I need your best cookie recipe ever!!!! No, seriously, EVER.
November 28, 2010 2:24 PM   Subscribe

best-cookie-recipe-ever-filter: I need your best, most impressive, most "wowing" when someone puts it in his/her mouth cookie recipe that you've got. Yes, I know there's a bazillion cookie recipes lurking in this AskMe/Metafilter machine. Which is part of the problem. Taste over looks.

I work full time on a team that has been overtasked and understaffed/funded for a variety of [unrelated to this question] reasons. At the behest of my company, I started law school part time this August [fun!? NO, but moving on] which has forced the rest of my team to come together in ways both professional and personal to pick up my slack and ensure I don't end up in a locked ward. And there's years of this left-although I'm coping better as this goes on.

There's a week between the end of finals and the company-wide shutdown for Xmas-New Years. I'm known around the office as a damn good baker. I'd like to bake THE MOST AWESOME COOKIES EVER for my team as a very small thanks for the semester.

TL;DR: I need your best cookie recipe ever. Awesome taste over foofy decorations. Assume I [embarrassingly] own that weird unitasker. NO BACON or other meat [or lard]. Otherwise, sky's the limit!
posted by atomicstone to Food & Drink (46 answers total) 284 users marked this as a favorite
These ginger cookies have never failed me; spicy, nice chewiness, really a solid all-around champion. They're also a big hit with those who aren't usually cookie fans because they're not overwhelmingly sweet.

They're easy enough that you could easily make them just a part of a cookie delivery if you would like the other part to be a little showier.
posted by charmedimsure at 2:30 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

Really, they are! (Though if you're discounting bacon, I wonder if you're looking for something more out-there than chocolate chip cookies.)
posted by ella wren at 2:31 PM on November 28, 2010 [4 favorites]

toblerone shortbread. but i double the toblerone + put a triangle on top of each cookie. oh. my. nom.
posted by crawfo at 2:31 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

oh also. these Compost Cookies that i had at momofuku snack bar were the best thing i ever had in my life + super creative. the ones i had even had really fine coffee grinds and cornflakes. ugly, but so effing good.
posted by crawfo at 2:37 PM on November 28, 2010 [5 favorites]

The best cookies in the history of the cookie are these Heath Bar cookies. Oh they are so perfect...
posted by Siena at 2:47 PM on November 28, 2010

Response by poster: That compost cookie definitely fulfills the taste over foofiness. That is one ugly cookie.
posted by atomicstone at 2:48 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

These may be the best cookies I've ever eaten: Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
posted by freshwater at 2:56 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I only put in the bacon proviso because metafilter people, and, well, people in general seem to want to put bacon in everything. And while that's nice, it's not what I'm seeking.
posted by atomicstone at 2:57 PM on November 28, 2010

Of late, I have had two go-to cookies, both from Dorie Greenspan's "Baking". The first are her molasses cookies (recipe reprinted here), which are basically an amped-up version of the usual American molasses/ginger cookie, with twice the molasses as, for example, my mom's recipe, and with the surprisingly effective addition of black pepper to the dough. I usually make 36 smaller cookies instead of 24 larger ones, baked one sheet at a time (I prep each batch while the previous one is baking). I also like mine soft, and probably bake them a smidge less than directed.

The second are the Sablés from the same book (reprinted here). They're vaguely reminiscent of slice-and-bake sugar cookies, but in the same way that European styles of buttercream taste more like butter and less like sugar than their American counterparts, these cookies are rich and buttery, but not the least bit cloying. They're also nice because one batch makes lots (~50, and you can fit 25 or so on a sheet since they don't really spread).

Oh, and I use turbinado sugar for the rolling/coating steps in both of these instead of table sugar in the former and decorating sugar in the latter, but that's a personal preference thing. I find it to be satisfyingly coarse.
posted by andrewpendleton at 3:01 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

Classic Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies from King Arthur Flour.

Oh. My. God. I will never cheat with another chocolate chip recipe. My heart is with these cookies. Cider vinegar? Whole wheat? YES and YES. My non-sweet-eating husband cannot stay away from these, and I am more dangerous to them than even my kids are. OM NOM NOM.
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:17 PM on November 28, 2010 [6 favorites]

I love chocolate chip cookies. A lot. The only cookies that don't make me actively mad as I'm eating them (since they aren't chocolate chip, but could have been, and that makes me SO MAD) are dark chocolate cookies with one twist. Right when they come out of the oven, put 1/2 of a a thin mint on them and let the residual heat melt it, when melted swirl once with the back of a spoon. Minty goodness. I think it should work on basically any cookie recipe, so why not try it on a few of whatever you make and see if it makes them better.
posted by true at 3:30 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

If you want something extra-extra-special, I think you should do something other than cookies. Cookies are awesome, but for an over-the-top "wow" you should look farther outside the usual box. Examples:

Suggestion #1: The recipe for "Chocolate Friands" in the Tartine cookbook is very easy. They're small rich/moist/dense cakes, less than half the size of a cupcake, bites really, covered with ganache. I think they are the best chocolate anything that I have ever had. We used Ghirardelli chocolate, which is pretty widely available.

