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+ servings
Traditional Christmas cookie shapes in a chocolate cookie shown on a cooling rack

Best Chocolate Cut Out Cookie

Yield: 36 cookies
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 7 mins
Total Time: 27 mins
The best chocolate cut out cookie recipe that tastes like a rich chocolate brownie. No need to chill the dough, and the cookies don't spread. Enjoy them plain or iced!
4.43 from 7 votes


  • 1 cup unsalted butter cubed, slightly room temperature (not softened)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening like Crisco, 48 grams, see notes
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar 300 grams
  • 3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 420 grams
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 65 grams, see notes
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder or instant coffee granules


  • PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.
  • SIFT or WHISK together flour, cocoa powders, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • CREAM together cubed butter, vegetable shortening, and sugar 2-3 minutes until light in color.
  • STIR together eggs, vanilla, and espresso powder in a small bowl. ADD to the butter and sugar mixture until incorporated.
  • ADD flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time on low to medium speed.
  • CONTINUE mixing until dry ingredients are added, and the dough begins to pull away from the side of the mixing bowl (an extra 30 seconds to 1 minute). The texture should be the consistency of Play-Doh. Add 1-3 more Tablespoons of flour if needed.
  • ROLL out cookie dough to about 1/4 inch thickness on a floured or cocoa surface and cut into desired shapes.
  • BAKE at 375 degrees F for 7-9 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


  • FLOUR- It is most accurate to weigh the flour for consistent results.
  • COCOA POWDER- We suggest using a combination of 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Unsweetened Cocoa Powder and 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Special Dark Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. 
  • BUTTER- Cube butter and allow to sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before mixing. The butter should be room temperature, not softened (meaning you should be able to make a small dent by pressing your finger into the butter, but not press straight through to the bottom).
  • SHORTENING- Using a vegetable shortening, like Crisco, makes for a softer, more tender chocolate cut out cookie. If you don't want to use shortening, you can make an even substitution using 1/4 cup butter. 
  • SALT- The recipe suggests using unsalted butter. If you only have salted butter, you can omit the salt in the recipe if desired.
  • ESPRESSO POWDER- Found in the baking or coffee aisle of most grocery stores. You can swap out with instant coffee granules in a pinch. It is okay to omit, but espresso powder adds a depth of flavor to chocolate baked goods. 
  • SOFT COOKIES- Bake at 375 F for 7-9 minutes
  • CRISPY COOKIES- Bake at 375 F for 9-11 minutes 


Calories: 142kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 2gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 43mgPotassium: 44mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 171IUCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chocolate, christmas, cookie, sugar cookie