What is the best cookie recipe?
October 8, 2018 3:40 PM   Subscribe

These are terrible times and I'm fixing to eat my feelings. Also, the holidays are upon us and I had a surprise success with cookie-based gifts last year. So what is the best cookie recipe?

Any kind of cookie will do - vegan, dairy-rich, nuts, nut-free; from any region or cookie-making tradition. No effort is too great - I may not actually make all the cookies, but I will consider each seriously even if it requires a new utensil.

I am maybe a B+/A- baker - I wouldn't win any cooking shows and nothing I make ever looks really profesh, but I can make a custard without a thermometer and I'm good at meringue.

The only requirement - the recipe you choose should either be a recipe that you've made (ie, not just a random version on the internet) or you should have evaluated it and determined that it looks like a well-written recipe.

My very favorite cookies tend to be old-fashioned ones.
posted by Frowner to Food & Drink (54 answers total) 217 users marked this as a favorite
This question I once asked should be helpful
posted by atomicstone at 3:48 PM on October 8, 2018

Some of my favorites:

Brownie Roll-Out Cookies (Unless you love making fun shapes with cookie cutters, save yourself some trouble and just cut these into rectangle-ish shapes with a knife.)

Double Dark Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies (also just as good with regular cocoa and chocolate chips)

Triple the Ginger Cookies with melted bittersweet chocolate drizzled on top to cut the sweetness. In my opinion these are better than many other ginger cookies because they're soft, they're very gingery, and they don't taste strongly of molasses. Adding the chocolate makes them perfect.
posted by Redstart at 3:59 PM on October 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

These 'best' cookies might not be your 'best' cookies but they're pretty awesome cookies.
posted by gyusan at 4:03 PM on October 8, 2018

These ginger snaps from Alton Brown take a little work- especially if you candy your own ginger (I did, so worth it!) and they were so so so SO good. I made a triple batch and froze some for later and ended up giving away as many as I ate. To this day a family friend will occasionally ask if I’d made any. Sadly I don’t have the time for it now- but I hope you can make them!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:04 PM on October 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

These brown butter ricotta cookies were quite yummy.

(dammit, now I want to make some tonight)
posted by praemunire at 4:17 PM on October 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

The dessert I keep getting asked to make over and over again is Cook's Illustrated Blondies. The linked to recipe appears correct to what is published in the book that I have at home. I make three alterations:

1. I omit the nuts because I am particular about nuts in baked goods.
2. I use high percentage cacao dark chocolate chips because I think their relative bitterness is a good counterpoint to buttery sweetness of the other ingredients.
3. Prior to baking, I sprinkle the top of the raw batter with some flaky sea salt because everything is better with a sea salt crunch.

Not only is it delicious, it is an exceptionally easy recipe to make.
posted by mmascolino at 4:27 PM on October 8, 2018 [11 favorites]

Old-fashioned recipe that I kicked up a notch a couple years ago: Get yourself the old Joy of Cooking gingerbread men recipe. Double it if you're baking for a crowd. Frost as follows: make a buttercream however you like, my family does a lazy one with butter, powdered sugar, and a splash of milk. Add to the buttercream a slug of cranberry juice concentrate, adjusting the ingredient proportions until it's pink, tangy, and smooth. Pipe it or schmear it on.

Meringues: I've made these but with, again, a slug of cranberry juice concentrate in place of the raspberry, for winter holiday eating and they were a hit.

Halfway bars from Good Housekeeping, 1955. Meringuey and delicious. When I was a kid we had these with either chocolate chips or raspberry jam. Definitely use an 8" pan, and if your egg isn't very big consider using two egg whites.
posted by clavicle at 4:30 PM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Better Homes & Gardens snickerdoodle recipe is my go-to and always a hit. I usually add about a tsp of ground ginger.

If you're open to no-bake treats, my other always-requested potluck treat is the Smitten Kitchen salted brown butter rice krispy treats
posted by assenav at 4:31 PM on October 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

I love these Triple Chocolate Cookies. I use them for making ice cream sandwiches, but they are delicious and rich on their own. Pretty easy to make, too.
posted by kittydelsol at 4:41 PM on October 8, 2018

I link to these rosemary butter cookies ALL the time. They’re amazing. And they’re slice-and-bake, so you can keep a log in the freezer and just slice off however many you want for fresh baked cookies on demand.

