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Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies

In addition to a stick of butter, this recipe calls for vegetable shortening or additional butter. The former will yield flaky cookies with a soft center and a crisp edge; the latter will result in thinner, uniformly crunchy cookies.

  • Servings: 8
Giant Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Source: Martha Stewart's Cookies


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup good-quality unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening, substitute 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

  2. Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Mix in shortening (or additional butter). Add egg and vanilla; mix until creamy. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.

  3. Using a 2 1/2-inch ice cream scoop, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing about 4 inches apart. Bake until edges are firm, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container up to 2 days.

Cook's Note

These oversize sugar cookies don't need any mix-ins or frostings--their bold chocolate flavor says it all.

Reviews (34)

  • twhitehouse91 25 Dec, 2014

    I made these smaller than suggested and added small choc chips they did not flatten out tasted more like choc brownie bites. I flattened the second batch somewhat, I also used 1 stick of butter vs crisco.

  • ckarrowsmith 13 Jun, 2014

    These didn't turn out at all as I expected. The dough was very dry and they did not spread at all. I used melted butter in the place of vegetable shortening as recommended. I was not able to find dutch cocoa at my local shop, so I used premium unsweetened cocoa powder; the cookies have a mild chocolate flavor. This batch yielded 35 0.25-oz cookies (it was the measuring device I had handy) I reduced the baking time to 14 minutes. I won't use this recipe again.

  • thegrants3135 21 Sep, 2013

    So good.
    Have made them repeatedly and turn out great each time.

  • enedwick 13 Aug, 2013

    I made these cookies for the first time and followed the recipe. I substituted butter for shortening like the recipe listed and they came out okay. They taste more like regular sugar cookies with a hint of chocolate then chocolate cookies. I would make these again but next time I will add more cocoa. Other than that the cookies aren't bad.

  • dancewithmissjane 22 Jun, 2012

    This recipe says nothing about flattening them out. I thought they would flatten out as they baked, but they came out looking just as they did when I put them in the oven - like snowballs! I think this written recipe needs some adjustments. The grnadkids liked them though. We called them chocolate snowballs (on a 90 degree day.

  • Kima20025 26 Feb, 2012

    My family loves these chocolate sugar cookies! I made the recipe to a T & they turned out great! I made them smaller so I was able to get 30 cookies & cooked them for 12 minutes! I will make them again! Thanks Martha! :)

  • turnerl58 1 Sep, 2011

    QUESTIONS: My husband is diabetic. Can I substitute Splenda for the sugar; also can I substitute organic cacao powder for the dutch-process cocoa???

  • Grandmommy 16 Jun, 2011

    I forgot to add that all I had was Hershey's Baking Cocoa. Used it and they came out just fine, but some time I would like to try the cocoa the recipe calls for.

  • Grandmommy 16 Jun, 2011

    I made these with my little grandsons. The dough was very easy to work with & the cookies were delicious! Instead of making 8 giant cookies, we used a TBSP to measure out the dough. Can't recall how many we ended up making, because the boys were devouring them right out of the oven. The smaller size cookie took aprox. 12 mins. to bake. I also opted for all butter & no vegetable shortening. We sandwiched some of them with peanut butter...sensational! Will add butterscotch chips the next time!

  • TerryLinden 24 May, 2011

    I made these but I wanted more that 8. So I used a smaller scoop and baked for 12 minutes @ 375 and they turned out great. p.s. I got around 27 cookies.

  • myke43 22 May, 2011

    I should spend at least an hour of my time for 8 cookies???
    I don't think so. I would have to at least a doubled recipe to
    satisfy my needs....triple would be even better. Mykele

  • toadcottage 5 Oct, 2010

    I have made these three times Everyone loves these cookies. I used butter flavored shortening. Then since I couldn't bake them right away I made them into rolls wrapped in parchment paper put them into the fridge over night. Next day cut rolls into 1/2 inch pieces and baked for 12 to 13 min. They came out perfect my grandson loves them, as well as the rest of the family.

  • xocatherine 4 Aug, 2010

    wasn't too impressed with this. they weren't horrible, but weren't amazing either. taste a little store-bought. maybe more cocoa will give it a deeper chocolate flavor?
    also, people having trouble with baking time need to note that the recipe is for GIANT cookies. if you're making normal-sized ones, less time is needed. 11-12 mins in the oven should do the trick.

