Chocolate Sugar Cookies
CafeMom contributor Nancia Walsh shares her tricks for make the prettiest and tastiest Christmas cookies and other holiday cookies, how to keep your cookies fresh and how to fix the ones you messed up! TODAY, December 22, 2016.
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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Sprinkle powdered sugar or cocoa powder through a doily or piece of lace for a magical and pretty lace-like design. You can use a lace doily from home or buy one from a craft store — paper ones work too. This trick works on all sorts of cookies, brownies and cakes, as long as the surface is cool, smooth and dry. You'll want to use a sieve or strainer for the sugar or cocoa to get an even design. Do a test run on your counter or a plate before sprinkling cookies or cakes. For best results, decorate just before serving so the sugar doesn't soak into the dessert.


    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg, at room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder (or dutch process)
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt


1. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together in a medium bowl. Whisk in the baking powder and salt until combined. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined.

3. Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4-inch thickness. Stack the pieces (with parchment paper between) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

4. Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes.

5. Bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will still appear soft. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

6. Make sure the cookies are completely cooled. Place a doily on top and sprinkle powdered sugar through it. 

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