Suggestion #2: If the recipients wouldn't be averse to a little alcohol, and you really want to wow them...Mrs. Methods often makes chocolate-covered cherries for Christmas. Recipes aren't hard to find. What alcohol, you say? Instead of using regular maraschinos, she buys dried cherries from Trader Joe's and soaks them in bourbon.
posted by madmethods at 4:01 PM on November 28, 2010

Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies. So. fucking. good.
posted by grapesaresour at 4:12 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

Ruhlman's chocolate chip cookie recipe from Ratio is really, really good. It's just like the perfect simple cookie.

Also there's a recipe I have some place for chocolate cookies with regular and white chocolate chips, and it is unbelievably delicious. I will try to find it.
posted by malthas at 4:29 PM on November 28, 2010

Ah, found it! It's a Hershey's recipe, but it's absolutely delicious. I don't use the nuts, but they are probably still alright with them in. The cookies wind up almost a little bit like brownies, and the trick is to not overcook them -- they should still be relatively soft when you pull them off of the sheet. If you wait for them to get firmer, they end up really hard (but still delicious!).
posted by malthas at 4:36 PM on November 28, 2010

Oh and not to totally take over this whole thread, but I forgot to note that rather than using all one kind of chocolate chip as the recipe does, it's a lot better if you do half semi-sweet and half white.
posted by malthas at 4:37 PM on November 28, 2010

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies are peanut butter cookies with a peanut butter cup pushed inside. Friends loved them, and they are easy to make in bulk.

The Pillow Cookies from Bakerella.com are brownies baked inside chocolate chip cookies. Bakerella is also a good place for impressive looking treats in general.

Not cookies, but homemade marshmallows dipped in chocolate always go over well. Easy to make and people are often surprised that such things can actually be made in a kitchen.
posted by nalyd at 4:59 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

The Toll House chocolate chip recipe is the gold standard. The rest is in how you make it. Cream the butter and sugar by hand, with a fork. Let the butter reach room temperature without help. Don't roll the dough in your hands, just put it on the sheet. I make excellent cookies, and these are my secrets.
posted by dame at 5:15 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

Lemon Glazed Ginger Cookies from Martha Stewart. Incredible. I made them by the recipe the first time, but after that I just patted them into discs rather than rolling them out and cutting them, and I only used about a cup and a half of sugar for th glaze. The cookies don't spread so you can really pack them on the sheet.
posted by CheeseLouise at 5:38 PM on November 28, 2010

I really love making Cool Whip cookies - they always have that crispy bottom and gooey center, plus they are the easiest cookie in the world to make (except the dough being so thick). You can use any cake batter (I just made these lemon ones for Thanksgiving, as a pumpkin alternative!). Watch your bake time - I'd try a test batch, let them cool and see if they firm up enough.
posted by quodlibet at 5:58 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

"I love chocolate chip cookies. A lot. The only cookies that don't make me actively mad as I'm eating them (since they aren't chocolate chip, but could have been, and that makes me SO MAD) are dark chocolate cookies with one twist. Right when they come out of the oven, put 1/2 of a a thin mint on them and let the residual heat melt it, when melted swirl once with the back of a spoon. Minty goodness. I think it should work on basically any cookie recipe, so why not try it on a few of whatever you make and see if it makes them better.

Oops. Meant to say an Andes mint. Technically it's a 'thin mint' but these are cookies we're talking about and it's important to get it right.
posted by true at 6:20 PM on November 28, 2010

Chocolate Crinkles are pretty much the most amazing cookie ever, and the bonus is that they sort of decorate themselves. Try using rum or rum extract in them instead of vanilla for something extra special.
posted by katyggls at 7:00 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Double chocolate toffee chews are the best chocolate cookies I've ever made.
These Haberdashers are a pretty spectacular lemon delight, if I do say so myself. Bonus points for being delicious immediately, and having a decent shelf life. I've mailed them halfway across the country and still received rave reviews.

self links, but tasty ones
posted by spinturtle at 7:31 PM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

They're informally known around Chez evoque as "white-trash cookie bars," but when the ingredients include 1.25 sticks of butter, a can of condensed milk, a bag of chocolate chips, and a sleeve of saltines, what else could they be? The recipe is forgiving enough to allow for an infinite variety of toppings - in a pinch, I've tossed on everything from bourbon-soaked pecan pieces, Frosted Flakes, toasted coconut, toffee pieces, M&Ms, etc. - and they never fail to please.
posted by evoque at 8:01 PM on November 28, 2010