A couple of things: double the rosemary; Martha doesn’t use enough. Trust me. I usually skip the egg white wash/sanding sugar in favor of brushing water on them and then sprinkling regular white sugar on. This makes a lacy, sugary edge because some of the sugar dissolves instead of the crunchy undisolved sanding sugar (plus, I’m lazy and water is easier than egg whites and I rarely have sanding sugar). The recipe claims that you bake them at 375, but I find that texture is better if you do them for 350 for a little longer. Finally, if you’re in a place where it’s legal and you’re into that sort of thing, they make really good edibles. Just use cani-butter instead of regular. The rosemary goes well with the other herbal flavors and they’re uniform in size, so you can plan your dose. (Or so I’ve heard.)
posted by Weeping_angel at 4:53 PM on October 8, 2018 [11 favorites]

Nestle oatmeal butterscotchies are my favorite, and they're quick and easy to make and bake.
posted by irisclara at 4:54 PM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

Standard Toll House recipe, but sub fresh cranberries (or craisins, although I haven't tried this) for the chocolate. Love the sweet dough/tart fruit contrast. My cookies always seem to spread a bit more with the burst fresh berries, but I haven't cared. They might not hold together as well for gifts though.
posted by ClingClang at 4:55 PM on October 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

If I'm thinking about my favorite homemade cookies, the Ranger Cookie comes to mind.

I've never made them before, and I'm not sure what exact recipe my Nana uses when she makes em, but it might be a type of cookie to look into :)
posted by wats at 4:55 PM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you accept bars as cookies, these are the best Blondies ever, bar none. The secret is marzipan. Even if you don’t like marzipan, you’ll love these Blondies. I’ve made it as written, as well as switching out the nuts/chips for different kinds, and they are always amazing. But don’t skip the marzipan!
posted by Weeping_angel at 5:02 PM on October 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

Just make these chewy brown sugar cookies. Soooo delicious I really don’t make them often because I can eat an entire batch in one sitting. Also these chocolate chip are really good.
posted by tatiana wishbone at 5:06 PM on October 8, 2018

Okay, one more: these Smitten Kitchen peanut butter cookies are delicious and happen to be gluten-free. They only have five ingredients, most of which you probably have laying around: brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, peanut butter, and salt. Literally any peanut butter will work. The recipe calls for creamy, but it doesn’t matter. It can be all natural or commercial. Doesn’t matter. The brown sugar can be light or dark. I’ve subbed almond extract for the vanilla because I was out of vanilla. Doesn’t matter. Add chocolate chips if you want. I’m not sure what witchcraft happens in the oven, but they bake up like regular flour-containing cookies. And they stay soft!
posted by Weeping_angel at 5:21 PM on October 8, 2018 [7 favorites]

My fave cookies that I rarely make are springerle. I have a rolling pin exactly like the one on wikipedia. My recipe is floating around somewhere on paper, so if you are interested, let me know and I'll see if I can dig it up.
posted by Stewriffic at 5:22 PM on October 8, 2018

100% recommend for old-fashioned, delicious cookies that I make every month or so. Also bonus is that you can make two types of cookies depending on your mood and ingredients.

Easiest Shortbread Fancies and Jam Drops

250g butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup icing sugar mixture
2 cups plain flour, sifted
¼ tsp salt
Jam Drops only: ½ - 1 cup jam (raspberry is my favourite but try any type!)

Shortbread fancies
Preheat oven to 180c and prepare baking sheets.
Cream butter, icing sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Gently mix in sifted flour and salt until completely combined and dough is firm (if the weather is warm you may want to place the dough in fridge for ½ hour or until butter content firms up). Roll into small balls and flatten with a floured fork. Bake for 20 - 25mins or until lightly golden.

