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These easy Chocolate Cut Out Sugar Cookies hold their shape and have great chocolatey, buttery flavor that is perfect with either royal icing or a regular buttercream frosting. Great for Halloween, Valentine’s Day, or anytime!

Chocolate rolled sugar cookies cut out in Halloween shapes of cats, ghost and pumpkins.

Chocolate Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Cut Out Sugar Cookies are perfect for any holiday because all you need are some cookie cutters, frosting and sprinkles or candy and you have a fun, festive, holiday-themed treat! The centers stay soft and tender, the edges get just barely crisp, and the cookies don’t lose their shape as they bake.Stacks of unfrosted chocolate cut out sugar cookies in Halloween shapes.

I’m super excited to be participating in #Choctoberfest this year! I’ve got some great recipes to share, and there are 70+ bloggers who are also participating in #Choctoberfest 2017. Between us, we have over 200 chocolate recipes planned to share over the next week.

Halloween Chocolate Sugar Cookies

These cookies though…

Bowls of candy corn and frosting used to decorate Halloween chocolate cut out sugar cookies.

Really, I was going to save these chocolate cut out sugar cookies and post them during December when everybody goes crazy for cookies. But the more I thought about it, the more I decided, “why wait?!” These were just too good to hold off on posting anyway. And their dark brown color with white frosting and candy corn for super simple decorating are just too perfect for Halloween anyway.

One of these days, I’m going to buckle down and learn how to really decorate with royal icing (I’ve made it in the past and use it in these gingerbread cookies), but my ability to pipe fancy designs is basically non-existent. Hence, a basic buttercream frosting and Halloween candy decorating the cookies in this post.

Although if I’m being completely honest, I totally love eating chocolate cut out sugar cookies straight up with zero icing whatsoever, they are that good on their own!

How to make these Chocolate Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter on medium speed using the paddle attachment for 1 minute until it’s creamy and smooth. Add in the sugar and beat again for 2 to 3 minutes, until it’s light and fluffy.
  2. Then beat in the egg and the vanilla on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and the salt. Add the dry mix to the wet ingredients and mix them together on low speed until they’re combined.
  4. Divide the dough in half and shape them into discs. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, but up to 2 days.
  5. When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and take the cookie dough out of the fridge to sit on the counter for 10 minutes before rolling.
  6. Working with one disc of dough at a time, roll them out between two sheets of parchment paper until they’re between 1/4″ and 3/8″ thickness. Then cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place them on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, remembering to rotate halfway through the bake time. The cookies will still look soft but do not overbake. Let them cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  8. Cool completely before frosting and decorating.

What thickness is best for cut out cookies?

For a good sugar cookie cut out size, you usually want ¼-⅜ inch in thickness. When baked, this size of thickness allows for the amazingly soft but sturdy cookie. Any thinner and you’ll risk eating a cracker with frosting and any thicker dough can result in underbaked cookies.

What happens if you don’t chill sugar cookie dough?

Having a chilled dough is important because it helps the dough to retain its shape. Having a warm cookie dough for cut out shape can be the reason why a beautifully cut unicorn looks like a rhino once baked. Chill your dough and work with cold ingredients or in a cold environment whenever possible for the best-baked results.

Want more great chocolate desserts? Check these out!

Chocolate Cut Out Sugar Cookies
Yield: 18 cookies

Chocolate Cut Out Sugar Cookies

These Easy Chocolate Cut Out Sugar Cookies hold their shape and have great chocolatey, buttery flavor that is perfect with either royal icing or a regular buttercream frosting.  Great for Halloween, Valentine's Day, or anytime!

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed using the paddle attachment for 1 minute until creamy and smooth.  Add the sugar and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Beat in the egg and vanilla on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt, then add to the wet ingredients and mix together on low speed until combined.
  4. Divide the dough in half and shape into discs.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.  
  5. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and take the cookie dough out of the fridge to sit on the counter for 10 minutes before rolling.
  6. Working with one disc of dough at a time, roll out between two sheets of parchment paper to between 1/4" and 3/8" thickness, then cut out with cookie cutters and place on the parchment lined baking sheets.  
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, rotating halfway through bake time.  The cookies will still look soft, but do not overbake.  Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
  8. Cool completely before frosting and decorating.

Notes

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

g

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 161 Saturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 30mg Sodium: 88mg Carbohydrates: 21g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 11g Protein: 2g