would be a great way to bring the goodness back.
These definitely look like a “hit” to me. I would enter them in the Martha Stewart cookie challenge.
Ok, I’m making these for the office. I have to they look great!
Beautiful. Thanks for the clarification about the cocoa too, bc I don’t have dutch. I was going to make brownies this week, but now I’m considering these. What I’m wondering though is, do you think adding a smidge, a dollop, or a plop of frosting or icing would be too over the top?
Yum! These with a little mint chocolate chip ice cream pressed between them would be heavenly! Thanks Deb!
I wonder how these would taste with Shery Yard’s Almond Ice Milk?
This does it…I’m going to have to start an entire new cookbook…with just your recipes! Aside from ruining every diet I’ve started every Monday of the last year, your recipes are totally harmless! This one looks particularly harmless also…I’m beginning to wonder why I wasn’t lucky enough to grow up eating Hanukah cookies!
Sounds great to me. I hereby promise to “revel” in these cookies, as is, very soon. (Yum = pressed brownie).
Your site gave the devil in my heart big power. The devil said to me. “Eat this thing which I was sweet, and seemed to be delicious” As a result, I lost a fight with the devil. I was dieting so… (ï¼´_ï¼´)
i’m not usually a chocolate-cookie type, but that picture with the bitten cookie makes me want to eat my screen.
Nothing charms my Google reader more than a spotlight from Smitten on some brownie-like cookies.
hmm hmm hmm.
They look heavenly! I love your cute cookie-cutters!:)
So.. stupid question… but…
Deb, you said you flash froze them before layering them between wax paper and putting them in for the long haul – How do you flash freeze?
I flash freeze items until they’re hard, so they won’t stick to their neighbors. Cookies tend to be quick–20-30 minutes usually do.
Hope you didn’t already answer this and I just missed it. Can I use natural cocoa powder or must it be Dutch processed? I prefer to use Scharffen Berger’s natural cocoa powder, but am hesitant to do so since you mentioned Droste and the recipe has baking powder….
The small top of my draidel cutter would always break off :(
I cannot wait to try these- thanks for the inspiration!
I’ve answered it twice, but I don’t expect that everyone should read 61 comments before leaving one! …Yes, you can use either. I prefer Dutched, but can assure you that my mother, who’s recipe this is, had never used anything but Hershey’s brand and they were delicious enough to make this impression.
Wow those look awesome!
Ah, the joy of turning on my Mac, opening Mail/RSS program and seeing the beauty of a Smitten Kitchen cookie in all its Dutch processed cocoa goodness :)
So I’ve been reading for awhile, and this is the second chocolate cookies recipe of yours I’ve tried – I made the Oreoes a few weeks back and they were a big hit. My dough for these is chilling now, but it seems a bit on the dry side, not as sticky as I’m used to for cookies…but I’m not a super-experiences baker. Is that normal?
mine too :(
Yum. I like making sandwiches out of molasses crinkles and lemon ice cream, or key lime pie filling made with lemon instead of lime, and frozen in between the cookies…
I love your pictures – your chocolate cookies look very delicious!!! I will try your recipe as well!
I’ll take this recipe as a great excuse to make more homemade ice cream, yeah!
I’m so sad. I tried making these last night, and they never came together…literally. They remained a loose, almost sandy texture. I ended up just having to make little balls, and then smooshing them into flat rounds when they were still hot.
Any ideas for why them came out so dry? The flavor was still great though! Not that I had one (or 4) for breakfast :)
Hi Brandy — Not sure what happened. We’ve been using this recipe for dozens of years (god, I’m so old) just as it is. Any ideas?
amazing. i love that you’re so neat! these cookies must be so tasty, i would really like some now. x
Been a lurker for months now…I use your recipes a lot. Thanks for all your helpful information and great recipes.
Last night I made these and they turned out very crunchy. I put the ice cream between them, froze them, and they were still crunchy…but they were still great tasting, just a bit messy to eat! Keep up the fantastic work!
Maybe the altitude (I live in Colorado)? Should I have tried to add some liquid (milk?) Another egg? I’d love to make these again, but they were impossible to roll out. But like I said, so good.
Any ideas for what I may have done wrong? Or what I can do to remedy it? It all went bad when I was adding the flour mixture :(
I am defnitely turning these into ice cream sandwiches… gives me an excuse to use my new ice cream maker as well. Thank you.
Hm, I wonder. I have no experience with high-altitude baking, so maybe someone else can chime it but if it was just a rolling out issue, well, rolling out hard, cold doughs can always be difficult and can crack and crumble if done too roughly or quickly. (Remind me to do a tutorial on this soon!)
Brandy, the same thing happened with my dough. When I mixed it up, it was not as sticky as I thought it should be for a dough that needed to be frozen, and it turned into sandy lumps in the fridge. I also smooshed it into balls and baked it anyway. The cookies tasted fine but were pretty ugly.
And I live in Michigan, so it’s definitely not the altitude (for me, at least).
I’m wondering if I added too much flour? I’ve stopped spooning my flour into my measuring cup for things like cookies because it seemed unnecessary (I just scoop); maybe I should start again? Or start weighing the dry ingredients?
after I saw your post, made these yesterday. terrific flavor. I did the ice cream sandwich thing that you mentioned and the family really liked it. Noticed a commenter said theirs turned out crunchy, just so you know, mine did not – texture much like what your pics look like. Thanks so much for sharing.
For those of you who had trouble, here is a picture of our dough for reference.
Flour should be scooped into a measuring cup (ideally with a spoon, if not, first fluffed well in the canister) and leveled, not pressed at all.
I want to make a batch of decorated cookies and send them to a friend, but i would love to go non-traditional with these chocolate cookies (versus plain sugar). Can these brownie cookies be decorated in the same way that roll-out sugar cookies are… with royal icing and the works?? my concern is that they might be too soft or that the flavor with royal icing might be odd…
Yeah, my dough looked NOTHING like that! It didn’t stick to the mixer paddle at all. Maybe next time I’ll just add the flour super slow until it’s the right consistency? Or should I add a liquid? Egg?
Oops, I already asked that!
Thank you for this! The timing was perfect for me–all day, I was telling co-workers that I was craving “something like a cookie or a cake. Not a brownie, but something in-between…” I couldn’t articulate what it was, and then you posted the recipe! I made them the next day and was completely satisfied with just one or two.
I will bake the rest of the dough tonight, and am planning to fill them with a cream cheese frosting.
Another genius and delicious cookie from Deb! :)
Deb, first I want to say, you’re cooking is exquisite!
Second, I came to your site yesterday looking for something to take to for a co-worker’s birthday, and I found these lovelies. I made them and got compliments all around! I owe you all the credit! I sent everyone who asked for the recipe to your site. Expect a flood!
p.s. I’m sorry I can’t stop with the exclamation points!! It’s because I really mean it!!
I’m always looking for a good cocoa-only chocolate cookie recipe. Do you think I could halve the recipe with good results?
My husband has found his heaven and I finally found a chocolate sugar cookie, as your mom calls it. I’m looking forward to these!
I’m just trying to figure out how much a ‘stick’ of butter weighs. Measuring butter into cups is way too many steps for me – I’m much better at just slicing a section off the block. But I’ve got a feeling that an American ‘stick’ is somewhat smaller than an Australian one.
One stick of butter is four ounces. There are more equivalents on the Tools page.
Maybe I missed something, but the recipe does not indicate whether the butter should be cold, room-temp, or melted. Could this be part of the dough-consistency problem? I can only assume that it should be melted and cooled, in order to be able to mix the dry cocoa powder into it. Why is the cocoa not mixed with all the other dry ingredients? There must be a reason for this. Thanks for answering.
The butter should be soft–I will edit that now.
I considered updating the recipe to whisk the cocoa with the other dry ingredients, but as I said, this is my mom’s recipe, we’ve always made it this way and it’s always worked this way, so I wanted to keep it authentic.
I’ve just finished baking a batch of these moments ago. My dough looked exactly as your refrence picture in the comments above, and I had no problems at all (maybe those who found theirs to be too dry were using smaller eggs? I did use particually large ones..). I ended up rolling out my cookies between plastic wrap, which worked very well for me. And because I’m using an Aga (which aways runs a little hot, even using the cooling plate) decreased the baking time by 2 mins and turned them around after the first 3. Mine didn’t rise as much as yours (hardly at all, actually) but turned out with a lovely texture.
.. Now to try to pursuade my brother to drive us to the 24hr supermarket for icecream.. it may be gone midnight, but I’m dying to try these babies out with a scoop of vanilla. Thank you!!! I’ll be using this one again!
oh, we’re going to have to try these too! i love making ice cream sandwiches, always a treat when the kids open the freezer to find them (just for the kids – right!) these remind me a bit of peace cookies, have you tried them – they’re our favorite. they would be too crumbly for ice cream sandwiches though. thanks for the recipe! xo heidi
Can you believe I’ve never had an icecream sandwich? I think it’s an American thing.
I also think that I need to fix that asap.
Deb, do you know how much your flour usually weighs per cup when you scoop? I’ve been using a scale for baking these past few months, assuming 4.25 oz./cup, but get almost 5 oz. when I scoop into the cup. The dough is currently chilling and seems fine, I was just curious!
After reading different posts that used several recipes from your site I just had to come and see it for myself. I can now see the reason(s) you became such an inspiration to many food bloggers :).
Your cookies just made it to my must-do list. That last photo: simply stunning!
Deb, I made these cookies yesterday and paired them up with some mint chip ice cream today. Just by themselves they’re amazing, with the ice cream? Heavenly!
I used Dagoba Cacao. Didn’t have anything but unsalted butter so I added a smidgen more salt to the recipe and everything turned out just fine. I also don’t have an electric mixer. Everything was mixed by hand with excellent results.
I’m always looking forward to your posts!
I made these last weekend and they were an unmitigated success. Everyone loved them – my family, my co-workers. They were so easy. The only change I made to the recipe was to about a tablespoon or so of milk as I was mixing the batter because as the flour went in, the batter got really dry. That did the trick. I’d love to try making these with a ganache icing. Thanks for the recipe! Oh I was also amazed by how many cookies this batter made – I kept re-rolling the scraps and ended up with at least 5 dozen.
oh my i got the same cookie cutter recently! so adorable!!!! this sounds yummy i might give it a try. i still have a super jumbo sized chocolate cupcake waiting for me… ah. who cares? you can never have too much chocolate right?
I finally did make these cookies gluten-free… they were great, especially in ice cream sandwich form… if anyone wants the adapted recipe it is here:
I’ve never liked cheap ice cream sandwiches. But the concept of ice cream sandwiches is just so good, and this is exactly what I’ve been imagining to be the perfect ice cream sandwich cookie. I just didn’t know a recipe existed for it…thanks!!!
Oh, Deb–another winner! I made these cookies today to turn into ice cream sandwiches for my mom’s birthday. (I’m making strawberry ice cream–one of her favorites.) I had to try one of the cookies and they are the most amazing texture. And they’re so EASY! Thanks again for another great recipe. I love this site!
Hey deb, thanks for this recipe. Great flavour but I totally overbaked my first batch. My niece still loved helping me cut them out and eating them too – she didn’t have a sandwich but immediately worked out that they were good for dipping in icecream! Very astute kid! Anyway plan to make and freeze more, great to have this as a ready to go dessert. Looking forward to your next post as always.
Hi all. I have only been lurking on your blog for about three days but I was recently compelled to post. Today I was sitting by the boy friend while reading your blog and he got curious (for once, lol) and looked over my shoulder. You know how you imagine cave men grunting for food? Well, he saw these cookies and grunted his appreciation. lol So now I HAVE to make them but there are only two of us here and I don’t have ANY cookie cutter. lol That is what you get for being young and in college. : ) Any suggestions? My butter is already out of the fridge and I have a limited amount of time before he calls me from work demanding I bring them for his lunch! lol
Thanks all. You all seem great and have given me a number of laughs over the past few days. : )
Also, is there a problem with melting the butter a little bit in the microwave first? I do this with my sugar cookie recipee and it always turns out great and cuts prep time way down. Thanks!
Deb two quick questions:
1. When you say to “Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and cocoa in mixer” is it as simple as it sounds – throw it all in there and let it rip?
2. How thick would you say the dough should be rolled out to?
Hi Sky — 1. Yes. I know, it sounded odd to me too; like most bakers I am used to mixing my dry ingredients, beating my wet ones and being delicate when combining the two. But this worked. I considered rewriting the recipe so it fit the standard recipe-writing patterns, but like I said, it worked, it’s from mom, I didn’t mess with it. :)
2. 1/8-inch thick is fairly standard, and that’s the way we made them when I was a kid. But 1/4-inch? Oh my. They get really brownie-like, and so tender in the middle. So, it depends on what you’re going for.
Deb, two questions:
1) I’m trying to decide between two of your chocolate cookie recipes for ice cream sandwiches (where sandwich = chocolate cookies + peanut butter ice cream). Which would you recommend? This one? Or the one from your previous post about ice cream sandwich cookies?
2) When making ice cream sandwiches, do you scoop the ice cream in between two cookies and eat it right away? Or do you re-freeze the whole sandwich in some plastic wrap? I don’t want my cookies to get soggy, but one of my favorite memories of my youth is biting into that ever-yielding cookie of a chipwich, where the whole thing stays mostly together until it’s all melty down your arm at the end. Thoughts?
Hi Lizzi — I actually think I’d use this one. I think there’s something slightly softer about it when it is cold. I also recommend refreezing the cookies after you scoop it–something we didn’t do that first time around almost two years (!) ago. It was messy and they melted too fast.
Made these last night using Green and Black’s Organic cocoa (Green and Blacks is UK based and aaammaaazing. Their 85% chocolate is like a fine wine..one or two squares is all it takes to satisfy!!). The cookies are fabulous!! I’ve frozen half the dough to use later, as the recipie (as you said) makes ‘alot’ of cookies. Love them, and so easy! Thanks for this!
Hi, I’m a novice baker and wonder if it’s possible to roll out the dough for this recipe using a large plastic tumbler. I don’t own a rolling pin (just moved flats and there was none in the cutlery drawer), but will obviously run out and buy one if it’s definitely needed.
I also have no cookie cutter and find that successive rolling out can make the later batches more tough as more and more flour gets incorporated. I’m just going to cut into squares — not so pretty but should taste as good. I also think I might try making a long roll that I can slice ( like the old-style refrigerator cookies). For (109) Jackie — try an empty wine bottle.
The Sur La Table cookie cutters look exactly like the ones you have pictured, except that the seams are sealed better and they have rolled edges on the top so they don’t hurt your hands. I purchased them a long time ago – well before I came across this recipe. I’m so excited to use them for these cookies! :)
these were great! even better with icecream.
i live in a ‘high elevation’ state (UT) and read a prevous comment about from someone in CO. i added an extra egg to the recipe and it came out perfect to me! hth’s someone.
I tried these this week and they were a big hit at work! My old boss (who moved to a different organisation) even made an excuse to stop by and grab some when he heard I had been baking! Five stars from me, and thank you for posting the recipe. :)
These were a HUGE hit with my dinner guests. I used a biscuit cutter, and the size was perfect. We got Haagen Dazs pints in mint chocolate chip and coffee, and my husband just sliced the pints up and peeled off the paper–so easy! The cookies are good on their own, but their lack of sweetness was just ideal for this use. Thanks, Deb!
I’m seaching for a good chocolate cookie recipes and I think I found it!!! Its a little too cold to sammich these with ice cream so I’m thinking I might fill it with homemade oreo filling and revel in the delicious-ness! Love your blog! Hope you had fun and ate wayyy too much good stuff in Paris.
I made these for a party yesterday, and they were a huge hit. Even though I overbaked them a little (I always have that problem with cookies) the insides stll remained super soft like a brownie.
I made these over the weekend as part of my xmas cookies bake-a-thon (it’s never too early!) and they were a HUGE hit with everyone (including myself). Thanks so much for sharing, they will be made again…soon!
Made these with mint Italian buttercream filling and they were scrumptious! I wonder, have you ever played with the recipe to make a vanilla version? I need a superior sugar cookie for cut outs and thought this would be great!
Thanks for your recipes!
I can not wait to make these! For the last couple days the thought of making chocolate cookies will not leave my brain! Some people wake up with thoughts of the day or what happened the day before. Not me, I wake up with the notion that I have to find a chocolate cookie recipe!! ha ha
I made these last night and very happily enjoyed a mint chocolate chip ice-cream sandwich at around midnight!
I screwed up the recipe at every turn and had to work really hard to get the dough to ‘dough up’ – but it all worked out fine by the rollout phase.
so so so good and easy. i made candy cane mint ice cream sandwiches with these. a keeper for sure.
Just made these, they are on the cooling racks now. They’re part of my Christmas cookie selection. I used a star shaped cookie cutter and am going to drizzle them with white chocolate. My husband and I will have them for dessert tonight with some whipped cream and raspberries.
Great recipe, as always. I’m also thinking of adapting it to a “vanilla” sugar cookie recipe…..the texture was/is great.
