food52: Chewy Sugar Cookies No. 2

Mrslarkin’s * classic sugar cookie makes use of three sugars: granulated, light-brown, and turbinado. The granulated gives the cookie a foundation of sweetness, the light-brown adds caramel notes, and the turbinado is in there for a little snap. They’re crisp and buttery on the edges and chewy through the center. Perfect for dunking and ice-cream sandwiches, we think! Note: If baking them on a dark nonstick baking sheet, reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees. (This is a good general rule for all baking.)—Amanda and Merrill, food52 editors


One of the things I like best about this sugar cookie is that it’s not tooth-achingly sweet. It’s got a nice proportion of crunch-to-chew. And it’s so sparkly from the turbinado sugar! The inspiration behind this cookie was the New York Times’ chocolate-chip cookie recipe, printed March 1, 2000: one of the best chewy cookies I’ve ever tasted.
—Mrslarkin, recipe creator


Serves about two dozen (PDF)

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour (I use King Arthur)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup turbinado, or coarse sugar


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two large sheet pans with parchment paper.

2. Cream butter and sugars for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl. Continue beating for another minute. Scrape bowl again.

3. Add vanilla. Beat for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl.

4. Add egg. Beat for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl.

5. Add flour, salt and baking soda. Beat 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl and beat for another minute.

6. Place course sugar in small, shallow bowl. Using a small cookie/ice cream scoop (mine is 1½ inches in diameter), scoop balls of dough, and drop a few at a time in the course sugar and gently roll around. Place balls of dough on parchment, leaving about 1½ inches of space around each. My pans fit 12 cookies very comfortably.


7. Do not press the balls down. This will ensure a chewy middle.


8. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, turning and reversing pans midway through baking. Resist the urge to bake your cookies longer, or they won’t be chewy. The tops don’t get much color, but the bottoms will be nicely golden.

9. Place pans on cooling racks. When cool, store cookies in air-tight containers.

Click here for the Cook’s Illustrated sugar cookie recipe.

After preparing both sugar cookie recipes, click here to vote for your favorite. Then, if you haven’t already, give the two  pork shoulder recipes a try.

Correction, May 6, 2010: This article originally misspelled “Mrslarkin,” the recipe creator’s name. (Return to the corrected sentence.)