Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies

September 9, 2021
For the soft cookie lover, these Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies do not disappoint! They're tender-textured, soft and chewy throughout with just a hint of crispness on the edges, and packed with fabulously delicious vanilla-and-sugar flavor in every bite. In my opinion, they're simply the BEST sugar cookies around.

Stack of Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies on Baking Sheet Image

Who's with me on loving soft cookies?? Yeh, don't even hand me a crisp or dry-textured cookie, please. I'd truly rather do without.

For me, cookies are all about biting into sweet softness, with their tender deliciousness almost melting in your mouth. Whether it be Snickerdoodles, oatmeal cookies, classic chocolate chip, or anything in between, soft is the only way to go.

And let me tell you, for the soft cookie lover (like me), these soft & chewy sugar cookies do not disappoint! They're tender-textured, soft and chewy throughout with just a hint of crispness on the edges, and packed with fabulously delicious vanilla-and-sugar flavor in every bite.  Sure, classic sugar cookies are great, -- but in my opinion, they don't come close to holding a candle to this soft & chewy version.

In my opinion, these are simply the BEST sugar cookies around.

Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies are tender-textured, soft and chewy throughout, and packed with fabulously delicious vanilla-and-sugar flavor in every bite.

What makes these sugar cookies turn out chewy?

The soft and chewy texture of these sugar cookies is not by accident. So, just what is it that makes sugar cookies turn out chewy? It's due mostly to a combination of three things working together:
  • Melted butter - Melting the recipe's butter causes it to "release" the small amount of water that butter contains. When the cookie dough is mixed, this small amount of water combines with the dough's flour to form gluten. This gluten formation, in turn, creates chewiness.

  • A combination of baking powder & baking soda - Baking powder and baking soda work together as leavening agents to create cookies that both rise and spread to the best degree to create chewiness. Baking powder goes to work once the cookies are in the oven to create lift. Baking soda, on the other hand, begins to work as soon as the cookie dough is mixed and weakens or "softens" the dough's gluten with air bubbles. Due to the softening of the gluten, the cookies nicely spread and crackle on top. -- All of which, through a bit of cookie-baking magic, creates a fabulously soft and chewy sugar cookie. 

  • Oil - A bit of canola (or vegetable) oil adds to the moisture content of the dough, which in turn also contributes to creating a more chewy texture.

Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies with Crackled Tops Image


Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookie Ingredients:

The list of ingredients for chewy sugar cookies is admittedly more lengthy than that for traditional sugar cookies, but it's the interaction of these ingredients that create that soft & chewy texture we love. 

To whip up a batch, you'll need:

  • Granulated sugar - The key ingredient in sugar cookies! It just wouldn't be sugar cookies without a good dose of sugar, would it? Use granulated sugar in both the cookie dough, and for coating each cookie before it bakes.

  • Unsalted butter - Melted butter is key to creating these cookies' soft and chewy texture. Stick with real butter rather than substituting margarine, and use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt in the recipe.

  • Cream cheese - Enhances the cookies' flavor. Also provides an acidic element that helps the baking soda do its thing in creating the cookies' crackle top and chewy texture.

  • Canola (or vegetable) oil - Adds to the moisture content of the dough, which in turn also contributes to creating a more chewy texture.

  • An egg - Serves as the binder for the cookie dough, and 1 is all that's needed for this recipe.

  • Milk - Whole milk is best for this recipe, adding a little fat and moisture to the dough.

  • Vanilla extract - A full 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract brings fabulous flavor to these chewy sugar cookies.  Since it's such an important element to the cookies' flavor, be sure to use pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla.

  • All-purpose flour - Serves as the back-bone of the cookies' structure, and interacts with the melted butter to create the foundation of the cookies' chewiness.

  • Baking powder - The leavening agent that creates the cookies' rise.

  • Baking soda - The leavening agent that creates the cookies' spread and crackly top.

  • Salt - Works with the baking powder for the cookies' rise, and brightens the cookies' flavor.

Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies Image


How to Make Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies:

Making the dough for chewy sugar cookies is a little different process than making most cookie doughs, primarily because of using melted butter. This means there's no using the traditional creaming process to get the dough started.

Instead of creaming, start the dough by placing a bunch of granulated sugar and some cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Then pour warm melted butter over them and whisk the mixture to get the cream cheese, sugar, and melted butter combined. Don't worry at this point if there are a few small lumps of cream cheese after the whisking. -- The lumps will get worked out later in the process.

Add an egg, some milk, and two full teaspoons of vanilla extract to the butter/sugar mixture and whisk again until the mixture is smooth. Any cream cheese lumps should work themselves out at this point, but again, don't worry if you have a few small lumps still left. Then stir in the recipe's dry ingredients by hand to form a soft dough.

Rolling Chewy Sugar Cookie Dough Ball in Granulated Sugar Image

Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough at a time and roll into balls. Don't worry about making them perfect balls -- with this soft dough, rough and dimply is just fine. You don't want to overwork the dough by handling it too much when rolling, as overworking the dough can create tough cookies.

