Dark Chocolate Dark Brown Sugar Cookies


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I’ve been wanting to make chocolate sugar cookies for awhile.

But not just any sugar cookies because I don’t even really like sugar cookies.

Dark Chocolate Dark Brown Sugar Cookies - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Sugar cookies are usually too crispy, crunchy, and dry. Those adjectives don’t belong with cookies.

These cookies are moist, soft, and chewy. And thick. So you can really sink your teeth into them.

Dark Chocolate Dark Brown Sugar Cookies - Recipe at averiecooks.com

And I didn’t want white-sugar sugar cookies. Way too boring.

So I made them dark in two ways. With dark cocoa powder and dark brown sugar.

Dark Chocolate Dark Brown Sugar Cookies - Recipe at averiecooks.com

If you don’t have dark cocoa powder and run into snags trying to find it like I did for over two years, order it to save time and a headache. Or use regular unsweetened natural cocoa powder. Your cookies just won’t be as dark.

I tested and wrote the recipe with dark brown sugar rather than light, and recommend it. If all you have is light brown sugar, you can make dark brown sugar by stirring in about 1 or 2 teaspoons of molasses into the 3/4 cup dark brown sugar. It’s not a perfect conversion, but it’ll work.

Dark Chocolate Dark Brown Sugar Cookies - Recipe at averiecooks.com

The recipe has a very short ingredients list and the batch size is small, only making about 15 cookies.

The dough comes together in no time. Make sure to chill it before baking so your cookies bake up thick. Baking with unchilled, warm dough will result in thinner, flatter cookies.

Dark Chocolate Dark Brown Sugar Cookies - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Although they’re thick, the cookies stay soft from using cornstarch. I have written about cornstarch so many times and why I love it. It’s my secret weapon for creating super soft cookies that stay soft, but not cakey.

They’re fudgy, rich, intensely chocolaty, and not overly sweet.

Dark Chocolate Dark Brown Sugar Cookies - Recipe at averiecooks.com

I try to judge a cookie overall by the quality of the dough. These aren’t loaded up with add-ins, candy, chocolate chips or chunks, or anything else. Just boldly chocolaty dough.

Cookies with Reese’s Pieces and M&M’s are destined to be good. It’s what you get when you strip that all away and focus on the dough, sans fillers. And these cookies deliver.

Dark Chocolate Dark Brown Sugar Cookies - Recipe at averiecooks.com

They’re the cookies I recommend for bad days, PMS days, or when the chocolate monster is calling your name and nothing else will do.

I imagine some people would like to wash these down with a big glass of milk or a cup of coffee. I recommend red wine, Homemade Baileys, or champagne. It’s a holiday week, after all.

Dark Chocolate Dark Brown Sugar Cookies - Recipe at averiecooks.com

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Yield: 15 medium cookies

Dark Chocolate Dark Brown Sugar Cookies

Dark Chocolate Dark Brown Sugar Cookies

These cookies are the dark ode to sugar cookies. They’re rich, fudgy, intensely chocolaty, soft, and chewy. Both dark cocoa powder and dark brown sugar add depth of flavor, richness, and these not-too-sweet cookies are perfect for serious chocaholics. Pour a glass of milk, cup of coffee, or glass of red wine and enjoy an uber-thick and dense cookie.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed (I have not tried using light brown sugar)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural dark cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark; regular cocoa powder or Dutch-processed may be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste


  1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-creamed, light and fluffy, about 5 minutes (or use an electric hand mixer and beat for at least 7 minutes).
  2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the remaining ingredients and mix on low speedy until just combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Using a medium 2-inch cookie scoop, form heaping 2-tablespoon mounds (I made 15). Place mounds on a large plate, flatten mounds slightly, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough because cookies will spread and bake thinner and flatter.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat or spray with cooking spray and place mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart although they don’t spread much. I bake 8 cookies per sheet.
  5. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just beginning to set. It’s hard to tell with dark cookies when they’re done, but do not bake longer than 10 minutes as cookies will firm up as they cool; baking longer causes cookies to set up too crunchy and crumbly. (The cookies shown in the photos were baked with dough that had been chilled overnight, allowed to come to room temp for 15 minutes, and were baked for 8 minutes, with trays rotated at the 4-minute mark). Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  6. Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 113Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 13mgSodium: 82mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 9gProtein: 3g

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Thanks for the 25 Buttery and Cheesy Recipes and Kerrygold Giveaway entries

What’s your favorite chocolate cookie recipe or dark chocolate recipe?

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Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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  1. I wanted an even smaller batch and I haven’t made your exact recipe but it’s kind of a head-scratcher. I did 1 cup flour, 1 stick butter, 1/3 cup cocoa, 1 egg, no cornstarch, 1/2tsp baking soda, pinch salt, 1/2 T vanilla, cup of semi-sweet chocolate chunks and I did not reduce the brown sugar and it still wasn’t sweet enough.