I saw from your beautiful photographs that the cooked product stays true to the cut of the raw dough, so I selected this recipe for ‘gingerbread houses’ and just added some ground ginger powder to the recipe. They turned out perfectly and came together beautifully because the dough shapes I cut out for walls, roof, etc did not change size/shape during cooking. I’m going to use this recipe again and again… because not all kids are such fans of ginger but everyone loves chocolate. I’m loving your recipes and have bookmarked plenty for future use.
So my husband springs on me that he would like 200 cookies to bring in to thank everyone on his team for a good job this year. I ran a test run of this recipe last night. Fantastic! This is a definite keeper recipe. Thank you!
Well, don’t try to bake them without sugar! I was so pleased with how easy they were to mix up and how beautifully they rolled out, but the taste was …”something’s MISSING!” I figured it out and rebaked. They are wonderful — worth the extra round. I’ve sent my husband out for peppermint crunch. I figure I’ve earned it.
Just did a trial run of these and they are fabulous! We’re doing an ice cream sandwich bar for my son’s first birthday party in two weeks and these will really round out the selection (also doing chocolate chip and snickerdoodles with chocolate, vanilla, and mint ice cream). Thanks for sharing! You have yet to lead me astray.
i made these last week using low-fat drinking choc mix (all i had, emergency recipe change after i realised at 8pm on jan 1st i didnt have enough ginger to make gingerbread and needed cookies to take to my boyfriends family)
they still turned out awesome. we tend to get smallish eggs in japan, but i also suspect i dont measure things properly lol so everything probably works out proportionately. i melted the butter slightly in the microwave first cos room temp here is too cold.
lessons learnt: dont let boyfriend play with electric mixer.
dont let boyfriend eat all the cookies. he would seriously eat the whole batch in one go.
flour the insides of the cookie cutter regularly!
am making these again tomorrow with cocoa.
long time lurker from osaka.
I looove these cookies, and have made them before to go with strawberry ice cream (and that was divine).
But this week, I cut them into small heart shapes and sandwiched them with some pink-tinted buttercream for a Valentine’s treat to take into work. They are AWESOME. I toyed with making Deb’s homemade Oreos, but I really wanted a heart shape, so I used these instead.
They were absolutely not too sweet (something I worried about), but rather perfectly soft and a little salty and a great contrast to the sweet (traditional) buttercream. A major hit at work and beyond.
would these work for the ice-box cake? they would have to be rolled out a bit thinner i guess but they could work, right? maybe?
I haven’t tried it (but let us know if you do) but I’d be hesitant to. The wafers for an icebox cake need to be able to completely absorb the whipped cream and become cake-like… I haven’t seen many homemade cookies that can pull that off.
Hmm. I would call them Cocoa Cookies. My texture came out not brownie-like at all, and while I think most desserts are too sweet, this was on the verge of not sweet enough. I think it needs a) dutch-processed cocoa, which I didn’t use and would help with the bitterness I detected, and b) ice cream. Otherwise, I wouldn’t make them again as a stand-alone. Next, those delicious looking oatmeal cookies you posted!
Someone mentioned re-rolling the scraps. Would you recommend re-rolling the scraps and baking the 2nd-round cookies or does the re-rolling really affect the baked result?
I always re-roll the scraps, but it does affect the results slightly. Every time you re-roll, it picks up more flour, so the cookie will theoretically toughen — this is the case with all roll-out cookies. I try to do so as little as possible/be as efficient as possible when cutting shapes out.
Deb, I have to say: I love your site, and I use your recipes so often…but this one is my favorite. I think I’ve made these for every major holiday and every birthday for two years, because everyone loves them. I even made them in star shapes for the last meeting of one of my college classes, my Tolkien class–stars for Elbereth, of course.
Long story short, you don’t know how grateful I am for this recipe and for your site.
Deb, I just used this recipe to make a Milk Dud inspired chocolate cookie with a caramel filling.
This was the perfect recipe!! Totally adaptable and I’ll definitely make it again (even without the caramel filling)! The chocolate flavor was intense and you are right, it’s so much more than a chocolate sugar cookie. :-)
Before I go and fool around with your perfect recipe, and I feel okay asking you as I am tapping into your self-declared nit-pickiness, do you think that brown sugar would make these more chewy and moist? Or would the brown sugar drown out part of the chocolate flavour? But please know, I love this recipe and will definitely turn to it again and again!
I haven’t tired it with brown sugar, but do let us know if you do and how it goes! My only concern would be that sometimes, brown sugar in cookies like this causes them to spread a bit — I would assume it’s the extra moisture due to the molasses in the brown sugar.
Shouldn’t have fooled around with your perfect recipe, but doubt I have learned my lesson. I replaced the white sugar with brown sugar, & added a teaspoon of instant espresso (dissolved in 1 tsp boiling water). The brown sugar made the cookies more dense, but in a heavy, dull way, not fudgy:( And even though you’d think they would be more moist with the extra moisture from the brown sugar, I needed to shorten the baking time from 10 minutes to 8 minutes, which is a lot, and they were still drier than the original! Espresso didn’t really enhance the cocoa flavour either; I think you have a perfect balance between chocolate flavour and sugar. The espresso just added a bitter hint. However, the brown sugar did not cause them to spread. So now I know not to fool with your recipes – thank you for entertaining them, though, Deb.
Perhaps this has been mentioned & I missed it – but I have heard about rolling cookies on a lightly floured board using powdered sugar in place of the flour to keep them from getting tough – would that work for these brownies?
My husband LOVES ice cream sandwiches and is turning 40 this weekend. He also has an obsession with cookie monster (strange, i know, you would never guess if you met him) so i was going to surprise him with cookie monster ice cream sandwiches at his party. This recipe sounds perfect (and delicious!) but i was wondering if anyone had ever tried icing these? do you think it would work/taste ok (for the cookie monster face)? also if i bake them the day before will they still taste fresh? Just found your blog, it’s wonderful!
Deb, These cookies are incredible!!
A friend of mine gave me cookie cutters in this exact shape and pointed me to this recipe, knowing full well I would have no choice but to bake them immediately. I did. And fell in love!! They turned out perfectly – crunchy outside, soft inside!
I overcooked some of them a bit and they still tasted great (especially with sandwiched with some white chocolate ganache!)
Total Smitten Kitchen convert!!
Just followed a link trail to this post.
My dough is chilling as I write this. Here’s a hint: instead of rolling out with flour, try a light sprinkling of cocoa powder. This is standard for chocolate doughs.
Mmm… these just came out of the oven and boy are they good! I added some andes mint chips and they are just perfect. I can’t wait to try making ice cream sandwiches out of these.
I made these over the weekend and used them for ice cream sandwiches. They were quite good, very chocolatey and rich. And the dough was surprisingly easy to work with, I had no problems rolling it out and cutting it. Here’s my one pet peeve, though – don’t tell me to preheat my oven, then a paragraph later, tell me to chill the dough for an hour. I know, I should read the whole recipe through first, right? I did, but I still turned on my oven as directed and then realized 15 minutes later, that I wasn’t going to need it for at least an hour. I’m sorry if I seem petty, I admit it is a silly thing to complain about!
I made these this week and loved them! The icecream sandwiches were delicious too. I added chopped walnuts for a full brownie effect! Next time I will add more! I worried it would make them hard to roll out or burn, but no problems! Thanks!
I made these for valentines day as heart-shaped cookie pops! They looked so cute, I dusted some with confectioners’ sugar and dipped some of the others in melted white chocolate.
I’m making them again tonight, I thought they were so great!
Thanks for such a wonderful recipe!
I just made these and they are currently chilling. I found the dough very hard to work with actually. I felt like there was too much flour and too little liquid. My mixer had a hard time keeping up, so I coated my hands in flour and dove in. It was easier to mix together with my hands. I do look forward to trying them though. And I want to use them for ice cream sandwiches. I won’t be making homemade today, but I’m going to use Sheer Bliss natural vanilla ice cream, (comes in a metal tin!)
I want to make these for a party this Sunday, how long do these cookies last after baking them? id prefer not to bake them on the day in case they don’t turn out.Im a novice!
Most cookies can be stored for a week or longer in an airtight container.
I’d like to bake ginger bread cookies that have the same wonderful texture as these. Any suggestion how to adapt the recipe?
By the way, I used ordinary Fry’s cocoa and they were delicious!
I left out almost half a cup of flour because it got too hard to blend (despite using dry-ingredients measuring cups and so-called large eggs). But it worked perfect!
Some one asked before whether you could frost these: I made these this weekend in the shape of Jack ‘o Lanterns and iced them with good old buttercream and they are totally delish!! The cookies are not overly sweet so BC goes really well with it. The buttercream dried overnight but it doesnt totally harden (if you want the icing to go really hard try using royal icing – I just prefer the taste of BC). I used regular cocoa and thought they could be a bit more chocolately so will definitely try these out with dutch cocoa next time. Thanks heaps for the recipe! By the way your photos are gorgeous! :)
Amazing! I wanted to make cut out cookies and was bored with the old sugar cookie and tried this. They are like a legit brownie in a cookie, so good!
To #132 – I re-rolled with no problems!!! Except when I rolled, I didn’t use flour… I used cocoa powder… may I insert an evil chocolate grin now?
(These were amazing by the way!!!)
If anybody else is as stupid as me and pulls these out of the oven at time thinking “those aren’t done” because they look like they did when they went in.. they’re supposed to. They kept their exact shape even through my over cooking, and they are quite good, even with crunchy edges.
I found your website looking up challah, (I am know known as the challah girl) and stumbled upon several of your recipes. I can’t tell you how obsessed I am with these cookies. These are by far the most incredible thing in the world. I made them wrong the first time but not having soft enough butter, so i added some milk which still made them incredible but the second time around. I can’t begin to tell you how obsessed I am with these cookies. Deb, please tell your mother thank you!!
My second run of this recipe is still on the cooling racks, so I have to leave a comment (because my finicky internet ate the one last time). These cookies are awesome! Ironically, the first time the dough was super sticky and this time it wasn’t, but this time I also chilled the dough longer which I think helped. I used Hershey’s cocoa powder and after the rave reviews last week I am thrilled to bring them to my big family Thanksgiving!
Also, I suggest eating them with a smear of peanut butter between two of them; one of the most decadent things ever! :o)
I made these last night. It took exactly 11 minutes like you said. Delcious! and I used Hershey’s. it is not too sweet, which is just what I like in my cookies. Thanks to Deb’s Mom for the recipe, and I’m glad you re-named it brownie roll-out because that is exactly how it tastes. Next time I must make mini ice cream sandwiches out of these. Mmmm.
I made these when you first posted the recipe and they were immediately my favourite. Then a few months ago we found out our four year old has a whole host of allergies including wheat, milk, and eggs which makes baking a whole lot trickier, but I’m getting the hang of it. I decided to try these again with a few substitutions, and they turned out beautifully – my most successful converted cookie recipe to date. Yay! I thought I’d post my substitutions in case any of your other readers have similar restrictions – 2 cups Bette Hagman’s gluten free mix, 1 cup sorghum flour and 1 tsp guar gum for the flour, 2 tbs flax mixed into 6 tbs of water for the eggs, and vegan margarine/shortening (I think I used earth balance shortening, either that or unsalted fleischman’s) instead of butter.
BEST. COOKIE. EVER. This is the sort of cookie that I dream about, but hardly ever make because I simply cannot be trusted with them. They are the perfect combination of brownie and cookie texture. Make sure to roll them out thickly so they are slightly crispy/chewy around the edge, and rich and fudgy in the middle.
Ok, I have to get this off of my chest, the last time I made these I ended up eating the entire batch. And by ‘the last time’ I may mean the last three times. Oh, the shame!
I decided to make these on a whim tonight after finding my old teddybear cookie cutter. They were absolutely PERFECT. I usually try to avoid recipes that require room temperature butter but I will definitely be making these more often. Thanks so much, Deb.
Hi Deb, Happy New year!!
Thanks very much for this recipe, it worked perfectly. I tried with 1/4 and 1/8 inch and we prefer the ones of 1/4 inch. My kids loved them too. Love your post and thanks for sharing all your great recipes!! by the way, lovely pictures of your baby.
MMMmmmmm. These were a big hit with the big and the little people in my house. The perfect thing to make and eat while stuck inside for another snow day.
Yummy! My dough was very dry. I sprinkled some water over it just so i could get my mixer through it. I think they turned out great. I can’t stop eating…
I make cookies evry weekend, I’m going to try these tommorow
These look awesome! Thanks for sharing!
I used regular unsalted butter and Penzeys natural high-fat cocoa and they were very very good. I made an ice cream sandwich with one and it was also delicious. HOWEVER. For me, what really took this recipe to the next level is making the cookies into a peanut butter sandwich. I used creamy Jif and wouldn’t dare let the natural (grainier, healthier) stuff anywhere near it. But you should decide how many of these you want to eat in advance because you will be in no position to make that decision once you have started. Happy Valentine’s Day indeed!
I baked these for Valentine’s Day using heart shaped cookie cutters. The dough was a little dry so some of the cookies were a little flaky looking on top. I’ll try either using bigger eggs or adding a little milk next time. The heart ice cream sandwiches were a huge hit and made for awesome pictures. My boyfriend double-fisted the cookies. Thanks for the tasty recipe.
Wow. Heaven in a cookie! Finally, a brownie-cookie. Thanks! I almost died upon first bite!
I just baked these…amazing! Thanks for sharing.
I’ll definitely have to try these babies out! i’ve always loved how sugar cookies look once decorated. The only problem is, not all sugar cookies taste good. BUT I HAVE A VERY GOOD FEELING THESE DO & WILL. :)
I am on my 5th time making these. So yummy. Tonight I used unbleached flour and had to at a little milk to wet the dough. I’m wondering what else I can add to the base of these cookies as opposed to the cocoa powder. I love the soft texture. Was thinking ground almond and almond extract? Maybe oats and some honey?
It’s disgusting out today in NYC so I felt the need to bake a batch of warm cookies. Limited by my pantry and no desire to run out to the store in the hurricane, I turned to these cookies using unsalted butter (meant to make up for this by adding more salt but then I forgot to do that, whoops) and regular cocoa (for some reason, I have a very hard time finding Droste in midtown though it’s also my preference). Feeling lazy, I couldn’t bring myself to bother rolling out this dough so I patted it into a log and rolled it up in wax paper, stuck it in the freezer for 20 minutes, and then took it out and simply sliced treating them like a refrigerator cookie. Less fuss and nothing lost for sure as these are friggin’ delicious and my husband, who loves, LOVES, simple foods, is in love with these. I made forty (with 1/3 of the log still in the fridge for tomorrow) and we’ve eaten far too many of these already. We did not make them into ice cream sandwiches but I will in the summertime with vanilla ice cream and coffee ice cream. I also plan on trying these with a shmear of nutella for breakfast tomorrow. In the future, I may try swapping out some of the cocoa for finely ground coffee to make a chocolate coffee cookie. Around the holidays, I think these would be great with crushed up candy canes in them or rolled around the edges prior to cutting my log. And since I have a bag of hazelnuts, I may make these next with finely chopped hazelnuts – like a nutella cookie without the nutella. I absolutely love the texture of these and the flavor – just perfect – totally hit the spot on this dreadful day. Thanks Deb – you never fail to please! Also, I can’t stop making the cream scones and I always thought I hated scones… must stop baking now, too close to bathing suit season and still carrying some baby weight… sigh.
These cookies… were soooooooo great. I am not a HUGE choclate fan, I usually enjoy chocoalte in something, rather then the main subject. These were grand. A friend of mine wanted to decorate cookies on valentines day, but she didn’t enjoy sugar cookies…. I wasn’t ready to settle for decorating choclate chip cookies and cupcakes aren’t exactly the same. I made a simple, but always great, frosting of a tbsn butter and milk melted (microwave) and mixed with powdered sugar to desired thickness. My roomie actually ended up smushing some ice cream inbetween some, but i prefered the frosted delights- but it may have had to do with how nice they looked frosted.
great recipie nice, fluffy and soft… yet somehow carry a nice crisp to them. swell.
I am making these today with a twist: using this dough to follow Sprinkle Bake’s instructions for Celtic Knot Cookies. http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2010/03/celtic-knot-cookies.html I plan to dust them with powdered sugar. Will report back! Thanks!
And…they are fantastic! This dough turned out perfectly and was very easy to work with. Since I was rolling it into logs and shaping it, I was particularly thankful. For those who asked, the recipe can be halved easily and with great success.
I think that you might get 18-24 cookies from a half batch…I got an even dozen of the special cookies I was making and used a golf-ball size of dough per cookie.
OOO!!!!! I can’t wait to try these ones, they look great! :)
mmmm, this chocolate section of the blog is driving me crazy!! I can’t wait to get into the kitchen this weekend… Your blog makes me hungry/anxious! :)
Deb. Deb… these were amazing! I brought them in to work and everyone is asking for the recipe. I can’t wait to try them again, maybe with ice cream, or to make sandwich cookies using your peanut butter icing recipe. Mmmmm.
these cookies are simple and amazing. I just sprinkled a little raw sugar on the top for added crunch, but the taste and texture really are just perfect.