Super impressive and super delicious: Gourmet magazine's seven-layer cookies. They may look foofy, but flavor is not sacrificed at the altar of beauty. Whenever I make these for people it quickly rockets to the top of their favorite cookies list.
posted by pluckemin at 8:33 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

The recipe is important and there are many suggestions above, but in my experience the quality of the ingredients is a much more significant factor in the overall quality of the cookie than the recipe. You need tasty ingredients to make tasty cookies. Get yourself the tastiest butter you can find (European-style cultured is my favourite), the best flour (pastry flour, not all purpose - I recommend Bob's Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour if you can get it), some very tasty chocolate, good quality nuts that you toast for optimum flavour, and so on.
posted by ssg at 9:21 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

I started making these Silver Palate Molasses Cookies with my mom when I was little, and they're now my go-to "Thank you!" cookies. They're delicious, spicy and stay soft for a really long time, and they're fairly unique. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some baking to do...
posted by wuzandfuzz at 9:49 PM on November 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

These peanut butter cookies were a howling success when I took them in to my students. Despite them begging me to make them again, I never did as I knew how many sinful ingredients went into them.

I also do a basic version of these honey and cinnamon shortbreads. It's shortbread but with a totally subtle honey flavouring. I don't put the icing on top. I make these for Xmas every year as part of my baking tradition and are always welcomed by friends and family.
posted by chronic sublime at 2:12 AM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Wow! All of these ideas almost make me excited to study so I can see the other side of finals and bake! Almost. I'm definitely not averse to the notion of awesome non-cookie nomnoms so if your best-individual-serving-size-sugar-and-fat-delivery-recipe isn't a cookie, throw it out there. And at this rate, I may end up making a few. I'll update with what I made, with pics. Thanks!
posted by atomicstone at 5:46 AM on November 29, 2010

Oatmeal Carmelitas. (don't use walnuts. NEVER use walnuts!) I make these in an 11x7 pan because it makes more cookies and they are still plenty thick.

Bonus: no eggs in this recipe, which makes adapting it to be vegan is that much easier.
posted by peep at 9:44 AM on November 29, 2010

Right now, these are my two favorites: Pistachio-Apricot Oatmeal Cookies, Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies.

The oatmeal ones are best the crispier you let them get, in my opinion, and once they've cooled and hardened up a bit they are DIVINE. The apricot is the secret I think. Well, with the pistachios of course. They're an expensive but delicious cookie.

The whole wheat choc chip ones are pretty new; I made my batch less than a month ago and couldn't stop eating them, and I'm normally not a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies (I find 90% of specimens you come across mediocre). Someone upthread mentioned the King Arthur whole wheat chocolate chip recipe, and how good those are too. I'm convinced whole wheat flour makes hands down the best chocolate chip cookie--you'd never think so, at least I wouldn't, but it adds a nuttiness and the texture is to die for, and there is, as Molly mentions, a slight digestive biscuit feel and taste to them especially once they've cooled. So good. Unlike Molly, I didn't have to fret making up my mind; I KNOW I prefer these to the infamous NYT 36 hour fleur del sel fancypants ones. And I love that the best chocolate chip cookie just so happens to be pretty much as easy as it could possibly be--no waiting for butter to come to room temperature, no chilling the dough. Mine looked like this.
posted by ifjuly at 10:31 AM on November 29, 2010

malthas: ...rather than using all one kind of chocolate chip as the recipe does, it's a lot better if you do half semi-sweet and half white.

The best cookies I ever baked were using the Tollhouse recipe from the back of a bag of chocolate chips, but substituting peanut butter chips for half of the chocolate chips (and not adding nuts, but I hate nuts in cookies, so YMMV). Some of it was that I managed to avoid overbaking them for once, but the mix of cookie, chocolate, and peanut butter was awesome. My husband constantly pesters me to make more, and he isn't normally much of a cookie lover. Not sure if it's spectacular enough for what you're going for, but they're quite yummy at least.
posted by ashirys at 11:06 AM on November 29, 2010

Best answer: World Peace Cookies, aka Korova Cookies, by Dorie Greenspan via smitten kitchen: "In her most recent book, she calls them World Peace Cookies, as her neighbor became convinced that a daily dose of these cookies was all that is needed to ensure planetary peace and happiness." What more could you want?

