These chewy sugar cookies are buttery, soft, and perfectly tender. It’s a drop-style cookie – so instead of rolling out the dough and cutting it into shapes, the dough is formed into balls and rolled in sugar. There’s no chilling involved, and you end up with delicious sugar cookies that are chewy and oh so flavorful.
If you’re looking for a cut-out sugar cookie recipe, then try these sugar cookies instead. But if you’re looking for sugar cookies that are easy to make, where there’s no chilling involved, and have a delicious buttery, vanilla flavor – then these chewy sugar cookies are for you. You can easily frost them too if you’re so inclined, but they taste just as delicious rolled in sugar.
What’s a Drop Cookie?
This recipe is for drop sugar cookies. A drop cookie is any recipe where the dough is spooned into balls and placed on a cookie sheet. As the cookies bake, the mounds of dough flatten. A drop cookie would be any recipe that isn’t cut into shapes (like gingerbread men or cut-out sugar cookies), goes through a cookie press (like spritz cookies), or is formed into a log and baked (like icebox cookies). Compared to using cookie cutters to make sugar cookies, this drop-style recipe saves so much time and is way less fussy.
The Secrets to Chewy Sugar Cookies
- The butter should be softened, but not the least bit melty for this recipe. If the butter is too soft or verging on melting, the edges of the cookies will get crispy.
- We’re using 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk. The extra egg yolk adds moisture to create a softer cookie.
- A little cornstarch gives the cookies that melt-in-your-mouth texture.
- You do not need to flatten the dough balls – they will flatten out as they bake.
- Rolling the dough balls in sugar gives them a delicious crunch on the outside that goes so well with the soft, chewy middle.
Because I love making sugar cookies over the holidays – freezing the dough or the cookies is always a good idea for holiday prep.
- You can make the dough, then cover the bowl and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Then when you’re ready, form the dough into balls and bake according to the recipe below.
- You can also:
- Make the dough according to the recipe (up to step 6)
- Form the dough into balls, place on a tray, and refrigerate for 30 minutes for the balls to firm up.
- Place the dough balls in a freezer bag, remove the air, then freeze for up to 3 months.
- When ready to bake, roll each ball in the sugar. Then place the dough balls on lined cookie sheets, and bake from frozen for 1-2 minutes longer than the recipe calls for. (ie – baking for 9-11 minutes).
You can find even more details about freezing cookies here too.
These chewy sugar cookies have such a delicious buttery, vanilla flavor and melt in your mouth because they’re so soft. Make them over the holidays, top them with frosting, or eat them plain all year round for the most delicious treat.
Chewy Sugar Cookies
- 2 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 ⅓ cup white sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk discard the egg white
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract optional
- ⅓ cup white sugar for rolling the cookies in
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, beat together the butter and 1 ¼ cup sugar until fluffy.
- Beat in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract and almond extract.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture about ½ at a time.
- Pour the ⅓ cup sugar onto a plate.
- Form the dough into balls about 1 tablespoon in size. Then roll each ball in the sugar and place 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheet.
- Bake the cookies 1 sheet at a time on the middle rack of the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the tops look just set.
- Cool the cookies on the lined sheet for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling
- After cookies are baked and fully cooled, store in an airtight conainer and freeze for up to 3 months. Then in the fridge, then bring to room temperature before enjoying.
- Cookie dough can be made. Then cover the bowl and store in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
- To freeze cookie dough - make the dough and form it into balls. Place balls on a tray, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Then place balls in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, remove from the freezer and roll in the sugar. Then bake (from frozen) as directed. They'll need 1-2 extra minutes.