I just made these for the second time and this time added a couple of drops of peppermint oil, fabulous. They’ll be delicious filled with vanilla ice cream later tonight.
Can’t wait to try these! They look and sound fantastic! I stumbled across your site while looking for a chocolate cookie recipe to make Darth Vader cookies for my son’s birthday party. I think these will work perfectly.
I just made these last night and I should have known…. I think they are a rather unsuspecting little cookie but once you get going, wow, they are reeeeally addicting. Brilliant of you for sharing!
Yup, these are crack cookies. Made them twice in the past week, used some for ice cream sandwiches ate the rest like potato chips.
I love the comment above mine from Lisa – yes, crack cookies indeed!!!
I made them for the first time this past weekend, and have had a hard time not eating every single one of them. I did not have ice cream this time around but will definitely make them again SOON.
they are delightfully delicious – I used organic dark cocoa powder which made them even more special.
I have linked this page to the photo of them that I put on my Flickr photo page.
EVERYONE should have this recipe…
seriously doubt if I’ll make any other kind of cookies again.
I’ll be back to Smitten Kitchen for other culinary adventures.
thank you thank you thank you !!!
my friend has been dying for me to make him a batch of brownies so instead of cracking open a box of duncan hines i took this recipe and made home-made borwnie cut out cookies! i dropped them off at his desk this morning and he started eating them for breakfast. my phone rang a few minutes after i sat at my desk and he said they were the best things he ever tasted! thanks once again smitten kitchen!!!
*cry* it went all wrong!! I had the same problem those couple people had from the start: once i’d added the flour my dough became a dry crumbly mess! I tried to salvage it by adding in some egg white to make it come together, but even though I added 3/8 c. I think I should have put more because the cookies were dry.
I think I’ve got to assume it was the size of the eggs that made the difference, because even though I bought large I noticed they were a little on the small side, and I think I normally use extra large for baking.
Maybe I should try rolling them out to 1/4″ instead of 1/8″, though, it might be better. If I make them again, I’ll probably add a little less flour, or at least keep a close eye on the mixer when adding it so I can stop if I have to.
That’ll teach me not to bake late at night!
On a smitten cookie roll right now – made a half batch of these, silly me, and they disappeared before I had time to get the ice cream in between them and make a little chocolate dipping sauce, so another batch in the making. I also made the brown butter brown sugar shorties for the second time this week – I am not going to pick favorites. Thanks Deb for all the deliciousness.
I’m addicted to these cookies. I have made them twice. The first time I used them for homemade ice cream sandwiches. The second time, I kept the dough in the fridge for a week or so and used the dough to make up a tray here and there. I prefer them thicker so they stay soft though the crisp ones will soften overnight.
I just made these with some extra peanut butter chips I had on hand…. yum.
these make amazing peanut butter sandwich cookies! i used my linzer cookie cutters to make the top and bottoms so that the tops would have little star cut outs. i am super excited to try them again with raspberry jam in between, yum!!!
i accidentally ran out of flour while making these so one third of the flour was whole wheat – not bad, but next time with white flour they will be even better!
thanks for the recipe!
I made these as roll-out cookies last week, but had doubled the recipe. Tired of all the rolling out (my least favorite baking activity) I took the remaining dough, and made two 2-inch logs out of it. Left them in the fridge. Yesterday, needing cookies for my son’s baseball game, and having no time to mix and bake, I took out the logs of dough, sliced off about 50 1/4-inch cookies, and baked them up, about 8 mins. They kept their perfect circle shapes, and made for a pretty cookie. Once they were cooled, I sprinkled them with powdered sugar. So much easier, and just as tasty as the ones I did with all the rolling. Love the dough; hate the rolling. Just thought I’d share this easier option with others.
I regret knowing this recipe but not making them for (literally) years. What a dummy! The dough’s currently in the fridge but I already know they’re going to be wonderful just by how good that batter was. Licking the Kitchenaide paddle with after making this cookie is the best.
Added ginger and cinnamon. Yum, yum, yum thanks for the wonderful recipe.
Hi! This is my first comment on this wonderful site, and being an Italian girl I apologize in advance for my poor English :)
I baked these cookies yesterday and all my family adored them. Unfortunately I can’t find any US measuring cup here, so I had to search my house for a milk cup that contained precisely 240 ml of water and used it for this recipe: it was fun, and even though I was worried it would be unprecise, the cookies turned out to be great, with a rich flavor and soft in the center. The dough was a little too soft compared to the usual italian rolling cookies dough, but with some flour I succeeded in taking the rounds out.
So, thank you for this one! I’m so happy I found The smitten Kitchen, I’m reading a lot of recipe and enjoying your pictures during these days, and I feel like I can trust you blindly :D
I dont know why but these cookies did not work at all for me! Even after putting down flour on the table, the dough got stuck to the counter! I had to put it back into the the fridge and try again but by that time it already had 2 layers of flour. I used a confection oven and they were already overcooked by 8 minutes. I had a few cookies left to cook that were not part of the burnt batch so I cooked those for 6 minutes. They came out much better but didnt end up tasting that great. Any suggestions?
Made these cookies today. Twice, at the request of my daughter. Being a somewhat lazy cook, I wasn’t looking forward to rolling the dough out so I made small balls of dough and pressed them to 1/4 inch or so with the bottom of a glass. Dipped the glass in sugar with each press – the same natural sugar I used in the dough in lieu of white sugar. Worked just fine. I cut back the flour about 1/4 cup in the second batch since the first was a little too dry and think it makes for a more tender cookie. Definitely will be making them again. And again!
could I freeze after baking? would they hold up/taste ok after defrost?
I have to make an extremely large quantity…
I just tried making these and they haven’t worked.. :( The dough was really sticky and I had to put it in the freezer to get it firm enough to roll out, and now I just looked in the oven and they have totally spread and not help their shape at all..
I’m assuming I’ve got the measurements wrong as I had to convert to grams (I live in the UK).. I used a conversion chart I found online but anyway, I’ve gone wrong somewhere. :( so disappointed! I was really looking forward to trying them after so many positive comments!
These were a huge hit at a get-together today! People kept thinking they had something like cinnamon or ginger in them…I kept saying “nope, chocolate.” The first thing out of their mouths was “they’re like brownies,” so you did a good job measuring.
Zoe-it must be the measurements. If it helps, 1 c of butter is a half-pound. I thought the UK also used cups, but I guess the whole EU thing has gotten there! The cups would probably be better measured by converting to ml since the cup is a measure of volume.
Um, make that “a good job re-naming.” not measuring! :) My mind was on Zoe’s comment!
I have made these cookies a few times now…and they are loved by all!!! They really do taste like a brownie cookie….fabulous. Great texture…I have also decorated them with royal icing…even though they taste great with nothing at all. I do think some cream cheese icing would be a great addition.
Yum! My son has been asking to make Christmas cookies. I’m not a fan of sugar cookies and frosting, so I found this and had to try it. So yummy! I got a good cookie and he got to use his cookie cutters. Win/Win. Down side is I can’t seem to stop eating them. Good thing I only made a half batch. Thanks!
Great great great recipe. I made it as gifts for my sons’ teachers. They were very appreciated.I just had one quick Q about the recipe, since the dough sits in the refrigerator for an hour, shouldn’t the preheating step be mentioned at the point when the baker is ready to roll out the dough?
If you freeze them before baking, should you thaw them before baking or can you bake straight out of the freezer? If the latter, how long should you bake them (for 1/4 inch cookies)? Thank you!
Awesome cookies! Didn’t have any problems with the dough. Perfectly “roll-able.” Dusted snowflakes with powdered sugar. Very Christmas-y. Gave you kudos on my site: http://www.reviewsbytwo.com. Thank!
Made these tonight with two little girls, and they turned out perfectly! Did a powdered sugar dusting and they look great for the Christmas cookie platter. Used half regular cocoa powder, half fancy cocoa, fyi. Thanks for the great recipe!
Yum. Just made these for my work cookie exchange and they’re great. I know the beauty is supposed to be in the simplicity, but I iced them and sprinkled them with crushed candy canes. Really yummy and great texture, though I do wish I’d splurged for better cocoa powder.
Made these today with Christmas cookie cutters. The dough is amazing to work with as it doesn’t stick like a lot of other cookie dough recipe. Can’t wait to make these for every holiday, thanks for the great recipe :)
I’ll be making a frozen kit of these as a housewarming gift! Thanks, Deb, for the fantastic recipe!
I baked these today, and they are yummy. I actually made the dough several days ago and kept it in the icebox. It rolled out wonderfully. I chose these to be my toddler twins’ first experience making their own food. They loved it, and they totally understood that *they* cut the cookies and then got to eat them. It was great.
Also to note, I made these gluten-free. I substituted a gluten-free flour mix and it was fine. I also substituted finely milled raw sugar for the refined sugar, just personal preference. I will make them again, but I will use a better quality cocoa. I couldn’t find the good stuff.
Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Hi Deb- Just wanted to let you know I made these, used 1/3 cup black cocoa and 1/3 cup regular- yum- taste like oreos!! Not sure if this is how they taste anyway, but man, they are great!
This recipe is AWESOME… My children don’t like gingerbread, so I used this to make a “Chocolate bread” house for Christmas… worked perfectly and was devoured by adults and kids alike… Thanks, it will be a traditional thing for us now….(I can send a pic if you would like to see the results)
Oh wow. These were DELICIOUS. However, I ran into the same problem several others readers faced – my dough was ridiculously dry. I re-read the recipe several times over, but I knew I had followed it accurately. Although dry, the batter tasted pretty good, so I decided to try something instead of scrapping it: – I took about half of the uber dry batter out (because my KitchenAid was not liking how dry the mixture was)
– Mixed in about 1-1.5 Tbs softened butter, and a whole beaten egg (all the eggs I used were large) until fully incorporated
– Added the other half of the batter back and followed the baking instructions as written
They turned out fabulously; they’re quite possibly my new favorite cookies.
Other things I did –
(1) They didn’t need them, but I added some finely chopped 80% chocolate pieces to half the batch – soooo good when they were warm with little bits of melted chocolate!
(2) Used 1/3 c regular Hershey’s cocoa powder and 1/3 c Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder – I’ve been doing this with all of my recipes and like the extra chocolate-y-ness.
hi deb! i was going to bake boring old chocolate chip cookies tonight, but i think i’ll make these instead – thanks :) but maybe i’ll ice them, to make them a bit more decorative.
These cookies are beyond amazing! I was so excited about finding this recipe last night that I couldn’t sleep. For my son’s school bakesale today, I wanted a cookie that I could use a cookie cutter with but I didn’t want to make regular sugar cookies. This was perfect! This dough was the easiest, most forgiving dough that I’ve ever worked with. I didn’t stray from your instructions other than I have a super hot oven so 7 minutes was perfect for me. To make them a little more interesting for the kids, I made a 1/2 batch of your homemade Oreo cookie filling—-this amount was perfect for the amount of cookies that were made. I sandwiched them together and I’m positive they’ll be a hit at the school!! The only disappointment: This batch isn’t for me!!!! I might have to do it all again tonight and keep them for myself. Such chocolatey dangerousness!!! Thank you a million times over!!!
I think i have a helpful hint. Instead of rolling the scraps out over and over on flour and worry about them getting too hard from all the flour, i rolled them out once on a floured board, then took the scraps and put them between a large piece of folded over cellophane, then rolled over the cellophane, nothing sticks, roller is clean. I did roll the scraps together and put back in frig. to harden up before i rolled each batch, but it worked well.
I made these for the first time this weekend, and I too ran into the problem of a slightly crumbly dough (it certainly did NOT look like your picture). I’m not sure what caused the consistency to be this way (maybe my hand mixer?), but I found that working the dough with my hands (in small portions) helped it to hold together. I was then able to roll it and cut the cookies. I also found that underbaking them slightly helped to give them the a chewy texture, although they didn’t seem to be as soft as you described…luckily my 3 year-old nephew loved them anyway!
Made these cookies with a friend last night. Decided spur the moment to make vanilla buttercream frosting and made some cookies sandwiches. Best decision ever. These cookies are delicious on their own, but with the frosting they are over the top! Like a oreo, but a million times better!
My batter is in the fridge as we speak and i cannot WAIT to make them! I was so afraid when i was making it because the batter was kinda sticky and stinking to the mixer, but i came on here and read all the comments and saw the picture and was relieved that it is suppose to do that and i am SOOOO excited!! Will report back after i make them! Has anyone ever decorated them with icing? Any suggestions or ideas? After they are made– how long will they last for? i Plan on doing them tonight but need them for saturday– think they will still be good if i put them in tupperware?
Tried the Brownie Roll-Out Cookies three days ago and a big thank you to you and your Mom for the recipe. So easy and so delicious!
I made groundhog cutout and football shaped cookies, Received so many compliments on how delicious your recipe is. Thank you for posting!!
I just wanted to thank you for this recipe. I am a huge foodie and Culinary School grad. I loved them so much I am making my second batch in one night. Perfect for Valentines Day cookies dipped in White and Dark Chocolate. I have searched high and low constantly trying new recipe and these have hit the spot. My Chocolate Sugar Cookie Mission is over. Thanks again!
Wonderful cookies! We’ll be making this again and again.
I tried this recipe & I absolutely LOVE these cookies. I practically ate all of them!
They make the best ice cream sandwiches! :)
Delicious! I have tried making chocolate sugar cookies in the past and they were terrible – definately not chocolatey enough. I think your title fits perfectly. I baked a tray last night and ate three for breakfast. I rolled and cut the rest of the dough and froze the cookies. Do I need to let them come to room temp before baking or can they be baked straight from the freezer with an additional few minutes? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!
You can bake them straight from the freezer.
I was determine to make these cookies even though I discovered that I had (a) not quite enough butter (b) not quite enough flour (c) no rolling pin. And then I accidentally cooked them the entire time on broil instead of bake! The results? Delicious! These cookies turned out to be (thankfully) idiot proof!
I just made these with Kahlua substituted for the vanilla… I highly recommend doing so! SO good!
I was looking for a recipe just like this one, thank you so much for sharing. i am now heading straight to the kitchen to make me some deliciousness!
Love these cookies!!! Made them yesterday as a test and was so pleased I turned around and made a double batch this afternoon. They held their shape, were tender yet firm, and pleasing to taste without any topping but a very nice canvas for those who wish to be creative. Yummy! Thanks for sharing!!
I made these cookies as a base for ice cream sandwiches, as recommended in your original post. I made both vanilla and coffee sandwiches and they were a huge hit! I had extra cookies left over and they were gobbled down rapid-fire at a family reunion. The basic cookie itself is durable (and nicely transportable), yet soft (like the word “brownie” in the name implies). Thank you for the recipe — I’m sure I will be making them again!
WOW! i made sandwich cookies with an orange creme filling (incl. orange flower water, a bit of juice from an orange and zest!) for a potluck and they were a HUGE success. everyone was especially delighted that they weren’t sickly sweet. thanks for the recipe – it’s definitely a keeper and i made SO MANY i was able to freeze some for me and my husband later!
deb, i’m so excited to have found your site, and i’m definitely adding it as a fave!
I’ve made these a few times, and because they’re so easy, decided they’d be the perfect addition to my 4th of July spread. I cut them out with star-shaped cookie cutters and made sandwiches with cream cheese frosting. Then. I decorated the sides with red & blue sprinkles for a festive presentation. Tasty & pretty!
I like your idea about using these to make an ice cream sandwich! That sounds perfect for these hot summer days. :-)
I was searching for a “chocolate sugar cookie” recipe for my son’s Star Wars themed Birthday Party. I am planning to make Darth Vader cookies using a Darth Vader cookie cuter. This recipe sounds like it might be the one… especially since I am planning on serving the cookie as a topper for an ice cream sundae. With the slightly soft texture, they will go so much better with the ice cream than the a hard sugar cookie. My only question and concern is, do you think this cookie would take well to cookie cutters with detailed imprints? I purchased the William Sonoma Star Wars cookie cutters and they are the type of cutters that have all of the fancy facial details, etc. Thank you for posting the recipe! Can’t wait to try it out.
Ann — We always made these cookies at my parents house with that kind of cutter, it should be fine. But you’ll want to roll them thinner.
I baked these cookies today with my kids, but when my son was reading the recipe to me, he skipped the “chill for an hour” part, so we didn’t do that and they turned out great. What does the chilling do? Does it change the texture or moisture level or is it just to make them easier to roll/cut?
Ours were a tad on the dry/crunchy side, so that’s why I’m asking, but we had no trouble rolling them out and cutting them. We’re decorating them with buttercream and they’re so yummy!
My mom and I just made these and they came out so dry. :( They’re not too bad tasting but we wound up having to make little balls because the dough just wouldn’t roll. I followed the recipe to a tee so I’m not sure what happened. :(
These look really delicious. I dont have any unsweetned cocoa but would unsweetened cocoa powder work? If not what could I use to substitute it?
Hi Sarah — I’m not sure there’s a difference between unsweetened cocoa and unsweetened cocoa powder.
