Recipe: Chewy Sugar Cookies

By on November 26, 2012 in Recipes with 9 Comments

Who doesn’t like a sugar cookie? They have to be on the list of the Top 5 Unobjectionable Foods. But how often have you had a Sugar Cookie that was a little lackluster? It’s one of the simplest of cookies, but they’re hard to get just right.

Leave it to Cook’s Illustrated to come up with the perfect recipe for everything, including Sugar Cookies.And as is the case with many of their recipes, the method and ingredients are slightly untraditional.

For one, the ingredient list includes cream cheese. You won’t find cream cheese in too many sugar cookie recipes.

Secondly- no need to wait for your butter to soften, this recipe calls for melted butter which they claim helps create a chewy texture. And you’ll be able to leave that mixer in the pantry. You won’t be needing it. A handy-dandy whisk will do the job.

The addition of both baking powder and baking soda helps achieve just the right texture and those really cool cracks on top. For best results, measure out the amounts of flour and sugar using a scale. The resulting dough is a little softer than most doughs and should be handled as little as possible or the cookies will be too thin.

Go ahead and bake a batch. These cookies are sugar cookie perfection.

Chewy Sugar Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups (11 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 8 pieces
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Place oven rack in center of oven and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Place 1 1/2 cups sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl. Place remaining 1/3 cup sugar in a pie plate and set aside. Pour melted, but still warm butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine. (Don’t worry about the small lumps of cream cheese, they will disappear later.)
  4. Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk, and vanilla and continue whisking until smooth.
  5. Add flour mixture and incorporate it using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a dough forms. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces, about 2 tablespoons each. Roll dough into balls and then roll balls in reserved sugar and place on prepared baking sheets. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to flatten the dough balls into 2-inch diameter circles. Sprinkle additional sugar on top of the cookies.
  6. Bake, 1 tray at a time, for about 11 to 13 minutes, rotating tray halfway through the cooking time. Edges should be set and just starting to brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Recipe Source: Cook’s Illustrated Nov/Dec 2010

More Cookie Recipes

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

M & M Cookies

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  1. Cookie season has officially started. I just cooked 3 batches of different types of sugar/butter cookies. Your sugar cookies look very light and pretty!

  2. Steph says:

    I have 2 oz. of cream cheese left over from another recipe and I hate waiting for butter to get to room temp. This recipe seems to have been made for me! I will definitely be making them soon…Thanks for sharing!

    • Christin M says:

      I hate waiting for the butter too. Hope you like this recipe!

      • Steph says:

        I have made these twice now and they are the PERFECT sugar cookie! Chewy with a beautiful crackle top. Everyone in my family loves them and that’s saying a lot because I have some picky eaters :)

        I followed the recipe exactly and weighed what I could, like you recommended. And by following the 2T per cookie portion, you get exactly 24 cookies…amazing! Thanks again for introducing us to this recipe.

  3. Katie B says:

    I just made these and they are so amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

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