  2. Wowzers!! Ok so, I went looking for a chocolate cookie recipe without other stuff in it, no chips, etc… I’m not usually a huge fan of dark chocolate, but for what I was trying to do, stumbling across your recipe was PERFECT! Because…… I had this amazing idea to sprinkle them with SHARP CHEDDAR CHEESE! And let me say… this idea works!So… feedback: Test batch i made 4 cookies using the unchilled dough. I tried both with and without cheese underneath. I didn’t have a dough scoop, so just a spoon and the dough was quite thick, so i rolled it into balls and flattened them to about 1/2″ thickness. Some of them I also added caramel bits into the center. Always a flavor wizard… hah!I used parchment paper too which helped i think. But yeah, I did NOT get the spread I thought I would having used the unchilled dough. They didn’t expand at all really. So then tonight I made the rest of the batch that i HAD chilled, and was surprised to see how much they DID expand! I thought they wouldn’t go anywhere but…… maybe I put them too close to each other and didn’t get the proper air flow/heat current… or whatever. Not sure. I made them fairly small so I got 24 or out of the batch. (Well, 25 if you count the uncooked dough I ate! Lol Honestly it’s the first batch of dough that has made it to the oven in yeaaaaarrrs! ) Anyhooo! We shall see what my family thinks of my crazy experiment, as I am taking them to Christmas dinner tomorrow. =) Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!! I believe I will be utilizing it a lot in the future. Merry Christmas!!

    Rating: 5
  3. An absolutely outstanding cookie recipe! Am baking a second batch today , doubling the recipe as everyone I shared them with is asking for more! Thanks😋

    Rating: 5
  4. Just… YES! These cookies are PERFECT! They are soft on the inside, lightly crisp-ish on the outside & have a very rich, chocolaty Devil’s food flavor that isn’t overly sweet as brownies are. These just perfect in every imaginable way! As an avid baker, this recipe will definitely be added to my repertoire. Thank you so much for sharing your chocolaty magic with us Averie!

    1. I’m glad you loved these AND that you’re an avid baker! And that you plan to add these to your repertoire!

  5. Hi, Averie. I was looking for recipes to use up the ton of dark brown sugar that has accumulated in the cupboard and found you. I’m mid-bake, having formed six mounds which are in the fridge for the next two hours but yet to clean the kitchen floor because, of course, when opening the cocoa tin, I dropped it. I am looking forward to tasting the results but in the meantime, wanted to ask: have you ever used a tablespoon of vanilla in any other recipes (other then when sizing up for quantity)? I love vanilla but I don’t think I’ve ever used so much at once!

    1. A tablespoon is only 3 teaspoons and I do it all the time! If you think you’d prefer less you can always reduce.

      Enjoy the cookies!

  6. The BEST cookies ever!!  These have now become a family favorite!!  I cannot wait to share these with family and friends this Christmas!  Thanks for a fantastic recipe!

  7. Mmmm, these are so rich and soft! I would hardly call them sugar cookies because they’re so chocolatey, not at all sweet! They’re great for those chocolate cravings because there’s so much chocolate flavor in them.

    One question, were yours on the gooey side? Mine were not dry but they were not overly moist either. I wasn’t sure when you said “fudgy” whether you meant “chocolatey and gooey” or just “intense chocolate flavor.” (I’ve found people have different meanings for that word, probably because it doesn’t actually appear in dictionaries!)

    1. Great comment and observations. I know, dark ‘sugar’ cookies really wasn’t the most fitting name b/c they’re not sugary sweet, or really even ‘that’ sweet as cookies good. They’re dark and rich.

      And as for fudgy. You are so right in that these are not ooey, gooey, super moist cookies. The only way for that is to severely underbake them. In this sense and for these cookies, I meant fudgy as “intense chocolate flavor”. Great question though. Most times I mean it the other way!

  8. Just tried making these last night – so good! I added dark chocolate chips (just half a cup), and they were fabulous. Thanks for posting the recipe!

    PS: I’m trying to watch my calories, so I added everything up. With the chocolate chips in a 15-cookie batch, each cookie is around 175 calories! Just in case anyone else was wondering, these are not only delicious, but almost entirely guilt free ^_^ (without the chocolate chips, they’re closer to 140 calories, by the way).

    1. I think that 140 to 175 for a decent sized cookie that’s truly *satisfying* is pretty darn good! Thanks for doing the stats. I don’t have time to & appreciate the info!

      And so glad you liked them :)

  9. Hi Averie. I love how generous you are in giving tips on how to bake really good cookies. And I love how your cookies look… makes me really wanna try them all. You are wonderful!

