18 Classic Cookie Recipes Everyone Should Know

Tasty Cookie Recipes That Are Easy To Make

snickerdoodles on a plate
Diana Rattray

Some classic cookie recipes go down in history for a reason: They taste great, come together fairly easily, and work well for the ol' cookie jar, lunch box, or bake sale. Cookies fall into three basic preparation styles.

There's the drop method, which involves dropping rounded spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. The molded method requires shaping the cookies more precisely. Then there's the rolled method, in which you roll the dough into a log shape, chill, and slice it into rounds for a more uniformly shaped cookie. Add some of these to your repertoire, and remember why they're classics.

  • 01 of 18

    Peanut Butter Cookies

    Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    With their delicious blend of salty and sweet flavors, peanut butter cookies always hit the spot. Use a fork to create that traditional crosshatch pattern on the top, which gives them a little extra texture once they bake. Traditional peanut butter cookies use creamy PB, but you can use crunchy to add more interest.

  • 02 of 18

    Sugar Cookie Recipe

    Classic Sugar Cookies

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    Make these light and sweet sugar cookies as a base for decorated treats, or eat them all on their own. For tender cookies, don't work the dough too much. The more you handle it, the tougher it gets, so try not to over-mix it.

  • 03 of 18

    Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Diana Rattray

    These basic chocolate chip cookies use the drop method, for a quick and easy cookie. This recipe uses semi-sweet chocolate chips and brown sugar for that old-fashioned, TollHouse flavor. Add chopped pecans for more crunch, or leave them out for the most traditional taste.

  • 04 of 18

    Homemade Nilla Wafers

    Vanilla wafers

    The Spruce / Jessie Sheehan

    No need to head to the grocery store if you make the vanilla-scented Nilla Wafers at home. Kids and adults love snacking on light and crispy Nilla Wafers. They're easy to make and keep well, too so go ahead and make a nice, big batch.

    Continue to 5 of 18 below.
  • 05 of 18

    Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

    Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
    Anthony-Masterson/Taxi/Getty Images

    Oatmeal-raisin cookies taste just like grandma's house. This traditional recipe comes out chewy, sweet, and studded with lots of raisins, just like they should. Enjoy these with a tall glass of cold milk.

  • 06 of 18


    stack of cinnamon coated snickerdoodles

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    The perfect snickerdoodle cookie comes out slightly soft and chewy with a generous dusting of cinnamon sugar on top. This recipe has plenty of cinnamon to fill your kitchen with that delectable aroma, and makes lots of cookies for an exchange, bake sale, or to give as gifts.

  • 07 of 18

    Molasses Cookies

    Old-Fashioned Molasses Cookies

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    With cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, these molasses cookies have an assertively spiced flavor. The dough does need to chill overnight before rolling, cutting, and baking, so plan ahead.

  • 08 of 18

    White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

    White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

     Kristina Vanni

    Mild white chocolate and rich macadamia nuts give these classic cookies a sweet and salty taste that will have you coming back for "just one more." This recipe makes enough to share, so try it when you find yourself on dessert duty.

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  • 09 of 18

    Jam-Filled Thumbprint Cookies

    jam-filled thumbprint cookies

     Claire Cohen

    Thumbprint cookies often show up on holiday dessert trays, but they taste great any time. Fill them with your favorite jam flavor, or grab a few different kinds for a fun variety. You can also fill the well with halved candied fruit or date preserves, for a fun twist.

  • 10 of 18

    Meltaway Butter Cookies

    meltaway butter cookies
    Meltaway butter cookies melt in your mouth. Diana Rattray

    These meltaway butter cookies come out rich and creamy, with almond and vanilla extract adding extra dimension. Sprinkling a little extra sugar on top gives them more texture. Pair them with a cup of tea or coffee for an afternoon sweet treat.

  • 11 of 18

    Coconut Macaroons

    Three ingredient macaroons on a dessert plate
    The Spruce

    Just three ingredients mix up into these soft and chewy coconut macaroons. They're also naturally gluten-free, so they work great for those with dietary restrictions. For a different twist, try dipping them in melted chocolate.

  • 12 of 18

    Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

    Lemon cookies on a plate

    The Spruce / Chosen Posture

    Cream cheese gives these lemon-scented cookies a delightfully soft texture and a wonderful rich flavor. Lemon juice, zest, and extract all add a deliciously fresh citrus taste that just screams spring. For those who like their cookies a little sweet and a bit tart, these will hit the spot.

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  • 13 of 18

    Basic Butter Shortbread

    Shortbread Cookies

    The Spruce

    It doesn't get much more classic than rich, buttery shortbread. These cookies make a great base for chocolate-dipped shortbread, but they taste great all on their own. If you use salted butter, you can omit the pinch of salt.

  • 14 of 18

    Hermit Cookies

    old fashioned hermit cookies with raisins
    Old-fashioned hermits with raisins and nuts. Diana Rattray

    No one really knows where the name for these traditional hermit cookies comes from, but the spiced walnut and raisin flavor goes the distance. Try switching up the nuts and dried fruit for a fresh take, depending on what you have in the pantry.

  • 15 of 18

    Black and White Cookies

    Black and White Cookies

     Kristina Vanni

    New Yorkers already know nothing beats a black and white cookie. Their cake-like texture and unmistakable two-tone look makes them a classic. If you can't get to a Manhattan deli to pick one up, satisfy your craving at home.

  • 16 of 18

    Lofthouse Cookies

    Lofthouse Cookies

    You can find these fluffy frosting sugar cookies in just about every grocery store bakery section, nestled side-by-side in a plastic clamshell. But making them at home lets you customize them with your favorite color frosting to match any party decor.

    Continue to 17 of 18 below.
  • 17 of 18

    No-Bake Cookies

    no bake cookies arranged on marble surface in rows

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

    When it's too hot to turn on the oven, whip up these no-bake cookies. Oatmeal, chocolate, and peanut butter come together into a sweet and tasty treat, and you can add other mix-ins for a personalized version too.

  • 18 of 18

    Cream Cheese Crescents

    cream cheese crescent cookies with raspberry filling
    Diana Rattray

    The shape of these traditional crescent cookies will give them away from across the room, and everyone will love seeing them make an appearance. Dress them up with a little chocolate drizzle, dip them in melted chocolate and sprinkle with nuts, or leave them plain for simplicity.