Sugar Cookie Tips for the Best-Ever Treats

Updated: Jan. 31, 2024

Looking to make your best batch yet? These sugar cookie tips ensure you get soft, chewy cookies with every bake.

Chewy sugar cookies are proof that the simplest recipes are often the most satisfying. To make these the superstars of your cookie jar, though, you’ll want to check out some sugar cookie tips.

1. Add an Egg Yolk

This is one of those sugar cookie tips you may have heard of before: Add an extra egg yolk to your cookies. While egg whites can add volume and structure to a cookie, the yolks add richness and moisture for a softer, chewier cookie.

Three egg yolks are the secret to these super tender, thick sugar cookies.

2. Use Brown Sugar

While most brown sugar recipes call for granulated sugar, consider scoping out recipes with a touch of brown sugar (or substituting up to half of the sugar in your go-to recipe with brown sugar). Brown sugar is comprised of about 10% molasses which adds moisture to the dough. This extra moisture and molasses’s sticky texture will create chewy, soft cookies.

And if you find your brown sugar has gone hard when you go to measure, follow these tips for softening brown sugar.

3. Chill the Dough

We borrowed one of our sugar cookie tips from our list of chocolate chip cookie tips: Chill the cookie dough before baking.

After stirring up the cookie dough, let it chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes. This will prevent the dough from spreading too much. Instead, you’ll have cookies that keep their shape and stay soft and chewy rather than flat and crispy. If you’re looking for crunch, though, check out our crisp sugar cookie recipe.

4. Add a Secret Ingredient

Sugar cookies often rely on a splash of vanilla extract and good butter for their flavor, but these basics are just the start. Try some secret ingredients like a hint of citrus zest, a splash of almond extract or even a bit of your favorite baking spice to the recipe. Even a pinch adds a special quality that makes your sugar cookie recipe uniquely yours.

5. Keep an Eye on the Clock

Even if a recipe promises the softest, chewiest cookies, you can’t expect those results if you overbake the cookies. Start by baking the cookies for the shortest time recommended. Cookies should be slightly soft and pliable when they come out of the oven. They will firm up a bit as they cool.

Also, check these sugar cookie tips for the best-ever treats.

6. Store Cookies the Right Way

Even the most tender cookies can go rock hard if they’re not stored properly. To keep cookies fresh, stash them in an air-tight container. A specialty cookie container can extend the shelf life of your cookies by several days.

And if you find that your cookies have gone too crunchy despite your best efforts, you can soften cookies with a slice of bread! This is one of our favorite sugar cookie tips (and tips for cookies in general!).

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