How long the cookies will be good & should i store it in refrigerator? i was thinking to put some royal icing for decoration too.. i wanna try it :)
I had a question! I’ve made these cookies before and they were super wonderful, but I recently I bought a really cute cookie tin sheet with different shapes that you press the cookie dough into, and I was wondering if this recipe would still work as well? I really hope that it does! Any suggestions?
Ok, so I tried baking these cookies in the press-into-different-shapes-sheet I bought and it didn’t go so well. It’s hard to gauge how think the dough should be in the little moulds! Thankfully, I had a backup plan and just used some cookie cutters I bought when I ran out for more flour! I want to try again with a little less dough and flatten it out even more in the little moulds.
Regardless of the derpy shapes I had, everyone loved the cookies. Super delicious as always!
Just made these. AWESOME! I love them, as did the rest of my family. A definite hit!
wow – i chose this recipe as my first-time-ever attempt at making cookies and they turned out ah-mazing!
As i had never baked before i was a little nervous when it came to handling the dough (fear of tough cookies!) and since i don’t have a mixer, i was also a bit nervous regarding doing everything by hand.
Seriously, I could not be happier with the outcome. These cookies are delicious, soft and thick and the dough is perfect cut-outs. My boyfriend, who had never made cookies before, couldn’t have been more excited. We really spent most of our Sunday afternoon decorating the cookies like 5 year olds.
Can’t wait to make these again!
Love the simplicity! and the taste.. Since I’m allergic to dairy and eggs I replaced the butter for vegetable margarine, used egg replacer instead of eggs and doubled the amount of baking power (I find egg replacer doesn’t quite do the job on its own). They turned out great and are exactly as you descibe them! Since I’m Dutch I did use ofcourse Dutch cocoa!
Very Yummy! Cut mine into hearts. Rolled the scraps into ball shapes; these were none too appealing, but better tasting since they were softer in the center…even more brownie-ish!
I made this yesterday night..it came together so quickly with what I had in hand. I used Valhrona cocoa and just used the roll and cut technique.The shapes were a little mishappen, but using a serrated knife helped. My husband was craving brownies and he was surprised to see something on a weekday. They tasted heavenly with a glass of cold milk. Its a good thing I just baked up a few. Otherwise I can never get out of the gym.
Thanks again for a wonderful recipe..P.S: we are planning up another Smitten thanksgiving for this year.
I am looking for a good chocolate sugar cookie recipe and this one looks great. A question to those who have made them, are the cookies firm enough to decorate with royale icing and individually bag, like a regular sugar cookie?
Hi Smitten Kitch,
The cookies were delish…. slightly salter and sweeter than we liked but still chewy and soft.
One disclaimer with this “recette” is that the batter ends up being quite crumbly and it is hard to roll properly and then make the cookie cut outs. Please advise.
P.S. We mixed the cocoa into the dry ingred list instead of the wet one, so maybe that made a difference.
Hi Sharon — I’ve never had trouble rolling these out (I made them again just last week.) though the crumbly-ness of a dough can be affected even by the way flour is placed in a cup — I tend to scoop and sweep, getting cups of flour that weigh 125 grams. Hope that helps.
In US all butter is come with stick form… but what is the weight then? Cuz, the normal butter that we have down here is about 250g.
A stick of butter weighs 113 grams or 4 ounces.
These are amazing … I loved chocolate fudge pop-tarts when I was little and the cookies taste just how I remember those did … Thanks for the recipe!
These are awesome! I made three of your recipes for my holiday gifts (these plus the Nutmeg Maple Cookies & Pecan Sandies), and all three worked out beautifully. I have to say, sometimes roll/cut-out doughs can be a bear to handle, but all three of these were a piece of cake. You made my cookie baking much more pleasant than past years!
almost done baking these for an upcoming Hanukkah party. amazing! i generally find myself getting super frustrated rolling out cookies but these were a dream. now trying to decide how to decorate them. so yummy!
I’ve made this cookies twice and they are amazing! This time I used them as “ginger bread man” because I don’t really like ginger cookies. Also this time I added a tsp. of cinnamon. I’m Mexican and chocolate without cinnamon is not the same. They turned out delicious. I might try to add a bit of spice next time ;)
Thanks for yet another great recipe!
I made a batch last week and froze the dough. I took out of the freezer last night planning to bake today but I can’t until Thursday morning. Will the dough stay ok in the fridge until then?
Yes, I think it will be fine but to be safest, I would put it back in the freezer again until Wednesday.
Thanks, Deb! These cookies are amazing, btw. They are the easiest cut-out dough ever and they taste fantastic.
Btw, they came out fine. The dough that was thawed and refrozen was maybe a little crumbly when rolling and cutting but they still tasted great in the end.
I made these for a Hanukkah celebration tonight and they were a big hit :) This is a great recipe because my boyfriend is always buying me random cookie cutters but its hard to find roll-out cookies soft enough for my taste. This will definitely be going in my brand-new personal recipe book!
The consistency when I mixed these up seemed just right, but after refrigerating the dough I had the same problem as others. It was rock hard and very crumbly. I ended up rolling it into balls and pressing them with a fork like peanut butter cookies, baked them for 11 minutes and they were delicious. I would be happy to make these again, and if I want to roll them out I’ll just skip the refrigeration.
Made these tonight, and, as I am lazy, after refrigerating the dough I rolled it into balls and then flattened them with a floured bottom of a glass.
Came out wonderful, and now the only problem is resisting eating the whole pan! I like my cookies to be moist and soft, no matter what kind they are, and these did not disappoint! Thank you!
Yummmm! These are amazing. I had a short day at school and decided to celebrate the end of finals week and semester 1 with cookies and these fit the bill! Thank you so much for the recipe and for making my finals happier!!
Can you decorate with Royal Icing?
Deb, So I made the recipe just as it said but when I rolled them out they crumble and I can’t do anything with the dough. What do I do?
I loved working with this dough – and the cookies are very tasty! I used cocoa with some Dutch processed cocoa in it, as I didn’t want them to be too bitter. And I didn’t need to adjust it for high altitude (much… I added about 1/2 cup extra flour so that it wouldn’t stick to the beater), and the baking time was perfect for this elevation (7220 ft). Only one or two cookies puffed too much for being able to flood with corn syrup icing or royal icing. I’m eager to see how they’ll hold up in shipping, though, as right now they’re kind of soft. If it doesn’t look like they’ll ship well, I know someone in this house who will happily accommodate making them disappear.
I just made these for Valentines day. Yum. Your recipes are amazing.
A few things: First, I partially flatten out the dough before refrigerating. Easier to finish rolling them than from a chilled ball of dough.
Second, I rolled the dough out between two pieces of parchment, so no need for any flour. I do this trick with pie crust and other rolled cookies too.
Last, the dough was rock hard after refrigerating. It was a lot of work to roll it out, even from the partially rolled out slab. Next time I will refrigerate for 15-20 minutes and then check to see if it’s firm enough. Otherwise, I guess you have to let it sit out for a bit.
And I will definitely make these as ice cream sandwiches when the weather warms up. Perfect for that!
these aRE lovely valentines cookies. i wondered, anybody have a recommendation for an icing with which to decorate these? maybe it’s sacreligious, but I’m craving something else with these cookies…makes sense to me these are sort of a with-ice-cream cookie (though I’ve been eating them plenty on their own) — anyway, what icing/frosting would be good do we think? It would also be pretty, right, something white or pastel on the dark dark cookie?
The dough turned out dry and crumbly. Not the easiest to work with but the final result was nice and tastey.
I just made these, and I really love them. The dough is so tender and easy to work with, and the taste and texture are perfect. This would be a great dough to make into a log and stash in the freezer to keep for last-minute company. Thanks for sharing it!
Deb’s mom- thank you. I have already made these 4 times so far in the last 2 months. My husband refuses to share these and we eat them as dinner. (6 tiny ones with a glass of cold milk). Oh the joys of adulthood!
I tried rolling these both thin and thick and the consensus in my house is that thick is much better! They are a little plain on their own for my tastes, but they made excellent ice cream sandwiches. Next time I would dust them with powdered sugar or maybe drizzle them with some type of chocolate or frosting. I could also see these as jam sandwich cookies with raspberry jam and some almond flavoring in the dough!
Thick is definitely better, but the name “brownie rollout cookies” set my expectations higher than was met. This is a very basic tasting cookie, sort of like a shortbread though not as buttery as good shortbread… Yes, I agree these would make great ice cream sandwiches, but as a standalone I’m not sure they were worth all the rolling. I used a really expensive organic cocoa, too, so that wasn’t the issue. Hmm. They did seriously create a cold milk craving!
Wonderful recipe! Loved the simplicity. Can’t wait to try them as ice cream sandwiches.
Has anyone tried to stamp these cookies? I have cookie cutters that also have a design with which to stamp the cookies. I am wondering if these puff up too much for that kind of detail to stay visible.
Hi Ray — For stamp cookies, I’d roll them thinner. Growing up, we’d make them with a stamp-style cookie cutter (before they were spring-loaded and easier to use, sigh) and they held the marks pretty well. Not as well as a cookie without baking powder, but clearly enough.
I can now answer this question…yes. Works very well.
Just wondering if the mixture can be left in the fridge overnight in a big clump or if I should cut out the shapes and put them in the freezer like you recommended in your comments 18 and 59? Thanks :)
So so love these! Returning to reprint because I misplaced my first. One of my go-to cookies. Yes, they hold stamping well (I’ve just used other smaller cookie cutters to make an imprint for birthday party theme…ie: R/R on a circle for train crossing, or the birthday girl’s initials). I like them especially with some fine piped royal icing detailing or sandwiching mint frosting. We definitely like them thick and soft.
I made these for a playschool party and they were a hit. I used 170g unsalted butter and added a pinch of salt, and stirred/mixed with a wooden spoon, not a mixer, which was fine. Refrigerated for an hour before rolling, then again before the next batch (got too soft as it’s hot where I live). I used small animal and shape cookie cutters and the recipe made 94 cookies! Then glazed them (3 cups icing sugar, 3-4 Tbsp hot water and 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice) with different colours. They were chewy and tasty! Thank you!
Maybe why some people’s dough comes out crumbly: I have 2 measuring cups, and one measures a cup at about 110-113 grams, the other measures a cup at 145-158 grams (a 2-cup measuring cup, so also wider). I use the smaller cup to make recipes.
I actually did get frustrated with the dry ingredients in the middle of the recipe because I just couldn’t get the wet and dry ingredients to meld together. So I actually added maybe about two tablespoons of milk and the dough still came out firm enough to rollout cookies, just in case anyone was wondering. But anyways the cookies are delicious! My favorite chocolate cookies by far.
I would like to bake these for my daughter’s birthday party to stake into the centerpiece foam. Can they be baked on a stick or are they too soft to stay on?
How do you think these would be with a homemade marshmallow filling?
Couldn’t wait for a response. Made them tonight. AMAZING. Will certainly be making these again.
Fantastic website! You are just the person for my long standing question. Some 30 yrs ago when I was in HS the “lunch Ladies” made their own cookies. I will never forget them and to this day have never had one like it. they were chewy chocolate brownie cookies. They looked like they were baked in a muffin top pan. they were so dense that you could hold the cookie in the palm of your hand, make a fist and the cookie would actually stay formed with ridges that show your finger joints and peaks that divided your fingers. I have not been able to find the right ingredients to make cookies so dense and pliable with such chocolatey goodnes. I hope my description was able to do justice to such goodness. Thank you for your wonderful contributions to comfort food. YUM!
The closest consistency to these famous chewy brownie cookies that I have experienced has been the 1/2″ edges of some brownies. any suggestions or references you have would be fantastic. Thank you.
Just made these and they are the best cut out cookie ever!!!
Just made them with my son. We made toads, bats and cats for Halloween (we get into the Halloween spirit early!). Delicious recipe!
Wonderful recipe — tastes amazing even uncooked! (I know, I know, e coli, but still…) Thanks for sharing!
I made these cookies an hour ago I didn’t have any problem with them..they looked very nice and soft even when I took a bite from one they looked like the one in your picture.thank you for this very yummy recipe
I had always steered away from cut out cookies because of their texture and snappiness, because I much prefer softer brownie type cookies. But the kids want to make cut out cookies for Xmas and my son loves chocolate, so these sound like address all my issues with cut out cookies. Can’t wait to make them now. Thanks!
Yesterday I made the cookies but today they tasted better…. I am gonna make more and freeze them I just love these cookies
So I made the cookies yesterday. The dough was fine to work with ( I only chilled for 20 mins) . They cooked beautifully ( although mine took 12 mins) and tasted great. I could see how they would be perfect for ice cream sandwiches. Next time I’m going to add some chic chunks.
I tried to make these today, followed the recipie as it was.. Not sure what went
wrong but my cookie dough was very crumbly and was not smooth what so ever!!! Has anyone else experience the same issue??
I was wondering if you think there is any problem with freezing the dough in balls, rather than pre-cut the cookies, then roll out and bake when you need them (my freezer is just too crowded for flash freezing…..
Hi Laura — No problem at all. My freezer is tiny as well. I stack the trays (usually clearing out a shelf long enough to freeze the cookies; not long enough for anything essential to defrost or get ruined) turning each a little so that they don’t nest into each other and it doesn’t usually take long for them to get firm enough that they can be moved to a freezer bag. I do it this way so that they’re ready to bake whenever the craving strikes. Just sharing the tips in case that helps you navigate your freezer, too!
Hi Deb! I was thinking about making and baking these today and freezing them, but I’ve read your comment that they are best if frozen before baking. Do they turn out really bad if I bake them and freeze them? Is it not worth it?
I made this recipe for a party last night and they were a smash hit! I think next time I may add a little bit of chili to make them a Mayan brownie roll out cookie – for a twist. Thanks, Deb!
I’m sure this is the dummiest question EVER but I have to do it… When you speak of 350 degrees, are they Fahreneit or Celsius. I don’t expect you to answer (more likely you will laugh at me) but I’m from Spain and once had a really bad experience with a friend’s recipe, temperature and some cupcakes :(
Really, I can’t wait to try such a great recipe.
Thanks Deb! This recipe was exactly what I was looking for and the cookies turned out delicious. I am not a regular backer, but you make it so easy and fun! I hope it’s OK that I wrote about this recipe in my blog, with a link to yours, of course. I have just started a craft blog and you are truly an inspiration.
Hi! I have a quick question. I didn’t scroll through every single comment so I don’t know if it has been asked or not… I want to make these cookies, but I need to freeze them since I’m not making them until a week from now. Do I just freeze the hunk of dough? Flatten it and then freeze it? Freeze it in sections? Can I bake the cookies and then freeze them?
It’s 350F, i.e. cca 175C.
I really want to make these! How long do they last once they are done? I want to make them for a Christmas party but I would also love to have some to bring somewhere a few days later. Do you think they will last a few days?
Thanks so much!
Hi Deb, I’m just wondering, how long do you think the dough can be kept in the fridge?
Hi Ilona — Normally I’d say a day or two, and longer, you should keep it in the fridge. But last week, I made the dough on Monday and didn’t get to rolling them out until late Friday afternoon and it was fine, fine, fine. Ideally, though, you’d want to do it for less time. I was taking a risk that may not work if your eggs or butter or luck is less fresh. ;)
Okay, good to know! Thanks, Deb. They are the second recipe I’m trying from your cookbook, and I’m sure I won’t be dissapointed. They’re next in line to go into my Christmas cookie tins, joining your coffee toffee.
I made these for the holidays this year and did them as slice and bake instead of rolling them. I also sandwiched two with chocolate ganache and crushed peppermint. Wonderful cookie, thank you. They have become a requested item already
I actually read almost all of these comments, before deciding to try these today. I was most concerned about these cookies being too dry or crumbly. I like the idea of something retro-my mom always had hershey cocoa as well. (That moist hershey cocoa cake made with oil and hot water can’t be best for simple, foolproof, chocolate goodness).
So, I haven’t rolled these out yet, and made a few changes. I halved the recipe. I didn’t want to roll out five dozen cookies. But I made a mistake, and put in the regular amount of cocoa (2/3 cup). I also had fresh orange zest (1-2 tsp) left over from my regular sugar cookie recipe I make every Christmas. I also used closer to one tsp of baking powder. I added about a tablespoon of plain, non fat greek yogurt, to compensate for the extra cocoa. I find that a small amount of yogurt helps with texture in other things I’ve made.
I used the “creaming” method of mixing, creaming the butter/sugar, then adding egg, vanilla, (yogurt), orange zest, then adding the (combined first) dry ingredients. The batter crumbled up nicely, had the right amount of moisture, molded perfectly into flattened saran wrapped disks, just as well as the sugar and gingerbread cookies I made earlier today. They are very, very chocolatey, and I like the addition of orange flavor. (Lindt dark chocolate with orange bits is my favorite chocolate bar).
I’m very confident they will work out: even rolling them out with kids, because the texture is like the other butter cutout cookies I make. Will let you know if these alterations don’t do well after rolling out and baking. But they taste incredible!!