Jam Drops
Use the same recipe above but rather than flattening with a fork use your thumb to create an indent in the surface. Fill with a small amount of jam then bake for 20 - 25mins or until lightly golden.
posted by latch24 at 5:41 PM on October 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Old fashioned? How about these sugar cookies. I make them every Christmas, and the one year I didn't, people asked for them constantly. I make them without the cream cheese (makes for a more shortbready texture, which I prefer) and the almond extract (nut allergies in the family). Make them extra fancy with a cookie stamp, or just use the bottom of a glass.
posted by lovecrafty at 6:11 PM on October 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Two cookies that are my go-to for bringing places/cookie giving:

Rainbow sprinkle cookies which are basically pure butter and sugar. Very easy to throw together, especially if you use the recommended food processor method where you don't even have to wait for the butter to soften.

Rainbow/Seven Layer/Italian Flag Cookies. Takes some time, and mine never look very neat, but chocolate and raspberry jam and cake-like cookie = NOM.
posted by damayanti at 6:12 PM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

These brown butter coconut cookies from Smitten Kitchen are transcendent and amazing, if you are at all a coconut person (I mean, and also if you are a brown butter person, but really, who is *not* a brown butter person?).

Bonus warning to let the brown butter cool a little bit before you add the water; the recipe does not mention this and I ended up with a brown butter volcano the first time I made it.
posted by charmedimsure at 6:14 PM on October 8, 2018 [3 favorites]

Pistachio-Apricot Oatmeal Cookies

Dried Cranberry and Chocolate Cookies (which are also excellent using milk chocolate chips)
posted by jazzbaby at 6:15 PM on October 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

These chocolate toffee cookies, minus the nuts, are one of the cookies I make for special occasions. Fair warning - they are really rich, so make sure you have a lot of people to feed them to!
posted by tautological at 6:26 PM on October 8, 2018

Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies are extraordinary, in part because their texture is quite delicate and their flavor is, well, not.

The peanut butter cookies in the Joy of Cooking (circa 1960s, at least--they may have changed in later editions, but I can't imagine why anyone would change this perfect recipe) are my other favorite cookies in the world.
posted by dizziest at 6:55 PM on October 8, 2018 [5 favorites]

You'd probably enjoy any of the cookie recipes from the bravetart cookbook. Every one that I've tried has been excellent and the writeup on the history of each c cookie is great too!
posted by peppermind at 7:06 PM on October 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

Here's a pitch for Jacques Torres Chocolate Chip Cookies. My coworker did a batch a few weeks ago, and I stopped myself at two (.... maybe three. Who's counting?). It's not a difficult recipe, but mind that 24-hour resting period. I recommend cutting the chocolate from bar form with a knife; it adds a lot to the texture of the final product compared to using preformed chips.
posted by Gilead at 7:58 PM on October 8, 2018 [4 favorites]

Anzacs! I haven’t made them in awhile but when I did I made them with honey instead of golden syrup and left out the orange zest and orange blossom water for maximum graham-cracker-y taste/because I’m lazy.
posted by bananacabana at 8:01 PM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

These peanut butter-oatmeal-chocolate chip Colossal Cookies are always a hit.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:19 PM on October 8, 2018

These Oatmeal Chocolate Chip are always devoured when I bring them to parties - even when people say they have never liked oatmeal cookies. I've probably made them 25 times and even if they're a little underdone or a little overdone, they're amazing. (They're on Martha's site but they're reposted from Lucinda Scala's cookbook.)
posted by Merinda at 8:25 PM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Betty Crocker Russian Teacakes are one of my old fashioned favorites. I found the recipe online at that link, and double-checked that it's the same as the one from my grandmother's old recipe book, and it is! My family has been making these for decades now hah. They are really easy and so delicious. They have a lovely crumbly texture and are easy to just pop in your mouth. I make them most years for Christmas. You can leave out the nuts if you want, or pick any variety of nut you like. Most of the time, I make them with finely chopped walnuts.
posted by FireFountain at 9:26 PM on October 8, 2018 [2 favorites]

I really like these cookies, which can be made gluten-free (just use almond flour in place of wheat flour), are easy to make, and look really fancy. They taste delicious (chocolate and nuts with a hint of orange) and make excellent gift cookies. One warning, though—they are very fragile, and you can’t rush when removing them from the parchment paper. Do not make this recipe when you’re tired, because you’ll break a bunch of them and piss yourself off. But the recipe makes at least a couple dozen sandwich pairs, and the broken pieces make a good ice cream topping. Personally, I always make the gluten-free version because there is no difference at all to the result, and why not? Then everyone can eat them. Use high quality chocolate for the middle.

