All-Time Favorite Cookies

Shortbread Cookies

The Spruce Eats

It was easy coming up with this list of favorite cookies. The only problem we had was ranking them. From year to year, favorites change. This last Christmas, we just loved making and eating the thumbprint cookies. Oatmeal cookies were our biggest favorite during the summer as they are great when going on a lot of road trips. Sugar cookies are always good, and a necessity when you have a school-aged child. Follow these baking tips to get the perfect cookies every time.

  • 01 of 16

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Chocolate chip cookies

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Rattray 

    Just mention chocolate chip cookies and the mouth starts watering. Everyone seems to love these cookies. This recipe uses semi-sweet chocolate chips and more brown sugar than the typical recipe.​​​ Add nuts, or leave them out, it's up to you.

  • 02 of 16

    Snickerdoodles

    Snickerdoodle Cookies

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

    This recipe has everything you want from a classic cinnamon-spiced snickerdoodle. Sugary, cinnamony, soft, and chewy, everything that you crave in this delicious cookie. Mix, shape, and roll in the coating and bake. So easy to make, you'll have the wonderful aroma of these cookies baking in your kitchen in no time.

  • 03 of 16

    Applesauce Cookies

    Applesauce Cookies

    The Spruce Eats / Jennifer Perillo

    If you're craving a fall cookie recipe, these applesauce cookies are it. They're not cloyingly sweet, nor overly spiced as some fall desserts can be. Although they feature cinnamon, these are light enough to be enjoyed any time of year. The applesauce lends these cookies a springtime freshness, and their cake-like quality helps them keep for several days. Best of all, they come together in just 30 minutes.

  • 04 of 16

    Peanut Butter Cookies

    Crunchy Peanut Butter Cookies, glass of milk

    The Spruce Eats / Emily Baker

    Peanut butter cookies are an all-time favorite. There's nothing like a warm, soft, and chewy cookie that tastes like peanut butter. This recipe calls for chunky peanut butter and yields a totally irresistible cookie. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, place them on the cookie sheet, and press in a criss-cross design on each of them with the tines of a fork.

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  • 05 of 16

    Butterscotch Cookies

    Butterscotch cookies on a serving plate with a scoopful of butterscotch chips on the side

     The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    For an old-fashioned flavor profile with an updated spin, try these butterscotch cookies. They're made with butterscotch chips, corn flake cereal, rolled oats, and chopped walnuts that deliver an explosion of flavor. Crunchy, sweet, and decadent, these cookies will be a favorite in the house.

  • 06 of 16

    White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

    White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

    This white chocolate macadamia nut cookies recipe puts an upscale spin on the classic chocolate-chip-nut cookie. There's just something about the crunch of macadamias and the flavor of white chocolate that is a perfect taste combination. The anticipation of waiting for the timer to ding after 15 minutes of baking these cookies will keep you on the edge of your seat. It makes a large batch, perfect for a potluck, cookie exchange, bake sale, or Christmas gifts.

  • 07 of 16

    Black and White Cookies

    Black and White Cookies

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    Made famous by the bakeries in New York City, black and white cookies will always be a favorite. The chocolate and vanilla frosting tops a soft 4-inch cake-like cookie with hints of lemon and vanilla, creating a delicious and beautiful treat. Make sure the cookies have cooled down before frosting them and remember to put the icing on the bottom of the cookie rather than the top.

  • 08 of 16

    Homemade Nilla Wafers

    Vanilla wafers

    The Spruce Eats / Jessie Sheehan

    Homemade Nilla Wafers are a delightful little bite of sweet. Keep them small to make them the authentic size. This recipe does make 40 cookies, so grab the kids and have them help roll the balls of dough for a fun family moment. Use these wafers in desserts like banana pudding or have them as a snack on their own. They're great with hot tea or a cold glass of milk.

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  • 09 of 16

    Lofthouse Cookies

    Lofthouse Cookies

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

    This favorite grocery store bakery cookie is easy to make at home. The sour cream and cake flour are what create the signature pillowy texture. When you bite into one of these cookies, you experience a soft, cake-like texture with a sweet burst of light creamy frosting. Be careful not to overbake these cookies. Feel free to be creative with frosting colors and decorations.

  • 10 of 16

    Shortbread

    Shortbread Cookies

    The Spruce Eats

    Who would have thought that combining just three simple ingredients—flour, butter, and sugar would taste so good? This shortbread cookie recipe is super easy and surprisingly tasty. Bake for 40 minutes, and let cool before slicing into the size squares you prefer. The simplicity of these cookies makes them so addictive. There are a number of variations you can do with them from adding spices, oils, and nuts, to making them dairy-free.

  • 11 of 16

    Macaroons

    Three ingredient macaroons on a dessert plate

    The Spruce Eats

    Another simple, yet much-loved cookie recipe is macaroons. Coconut is the basic ingredient in this recipe, and these are so easy to make. These cookies only take three ingredients, and are gluten-free and so tasty. They can also be made dairy-free or with chocolate. Make sure to line the pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup. This recipe makes 48 cookies.  

  • 12 of 16

    No-Bake Cookies

    Easy Gluten-Free Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

    The Spruce Eats / Kristina Vanni

    No-bake cookies have been around for many years and are a popular cookie to make, especially during the holiday season. These cookies bring back nostalgic memories of childhood days for many of us. This recipe is for gluten-free, no-bake cookies that use oats, chocolate chips, and peanut butter as an optional ingredient. Perfect for bake sales, lunchboxes, potlucks, or family dinners, you can't go wrong with these cookies. No-bake cookies can also be made vegan.

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.
  • 13 of 16

    Sugar Cookies

    Sugar cookies with blue frosting
    Annabelle Breakey/Photodisc/Getty Images

    Sugar cookies are the perfect cookie for any time of the year. So buttery and full of light and delicate flavor, these cookies are a standard for the holiday cookie season. Roll the dough out, use cookie cutters to cut into shapes, and decorate if you want. Delicious as-is, with a bit of sugar sprinkled on top, or add icing and some colorful sprinkles, choosing the colors depending on the season. These sugar cookies can also be made dairy-free for those that watching their dairy intake.

  • 14 of 16

    Butter Cookies a.k.a. Spritz Cookies

    Cookie Press Butter Cookies

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

    You can't beat these light butter-flavored cookies. They are easier to make using an electric cookie press but a manual one works too. These cookies are also known as spritz cookies and are in high demand during the holiday season. Cutouts of Christmas trees, hearts, or pumpkins abound depending on what time of the year it is. These are great for school parties and the kids love to help dust these with colored sugar sprinkles. 

  • 15 of 16

    Thumbprints

    6-Ingredient Jam Thumbprint Cookies

    The Spruce Eats / Abby Mercer

    Kids of all ages love these cookies. These thumbprint cookies are very versatile as you can fill them with your favorite jams or even chocolate. Taking only six ingredients to make, these cookies are buttery soft and so addicting. Roll them into balls, press your thumb in the center to make an indent, fill, and bake. 

  • 16 of 16

    Gingersnaps

    Gingersnap Cookies

    The Spruce Eats / Eric Kleinberg

    The taste of molasses, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves is there in every single bite you take of gingersnap cookies. Sweet, spicy treats that are popular during the holidays and great to eat any time of the year. Roll them in sugar and pop in the oven. You decide if you want them soft or crispy depending on how long you let them bake.