This is the third recipe we’ve tried from your Smitten Kitchen cookbook – the chicken with olive & grapes was fantastic, and the brisket is in the slow cooker right now.
I’m not sure what I did wrong, but the cookies came out sort of chalky tasting. I rolled them out a bit thinner (we’re having them with home made honey vanilla ice cream tomorrow) – probably close to 1/8 inch. I cooked the first batch for 9.5 minutes, and the second batch for 8. The texture isn’t a problem – they’re right at that sweet spot between crunchy and chewy, but the taste is sort of… bland. Any thoughts on what I might have done? I used a new canister of unsweetened cocoa from Whole Foods, and I’m pretty sure I used 2/3 cup (always second guess myself though)…
Thanks so much!
AWESOME cookies! I brought these to a party a couple weeks ago, and they were a huge hit. I used some ultra-dark cocoa I had laying around; that made these, IMHO, even better. A transcendent brownie-cookie experience!
In my gas oven, I had to shorten the baking time significantly to prevent drying out the cookies. At 7 minutes for 1/4 inch thick cookies I had nice fudginess. Longer than that and the cookies were dry. The fudgy cookies are SOOO GOOOOOD!!
I made these for christmas, took them to a party and stealthily took the leftovers home as I left early. Is that bad of me? They were just sooo good. I couldn’t bear these cookie-haters (they practically didn’t touch the cut outs) left with the goods. I don’t think I’m a bad person, deep down I hope you’d do the same Deb :)
Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a totally different topic but it has pretty much the same page layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!
These are lovely. I made them with two assistants under the age of six and was pleased to find the dough nice and easy to roll out, and very forgiving. We “glued” a little flowershaped cookie onto the top of a bigger flower with a bit of ganache and it was stellar.
I used this recipe to try out my new Batman cookie cutter, they’re absolutely delicious! They remind me of the biscuit on the icecream sandwiches I used to get when I was little (icebergers) ,combined with a bourbon cream biscuit. And they look pretty snazzy might I add ;)
I just made these from the recipe in your book (which is AMAZING btw) and my mom and I can’t stop eating them. So, I HATE you for these cookies, but I also love you. We have a difficult relationship dynamic. I bet you didn’t even know you were in a relationship with a terrible baker from Chicago! Seriously enough, THANK YOU for this recipe!
Do you have to roll these out? Could I drop and flatten?
Juanita — I’ve never tried — I’m not sure they’re the spreading type that would work with that technique but it can’t hurt to try a few that way and see what happens. You could also chill the dough into tube shape and slice off cookies, to avoid rolling.
I made these yesterday and cut them into footballs and then piped white icing lines on top. They tasted fantastic and were very easy to put together. I will definitely make them again and try them for homemade ice cream sandwiches. Thanks a bunch for sharing.
Do you have an estimation of how much salt to use? I only use unsalted butter and would like to avoid buying a whole pack of salted without a use for them.
I plan on making these tomorrow- heart shaped and partially dipped in tempered bittersweet chocolate! Love cookies…. I read with interest the comments from some regarding dry dough. It could be due to the type of butter used. Butters have varying moisture contents and can significantly effect the consistency of a cookie dough. I’ve been burned by buying inexpensive butters. They seem to have the highest moisture content and lead to a wet dough requiring more flour. I use an organic butter and hope that my dough will not be dry like some experienced. Certainly the way the flour is measured comes into play and is probably the biggest factor in dough consistency. I really wish that everyone that posts recipes would use weights, along with standard measurements. Baking would be so much more consistent. I made the salted caramel brownies today. I’ll post some comments on that recipe.
Never mind about the salt question – I found the answer in your book!
Oh my goodness. I just made this from the recipe in your cookbook, and they are so good. Both of my roommates gave a post-first-bite gasp–this is what chocolate lovers are looking for. You’re right, Deb. They look like “Chocolate Sugar Cookies,” but they taste more like “Brownie Knockout Cookies,” or something along those lines.
Which type of sugar should i use?? Powdered??
Sue — Granulated. In baking recipes, when none is specified, it’s always granulated.
Making these tonight for teacher gifts. Any tips for putting m&ms on the top?
Made these today to surprise my kids for Valentines Day! They are SO good — everyone who’s wondering, they DO taste as good as the pictures make them look! I used King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour, as I always do with baked goods. They’re moist, sweet and very chocolatey. My favorite thing was how easy they are , without lots of bowls and extra hassle. Just mix, chill and cut out!
This is a cookie-science question – WHY are these so easy to roll and is there a non-chocolate sugar cookie recipe that is similar? I’ll do some experimenting, but I thought I would ask. Is it the cocoa?
Just had these at a reception last night and they were DELICIOUS! Had to ask for the recipe and this is where I was sent… can’t wait to try making them myself!!! So, so good. And now you tempt me with ice cream sandwiches, holy moly. Hope we get that ice cream maker I registered for as a wedding gift! :)
Made these today. Easy, tasty, quick and not over sweet – loved them!!
I finally made these cookies after wanting to make them for the longest time, and I am so glad I did. These are delicious, and were a dream to roll out and cut. I was worried about the dough being crumbly but they turned out perfect. Thank you (and your mom) for this wonderful recipe!
I am doing a Bridal Shower tea and the bride loves anything Chocolate and peanut butter. Would these work to sandwich together with peanut butter frosting in the middle making tiny sandwich cookies for the shower or are they too thick?
I only recently ‘found’ your blog and have been avidly reading as many of your recipes as I have time for, and as baking is my passion I clicked on to the ‘cookie’ section. I thought these sounded interesting and seemed to have a huge response so I tried them out on Sunday. I just rolled out half of the dough and made them quite thin, the dough behaved very well and looked just like yours so I was pleased. They baked up very well too, no spreading, keeping their shape well. However, I wasn’t that impressed with the taste, sorry! HOWEVER, today I rolled out the rest of the dough and this time made them thicker, what a difference! Much nicer and well worth making again, and again….
I just made these today, cut into little shamrocks and topped with peppermint icing for St. Patrick’s Day. Quite tasty! They didn’t puff up at all but maybe it’s because they were cut so small. I’d make them again, for sure. Thanks!
Great cookies. I used the recipe in your book, so I weighted all my ingredients. They turned out amazing. I froze half the amount and they were great cooked straight from frozen. They are definitely nicer rolled out thicker, more brownieish if that makes sense.
I made these cookies last week. They were super easy to make and delicious! Even my non-cookie loving husband loved these :-) I totally see how they would be great for ice-cream sandwiches since they have such a nice soft texture.
I baked about a third of the dough the afternoon I made them, then froze the rest (rolled and cut) and baked a second batch a few days later. I found that they froze very well, just as Deb promised. I did notice that the freshly baked, non-frozen batch tasted a little more chocolatey, and the frozen ones spread a little more during cooking (despite same oven, same temp, 2 minutes added to cooking time since baking from frozen). But the frozen ones came out great and were very much enjoyed too. Will definitely be making these again!
Whoooo. These are fantastic. And love that they’re low-fuss, too. Rolling and cutting always seems like such a pain, but this dough is really easy to deal with! I’m planning on dipping the bottom in tempered chocolate!
Saw this on Pinterest and adding it to my list of recipes to try. I think my kids would love to help make them – and eat them!
I’m guessing, but I think that NYC has a much more humid climate than a lot of the rest of the country. Anyone having trouble with dry dough should probably keep that in mind. As, don’t add all the flour until you see how the dough is behaving. That said, our 20% humidity and these cookies sliced, not rolled, were exceptionally good!
Not overly impressed with these.
Instructions were somewhat lacking and actual quality was poor.
ww — Can you tell me where you needed more direction? Would be happy to add more clarification.
are the degrees in celsius or fahrenheit?? i supppose fahrenheit because it would be a bit hot in celsius… but still.
Made these cookies for Valentine’s Day in a heart shape and iced them with some pretty patterns. They came out great! Both my sweetheart and roommates loved them.
Hi deb – any chance you could update the recipe with metric measurements?
sarah — All done!
I made these from the cookbook last night, and they are fabulous! I used a cookie press, so they kind of resemble a chocolate spritz cookie–very cute. The dough was a great consistency for the press, and I just baked them for a bit less time (~6min). Everyone at work today loves them!
Made these today and they came out great! As others have said, the dough is easier to mix by kneading a bit at the end, and it is very easy and quick to press the cookies with a glass if you don’t have the time or desire to roll out the dough.
Hi there ~ I made these cookies this past weekend and they were SOOOO yummy! Definitely adding this to my most loved recipes. I blogged about them today, and I linked to you.
Thanks for sharing the yummy recipe!
Attempting these with my three year old today. Pretty sure it’s going to be a messy endeavor but surely worth it if these taste as good as they look!
What is the maximum amount of time I can chill the dough? I ask because I’d like to make the dough one night and bake them the next night to bring into a meeting the following morning. Is 24hrs chilling too much? Thanks for any info about this!
It should be just fine.
These cookies are delicious! I’ve made them for several events as a take away and they always get rave reviews. http://instagram.com/p/dGRbXAkX5H/
My niece & I used this recipe to make moustache-shaped cookies for the launch of her PhotoBus. I added two packets of instant Sanka and they were delicious! Thank your mom for her recipe.
Hi Deb! It was great meeting you at the London book launch nd baking the Brownie Roll-Out Cookies for the party! I was so happy to hear you liked them! I have written a blog post about them: http://mondomulia.com/brownie-roll-out-cookies
Hope you had a good time in London!
I should know by now just to come here first, when I’m looking for a specific type of recipe. I googled “chocolate cut-out cookies” because I need to make some for a Batman theme party…..and what do you know, I happily ended up on Smitten Kitchen again. Brilliant! Thanks as always!
Made bat-shaped versions for Halloween. Recipe turned out perfectly. Thank you!
Do you think these would hold up in the mail as a gift?
Audrey — I think so.
My friends and I are arguing about whether or not you took a bite out of the cookie in the final image or used a cookie cutter to make it look like you had – they claim the bite mark is too clean to be real, I claim you simply cleaned away the crumbs. Could you please clear this up for us?
I absolutely took a bite! No way I would let a cookie cutter have all the fun. The cookie doesn’t leave a lot of crumbs, either way, I probably picked it up to take a bite so any crumbs would be … on the floor?
There are SOO many possibilities for these because they hold their shape so well. Thank you so much for sharing these.
Made these tonight, and am leaving them to chill overnight. The dough seemed very dry so I added a small bit of water to the mixture to help mix the liquids and dry ingredients together. Will be making your pumpkin pie and crust this weekend. Have you tried to create some Gluten Free recipes? Would love to know some :-)
These are wonderful! I just got some fun cookie cutters from Ikea – moose, bear, hedgehog, etc. This was perfect for them, and lots of little hedgehog brownie cookies are cooling on a rack in the kitchen right now. Or they were a moment ago, I imagine that they are going to disappear rather quickly!
How would small toffee/ brittle pieces added to the dough affect the recipe?
Hi! I is made these and they’re definitely very, very dry. They were crumbling as I rolled out the dough. I noticed in your book you show them being mixed in a stand mixer. I did it with a hand mixer which had the typical whisk beaters. Would this effect the texture or do you think I went wrong somewhere? Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I want to love these! Maybe I should put a smidge more butter or a smidge less flour? I used Hershey’s cocoa. IDK if this makes a difference.
Joanna — They don’t need to be made with a stand mixer. Often in cookies, dryness can come from either overbaking or using too much flour (i.e. packing cups of flour tightly, rather than fluffing-and-sweeping or spoon-and-sweeping). Did you make them 1/4-inch thick? The hallmark of this cookie is that when thin, it’s just another sugar cookie but when rolled a full 1/4-inch thick and baked just until done, it should be firm on the outside and hold its shape perfectly, but taste tender-soft-brownielike inside. I hope that helps.
These came out perfect!I did use a stand mixer and I chilled overnight, and rolled between wax paper. The dough had a very nice smooth texture and was very easy to work with. I decorated them with a powdeed sugar glaze and some with milk or white chocolate to have a variety. I cut them at 1/4 inch, baked 9 min, cooled on the pan and they are brownie like- I will be making another batch soon!
FYI — makes about 3 dozen 3.5″ squirrels (with mini M&M’s for eyes), and the dough can be gathered up, rerolled and cut — doesn’t seem to affect the final texture, which is marvelous! Thanks!
These are in the fridge chilling, along with some soft gingerbread cookie batter and some regular sugar cookie batter. My sweet boy, (who is actually a man of 24) requested sugar cookie baking…says it’s his favorite holiday tradition. Can’t wait to try them as cutout cookies and maybe next time as icecream sandwiches. Thanks so much for sharing and special thanks to Deb’s mom for sharing as well.
I have made these twice now, Halloween & Christmas, and LOVE them. Most recently, I made them with small (2in) Christmas shaped cookie cutters. They are so cute! I cut the baking time to 5 minutes and they are perfect. I refrigerated the dough over night to use in the morning. It is easiest to separate it into 2 balls and flatten before refrigerating. Then, you just have to let it sit out a bit before rolling. The dough becomes more pliable as you go. Also, if you are flouring the surface, the cookies rolled out at the end will be on the drier side. Just sprinkle with a bit of water. I also have glazed them with a simple mix of powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Thanks so much! I was once anti-rolled cookie, but no more! :)
I just made these! After chilling, I decided I wasn’t up to rolling out the dough so I scooped it, rolled it into balls, and used my cookie stamps to flatten. They turned out wonderfully after baking for 10 minutes. (Except the Santa face cookie stamp is very, very creepy.)
Wow, I made these last night after chilling in the fridge from Saturday. I had to let them sit a bit because the outdoor fridge must be really cold. I couldn’t roll these out. lol! But once they warmed up the dough is beautiful to work with. I love the flavor of them, you think hmmmm, then once the flavor of the chocolate hits your taste buds the magic happens. I’m going to make a few ice cream sandwiches tonight and a few with cool whip and freeze.
I have a family recipe for Bavarian Cream Pie, it calls for the Nabisco Choc. Wafers. I wonder if I bake these a bit longer to get them crispy, I could use them in the crust?
Thank you for sharing another great recipe!
Carrie — For a homemade riff on Nabisco chocolate wafers, I’d use these or these.
I’ve made a couple of batches of these. Made one batch as directed, 1/4 inch thick. Perfect cookie! Re-rolled the re-rollers thinner 1/8 inch and used a linzer cutter. Baked at 8 minutes. OMG Words can’t describe how cute and yummy. Raspberry filling… and the little center shapes (trees, candy canes and snowmen) make perfect elf sized mini cookies! You NEED to try the mini cookies… seriously.
These are fantastic. I’m not a huge fan of butter or sugar cookies, but I wanted to do roll out cookies with my kids. Since November we have made at least four batches of them. I am about to do #5 to cut and decorate as Despicable Me Minion Cookies for my daughter’s birthday at school. (Santa got Minion cookies too) I agree with Dawn above as well, we made 4 dozen mini cookies out of these as well for class parties over the holidays and they were a hit. They keep their shape PERFECTLY.
Another fantastic recipe from your cookbook/blog! Loved the simplicity (as I had all the ingredients right in my kitchen) and how they turned out. I added a dusting of powdered sugar on top as I just needed an extra hint of sweetness, but overall loved the recipe. Your mom knows what makes a good cookie! I wrote about my attempt at this recipe on my blog – spatulasandbuttons.wordpress.com. Thanks again for a great recipe, another one from your cookbook with a big star next to the title (means I need to make it again)!
Hi!!! Love your blog! And love these cookies I made them yesterday.. Unreal!!! Perfect!! Have you ever tried altering the recipe for the classic white vanilla cookie I love the texture of this cookie, the right amount of “chew” something I have been looking for in a roll out cookie. I know I could leave out the coco.. But what in place? Extra flour? Any suggestions would be awesome… Making another batch tomorrow, not sure where they all went ;-)
I have been wanting to try this recipe for some time, and today was the perfect occasion – made little groundhogs with this dough for Groundhog Day, and they turned out both cute and delicious! Will be making these again for Valentine’s day with students at work!
Just made these. Not sure what I did wrong! The dough was very dry and extremely messy and hard to work with. It was very crumbly. Any tips or advice for next time? They smell amazing, the dough tasted wonderful and the baked cookie still is pretty good but a bit dry. Please help!
Hi Sara — I wonder if you may have packed your cups of flour on the heavy side, which leads to extra flour in the dough, and dry, crumbliness. Bake them on the scant side; it’s okay if they look a touch underbaked coming out of the oven; they’ll firm up as they cool and taking them out on the early side will ensure some tenderness remains in the center. And make sure they’re a full 1/4-inch tall. You’ll need that full height to get the brownie effect. Hope that helps.
Thanks to you and your mom for a wonderful recipie. I love how the cookies stay true to the cut shape. To make a non chocolate sugar cookie do you think substituting flour in the amount equal to the cocoa would work or could you please suggest an alternative?
Debbie — It will probably work, but I can’t tell you with absolute certainty without try it. Glad you enjoyed!