If you want to win a baking contest and/or have people devour your baked goods like piranha in the Amazon, make these gingerbread whoopie pies with caramel buttercream as the filling. Life-changing, no shit.
posted by Autumnheart at 10:18 PM on October 8, 2018 [1 favorite]

You don’t even need to buy separate almond flour for the first recipe, you’re already using chopped almonds, so just grind a handful in the food processor or pound them with a mallet. It doesn’t even have to be finely ground. The flour only serves as a binder and won’t change the texture of the cookies.
posted by Autumnheart at 10:23 PM on October 8, 2018

I went through a period of questing for the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, and I think I've tried them all. The one on the Toll House bag. The one where you bang the pan to get crinkles. The one where you brown the butter beforehand. And for my specific tastes (which may be different than yours...) the all-time best chocolatie chip cookie is the Jaques Torres one with a few changes:

• I let the dough rest for close to the maximum suggested time of 72 hours. (This gives it a more complex flavor. If you like something a little more straightforward, then resting it for 24 hours is fine. I suggest you bake several batches over three days as the dough rests, and see what resting period you like best.)

• I use Callebaut 811 54.5% callets instead of feves or disks. When I'm just eating chocolate on its own, I prefer a darker chocolate (in the 70% range) but in a cookie, something in the 50s seems to blend better with the cookie flavors.

• I bake them for about 16 minutes instead of the 18-to-20 recommended in the recipe, because I like my cookies soft and almost gooey. If you like them crispier, leave them in longer. Again, I recommend you experiment.

My other favorite cookie is this giant chocolate toffee cookie. You will notice that it has very mixed reviews on Epicurious. This is because if you eat it on the day you make it, it tastes kind of bland. But if you leave it in a cookie jar for about a day after baking, it somehow transforms into something amazing. I don't understand this miracle, but I thank the heavens for it.
posted by yankeefog at 3:06 AM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

I've made these dark chocolate meringue drops many times, sometimes for us, and sometimes for my husband to take to work. I leave out the cocoa nibs, because I don't like the texture. I use Lindt 70% chocolate bars (you have to buy 2, because they are 3.5 oz. each and it calls for 5 oz. total, but leftover chocolate ftw). They are like a drop cookie, and only take 8-12 minutes to bake.

I've also made peppermint meringues, good way to use up candy canes, but they take longer, as they are a more traditional meringue. Some people use peppermint extract, and pipe them using food coloring in the bag, and dip them in chocolate, but I have not personally done this (although it sounds delicious!).
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:51 AM on October 9, 2018

I haven't done as much work as yankeefog, but I also think I like the Jacques Torres recipe better than the Serious Eats one with the browned butter. I will admit, however, that part of my feedback on the Serious Eats recipe is that my cookies came out flat and smooth after following the instructions what I thought was precisely. Reading the accompanying article again in hindsight I concluded that even though my chilled brown butter was starting to firm up, as described ("just starting to turn opaque again and firm around the edges") it must not have been chilled enough after the ice cube and the time in the fridge. If I try the recipe again I'll chill the butter more than I did last time, which I think means putting the bowl in an ice bowl. Sound fussy? Yes. Yes, it is.

I've made a couple different snickerdoodle recipes and I think there's something to be said for the way Cooks Illustrated combines butter and shortening (theirs is paywalled, but this is basically it), but I also felt like the balance was off. Instead of doing half butter and half shortening, I do a stick and a half of butter and only a quarter cup of shortening.
posted by fedward at 5:58 AM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Texan Erin's Paleo Chocolate-Chip cookies. No, seriously. Trust me on this.
posted by mrfuga0 at 7:20 AM on October 9, 2018

Again with a chocolate chip cookie recipe -- these are with whole wheat flour. I only ever made them because we were out of normal flour and I was too lazy to go to the store, so I googled, and I figured they'd be tolerable, but they are weirdly better than they would be with white flour, and not in a way that reads as whole-grain at all. (The recipe notes that the dough is strange -- drier and crumblier than regular cookie dough. This is quite noticeable when you're making them, but after baking they're fine.)