Roll each dough ball in granulated sugar, getting it completely coated, and place on a cookie sheet.

Using the bottom of a drinking glass or flat-bottomed measuring cup, very slightly flatten the dough balls. And I do mean very slightly flatten -- you're just going for pressing the tops down a little bit here, not for completely squashing down the dough ball. For the cookies to bake up properly and stay softe and chewy, make sure they are NO MORE than 2-inches in diameter once flattened. 

If needed, dip the bottom of the glass or measuring cup in the rolling sugar to keep it from sticking to the dough balls.

Pressing Chewy Sugar Cookie Dough Ball with Drinking Glass Image

Sprinkle the tops of the flattened dough balls with sugar (from the rolling sugar), using about 1 & 1/2 to 2 teaspoons sugar for each baking sheet of cookies.

Then pop the cookies in the oven to bake, baking just one sheet at a time for the best result. You'll want to bake them for 11-13 minutes, until the cookie edges are set and just beginning to brown.

How to Make Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies Image

Allow the baked cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies on Cooling Rack Image

Then get ready to enjoy the deliciousness, because these soft & chewy sugar cookies do not disappoint! They're tender-textured, chewy throughout, and packed with fabulous vanilla-and-sugar flavor in every bite. In my opinion, they're quite simply the BEST sugar cookies around.


Tips for Making Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies:
  • Melt the butter - Melted butter combine with the recipe's flour to create gluten. This gluten formation, in turn, creates chewiness.
  • Use a light hand with the dough - Overworking the dough can create tough cookies. To avoid this, mix the ingredients by hand, not an electric mixer. Then when rolling the dough into cookie balls, just gently roll them into rough balls -- they don't have to be perfect. If you roll the balls perfectly, you've overhandle the dough.
  • Flatten the cookie dough balls, but not too much - When pressing the dough balls down to flatten them, just flatten them a very little bit. Make sure they end up NO MORE than 2-inches in diameter. Flattening them too much causes them to bake up too thin, which also makes them crisp instead of soft and chewy.
  • Don't overbake - No matter what you do when mixing the dough and preparing the cookies, cookies won't be soft if they're overbaked. Bake only until the cookie edges are set and just beginning to brown. If anything, err on the side of under-baked.


Check out these other super tasty sugar cookie recipes:

Stack of Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies on Cooling Rack Image
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chewy sugar cookies, chewy sugar cookies recipe, soft sugar cookies, soft sugar cookies recipe, sugar cookies with melted butter
Cookies & Bars
American
Yield: about 24 cookies
Author: Tracey | The Kitchen is My Playground
Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies

Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies

For the soft cookie lover, these Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies do not disappoint! They're tender-textured, soft and chewy throughout with just a hint of crispness on the edges, and packed with fabulously delicious vanilla-and-sugar flavor in every bite. In my opinion, they're simply the BEST sugar cookies around.
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 30 MinTotal time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

Cookie dough:
  • 2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened & cut into 8 pieces
  • 6 T. unsalted butter, melted & still warm
  • 1/3 c. canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. milk (whole milk is best)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
For rolling:
  • 1/3 c. granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt . Set aside.
  2. Place the 1 & 1/2 cups sugar and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Pour warm melted butter over them and whisk to combine (don't worry if there are a few small lumps of cream cheese after whisking).
  3. Whisk in oil until just incorporated. Add egg, milk, and vanilla extract. Whisk until mixture is smooth.
  4. Add flour mixture. By hand with a rubber spatula, mix until well combined to form a soft dough.
  5. Place the 1/3 cup sugar for rolling in a small shallow bowl.
  6. Scoop 2 tablespoons dough at a time and roll into balls. -- Don't worry about making them perfect balls; rough and dimply is just fine.
  7. Roll each dough ball in sugar to coat and set on cookie sheet, placing no more than 8 cookies per sheet (to allow space for cookies to spread).
  8. With the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup, very slightly flatten dough balls (making sure they are NO MORE than 2-inches in diameter). Dip the glass or measuring cup in the rolling sugar, if needed, to keep it from sticking to the dough balls.
  9. Sprinkle tops of flattened dough balls with sugar (from the rolling sugar), using about 1 & 1/2 to 2 teaspoons for each baking sheet.
  10. Bake at 350, one sheet at a time, for 11-13 minutes, until cookie edges are set and just beginning to brown.
  11. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


The BEST Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies ~ For the soft cookie lover, these do not disappoint. They're tender-textured, chewy throughout with just a hint of crispness on the edges, & packed with fabulous vanilla-and-sugar flavor in every bite. They're quite simply the BEST sugar cookies around!  www.thekitchenismyplayground.com

This post is linked with Weekend Potluck.

2 comments

  1. Beautiful cookies!!! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. Hope you have a fabulous week.

    ReplyDelete
  2. These look delicious! My husband would love them!

    ReplyDelete

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