P.S.: I actually baked them and they were so, so good.
posted by amf at 11:13 AM on November 29, 2010 [9 favorites]

I'm a big fan of Smitten Kitchen's homemade oreos. Good lord, so soft and chewy, so delicious.
posted by ms.v. at 2:57 PM on November 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Orange chippers are the greatest - the cream cheese gives these a wonderful texture. Skip the gross frosting in the linked recipe though.

(Putting bad chocolate bars in cookies should be a federal crime, ugh)
posted by benzenedream at 4:11 PM on November 29, 2010

These have been referred to as "crack cookies" when I made them for friends and co-workers: Ghiradelli Ultimate Double Chocolate Cookies/
posted by DakotaPaul at 9:18 PM on November 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: World Peace Cookies...seriously.
posted by littleflowers at 12:06 PM on November 30, 2010

Ranger Cookies! We make them with craisins and chocolate chips, but I have no idea how much. A lot.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 11:23 PM on November 30, 2010

Here's how to make the best pot cookies in the world. I would use a half ounce for a batch, but use whatever you feel is appropriate.

Take your marijuana and grind it up in a coffee grinder. I don't know if this is necessary but my theory is maximizes the surface exposure for the next step. If you don't want your coffee to taste funny, you could try skipping this step, but results are not guaranteed. Don't forget to smoke the powder left in the grinder, though!

Boil a pot of water. Throw a stick of butter in the boiling water and let it melt. Then dump in your ground marijuana. Keep it at a rolling boil for 20 to 30 minutes after you put the weed in. After that amount of time, filter the butter/water mixture through some cheesecloth to take out the little marijuana bits that taste awful. Dump the liquid back in the pot and throw it in the fridge overnight (this is the beautiful part).

Overnight the butter will congeal on top of the water. In the morning, take the pot out of the fridge and cut it down the middle with a knife. Remove the two semi-circles of butter and substitute for normal butter in any damn recipe you please. The thing is, THC is fat soluble but not water soluble, so all the THC ends up suspended in the butter. These cookies (or whatever) will be POTENT but not have the vegetable matter that amateur pot baking has.

Be cautious when consuming! I highly recommend having what you would judge to be a *small* dose first, especially if you're inexperienced at cooking with drugs. If you are an experienced pot smoker but have no experience eating pot, you will be shocked at the effect of eating marijuana. Also, give a full hour after consuming before deciding that you could use more. Don't plan on being anywhere. Have some stupid movies available and drink plenty of fluids. Do not mix with alcohol.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:43 PM on December 2, 2010 [4 favorites]

To reiterate how strong they can be: remember the police officer with the 911 call? "Send rescue. I think we're dying. Time is going really really really slow." That's what you'll be doing if you take too much. Take it easy until you know what you're doing.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:47 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanks all! I forgot to take pics, but I went with the World Peace cookies and they were, as promised, a hit. Took all the willpower I could muster not to eat them as I made them. AskMeRecipes for the win!
posted by atomicstone at 5:21 PM on December 17, 2010

Just for additional data for future reference: this thread inspired me to make the pillowcase cookies, Momofuku compost cookies, and Salted White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (I'm going to make the molasses pepper ones too, but for NYE). I gotta say, the compost cookies are as amazing as described. My husband pretty much deemed them the best thing I've ever made, drilling me for the details and declaring we're going to Momofuku the next time we're in NYC because he loved them so much. The recipe is weird as hell--I have never encountered anything like that 10 minute intermediate beating step for cookie making before--and had me nervous when they came out pretty much the ugliest thing to ever come out of my kitchen, but they were so fucking good. The white chocolate cookies had as their best feature the crumb which SK indeed talks about, the unique "shattery" quality of it. I don't think the white chocolate is necessary so if you're like me and tend to shy away from the stuff out of dislike I think you won't miss it at all (if I make those again it'll be with normal chips or nuts or something else like that). The compost cookies come out soft-batch as a warning in case like me you usually prefer crispier cookies. But as soft-batch cookies go they're really reliable and good, I got a lot of compliments when I took 'em to a birthday party recently.
posted by ifjuly at 7:38 PM on December 17, 2010

D'oh. In that last sentence, I mean the pillowcase cookies, not the compost, come out soft-batch.

I made the compost cookies with pretzels, potato chips, and chocolate. I think next time I will use a bit of espresso powder and maybe butterscotch or dried fruit and oats, as those have been mentioned before.
posted by ifjuly at 8:15 AM on December 18, 2010

my mother's kitchen-sink cookies are always a major hit whenever i make them. which is probably less often than it should be.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 6:24 PM on December 25, 2010

Finally made World Peace cookies from this thread. OMFG good. The name may be a misnomer though -- I might be sporting some fresh fork wounds if I pressed my luck and tried to eat the last few when my wife was watching.
posted by benzenedream at 5:42 PM on January 28, 2011

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