Betty Crocker Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip cookies.
posted by LizardBreath at 7:58 AM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hear me, Frowner! Look deep into my invisible eyes and know that what I speak is true. I have tasted perfection and its name is "Award Winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies." I will jump down off the wall that I live on and lose my shit for these cookies. I would grab you by the shoulders and shake you, if that wasn't weird and didn't violate any boundaries.

You may say "ugh, allrecipies? This is something somebody's mom made, not a famous chef or some gourmand" and I will say "first, how dare you and second, it doesn't matter. This recipe is a diamond in the rough of the highest degree."

One last thing and then I'll shut up- these cookies aren't just good for homemade cookies. They're not just good for cookies in general. These are "remarkable." When you tell people that they're good and then have them try them, watch their faces change from their lives before to their lives after. "You said this was good. I didn't understand but now I do. These are an objective GOOD. The philosophy of man is a legacy of flaws. A new age is begun."

I first tried these cookies at a work potluck as made by someone else and I was shattered. They are, to me, the best cookies I have ever had to this point. They're not for everyone, so a little about how they taste and the consistency: they are NOT big or crisp. I know that to some people a cookie has to be crunchy or thin- this is not that. They maintain a slightly doughy, very moist texture and spread out less than normal cookies, resulting in a small-ish, lumpy mound of a cookie.

About the recipe itself: I have had mixed results in the past. I have made this five times. Two times they turned out the way I first tasted them- simply amazing. Once, they turned out a normal amount of good- the kind of good normal people normally expect when you tell them something is good. they were acceptable, but they left me hollow. Once, they turned out awful. I have no idea why. Ultimately, the gamble is worth it.

To get these right, you HAVE to follow the instructions people throw into the comments. Definitely do two tablespoons of vanilla, use baking soda AND baking powder, etc. Heed the comments people on this one! Best of luck!
posted by Krazor at 8:02 AM on October 9, 2018 [8 favorites]

I made these on a MeFi meetup hike one time and they were a big hit. It's a cookie in a cookie!
posted by bondcliff at 8:08 AM on October 9, 2018

I love making the oatmeal cookies whose recipe is on tubes of Quaker Oats. I sub in chocolate chips for raisins and they are always a great success, plus easy to make. I can dig up the actual recipe later if you are interested; I think it's a little different from what they have posted online.
posted by ferret branca at 8:18 AM on October 9, 2018

Multiple people have told me these are the best cookies they've ever had. The secret, I think, is toasting all the nuts in advance, and using almond extract in the batter. I also let the batter sit for a day before I bake the cookies: Serious Eats claims that lets the flavors distribute better.

They're awesome cookies.
posted by suelac at 8:29 AM on October 9, 2018

Alfajores: shortbread with dulce de leite
Casadinhas: beautiful cookie
posted by SyraCarol at 10:45 AM on October 9, 2018

I had a quest to make the best chocolate cookies on the planet. It was prompted by the fact that I got my hands on the 'old tyme' family recipe, which we had called "The Chocolate Chip Cookies of DEATH" because they were that good. But horror of horrors the actual cookie turned out terrible. Again and again, tragedy. And memory, being what it is, meant that everything had drifted from the original ratios to the original ingredients, some of which were no longer around. So the challenge was a new family cookie recipe that one could just die for with commonly available ingredients.

I tested 32 unique recipes. The best are the recipes inspired by Jack Torres recipe from the New York Times.

