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Best Chewy Sugar Cookies

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Introducing my mother’s Best Chewy Sugar Cookies, combining both brown and granulated sugar. These are so full of flavor that you don’t really even need the icing!

For other versions, try my Best Cut-Out Sugar Cookies or my Frosted Soft Sugar Cookies!

A plate of colorful chewy sugar cookies.

If you don’t want to read a fun story about my family, simply scroll on by! 🙂

Some Family History

Mom’s original recipe made about 40 cookies. I’ve cut it in half for the blog, but feel free to make the original by doubling this recipe!

I guess you bake tons of cookies when you are a mom to six kids and married to a man whose sweet tooth rivaled Cookie Monster. I still remember coming home from school and seeing Mom’s back countertop filled with cookies that she had JUST baked. All is right in the world when you come home to that! 

I also remember sneaking an extra one when she wasn’t looking, because I know she TRIED to limit the amount we ate in one sitting (two was max, I believe).

So if all six of us kids ate two sugar cookies, plus a few extra “sneaks”, plus a few for Dad and maybe one for Mom (because she never ate a lot of her own baking), that leaves 20 cookies out of the 40 remaining. Man, I’m good at math! 🙂 And guess what she did with the other 20?

BINGO. She GAVE them to neighbors, as well as the priests and nuns that lived across the street. That was totally routine for Norma Jean, the queen of baking and the giver of all things sweet. Giving away her baked goods was her reward for her sweat in the kitchen. She loved to hear the “ooohhs and aaahhhs” from the recipients of her gifts. That was all she ever needed. She never expected anything in return, just a little love.

Why This Recipe Works:

  1. SIMPLE INGREDIENTS – This easy recipe uses standard baking ingredients. Nothing fancy.
  2. CHEWY TEXTURE – These chewy cookies have the perfect texture – crispy edges with a chewy center..
  3. DELICIOUS FLAVOR – These cookies have the best flavor using two types of sugar. One of our favorite sugar cookies!
A plate of frosted sugar cookies with green, blue, and red frosting.

KEY INGREDIENTS:

  • Unsalted Butter – Make sure you let the butter sit on your countertop to soften it before using it in this recipe.
  • Sugars – A combo of granulated sugar and brown sugar is needed.
  • Egg – Let the egg come to almost room temp.
  • Cream of Tartar – Acts as a Leavening Agent and may be combined with baking soda. The resulting chemical reaction makes your treats fluffier.

How to make this Chewy Sugar Cookie Recipe:

Step 1
Make the dough. In a large standing mixer using a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar together until creamy, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Add eggs and vanilla and mix again. Then add the dry ingredients – the cream of tartar, baking soda, salt, and all-purpose flour – and mix at medium-low speed until just combined.

Step 2
Form cookie balls and chill dough. Use a cookie scoop to form 2-inch balls, place on a baking sheet, and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookie dough balls for a couple of hours.

Step 3
Bake. In a preheated oven, bake cookies for just 10-11 minutes to ensure a soft inside. Let them sit on the pan for 5-7 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Step 4
Make icing. Melt the butter. Add to a medium bowl, and add the half and half and vanilla extract. Then slowly add the powdered sugar and use a hand mixer to combine.

You’ll want to use as much powdered sugar as needed to get a nice consistency for the cookies. Not too runny and not too stiff!

Step 5
Ice the cookies. When the cookies are completely cool, add the icing.

Food coloring can also be added for decorating for various occasions.

Step 6
Share! These are too good not to share!

Overhead view of 8 sugar cookies with icing.

If your cookies spread too much, it could be due to several reasons, including the quality of ingredients, how soft your butter was, your oven temperature, etc. 

You can fix cookies that over-spread by taking them out of the oven a few minutes early and using a spoon to gently push the edges in. Then pop them back in the oven to finish baking!

Cookie Baking Tips:

  • Use room temperature butter and eggs to up your cookie game. This allows the ingredients to form an emulsion which traps air. While baking, this trapped air expansionists to produce a fluffier cookie. Using cold ingredients will prevent this magic from happening.
  • Chill your dough. This will allow the fat in the cookies to chill and firm up. When baking, this chilled fat will prevent an over-spreading of the cookies. The resting time will also allow the flour to soak up the liquids in the dough. When the cookies are fully-hydrated, they brown better, bake more evenly, and have a more complex flavor.
  • Bake your cookies to YOUR preference. If you like your cookies darker, bake them longer. If you like them gooey, then slightly under-bake them. You do you!
  • Bake one batch at a time. If using a regular oven, baking one batch at a time is recommended for more even baking. If using a convection oven, you can bake two batches at a time.
Side view of a cooling rack of frosted sugar cookies.

Storing Tip – Store these sugar cookies in an airtight container on the kitchen counter, for up to three days.

Freezing Tip – Freeze in airtight container plus freezer bag, for up to three months.

Other Cookies to Try Next:

A closeup on some iced sugar cookies.

Kitchen Tools Used: (affiliate links)

xoxo ~Sue

A plate of frosted sugar cookies.

Best Chewy Sugar Cookies

Introducing my mother's Best Chewy Sugar Cookies, combining both brown and granulated sugar. These are so full of flavor that you don't really even need the icing!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 18 cookies
Calories: 282kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the sugar cookies:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter – softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (110 grams)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (150 grams)
  • 1 large egg – at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (270 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the icing:

  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter – melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 Tablespoons half and half – or milk
  • 2 1/4 cups powdered sugar – depending on desired consistency
  • food coloring – optional

Instructions

For the sugar cookies:

  • In a large standing mixer, cream the butter and sugars together. Add eggs and vanilla and mix.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Place cookie dough in airtight container and store in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place cookie balls on prepared sheet pan. Bake in batches, for approximately 12 minutes.
  • Let cookies cool slightly before removing to baking sheets to cool completely.

For the icing:

  • Melt the butter in medium bowl. Add vanilla and half and half and stir. Add powdered sugar until you reach the right consistency. You want to make sure it’s thick enough for spreading but thin enough to use a decorating kit (optional).
  • Add a few drops of food coloring to achieve your desired color. I used red to get pink icing, and red and blue to get purple icing.
  • Fill decorating kit with icing. Make designs on the cookies to decorate for the appropriate holiday or celebration.

Nutrition

Calories: 282kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 92mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 378IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @Suebeehomemaker or tag #suebeehomemaker!

9 Comments

  1. Does the frosting crust over so I can stack them?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      It does harden some, but I don’t think I’d stack them.

      1. Ok thanks! I have used this cookie recipe before and it is definitely my favorite sugar cookie of all time!!!!

  2. These are definitely my favorite. They remind me of when we would bake cookies with Grandma. Sweet and buttery as well as soft and chewy, and they make great dough balls to freeze for later. We make these for all of our family celebrations, and love them with or without frosting!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Olivia! I’m so glad you enjoyed these cookies! Grandma made them best, didn’t she? Thanks for joining my Baking Challenge!

  3. Jena Davidson says:

    Hi Sue! I made these as a Valentine’s treat for my family last night. Hands down, best sugar cookie recipe ever! You’re turning me into quite the chef! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Jena!! So happy you enjoyed them! 🙂

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thanks Bethany! I hope you try them! 🙂

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