Essential Baking Repetoire: Chewy Sugar Cookies

I told you that my favorite sugar cookie recipe of all time was coming up, and now I'm finally delivering. This chewy sugar cookie recipe is one that I hold absolutely dear to my heart. It was one of the first cookies that I made successfully when I was in middle/high school, and everyone that tried it loved it. Just loved it. I made dozens and dozens of them for my family and friends, and they were always gobbled up with delight. To this day, my ex still asks me to make him these cookies heh. Of course, I'm not going to pretend that I invented some amazing recipe because I was a child baking prodigy. But it is different from the most popular sugar cookies that you'll find when you google "chewy sugar cookies". Admittedly, it is based on the recipe found here, one of the first entries on google. What I did, however, was to adapt the recipe to suit my family's Asian tongue.

As some you might know, Asians usually don't have much of a sweet tooth, especially when it comes to things like cookies and cakes. When I wanted to bake something at home, I wanted to make sure that my parents were going to eat it – that's part of the joy of baking! For one thing, they didn't like chocolate chip cookies much, because it was too sweet for them. So when I came around to making sugar cookies, the first thing I was quick to reduce was the sugar. Out of guilt, I also reduced the butter in the recipe (it's a little shocking how much the recipe calls for…). But I keep all the other ingredients at the same proportions, and add some almond extract for aroma. I love combining vanilla and almond extracts in my baking – it gives everything that little something extra. It's funny, because I didn't really understand the science of baking when I was younger, so I didn't really think about how altering the proportions of sugar and butter can really change the texture of the cookie. As a matter of fact, a few times I went back to the recipe to make cookies for some friends, and figured I'd go for the full sugar and butter content, only to end up with surprisingly disappointing cookies that didn't have that incredible chew I always liked. For the longest time I couldn't understand why, but now I finally do. It's a real relief.

These cookies have a really satisfying chew that doesn't go away after a day. In fact, they stay just the way they are for nearly a week, if you can keep them around that long hehe. I like to make the whole batch of dough and just bake half of it for about 3 dozen cookies, then freeze the rest for quick and easy cookies when I want them. These are not the cookie cutter sugar cookies that you'd want for decorating, they're best for just eating :) So now I'm sharing my absolute favorite sugar cookie recipe with you, I hope you'll like it!

Lucy's Favorite Chewy Sugar Cookies  (makes 5-6 dozen 2" cookies)      Adapted from Robbie's recipe

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt (use 1/2 tsp if using unsalted butter)
1 cup salted butter, softened
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract

1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.

2. In another bowl, cream softened butter with sugar until fluffy. Add one egg at a time and stir until incorporated. Stir in vanilla and almond extracts.

3. Gradually add the flour mixture into the batter, stirring until well-mixed. Don't be afraid to stir it a lot. (Stirring the dough well will develop the gluten in the flour, which is important for chewy cookies!) When everything is incorporated, the dough will be heavy and slightly sticky. Cover it up and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When the dough is done chilling, scoop out balls of dough about the diameter of a quarter, and place them on foil-lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart from one another. 

5. Grease the bottom of a flat glass and gently flatten the dough balls until they are small discs about 1/3 inch thick. This will help your cookies spread evenly instead of mounding in the middle.

6. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the edges are just very slightly starting to become a golden-brown. Immediately remove from oven and let sit on the cookie sheet to finish baking for another 2 minutes. While cookies are still warm, remove from foil using a spatula and finish cooling on a cooling rack. They will be perfectly chewy starting from the moment they are cool enough to eat, until they are all gone :)


10 responses to “Essential Baking Repetoire: Chewy Sugar Cookies

  • shippouchan

    Mmmm…. I love sugar cookies. Especially chewy ones. I'm definitely going to have to try this recipe out sometime!

  • Cause you ain’t sweet anymore… « Butter Sweet Melody

    […] I don’t really remember how I found this recipe. I do remember it was an accident…anyway, they come from a lovely blog called My Endible Memories and somehow, the description of the cookies simple won me over and I gave them a try. God, you wont regret either if you do…These are perfectly chewy with the most wonderful sugary crackly top, that breaks softly when you bite into them. I’m guessing these would make wonderful ice cream sandwiches! Check out the original post for these cookies here. […]

  • mercedes.

    this is a super old recipe post, but i’m wondering if you think it would be okay to use cookie cutters with this recipe? i’m thinking they might not keep their form.

  • Sherry

    Did this recipe change? I used the one from your old website and they always turned out well but this time, the dough ended up being slightly too dry and the cookies turned out crumbly rather than soft and chewy… Also they were slightly too salty and I used unsalted butter too. Half a teaspoon seemed like an awful a lot of salt but I went with it anyway and now I wish I hadn’t… :\

    • Lucy

      Hi Sherry, I’m not sure what happened to your batch, but I assure you the recipe itself has not changed! Every time I make these cookies I come to this post also and they’ve turned out right. I typically use unsalted butter and also use the 1/2 tsp of salt (if you look at the original recipe that I adapted this one from, you’ll see they also use 1/2 tsp salt). I’m sorry that these didn’t come out as you expected this time, but it sounds like maybe it was a fluke, so I’d give it another shot and see if it comes out like it used to.

  • Jacqueline

    These are wonderful. I have been trying various sugar cookie recipes looking for one I can be happy making over and over. I dipped the tops in turbinado sugar before baking. It added an extra crunch. I think this is going to be my go to sugar cookie from now on. Thanks

  • Jennifer Beaman

    Seems simple and am too hoping this is the sugar cookie recipe I have been looking for. Looking forward to making them this evening. Thanks for sharing!

  • samantha

    Can you use margarine instead of butter? (Just a 12 yr old running on a budget of $1.90 here. I wanna surprise my dad when he gets back from work sometime)

    • Lucy

      Hi Samantha, I would not substitute margarine for butter in any baking recipe – I have done this in the past with other cookies and it tends to come out with a strange consistency and spreads out flat.

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