  • jlo917m 1 Jul, 2010

    I made these last night and they came out great! I used butter instead of shortening. I also used a 1 inch scoop and baked them for only 10-12 minutes. However, I only had the regular kind of unsweetened cocoa, not Dutch-process. They still tasted chocolaty, but I'm going to make them again with the Dutch-process cocoa and see if there's a difference.

  • JasDeck 30 Jun, 2010

    I baked these today. Baking time is too long. Mine did NOT flatten out and are DRY!!!

  • lhodd 30 Jun, 2010

    burnt area from over cooking. (continued from previous comment)

  • lhodd 30 Jun, 2010

    I made these today substituting oil for the melted butter and turbinado sugar for white sugar. Cookies came out fine, however they looked nothing like the picture, no cracks, they were flat. 18-20 is way too long to bake, some burned. I cooked second tray for 15 minutes and even that was too long. Maybe oven should be 350 and not 375 as most cookie recipes are. They were crunchy and tasted good, but recipe definitely needs to be corrected on cooking time. Had to scrape off bottoms to get rid of

  • NicoleCh 30 Jun, 2010

    Since the recipe calls for melted butter (or shortening), you could use oil as a substitute. It might alter the outcome just a bit but I don't think it's a big deal.

  • DeniseWebb 30 Jun, 2010

    To CHEFCAB: NO you cannot sub. oil for shortening. Shortening/butter are solids; oil/melted butter are liquids.

  • vpagecrna 29 Jun, 2010

    So the total butter/shortening in the recipe is 1 cup? Is that correct?

  • amigotwo 29 Jun, 2010

    Butter--always makes a crisper cookie. It spreads out more on the cookie sheet--thus crispier.


  • pkr10 29 Jun, 2010

    which makes a crispier cookie butter or shortening?

  • CHEFCAB 29 Jun, 2010

    Can vegetable oil be substituted for shortening?

  • lisamaria 24 May, 2010

    Wow..these cookies are SO GOOD! Great texture and flavor. They were thick just like the tasty! Do NOT overbake. Mine took about 16 mins and they were baked perfectly. I got about 15 pretty large cookies, so I am not sure why they said it only makes 8. Mine were a nice size also....this recipe is a keeper!! Delicious results!

  • lpwhitt 13 Mar, 2010

    Mine looked nothing like the photo above. The flavor was great, but I took them out after 15 minutes and I thnk even that was a bit too long. Mine didn't flaten, so I think I'll do that with a spatula next time before I put them in the over. Good cookie, but needs some adjustments.

  • sltx 9 Dec, 2009

    These have the most perfect consistency! The flavor was great too. I tried putting chocolate chunks in one batch, and it was just too much chocolate. These are perfect chocolate sugar cookies by themselves. I made tablespoon sized cookies and got about 2 dozen. PERFECT with milk.

  • serenavdc 29 Apr, 2009

    Love the flavor! Proportions are good but tweaked the instructions. First batch - followed directions exactly, but looked nothing like the photo - flat, wrinkly, and too crunchy (still tasty, but I prefer softer cookies). Second batch, rolled them in sugar and very lightly flattened. Took them out early (started checking at 10 min, but can't remember the exact baking time!) - when they had flattened out and were cracked like the photo. They were quite delicate at that point, but after cooling a

  • rsbaker 19 Apr, 2009

    Just tried these yesterday. Great flavor, but mine didn't flatten. Any ideas why?

  • levonnept1 16 Jul, 2008

    Crunchy cookies were probably baked too long (an easy thing to do with dark cookies). Take them out just after the edges set when they still look slightly underdone. I've made these many times, using just butter (no shortening) and sometimes adding chocolate chunks, with fabulous results each time.

  • LindsiW 27 Mar, 2008

    The cookies were yummy- Mine didn't look like the picture and I did't bake them for 18 mins. I used dark chocolate cocoa powder. They were crunchy-a good crunch but I am not sure that I would make them again

  • five 8 Mar, 2008

    I just made these cookies and used dark chocolate cocoa powder. They were great. I made them a little smaller and served warm with vanilla ice cream.
    thanks, PC

  • PatriciaScarpin 5 Mar, 2008

    I have read that using melted butter makes crispier cookies. Maybe if you use butter without melting it?

  • GramsinOregon 4 Mar, 2008

    To make a chewier cookie, take them out of oven at 16 minutes.

  • QueenVictoria 4 Mar, 2008

    I like these cookies, but would prefer them to be a bit chewier. How can I accomplish that?

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