Just wanted to share that swapping 2/3 cup of flour for the 2/3 cup cocoa yielded the most beautiful non chocolate sugar cookies I have ever made. Again, the cut shapes stayed true and the taste was great. As wonderful as this recipie is for the chocolate cookies, the same is so for using this recipie to make tradional sugar cookies.
Your photos have done it. I saved this recipe in my Pinterest for later, and the later finally came earlier today! Gorgeous cookies, precise recipe, had fun baking them. Will definitely repeat :) Thank you!
I always make these cookies when I want to have something a little “fancier” than brownies (fanciness is directly correlated to production time, obviously) and also at every Christmas. Everyone gobbles them up like crazy, even more than the gingerbread! Thank you so much for such a successful recipe.
I baked over 300 of these yesterday for teacher gifts, and they turned out lovely. Thanks as always for the beautiful recipes!
These are SO good! When I made them the first time, they tasted mysteriously kind of nutty. I meant to make them with almond extract when I made them again, but didn’t have that when I decided to make them today, so I chopped up almonds until they were powdery and put them in some of the batter.
I am half way through making these amazing biscuits for the second time this week. The first batch I iced with icing sugar/cocoa powder/water. This batch is going to be ice-cream sandwiches with cookies and cream ice-cream. Can’t wait!
There was a pdf that someone put together of chocolate cookie recipes. Since I had made your Ice Box Cookies, and was the toast of the town with those, I decided to give this a try. No disappointment at all! My son is waiting for them to bake! He can’t wait to dig into these. LOL! I loved the cookie dough all by itself. It is remarkable and fantastic. This is the best that I have run across. Love you!
O.M.G! I was craving a chocolate cookie and didn’t have time today for World Peace cookies (my husband’s favorite). So I made these up and stuck them in the fridge while preparing dinner ingredients.
Now that we’ve baked and taste-tested them, the trick will be having any left by dinnertime! Like Sara, I found the dough too crumbly to roll out straight out of the fridge, but after I let it sit at room temperature for 15 minutes it was very easy to work with. I made them ¼” thick and got about 3½ dozen. These would make dynamite ice cream sandwiches, but being lazy I think I’ll just eat them with a bowl of ice cream :-). Thanks for another GREAT recipe!
Made these last night and the dough was easy to work with and the chocolate flavour was just great! (I used good old Hershey’s only). Thanks for a great recipe, Deb!
Hmm….I had a “dry cookie” experience here, too. I used a balance to measure all my ingredients, so it’s quite unlikely that there was to much flour. The cookies came out with a sort of tang to them, and not very sweet, either. I had natural cocoa in the pantry, and demerara sugar (not granulated white); could these switches have caused texture or flavor changes?
Otherwise, @321 from Deb, I did make them as refrigerator slice & bakes, and it was a very tidy way to get consistent 1/4″ cookies (rolled the dough log in chopped hazelnuts, too, BTW — going for that nutella effect).
Take 2, with the other half of the dough: I turned down the oven 20 degrees, and baked them for a shorter time; until the tops only just started to look dry. Much better. I still think regular sugar would perform better (that’s the recipe, after all!) because it might hydrate better?
Hi Jenny — I’m glad it all worked out. Slight underbaking is definitely the way to go so that this is less of a shortbread or sugar cookie and more brownie-like. That, and the full 1/4-inch. (We made them shorter, more of a standard height growing up, but they were mostly crisp. I prefer them this way.) Hard to say whether the coarse sugar would affect it — did it seem gritty in the end? 1 cup of coarse/turbinado sugar weighs barely 10 grams less than 1 cup granulated, and sugar adds moisture, so it could throw it off, but barely.
Could I sub in flour for the cocoa powder to make a plain sugar cookie? I am making some cookies for a cookie decorating party and I want to also have a plain option.
Hello! Do you think these would work well as a cookie dipped in candy melts? (at least part of it). Thinking of making some mickey mouse shaped cut outs, and dipping the bottom 1/2 in red candy melts for the pants. Would they hold up? Thanks!
Amy — I don’t see why not. They’re softer than some sugar cookies, but not like cake-y soft; they should hold up.
Love your blog and always trust the recipes on here! Last night I had an unfortunate failed attempt at making these cookies — they came out tasting very much like flour. Any idea what went wrong here? I used three cups of flour and added slightly extra baking powder, but not sure why the flour taste was so overpowering… Also, I must confess that our bodega (nyc resident) did not have any cocoa, so I substituted with chocolate chips instead — didn’t think that would change much though. Thanks for your time, would love to make these (successfully) again!
Lauren — It’s hard to say, but it definitely helps to have the cocoa here. In a recipe like this, cocoa doesn’t equal chips in terms of substitutions; they won’t work the same here. WAs there a reason for the extra baking powder? The most key thing, I’d say, is to use a good cocoa that you love the taste of here. They’re what makes the cookies brownies.
Was looking for a replcement recipe for my Christmas chocolate peppermint cookies so I added 1/2 tsp peppermint extract and chocolate chips to this recipe, and they turned out crazy delicious. So good.
Also, I don’t own a rolling pin, so if anyone else (who is lazy and sans rolling pin) is wondering, I rolled them into little balls and baked them for 11 min and they turned out just fine. They don’t spread though, so if you don’t want ball cookies, you’ll need to flatten them down before.
Thanks for the recipe!
These were yummy! Seriously….moist and not crunchy. I left them a bit thick so they would be more brownie-like. Would definitely make these again! Oh, I used Dutch cocoa…and it was great.
I am not familiar with the cocoas you mentioned (Droste, Galler or Valrhona). Do you purchase those on Amazon? Additionally, I was wondering if the cocoa from King Arthur Flour would be considered “good stuff?” Thank you!
Laura — You can probably on Amazon, but where do you live? If not the boondocks, heh, you should be able to buy them locally too.
I live in NW Arkansas – so I usually have to buy online. I happen to have some King Arthur Flour cocoa on hand, so I was wondering if it would be “good cocoa” or if I should order on Amazon? Thanks for your help! :)
Laura — It’s worth trying. In general, the darker the cocoa here, the better it tastes and looks.
Thanks for your help! I think I will try it. It’s described on their website as, “A rich, dark blend of Dutch-process and black cocoas with complex superior flavor and color.” In appearance in my pantry, it’s very dark…much darker than the Hershey’s that is also in my pantry. :)
I am trying to find a way to make a twist on hamentaschen. My kids love brownies above all other baked goods. Do you think these will fold up if cut in circles? Thinking almond and raspberry filling…
I can’t be sure, but I’m not sure if they’d bend and stay folded well enough to work as hamantaschen. That said, you could replace 1/4 to 1/3 the flour in most hamantaschen recipes with a good dark cocoa for a similar chocolate effect.
OOps! I should have read through the comments before posting my question. Sorry!
These cookies are amazing. Have been trying various recipes and have found a keeper. Moist and soft.
Deb, I am tasked with making “something chocolate” (usually brownies) for a tea fundraiser at my church. I don’t usually go in for cute, but I found a really cute tea pot cookie cutter…do you think these cookies would hold their edges well in a small cut-out? And taste VERY chocolate-y? Or would you recommend one of your other chocolate wafer cookies more? Or do you think this whole idea is half-baked and I should just make brownies and keep everyone happy? Thanks for your thoughts!
Sarah — What will make or break how chocolaty these are is the cocoa you use. If you’ve got a beloved dark cocoa around, use it here. Otherwise, you might get more oomph from the chocolate sables (again, the cocoa you use counts, but maybe a touch less since there’s also grated chocolate in it), chocolate wafers (which again hinge on cocoa, but use so much, the quality can be somewhat forgiven) or the Dorie Greenspan/Pierre Herme classic, World Peace Cookies.
Made these cookies today and they are fantastic. :) They hold their shape very well. And are rich but still fluffy and light. Thank you!
These were very easy to make and they turned out great!! Will definitely be keeping the recipe for more parties they were a hit!! Thanks for sharing this recipe!!
I made roll out shortbread at Xmas time with terrible results. But this was a winning recipe. I’m inspired to try others now!!
I’ve been looking for ways to use up the mint in my backyard and tried making these with half mint sugar (2/3 c. sugar, 1 c. fresh mint in the food processor). It worked! But next time I’ll use more mint sugar – the mint flavor could stand to be a little stronger. It was fun to try, although most recipes use mint extract. Anything to put a dent in the mint crop! (And not end up with something tasting like Girl Scout Thin Mints, lovely as those are.)
Well, i’ve been looking for a recipe that i could use my cookie cutters with. I came across this one, and I have to say… these are amazing! I decided not to use the vanilla (i usually don’t use it with cookies) and started eating these as soon as they were cold enough, and i just can’t stop!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
I made these using Penzey’s natural cocoa powder and an equal amount of Star Kay White chocolate extract instead of vanilla extract for extra chocolate-y punch. I liked them the first day, but actually thought that the flavor was better developed the day after I baked them. They don’t really harden up much more in the freezer, so I can see how they would make great ice cream sandwiches.
I am sad to say that I just made these and they seem REALLY dry :( They are soft, but DRY. I think it is a little too much cocoa for me too because it was almost like a bitter chocolate taste and not sweet. Any suggestions for what I can do to make them less dry if I try this again? Like I said they are super soft but the taste was just not there for us. The only thought I had was to maybe try less cocoa next time but I was not sure that would help. Thanks for the help.
Hey Deb! Just wanted to point out a typo in the paragraph above the last photo; you wrote “dangeous” instead of “dangerous”.
My cookies from this recipe are currently chilling in the fridge. Love you and all you bake!
Gerilyn — Thanks.
These were awesome! I had a disaster trying to use my cookie stamp letter set. My search for recipe that would work led me to your recipe. Thank you!! We used it for halloween cookies and the other half for my cookie letter stamps and my ice cream pan tonight. I’ve had this pan for years and never had anything come out that works for ice cream sandwiches. Til tonight! I enjoyed that sandwich so much! Your right it is brownie like. It holds the stamp and is tender for ice cream! I’m in love and thinking what else to make with this recipe! Hooray for yummy cookies!
Love these cookies! Easy, and taste just like brownies.
If I were to use all unsalted butter, how much additional salt do you think I would need to add (if any)?
Em — You can bump it up by 1/4 teaspoon, but it may not be necessary. (I’m realizing I’ve been making these cookies for years totally ignoring the adorable lightly salted direction and do not bump up the salt.)
Maybe already asked but can you freeze these? I’m doing a cookie exchange and need to make 5 dozen ahead of time.
Laura — You can freeze them. They freeze well.
Laura, I found these froze beautifully! I put them on a sheet pan for about 20 minutes first, then into freezer bags, so they wouldn’t stick together. I baked mine quite a bit less time than indicated–they were best when they stayed brownie-like in the center. A great recipe for a cookie exchange!
These cookies are lovely! They’re good plain, but we especially like them topped with homemade cream cheese frosting!
These sound so delicious and I can not wait to make them! Can these be decorated just like you would any other cookie?
Vicki — Absolutely.
I made these (from the book) last night and had a major disaster – the dough was way too soft. I had chilled it as recommended and all my measurements were correct.
I ended up scooping the dough with spoons (even that was a challenge) and letting it melt down into a flatter shape during baking (like chocolate chip cookies). The taste is fine, but I’m wondering what I did wrong. Could it be that I overbeat the butter? I notice a lot of your cookie recipes say “beat butter and sugar until fluffy” – but I’m never sure what to consider fluffy in this case…
Did I miss it in the recipe, or do you know the rough yield for these cookies? Thanks!
This is making my mouth water… It looks so delicious. I can’t wait to try it out.
Thanks for sharing!
Ooh these look delish! I scrolled through all the posts trying to see if you mentioned how long you mix the butter mixture for. Is it until just mixed or until it is fluffy ( like creaming butter and sugar)
Jannette — Just until fluffy, doesn’t need as much whipping as a cake.
I didn’t bother reading through 400+ comments to see if this has been mentioned yet, but this dough makes a great slice and bake cookie too (because have you ever tried rolling and cutting out cute cookies with a baby? Let me tell you, it just doesn’t happen.) And, my “I don’t like dessert” husband loves them! Hurray for wife/mommy brownie (ha!) points. Thanks for a great recipe Deb!
These are excellent! I’m doing late minute Christmas baking and didn’t want to bake regular sugar cookies. I’ve going to pipe a bit of royal icing tomorrow to add a bit of sweetness but it’s amazing by itself. I used Droste (Tip for NYCers they sell it in the food section of bigger Bed Bath and Beyonds) and added 2 1/2 tsp of espresso powder to the dough. It gave it a bit of bitterness that worked well with the chocolate. Not crumbly at all. Rolled to 1/4 inch and used 2 inch decorative cookies cutters. Baked for 8 minutes for a fudgey middle. Thanks Deb for the great recipe!
I LOVE these cookies. I’ve made them twice already this rollout cookie cutout season for the purpose of decorating them… and I ended up eating so many plain instead because they’re just sooo good. They’re perfect, they keep their shape, they don’t fall all over the place, they’re soft, they’re just ugh delicious. I never thought I’d find a rollout with-icing-on-top cookie I could make cute AND delicious. Thank you!!!!!
I just found this recipe, and I made a batch. The dough was so easy to handle, and the cookies are DELICIOUS! I’m going to try the toasted coconut shortbread next.
These cookies are delicious! They are the BEST chocolate cookie I’ve ever tasted and I’ve tasted a lot of chocolate cookies! I just made them for my twin daughters’ birthday party and many people asked for the recipe. I highly recommend this recipe. I used Hershey’s cocoa. I’m going to make them again for my daughters’ Valentine’s party exchange.
Has anyone added mini chocolate chips in it?
Does this recipe work with stamp cookie cutters with finer details like these?
Or would they spread out and puff up over the details?
Amy — They should be fine with those, but you’ll want to make them thinner. We used cookie cutters like that (well, with Hanukah designs!) growing up and they definitely can take texture, but we didn’t make them as thick as I do today (the full 1/4-inch). They also didn’t get as brownie-like though when thin.
Just wanted to thank you for sharing this recipe!
I’ve used this recipe over and over, and every time these chocolate-flavored cookies are a big hit!They don’t spread and taste great – I’ve found THE chocolate roll-out cookie recipe here.
Made these over the weekend…so yummy!! Definitely like them thicker to add to the brownie-like texture. I only baked them 5 minutes and sprinkled added sea salt on the tops before baking.
I made these cookies tonight and they were a disaster. Way too much flour, I believe, even though I followed the recipe exactly as written. They turned out hard and the dough was brittle. I don’t know if there is any way to salvage the other half of the dough or not. Luckily, my husband will eat anything, so the first half won’t go to waste. Is there any chance that 3 cups of flour is a misprint? My dough just got drier and stiffer as I added the flour, but I followed the recipe. After refrigerating the cookie dough for over an hour, I let the first half sit out for a little while to see if it would become more pliable. Anyway, they have a good flavor, but just turned out very hard. Maybe I did something wrong, but I took my time and followed the recipe exactly as written.
Sue — There is absolutely no misprint here; we’ve been making this recipe as written my whole life. The tricks are two-part, roll them thick (a full, even generous, 1/4-inch tall, these will not be tender if standard thin) and to slightly underbake them (so that they’ll set up with a brownie-ish center). It sounds like yours baked too long (baking times often need to be adjusted to each oven).
Well, Deb, I made a discovery and now I know it’s not the recipe. I had recently purchased new measuring cups at a local grocery store. I used the new measuring set when I made those cookies. Tonight, I started to make some pie dough, I took a good look at the one cup measuring cup. It appeared to be bigger than my older one cup measure. So I did a comparison, and the new measuring cups are not accurate! They hold at least two tablespoons more flour than the older one cup measure did. I never knew it was possible for measuring cups to be inaccurate. Looks like I will have to stick with my old Tupperware cups. I will test the others in the set, as well, but I’m sure they all have the same issue. I also bought a matching set of measuring spoons. I apologize for doubting your recipe!
Would frosting make these too rich? I would like to make then, but I would be making them as party favors and I have plans for decorating. If I frosted then, would you recommend white or chocolate frosting?
You could definitely frost these. I think either would work.
Last week I made these with my 3-year-old: cut into ghost shapes, frosted with buttercream icing, and added chocolate chips for eyes. Delicious.
Sadly, meh. First smitten kitchen recipe to not Wow! me. Followed recipe exactly. I prefer a more pronounced chocolate flavor. Not a bad cookie; just not outstanding. For intense chocolate flavor I will continue to make your brownies and when I want a cookie will make chocolate chip cookies!
Use Droste cocoa and you’ll change your mind
I’ll give it a try! Thank you for the suggestion
What type of frosting would work well for these?
You could do a simple royal frosting.
How much does this recipe yield?
I got about 64 cookies using a 2″ circle and a 2″ snowflake. Some are 1/4″ and some are 1/8″. The number of cookies will vary depending on size of cutter and thickness rolled. If you want it brownier then roll to 1/4″
These are so delicious! They roll out nicely, but it’s best to roll out to the desired thickness and refrigerate first before using cookie cutters. They taste like a brownie but harder.
