These soft and chewy sugar cookies are a Christmas cookie staple, because this is a no chill sugar cookie recipe! The centers are soft and the edges are chewy, making this one of my favorite sugar cookie recipes of all time!
These easy Chewy Sugar Cookies are a family favorite, plus there is an easy step-by-step video to help you make the best sugar cookies ever!
A few years ago, I hit the jackpot of ugly Christmas sweaters.
For years (no exaggeration) I had been on a mission to find the perfect Christmas sweater (obviously, I have big dreams)–one that was a bit whimsy, filled with personality and obnoxiously, over-the-top Christmasy.
I had pretty lofty expectations, and I wasn’t all that hopeful I’d actually meet those expectations. BUT (you knew this was coming), I never expected I would find something that would actually exceed my expectations.
At this hole-in-the-wall thrift store, I found this fantastically tacky, bright red sweater with cartoon cats decorating a tree with the words, “Meowy Christmas” written across the bottom.
The only thing that could make it better would be if the tree lit up.
Now, I’m pretty sure this was a handmade, one-of-a-kind sweater someone made for their cat-loving grandma. While I feel marginally guilty wearing it in jest when it was probably made in earnest, it’s probably the most comfortable thing I own.
And I wear it proudly during this season.
And proudly when I eat these chewy sugar cookies (that should be eaten with Peppermint Mocha Donuts, Peppermint Mochas, and Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes–I’d be just fine if the whole world was Peppermint-y and Mocha-y).
Guys, I’m practically a Christmas commercial.
I feel like it’s Christmas law that sugar cookies (of any kind) should be consumed during the holiday season.
It seems a little Scrooge-y and Grinch-like to skip out on a classic old fashioned sugar cookie like this, especially when you can top them with frosting (this easy sugar cookie frosting is the best!), decorate with royal icing, roll them in sprinkles or spread some peppermint ice cream in between them and call it a day.
Whether you’re making cutout sugar cookies or warm spiced molasses sugar cookies, or something more like these traditional chewy sugar cookies, the holidays just wouldn’t be the holidays without a plate of sugar cookies (or you can bake a batch and give it to a neighbor!).
Classic Chewy Sugar Cookie Ingredients:
- baking soda & baking powder
- vanilla extract
- optional: almond extract
This is one of my favorite things to bake, because even though it’s a basic sugar cookie dough recipe, it has the perfect balance of flavor. The cookies are buttery and sweet without being overly sweet, they are soft on the inside yet still chewy, and you can eat them plain or frost them.
What Makes these sugar cookies chewy?
- The granulated sugar makes these ultra chewy sugar cookies. Similar to a snickerdoodle, the sugar to butter ratio (among other things) yields a nice, buttery and chewy sugar cookie.
What Makes these sugar cookies soft?
- The combination of baking soda and baking powder play a key role in keeping these cookies really soft. Additionally, the egg here helps to add the right amount of moisture to the sugar cookie dough to keep them soft.
When you put together what makes the cookies chewy and what makes the cookies soft, you’ve got the perfect balance of ingredients to make a perfect sugar cookie. 😉
Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies Tips & Tricks:
1. First things first, in case you missed it up at the top of this post, this is a no chill sugar cookie recipe, meaning you can bake these cookies right away!
2. Next, when rolling out the dough for this easy sugar cookie recipe, you do not have to flatten the dough before baking in the oven. The cookies will flatten as they bake (one of my favorite parts of this recipe and partially why I declare these the best sugar cookie recipe of my life!).
3. I roll each cookie dough ball in sugar before baking. However, you can roll them in sprinkles instead. Around Christmas, I roll them in red and green sprinkles. For Valentine’s Day, red and pink. 4th of July, red, white and blue. It’s a super simple way to make them festive without going to any extra work.
4. The recipe below calls for almond extract. You can 100% omit the almond extract, if you’d prefer. I happen to love how almond and vanilla extract taste together, and I think it really adds to the depth of flavor in these cookies. However, these taste great with just vanilla extract!
What Makes these the Best Sugar Cookies?
- For me, what I love about these soft and chewy sugar cookies is that this recipe is so easy. It’s just a handful of simple ingredients. You don’t have to plan ahead because you don’t have to chill the sugar cookie dough. Finally, you roll them into balls, roll them in granulated sugar (this makes a crisp sugar cookie bite that then leads into a soft, chewy and buttery sugar cookie bite).
- I love how versatile this recipe is in terms of decorating sugar cookies. You can leave them plain (who doesn’t love a plain, soft sugar cookie every now and again?!), you can frost them or fill them with sprinkles.
- In fact, we love using this particular sugar cookie recipe for cookie decorating gift baskets. We put the baked sugar cookies, a jar of homemade frosting and a variety of holiday sprinkles (whichever holiday you’re making these for) and deliver it to friends and neighbors for a fun afternoon of cookie decorating.
Rich, buttery, and chewy. Sugar done right.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract (optional)
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, for dipping
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or coat with baking spray).
In a large bowl with a standing mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
Add in the egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract; beat until combined.
- Add in flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix until just combined, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl every now and again.
- Roll dough into 1" balls, and roll in sugar.
- Place on baking sheet, about 2" apart. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until cookies have set.
- Allow to cool.
- Feel free to frost them or cover them with a glaze, if desired.
*Alternately, instead of rolling in sugar, you can roll each cookie dough ball in sprinkles and bake as normal.
Here are some other favorite cookie recipes:
Updated photos in 2019 (original photos below).