    1. I am really happy you enjoy the tips and suggestions. I figure as part of my baking blog, sharing pertinent details about the recipe at hand is more important than sharing cute stories about other things and life details, fun as they are to read, they don’t help people make better cookies. I try to be as clear and thorough and informative as I can so people have the best chance for success!

      1. Awww… again I say you are wonderful for having such a generous heart by sharing what you know. I’m sure you blessed so many others by being part of their success. More power to you Averie and God bless you.

  10. Oh my gosh can you come live with me? Then you can cook and bake for me every day ;) Averie I love all of your recipes that I’ve tried thus far! I’m always reluctant to bake with butter and I try to sub it whenever I can. I subbed 1 small-medium avocado for the stick of butter and these cookies turned out amazing! They were super dense and chewy and the top and sides set wonderfully! You could not taste the avocado at all and the amount of chocolate was just right.

    1. That is amazing that you subbed 1 small/med avo for the butter and they turned out amazing! I love that idea and in cookies like this – really dark chocolate, that is the PERFECT time to use avo, I think! Both the color and the dark chocolate flavors do wonders for making any green colors or tastes :) I am so happy to hear this report from the field! :) Thanks!

  11. Hello, I am a new reader and I love your recipes! I made these cookies yesterday using light brown sugar and they are delicious. For those who need this recipe in metric measurements, feel free visit my blog :)

  12. Well I made these and they are very good. Mine don’t seem as gooey as yours look but they are still delicious.

  13. Hey Averie!
    Wanted to come back and let you know I just baked these incredibly soft and rich cookies tonight! Wow! It was my first time using cornstarch in cookies and I could tell the difference in texture right away! I also coconut oil instead of butter, and threw in some shredded coconut for even more coconut goodness :)
    Thanks so much for this recipe; I’m currently fighting the urge to eat a couple more before bed, haha.

    1. I am so glad to hear you had success with these, and that using softened coconut oil (and some shredded coconut flakes) was perfect for you. And you’re going to love cornstarch in just reg choc chip cookies. It creates the best ever cookies. For example these https://www.averiecooks.com/2013/05/soft-and-chewy-snickers-chocolate-chip-cookies.html is my reg choc chip cookie dough base, with Snickers. Or with Twix https://www.averiecooks.com/2013/05/twix-bar-chocolate-chip-cookies.html The dough base is always the same but the add-ins vary. LMK if you try that base!

  14. I made a rookie mistake by putting the half cup of cocoa into the butter and sugar before I creamed it, because I wasn’t paying attention. I proceeded as usual, though, and the batter seemed all right. As I creamed the butter, sugar, and chocolate together, it was incredibly silky, so I’m hoping it all works out all right. I’ll let you know.

    1. Well if it stayed silky for you, it was probably okay then. Hopefully they worked out! These cookies are fairly forgiving so hope everything was fine. LMK how it went!

      1. They turned out just fine! I sprinkled salt on the top of the second batch, and that was definitely a good decision.

        I think they’re kind of creeper cookies. On the first bite, no one was really sure. But when every one finished their first cookie (5 people), they all wanted another. Thanks for another handy recipe!

      2. Glad that they turned out well for you! And that 5 people!! all wanted seconds – that’s the sign of something good :) I also find chocolate has that creeper effect – you don’t know you’re in the mood for it sometimes, til after you have some. Then you want more!

  15. I’m OBSESSED with dark chocolate, and can’t wait to try these cookies!
    Thanks for sharing!

  16. Ok, I’m with you on the whole sugar cookie thing. Regular sugar cookies are boring, I want chocolate in my cookie. I’m just a chocolate kind of girl. These cookies look amazing girl, so rich and fudgey. I love that you used dark chocolate as well as dark brown sugar (you know how I love my dark brown sugar). I need to order myself some of that dark chocolate, so thanks for the link. I love the small batch size as well because cookies really only taste great the first day or two! xoxo, Jackie

    1. Well and you have 2 kids, and they’re older, but my small family of 3 does not need any more than 12 – 18 cookies, at once, max! :)

  17. Oh. My. Goodness. These look stellar. I bet they are so rich and moist with all that dark brown sugar. I made some similar cookies a couple of months ago and they were so black I decided they would make perfect “lumps of coal” for Christmas stockings! But tastier than coal, I’m pretty sure. :)

  18. I hate sugar cookies for those exact reasons! I don’t know if I would even classify these as cookies because they look like fudgy and ridiculously tasty brownie bites! I need to make these asap!

  19. Chocolate sugar cookies are a thing?! Where have I been?! My husband refuses to eat sugar cookies, but I think I could convince him if I whipped up a batch of these.

  20. The choco-holic in me is freaking out right now, Averie! These cookies are begging for a tall glass of milk!