I just made these for the first time! I love the fluffy texture and the dough did not get tough with repeated rolling. I did make one adjustment. I added a 1/2 teaspoon Vietnamese Cinnamon and a 1/4 teaspoon of Cayenne. It added a delightful kick! This recipe is a keeper!
This is our go-to Christmas cookie recipe every year for the past 4 years! I remind my kids that “they’re santas favorites” ;)
Tasty (they taste very much like brownies) and maintain their edges very well at a variety of thicknesses. They seem sturdy enough to pack, too, although that remains to be tested. I can see them being absolutely delicious as ice cream sandwich cookies, and I intend to try them as such soon. I made Chanukkah cookies with them and the recipe made a large number of very cute cookies. I made the recipe exactly as written (with the exception that I used two sticks of salted butter) and although I was concerned that it would be too sticky, once chilled it was perfect for rolling out. I used cocoa powder on parchment paper for rolling them and it worked wonderfully. Next time I might add a pinch of espresso powder, although they were very chocolatey on their own. Thank you for a great recipe!
Made these cookies (from the cookbook version, but I think the only difference is adding salt and using unsalted butter) using the Dorie Greenspan sugar cookie roll-between-parchment-first-then-chill technique (link for reference: https://www.washingtonpost.com/recipes/dorie-greenspans-do-almost-anything-vanilla-cookie-dough/15608/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.ea913f8737d2). Worked like a charm. Also decorated with royal icing, which tastes good on a chocolate-y cookie.
Puleeze, if you live in a dry climate, WEIGH THE DRY INGREDIENTS! When i do that these are the very BEST cookies in the world. If I don’t, they are pretty good chocolate cookies and that isn’t so bad.
These look great!! Do they hold they shape well after being baked? I hate when my cut out cookies spread and mess up the shape!! Thanks!
So I was asked to make cut out sugar cookies for the kids at church to decorate as they did a fundraiser for this summer’s camp. I was picturing their sale table with a field of white cookies and I thought of all of us buying customers who have love affairs with chocolate. (Got to reach ALL possible consumers, right?) So I searched Pinterest for a soft chocolate cut out cookie, since most are too brittle. THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE!
I made these orbs of deliciousness today! It was all I could do not to eat the entire bowl of dough! I used 1 stick salted/1 stick unsalted butter, and 1 cup granulated sugar, ½ cup *brown* sugar. For the cocoa I went half and half with it: Hershey’s dark and regular old Hershey’s.
I wasn’t very attentive to the thickness, so some were 1/4″ and others were about 3/16″. The thinner ones were perfect for the decorating project the kids are working on…still soft, but not as soft as the thicker ones that might have a tendency to be soft enough to not hold up well to handling by tweenagers.
Those last re, re, rerolled scraps? Mine! My Preeeeeeecious! Topped those before baking with Smoked Maldon Sea Salt and they were divine! Notice the word “were”. Wolfed those puppies down before the family knew I even had some like that.
I do not use table salt but the larger grains (but known as “fine”) pink Himalayan sea salt. I think next time I will up the measure to 3/4 tsp salt, since the salt topping made them incredible, but that would be in the way if decorating them with icing.
I did not use my convection feature, nor my beloved Airbake sheets, just regular old Wilton non-stick that I sprayed with Crisco spray–though I don’t think I needed to even use that. They were perfect at 8 minutes! Thankfully, I am giving 2 doz to the kids and making another 2 dozen in pink vanilla cut outs so that leaves a decent amount of chocolate cookies left over for us!
Thanks again! Am sharing immediately with my sis-in-law; must share the wealth ;o)
This recipe is perfect for mailing! IF my boys were still active duty Marines and on deployment, these cookies would be ones that I would send to them. I saw how well they held up at home and when in the hands of teens and tweens as they decorated them for the church sale. I think I would cut them in 2″ squares (no fancy points or skinny parts to break off, but would pack nicely) and 1/4″ thick, would just barely underbake them, leave them plain, then package them back to back in perhaps 10-12 to a bunch, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, wrap them again in another layer of plastic, overwrap each bunch in bubble wrap (or separate each bundle with a small piece of bubble wrap, then overwrap all the bundles in one piece of bubble wrap), making sure I sent at least 3 dozen. I would make frosting using Crisco (yuk…but the travel time makes that necessary–Seattle to Afghanistan, Seattle to fleet in Indian ocean both took approx 3 weeks to arrive each time…but when you wrap things very well they are received in good shape and fairly fresh) and butter flavoring and perhaps mint extract and green food coloring. Lots of places they are deployed to are dusty–mint would be refreshing. The frosting could be packaged in cheap disposable dollar store containers. Make sure that the box is packed so tightly with stuff that nothing can move. Use a flat rate box from USPS and get one of their overseas forms to fill out at home before taking the box in. They may still reduce the price by a couple bucks when their form shows them the APO/FPO address. Critical: put the recipient info INSIDE the box, too. Now you’ll think I’m crazy, but two of my kids have worked/do work at Seattle’s main sorting facility for mail. Heavy boxes are accidentally broken open, especially when landing on a corner, and probably NEVER getting to the recipient (even though there is a system set up to help with broken boxes, sometimes the items inside are scattered over a distance–boxes are handled QUICKLY…NEVER delicately! “Fragile” means nothing!) This is how my kids have me wrap any box I send now: Use duct tape, not clear packing tape. Tape on the inside of the box where the bottom flaps meet. Once the box is filled apply duct tape at the top flap closure to seal the box. Next cover each 6″ vertical corner, each long horizontal side (that’s right, 4 on the bottom, 4 on the top) and one long piece around the perimeter of the box going the opposite direction of how you sealed the flaps. Yes, it’s going to look weird. Yes, it’s going to make it to the destination without busting open. You’re welcome.
Thank You! Great advise!
Ver helpful, thanks!
Thank you! We’ve loved these cookies for years, and I was thinking about making a batch to send to our daughter, who’s in the Navy and deployed in the Middle East. I came to the comments just to see if anyone had sent these long-distance – I appreciate the confirmation and the packing tips!
Thank you for these great suggestions!
I’m hoping someone will see this.
I’m planning to make these for valentine’s day, but wanted to decorate them. What would you recommend for that (and wouldn’t mind a recipe if you have one!)?
Regular American buttercream (recipes all over Pinterest), or melt some Wilton white, pink or red melting chips in a quart sized freezer bag (maybe 1/4 or 1/3 cup) snip off the teeniest piece of the corner, and drizzle the melted confection in a long, tight zigzag diagonally across half the cookie.
I’ve made these, frosted some, put mint ice cream in others and YUP, they are absolutely wonderful. Will be making them again this week!
made these last night for V-day, doubled the recipe and used a heart cut-out. AMAZING, DELICIOUS! EPIC. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe! love being able to come here and get solid delicious treats for my loved ones.
I made these in a heart mold cookie pan and they came out great!
Would this recipe work for hamantashen? Or would the dough crumble too much?
Just used this dough to make hamentashen for the upcoming Purim holiday. Wound up making a coffee filling with cream cheese, sugar and a bit of really strong espresso. Also made a peppermint filling using peppermint “dust” from soft peppermints, a bit of cream cheese, milk, powdered sugar, and a teany bit of mint extract. Made sure to chill both fillings for a couple hours before using so they wouldn’t spread and only used a tsp. for each cookie. Also rolled the cookies between parchment and then cut them out but did not remove from the parchment–I froze the parchment sheet to make the cookies easier to remove and then removed shaped and froze again for a few minutes so they’d keep their shape. Worked great with the thicker coffee filling–had a few issues with the thinner mint filling… I also drizzled the cooled tops with melted white chocolate mixed with a bit of veg oil fwiw. Just tried a mint hamentashen and what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in flavor. Some of the most delicious hamentashen I have ever made thanks in part to your dough. Oh yeah, I used to the “classic” method of combining all dry ingredients together and and adding to the beaten wet ones to make this and had no crumbling like other posters mentioned. Happy Purim!
I too turn them into Hamantashen, but I use cherry jam filling. Of course we have them for Purim, but also not for Purim, i.e. all year long. I’ll have to try them your way too. Delicious!
Mimi, didn’t the cherry jam filling run out of the hamantaschen? Maybe I’ll try cherry pie filling; it’s a little thicker. I can’t imagine using the traditional fillings of prune and poppy seed with the chocolate dough!
Yael, can you give more details on your coffee filling?
I’ve never had trouble with the filling running out. They stay nicely sealed and don’t open at all. I sometimes get lazy with the rolling of the dough and just make jam thumbprint cookies, which work very well too.
These look like just the recipe I need in my life! I’ve always shied away from making sugar cookies etc. due to the rolling and cutting and re-rolling and the fact that mine always seem too light or too dark….but I need a cookie that I can cut then frost with a simple design. I found your rolled cookie tips on another page and was ready to brave it, but these look delightful (and perfect to contrast some white piping). My question is- have you tried this recipe the “easier” way yet? Rolled warm between parchment then frozen and cut cold? Thank you in advance for your expertise if you have, and no worries if you haven’t, I’ll take one for the team! Pretty sure I just totally gave you a team and put myself on it ;)
I made these cookies and they are delicious. Reminded me more of a chocolate shortbread than chocolate sugar cookies which to me is a very good thing. Used all salted butter and lessened the salt slightly. I did the roll out warm and cut cold newest routine and was pretty happy with it. I rolled out with parchment on the bottom and plastic wrap on the top. Super easy to roll out, but I always have a bit of trouble getting the dough all the same thickness. It rolled out the size of my half sheet pan and I chilled in the fridge because I knew it would be hours before I could get back to it. It was a bit of a challenge to cut cold, surprisingly, because my cutter is almost completely enclosed and even after flouring it, the dough did not want to release. After rounding up the scraps to re-roll (the dough had warmed up by then), I found they released much more easily. It is nice to know, also, that you can place the cookies quite close to each other for baking because they do not spread much. I used regular Hershey’s cocoa and as Deb said, they were just wonderful. This is a fast and simple recipe (and all pantry staples too) that I will be making again. Now I know why Deb’s mom likes it so much!
it’s been a while since I discovered this recipe, and it’s become part of my regular repertoire since then.
I’ve recently experimented a bit and wanted to share the results:
– this recipe works really great with cookie stamps, even fine lines show very well.
– I filled the baked cookies with chili ganache and salted butter caramel cream, which went very nice with the plain but intense chocolate flavor.
Thanks for sharing your recipe with us!
How well would you say these cookies keep their shape? Specifically, I’m wondering if an imprint will hold on the top after baking. How do you feel omitting the baking powder would effect the cookie overall? Thanks for the great recipe!
I’ve never made it without baking powder but it should hold an imprint well; we always made these growing up thinner and with a stamp-like cutter.
Hi Deb – I’ve beem wanting to try these for a few years now, but am going to finally make them tomorrow night. I generally use unsalted butter in my baking since it’s difficult to know how much salt is in a stuck and it varies by brand. Would it be ok to use two sticks of unsalted butter or maybe add in 1/8 – 1/4 tsp in lieu of the stuck of salted butter?
Absolutely. Sticks of butter have about 1/4 teaspoon fine salt in them, some more, some less.
Thanks so much! I can’t wait to make these tonight!
Thank you for this recipe! As a visual learner, it’s so helpful to see what you mean by the centers being “puffed”. Can’t wait to give these cookies a try!
Hi, I found your mom recipe while cruising the internet looking for soft cookies that you can roll out and make shapes. The batter is in the fridge. Even had Drostes in the cupboard. Yeah! Thank you for sharing. If our dolphins, frogs and flowers come out looking like we expect we will be using the recipe again and again for Chanuka Cookies! Thanks again.
I made these and switched out regular flour for Bob’s Red Mill cup for cup gluten free and the recipe still turned out well! Thanks to the other commentor for the tip to make sure to weigh out the ingredients! I dipped the back of each cookie in a matcha white chocolate mixture (1 tsp matcha powder melted with 1.5C white chocolate chips) and can’t wait for them to come out of the fridge!
These are amazing! thank you! Perfect taste. First time I cut out unicorns for a birthday party but now just put flattened balls and they are super quick and absolutely delicious. Everybody is raving about them. I’ve just made a batch with gluten free flour and they are just as good!
HUGE FAN from across the world, finally breaking silence to ask: do you use granulated or caster sugar for this?
I’ve made these and they turned out divine using regular ol’ granulated sugar. Our church is having a ladies retreat soon and we are to each bring snacks. I will be making these, then bringing along at least 3 different frostings so ladies can have them plain or dressed up with their favorite frosting!
Granulated — it’s standard here for baking.
This may be a silly question but is this fahrenheit or celsius temperature? 350 C seems really hot but 180 C for only 10 minutes seems like they wouldn’t cook.
Photo’s look beautiful! Can’t wait to try this recipe!! :)
Fahrenheit. 175 should be correct for Celsius.
And 10 minutes are fine for cookies, especially relatively small ones like these.
Has anyone added cloves and ginger and maybe orange zest to make these skin to chocolate gingerbread? These are my go to for holiday cutout cookies but I was thinking of adding a twist this year!
I love these and they’re always a hit! This time I want to make them a few days in advance (in shofar shapes for break-fast this coming weekend). Do you recommend freezing them? Otherwise how long will they stay fresh (if I can hide them from the kids).
I have the same question but for Chanukah – I want to make them 5 days in advance. Will they keep in the freezer? Or in a sealed tin?? Thank you!
ps they look delicious
I have frozen them for a couple weeks in a deep freeze, and it worked just fine. Still yummy and good texture.
This response is late for Chanukah but I freeze mine pre-cut into desire shapes, but uncooked and then bake right from the freezer and adjust cooking time
I’m trying these today. I love that the ingredients are listed with a weight. I prefer this method it yield better results. My friend made these and posted her pic. They looked so good I have to try it out.
Going to a potluck this weekend…these are going too…as little Two bite ice-cream sandwiches. Got your book this past weekend. LOVE it….everything sounds delicious…and I made the blueberry muffins straight away…I can vouch for those as wonderful!
Happiest Holidays and a very prosperous New Year!
I made these cookies today. They came out beautiful but I dont think they are sweet enough. The recipe states to mix the butter eggs and cocoa together. I
creamed my butter and sugar a little then added the eggs and then the flour.I would think if you did as the recipe stated it wouldnt mix properly?
Probably a silly question, but I’m confused why recipes call for unsalted butter and also salt. Why wouldn’t you use salted butter and less or no salt added??
Recipes call for unsalted butter because the levels of salt vary between various brands of butter. This way you can control how much salt is going into a recipe.
Hi Deb! Do you think this dough would possibly work as a Spritz cookie??
Hi Deb! Think I can roll them, cut them, freeze them and pop them into the oven when I need them? Thanks.
This recipe is great. I had no problem mixing the butter, sugar, etc. I used a paddle, not a whisk, on my Kitchenaid, so for those attempting this, that’s what I recommend. We decorated them for the holidays and given the density of the cookie, they held up perfectly to tiny, clumsy hands with few casualties.
I made the dough today and pressed it into a 13″x9″ pan. Then, I cut them into tiny squares (1/2″ a side) after sprinkling them with jimmies.
I just baked the ugliest 15 or so and oh my… I’ve had to hide them from myself! I’ll be baking the rest in a couple of days to bring to work and I’m sure they’re going to be a huge hit.
This is my first attempt and I’m currently waiting for the dough to chill. The dough looks crusty, is it because I only have a hand mixer?
I got the answer from earlier 2013 post, thank you.
Easy and delicious with a real depth of flavor (even using Hershey’s which I had on hand). I also split the dough in half, rolled out each half between two pieces of parchment paper (to eliminate potential kitchen catastrophe) and froze as discs (in the parchment). Then when ready to bake I cut out cookies and repeated the process (chilling or freezing dough) until every last inch of dough was formed into a cookie.
We have a traditional cookie here in Switzerland which has been around at Christmas for centuries. It’s called the Basler Brunsli (pronounces: buzz-ler brew-n-slee), and this cookie here is a copy of it. The original recipe is: Mix 1 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup of flour, 2 cups of ground almonds and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Beat 2 egg whites until very stiff, and then gently stir them into the dry mix. Melt 100g of 85% dark chocolate and stir in. Roll out dough on a sugared surface, cut out cookies, and dust them in sugar. Lay cookies on a baking sheet and let dry at room temperature, uncovered, for 6 hours. Then bake for ±5 min at 480°Fahrenheit. Try it, it’s one of our Swiss National cookies :)
Wow! I made these for the 2017 holiday season and they were delicious. I only had unsalted butter, so I added a little bit of salt to the recipe, and my boyfriend said “could have used more salt.” I thought they were perfect! They held well against my royal icing.
The best thing about these cookies is that they stay soft! I’ve already shared the recipe with friends and family!
great base for home made faux-reo cookies. my husband was in cookie heaven.
Delicious! I made these for a Christmas Eve program tonight. They are just as you described them, chocolatey and chewy like brownies. I thought you might like to hear how I did the rolling out.