Here are the factors that generally make for superior results:
  • use a scale
  • rest dough for 24 hours
  • melted/very soft butter thoroughly mixed with sugar
  • fresh/decent quality brown sugar
  • salting the top of the cookies
Here are steps that I have skipped and altered to little effect
  • flour type
  • browning the butter
  • quality or type of chocolate* - just use what you like (except plain M&Ms, which are not elevated into something edible with the application of temperature)

Torres Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Time Warning: this needs least at least 12 hours chilling

3 2/3c {17 oz} flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (I usually short)

2 1/2 sticks or 1 1/4 cups {10 ounces} unsalted butter (I usually short** and I'll even use salted or for extra yumm European butter)
1 1/4 cups {10 ounces} light brown sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
1 1/4 pounds (20 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips, disks or fèves (fancy!) and even dark choco works well all the way up to 60 percent cacao content (see note*) (I usually short)

A bit o' Sea salt.

Part 1
  1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.
  2. My version: warm butter in nukerator on low energy till it's melty soft but not popcorn grease. Add sugar, mix for 5 minutes or until arm is tired. If you have a mixer and want to make it dirty use that, and it's better if it's got the paddle attachment, and go ahead and cream butter and sugars together until very light,
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix until just combined. It will look like a mess - it's fine. Hand mixing I give it about twenty or so mashes to mix it out. If using mixer reduce speed to low, mix for about 10-15 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and don't break them up if using chunk/fèves (remember you'll want giant cookies if you are using big pieces of chocolate)
  5. Roll into a log slightly bigger than a soup can - I usually do two rolls. If you are tired from all the mixing just put the whole bowl in the fridge, but know that working with cold dough is a pain in the butt. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, but ideally 24 to 36 hours. Now you can cook in small batches and have warm cookies. Life is much better. It can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours if you are using regular unpasturized eggs. Don't eat the unpasturized stuff raw, you'll get sick. Go get pasturized eggs at the market and then go for it.
Part Two: Cooking!
  1. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350-360 degrees.
  2. Cut thick slices off the dough roll - I usually aim for the width of my fingers and consistency is key here. If the dough is still in the bowl try and scoop out globs the size of generous golf balls (but then squish them a little) onto plate. This is BIG cookie recipe so don't be shy. Minimum cookie width should be around 3 inches and know that the original recipe calls for 5 inch cookies.
  3. Transfer cookie to sheet (less mess!).
  4. Bake until golden brown but still soft, 15 to 20 minutes, smaller cookies take less time.
  5. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with sea salt while they are still hot and THEN cool for a bit.
*Notes: fèves are just choco disks, available at fancy places, I've used the ones from Whole Foods for fondue. I've also used dark chocolate bar broken up, generally most folks weren't impressed when I used the fancy stuff so I just use the Nestle chips that are widely available.
**If you short the butter the cookies will not store for long before getting hard.

For the non rested style I found the OG Toll House cookie to be quite good. It's found on the package of Nestle Choco chips and everywhere like this sweeter 1/2 sized varation of the recipe at Smitten Kitchen's small choco and nut cookie, and Toll House remains the basis of most recipes I am compared.

I found the Test Kitchen and Serious Eats versions of the Torres too fussy and in no way discernibly better than the original.

Joy of Cooking, Martha Stewart, Mark Bittman and Betty Crocker are all merely ok. Dorie Greenspan's favorite cookie is unusual in that it is actually bad.

Cookies with pudding? Too many eggs? If you want to cheat, just use shortening. Reduce butter by about 1/4 and sub in that amount of Cisco and you will get that soft pillowy cookie of your childhood. Under cooking your cookies to make them soft is super gross, and if I am served that it will be a massive test of our friendship.
posted by zenon at 11:43 AM on October 9, 2018 [14 favorites]

My mom always made bog-standard Toll House chocolate chip cookies, but she used rough chunks of good chocolate (Ghirardelli, or something special if she had it) instead of morsels, plus she threw in about half a coffee mug of cold, strong, black coffee. Oh, and real butter, not margarine, I think.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:54 PM on October 9, 2018

Shit, I want some cookies now.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:54 PM on October 9, 2018

Well, go, man! Satisfaction can't be that far away. Given the urge, some Pepperidge Farm or even a Chips Ahoy will do.

But this thread is about the best cookies.

I've made these dark chocolate meringue drops many times

In my family, these are known as Hollow Cookies. They are the best.
posted by Rash at 3:33 PM on October 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

These Big Chewy Apricot and Ginger Cookies!
Make sure to use California apricots, not the Turkish ones, they’re too sweet.

Also, these Ugly but Good cookies, I make them all the time and people are always amazed. They are also incidentally gluten-free, but it’s because they don’t use any flour, not because they have weird fake flour.
posted by exceptinsects at 7:57 PM on October 9, 2018

I've made these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies for several occasions and they're always a pretty big hit. Some tips:
  • I grate in about 1/8 tsp. of nutmeg and double the cinnamon to 1/2 tsp, to add an extra something-something.
  • Bog-standard peanut butter (the stuff that's slightly sweetened) seems to work best.
  • Semisweet chocolate forces the peanut butter flavor into the background, so you may want to substitute in half milk chocolate chips and/or peanut butter chips.
  • Chilling the dough overnight makes it just that much better.
  • If you use unsalted butter, add another 1/2 tsp of salt.
  • If you prefer to weigh your dry ingredients like I do, I've found the following measurements work well:
    • 160g brown sugar
    • 50g granulated sugar
    • 170g all-purpose flour

posted by Aleyn at 11:45 PM on October 9, 2018

Take your chocolate chip cookie recipe of choice and replace 1/4-1/3 of the butter used by volume with bacon fat. Cook as normal, your cookies will come out a bit flat. You're welcome.
posted by the painkiller at 6:43 PM on October 10, 2018

I also like old fashioned cookies! Here's a family recipe from the early 20th century Midwest. They're called English toffee but not because they have toffee in them; rather, it's for the flavor created by the lemon essence and brown sugar. It's a pretty basic cookie but with a lovely delicate flavor and perfect with an afternoon cup of tea. The instructions are brief, but if you already know how to make other cookies you should be fine. I've never tasted another cookie quite like it.

English Toffee Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon flavoring (not fresh lemon juice)
1 egg
2 cups and 2 tablespoons flour
Roll in balls. Press down with fork.
375° for about 10 minutes
posted by mosessis at 3:21 AM on October 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is not a recipe, but if you want to eat your feelings, and you aren't completely geared towards gift cookies just yet, this is a great chance to experiment like crazy. I didn't replicate all the stuff from that, but I did play with butter in different levels of meltiness and it's really neat to see how the results you produce differ from batch to batch, plus I finally came away with cookies just how I like them. (For bonus points, try some with caramelized granulated sugar.)
posted by sldownard at 9:06 AM on October 14, 2018

The best way to make cookies is to get a perfectly good cookie recipe and then substitute or alter as many ingredients as possible.

Calls for sugar? Replace with chopped dates.
Calls for flour? Replace with oats.
Calls for chocolate chips? Dig out the cocoa nibs.
posted by aniola at 9:23 PM on October 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Okay, so...

I took the time to distill the coomie recipe I mentiomed above and incorporate the crucial directions in the comments. Best of luck!

Allyson's God-Tier Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 4-6 DOZEN! (Can be halved)

- 4 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
- 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Cups Butter
- 1 12 oz. Bag of Premium Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (Ghirardelli or better)
- 1 1/2 Cups (Packed) Dark Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup White Sugar
- 2 3.4oz Boxes Dry Jello Vanilla Pudding Mix
- 4 Room Temperature Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Adams Best Vanilla Extract or Better


- Preheat oven to 325° F. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together WELL! (No lumps)
- In a small bowl, heat butter in microwave for about 1 minute in 5-10 second intervals until soft to the point of ALMOST melting.
- In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Beat in instant pudding mix by thirds until blended well.
- Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Blend in the flour mixture by thirds until there are no lumps. Be careful not to overmix!
- Stir in chocolate chips. Let dough chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.
- Drop rounded spoonfuls of dough onto ungreased, non-stick cookie sheet, a little less than a tablespoon (the utensil, not the measure).
- Bake at least 9 minutes but no more than 12 minutes. Remove from oven slightly before they look done. Cookies will continue to bake internally for 1-2 minutes at room temperature.
- Allow sheet to cool to room temperature between batches. Refrigerate dough while not in use.
posted by Krazor at 3:39 PM on October 31, 2018

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