I put half the dough in one gallon ziploc bag, and the second half in another gallon ziploc bag. I squeezed the dough together at the lower half of the bag and rolled it out until it was approximately 1/4 inch thick. This filled the gallon bag size. I chilled it for several hours, only because I was away that long and then cut open the plastic bag. I dipped my cookie cutter in cocoa and cut the cookies out right there in the bag (top of the bag was gone). It was the cleanest, easiest method I’ve ever used for rolling out and cutting out cookies.
Once cooled, I decided to add just a little icing and a few chocolate sprinkles to make them look more festive. The store was out of colored sprinkles so chocolate did the trick.
Thanks for this great chocolate cookie roll-out recipe.
I love this cookie. Never mind the 7 fishes on Christmas Eve, we do 7 cookies and this was the only new cookie in the line-up this year. I added a dollop of ganache (made with some peppermint oil) onto the center of each cookie and then sprinkled crushed peppermints onto the ganache….it was so pretty and DELICIOUS with all the right textures….this cookie is a keeper!
Super delicious! I don’t know who gave 3 stars but I’m giving it a 5! Tried another recipe from you before and both turned out amazing!! I’m going to come to this site from now on for baking goods!
Hi, Deb! How long do these keep for?
what is the yield? could i put a stick in them?
Can these cookies be frozen??
I made these at Christmas and of all the types I made, these were the only ones I could have really eaten the entire batch myself. I did not, but I could have.
Ten years later and I’m still making these cookies. Today heart shapes with a drizzle of pink. They are totally the best ever!!
Can these be made with almond flour instead of AP flour?
These were really, really good. I liked the fact that they kept their shape when baking and didn’t spread. I chilled the dough as instructed but didn’t rechill the cut out cookies and they still came out perfect. I tried them in both thicknesses—–1/8″ and 1/4″ and it would be hard to say which was better, both were really good.
Can you after dough is chilled for an hour just slice off roll and bake rather than roll out?
I don’t think it would be a problem.
I don’t know if i did something wrong as the cookies were very “blah”. Any suggestions? they were very dry.
Bake them for less time so they stay tender in the center when cooled. Don’t skimp on the thickness. It’s a simple cookie but with these tweaks, we find it delightfully brownie-like.
I made these and they were amazing. They are soft and chocolately…and uncomplicated. I have been doing a lot of decorated sugar cookies and was a bit tired of the same old traditional cookie. These bake up perfectly and look great decorated. This recipe is a keeper.
THANK YOU for this recipe. Made them as birthday cookies for my niece, bit of a hit :) Texture was great, and so chocolatey! The husband even requested these again, and he’s not a dessert lover :O
My alterations (am Aussie)- used margarine instead of butter (all I had), just under half a cup of caster sugar, and half a cup of raw sugar. Don’t think it needed any more. Also added a bag of milk choc chips. And good ol’ Cadbury’s Bourneville Cocoa.
Would also like to note- can also make these for me, if I modify to margarine and low fodmap plain flour, this is also lactose intolerant and low fodmap diet friendly :)
These were so delicious. They might be my favourite cookie now.
Excellent – we made black cat cookies for Halloween, definitely will make again and again – yummy, easy, and not fussy like many cut out cookies.
This is my third year making these. No need for adjustments (except that every year I reach for a higher quality cocoa and don’t regret it), and they’re still a crowd pleaser. Thank you!
Should the butter and sugar be creamed first?
You can just beat them until smooth and combined.
Deb does it again- this cookie is perfection.
I baked your cookie recipe yesterday! May I say……they are DEVINE!!! They are to die for on their own……BUT,with the royal icing I put on them, they were even better……..if you can imagine!! Thank you so much for posting this recipe,over 10 years ago, wow!!!
Deb, I love the set of flower cookie cutters in your photo! Where are they from? Love love your recipes! Thanks!
Here’s the link but they’re currently unavailable, maybe another brand or store has them.
These turned out SO delicious using your tips for an easier way to make cookies! I gave my kids a taste of a broken one yesterday (saving the rest for a cookie decorating party today), and without knowing their name, my five-year-old said, “mmm! These taste like brownies!” Win! Your gingerbread cut-outs also turned out well using the “easier” method. However, I made one of Martha’s many sugar cookie recipes as well using the same method, and they spread ridiculously, even with the cookies going back to the freezer 15 min before going in the oven. Do you have a go-to sugar cookie recipe, or have an idea why mine spread too much? Maybe it’s because her recipe calls for cooking them for 15-18 min at 325, as opposed to the higher and shorter time for the other two cookies I made?
I don’t, but I’ve been promising this site one for … [checks calendar]… 12 years. Can you tell I find them a little boring?
I love your recipes but how come we cannot print them to save?
You can! Look underneath the recipe, under the related photos area, above the email subscription box, there’s a line that says “Do more”. There’s a tiny little ion of a printer, the picture after the Pinterest “P”, click on that to print!
I made these with a moose shaped cookie cutter, so in actuality I made chocolate moose. Heh ;-)
Can we up the salt to make up for the not having ANY salted butter in the house?
I love this recipe! It’s so chocolaty and the color is perfect for cutout bats for Halloween.
Would you ever use cacao instead of cocoa powder? Would it make a difference?
These are amazing! I added too much cocoa (I had a weird amount left and just wanted to use it all) and forgot to scale down the flour so mine probably came out a little drier that they were supposed to, but still so good! They aren’t very sweet, but quite rich. I just used Hershey’s special dark cocoa. I cut them into little hearts. They didn’t spread at all and they seem very sturdy while still being tender. I’ll definitely be making these again!
I made these with heart shaped cookie cutters for my youth group for Valentine’s Day and the kids were in awe. I rolled them 1/4 in thick and they were so deliciously brownie-y. The junior high and high schoolers agree that they were the best cookies they’d had in awhile. I used a simple powdered sugar/vanilla/squeeze of corn syrup glaze and dyed it different colors. A hit!
Just made me these last week for Valentine’s Day – I’ve been searching for a really great chocolate roll-out recipe for a long time that holds up to rolling & cutting AND tastes super chocolatey. This is an absolute winner!! At first when I made the dough it was so crumbly and dry and wouldn’t come together – I thought for sure I had made a mistake and added too much flour, but double checked the recipe and I had done it exactly as listed. I figured I’d still try to roll and bake them since I had already done the work and used the ingredients. The dough not only came together just fine after rolling, but it was really easy to work with and kept perfectly sharp, crisp edges after baking. I kept the dough in the fridge overnight before cutting & baking. They came out amazing! Such a rich and satisfying chocolate flavor without being over-the-top sweet. They definitely taste just like the crispy edge part of a tray of brownies :) This recipe is a keeper for sure!!
My daughter, who is home on spring break, picked these from your cookbook, along with the chocolate chip brioche pretzels. Both were very successful! These are the first roll-out cookies she has made without my help. Tomorrow, we are getting ice cream to make sandwiches.
She also made some of your chocolate wafer dough, which is resting in the fridge. Chocolate is the theme of the week.
Can the Brownie roll out cookies we made with maple syrup instead of sugar? And is it possible to substitute coconut oil for the butter? Thank you.
I won’t know for sure without testing it, but my hunch is that neither swap is ideal here, both will contribute to a looser cookie that will spread more, which is not idea for a roll-out that you want to keep in the cookie cutter shapes.
Made these so I could cut out initials for a birthday girl. I used part black cocoa from King Arthur (and a tiny bit more sugar) and was disappointed when they didn’t look as pretty as the ones in the “puff while baking” photo.
But I just ate a baked scrap and WOW. Delicious.
I really like this site. I just don’t like reading the comments from 2008 before reading the current comments from 2019. I wonder why Debbie doesn’t change this?
Are you saying you’d rather the newest comments are on top vs. the bottom? I haven’t changed it because I’d never heard a complaint about it; it seemed logical to me. But I am working on a redesign and can take it under consideration.
That would be terrific I would prefer the newest comments starting with 2019 to be at the top then I could scroll down to the oldest comments. Enjoy your site and I love reading the comments.
Yes that would be a huge improvement…
Think I could use your “Easier Way” parchment paper rollout freezer method for these?
Very yummy, we made heart shaped cookies and my son had fun decorating them. As promised, very much like a compressed brownie. Can’t stop eating them
I made these yesterday exactly as written and they came out wonderful! I rolled them on the thicker side – about 1/4 inch / 1 cm and I love how they turned out.
Three batches in and these have become a COVID-19 isolation house favorite. I rolled them thick (at least 1/4 inch) and found that it took only 6 minutes to bake to a tender crumb. (The batch I cooked for 8 minutes were snap-able – still delicious, like crisp brownie edges.)
Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it ;) I will come back once again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.
Hi! Would you recommend using these for iced sugar cookies?
I think it could work. Also check out my unfussy sugar cookie recipe here.
Hello! My 8-year-old daughter Amelia is a budding baker. Today we made your roll out brownie cookies. It was our home-school lesson in fractions. We followed the recipe very carefully (which she doesn’t always do), but our batter came very crumbly – almost too crumbly to roll out. The cookies turned out delicious anyway. But I was wondering if you had any tips for next time. One thing I should say. I have a very old, not very powerful mixer. We attempted to use it, but it wasn’t powerful enough to work with the butter. I don’t have the right attachment for the stand mixer and I didn’t think the whisk would work. So we did all of the mixing by hand. That may make the difference, I don’t know. I use many of your recipes and have never found a bad one. I love your ideas and your sense of humor! Hoping you can give us some insight.
If it’s crumbly before you chill it, it might be too much flour (packed vs. loose cups). If it’s crumbly only after it’s chilled, it might just be cookie doughs in general. As long as you’re happy with the results, I wouldn’t worry about it. Oh, and you can also roll it once chilled between two sheets of parchment paper with no flour; it will be easier.
Why preheat the oven THEN refrigerate??? Should be the other way around!
These were delicious and a perfect baking project with my kids. We may or may not have used (well-washed) Play Doh cutters to make fun shapes because I don’t have cookie cutters.
came back today since I lost my printout of this great recipe and wanted to use the chance to say “thank you” for sharing it.
It’s become a favorite with me and one of my preferred recipes when working with cookie stamps, since the dough holds the stamped ornamentation really well and also tastes delicious.
Today, I’m going to bake house-shaped cookies to give for a housewarming party – together with some salted caramel cream (as a variation of the traditional “bread and salt” gift).
I am 10 years old and I go golfing every week with my dad. Every week to go golfing I make these cookies and everybody loves them.
Maddy, congratulations on being an excellent baker! I hope you find lots of other recipes you enjoy making and have fun with it.
I tried these the other day and they are amazing. Thank your mom for me.
I used the Hershey’s special dark cocoa and was pleased.
I was a little on the impatient side so instead of rolling them out I shaped the dough into a log wrapped it in plastic wrap and refrigerated it. Slice and bake was more to my liking, I’ll save the cut outs if I ever give these as a gift…..if….
I’ve loved this recipe for years, and my 3yo daughter will demand “brown cookies!” At least every other week.
Anyway, the next time you make them try adding 1-2 TB of molasses. (I adore adding molasses to chocolate things.) You’ll have to add a little more flour to balance it out, but it gives a luscious depth to the chocolate. My daughter loves adding sprinkles also, but that might be gilding the lily. :)
P.s. they make EXCELLENT chocolate bats for Halloween!
YUMMY! I made these for a friend who broke her wrist (I offered her a casserole, and she told me that medical journals told her cookies promote healing in wrists, who am I to argue?)
Instead of cutting out I made logs for slice and bake (set them a sliced open tube from a roll of paper towels so they don’t get flat on one side)
Contrary to Deb’s advice, I did get a little fancier, toasted some pistachios, lightly pulsed in food processor and rolled the rolls in them, before freezing and slicing – and yes, a sprinkle of Maldon – sorry, not sorry.
For Christmas, I plan to roll in crushed peppermints.
My friend did get a delivery of some of the cookies.
Great recipe! Used this one for a few years now. I was wondering how long these last for in an airtight container?
That depends, does my husband know where the container is?
These are amazing!! I made a half recipe and used a cookie press, baked for 5.5 minutes at 350, directly on the pan (no parchment). They are crispy on the outside and soft inside. I did add a smidge of water – maybe 1 tsp – to get the consistency right for a cookie press, and I didn’t refrigerate the dough.
They are excellent! I was making them with a preschooler, i.e. not a very patient person, so we skipped the part where they wait in the fridge to become roll-out-able, and just rolled small balls with out hands and flattened them (but just slightly). They cookies are FANTASTIC. Not at all sandy, much more like chocolate-cookie-rims meet brownie-centres. So much better than I imagined.
Made these today with my 3 year old. Rolled most of them too thin, but they really are better thickly rolled. The thin ones are nice but not special, the thick ones really are like a brownie. I am incredibly impressed by how well they keep their shape after baking. Ours were pretty warm when first rolled out and cut but still kept their edges perfectly (we did stars, butterflies, hearts, frogs, flowers and most of the Winnie the Pooh cast and they all baked with perfect definition including the thicker ones).
And just want to add that like brownies, they take a huge leap in chocolatey flavour if you leave them a day…
These are always a huge hit! I’m making them today for the hundredth time and I still love them. I’ve even made them gluten-free successfully since they don’t need to rise much. Yummmm
Hey Deb, I’m looking to use this recipe as a sub for gingerbread to make “gingerbread” houses out of. I’ll be making a number of batches and want to do so ahead of time. Would you recommend:
A. Freezing the dough as a ball
B. Rolling the dough out into sheets and cutting the shapes, but freezing before baking
C. Make the cookies and freeze right after, thawing before house building
I want you to bake them sooner and maybe leave them out overnight, kind of intentionally stale-ing them so they’re more structurally sound.
Has anyone added cloves and ginger and maybe orange zest to make these skin to chocolate gingerbread? These are my go to for holiday cutout cookies but I was thinking of adding a twist this year!
Why do you say there is NO sea salt in them, but your recipe calls for 3/4 tsp. of fine sea salt ? Which is it?
Haha, fair enough. I meant, like, nothing fancy. You can use table salt instead, at the same amount.
I was looking for a roll-out cookie option other than plain sugar. These completely exceeded my expectations! They taste so similar to a brownie. They were delicious straight out of the oven, great when decorated with buttercream, and I can only imagine how good they would be as ice cream sandwiches.
Delicious! Made half batch via grams using Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa. Rolled between plastic wrap to 3/8″. Put in freezer for 15-20 minutes. Used 2″ cutters. Spaced about 1 inch apart on parchment paper lined heavy gauge aluminum baking sheet. Baked 8 minutes via convection 375 degrees (so oven thermometer read 350 degrees). Removed baking sheet from oven, left cookies on sheet for 4 minutes, then put on wire rack to completely cool. The cookies kept their shape perfectly. * Rolling on floured counter may alter taste…so I recommend to roll between plastic wrap, wax paper or parchment paper since this recipe already has alot of flour. Bake Happy!
I’ve been making these cookies for a while, and everyone I know loves them, says they’re one of the best cookies I make. I use salted butter but reduce the added salt to 1/4 tsp. Also, I don’t mix the dry ingredients separately, I just mix all except flour and then slowly add the flour. They taste exactly like brownies made from scratch. They are great paired with vanilla ice cream.
Hi, I have your cookbook with the recipe for brownie cut out cookies, but there are different weight measures used in the cookbook recipe and here. Which should I use?
Which measurements are different?
The flour in cookbook states 375g, the blog states 390g, and standard conversion states 360g.
The unsweetened cocoa in cookbook states 55g, blog states 60g, and standard conversion states 80g.
I made these, but with a twist: sandwiched them Linzer style with mint filling. Too bad I can’t post a picture…
I can’t wait to try this recipe! Do you think these cookies could be iced as well?
Do these spread? Looking for something that holds its exact shape.
Made these today using a fluted edged star cookie cutter and the “spread” was minimal. The fluted edge design remained distinct.
This time around, I flavored the dough with peppermint oil, rolled them thinner, cut them into diamonds, dented the center with a wooden muddler, and filled those bellies with crushed peppermint candy canes. It’s a tasty variation, but next time, more mint oil and a thicker cookie.
Just here to say I make these almost every year using Wilton star cutters stacked up into little”brownie trees.” I didn’t make them the last two years and my kids are losing their minds tonight over the return :)
I made these over the holidays along with your “unfussy sugar cookies,” and used your suggested technique of making the dough in the food processor. I really enjoyed both recipes, and using a similar technique for both really made things easy:
— I made the dough in the food processor
— I rolled the dough between sheets of parchment and froze each for ~15 minutes
— lacking dough thickness spacers, I used my Epicurean brand cutting boards, which are exactly 1/4″ thick! (but I would still like to get those spacers!)
— lacking a fluted pastry wheel and lacking the time to fuss with cookie cutters, I used a pizza wheel to cut both the brownie and sugar cookies into 1.5″ squares
I used royal icing and your video’s dipping technique to coat the sugar cookies; the brownie cookies felt a bit naked in comparison so I melted some white chocolate and drizzled them over the top. The identical size and shape of both cookies allowed me to package them both together nicely, and everyone raved about the taste AND presentation. Thank you for making cookie season fun and easy!