79 favorite cookie recipes
Discover delicious cookie recipes to fill your gift bags and cookie jars
These macaroons are the most delicious we’ve ever tasted in the Sunset Test Kitchen. The recipe comes from Karen Dannenbaum of Topanga, California, who inherited it from her mother, Elsa, an outstanding cook. Of all the recipes Elsa left behind in her handwritten notebooks, “this was one of her best, and a family favorite,” Dannenbaum says.
The starting point for this cookie was a recipe that reader Colette Tihista-Longin of Great Falls, Montana, found in a recipe collection at a yard sale. “I adapted it to include caramel and sea salt. It’s a hit every year at our cookie exchange.” Despite the cookie’s name, a wooden spoon makes a neater depression than your thumb will.
"I call these the ‘backache’ cookies because I always make a double batch, sitting hunched over at the table,” says Fran Pepoon of Roseville, California. She has been baking these chocolate cookies, which have a subtle hit of orange and vanilla, every Christmas for 30 years, adapting them over time from a recipe given to her by a friend. Two tips: The cookies tend to stick and spread, so be sure to use a nonstick baking-sheet liner or parchment, and don’t bake more than 12 cookies on each sheet.
Recipe: Chocolate Lace Sandwich Cookies
“This recipe is from my mother-in-law’s box of typed 3- by 5-in. cards, handed down from her mother,” says Beryl Schwartz of Ojai, California. “Nothing reminds us of the holidays like the aroma of molasses wafting through the house!” Schwartz adds cloves and ginger for extra spice and rolls the cookie balls in turbinado sugar for crunch.
Recipe: Donna’s Molasses Cookies
This version of the melt-in-your-mouth butter-and-nut cookies called Russian tea cakes or Mexican wedding cakes is from Yigit Pura of Tout Sweet Pâtisserie, in San Francisco and Palo Alto, CA. We love it for its extreme crispness and toasty brown-butter flavor, and because it’s not too sweet; most of the sugar is on the outside.
Recipe: Tout Sweet Russian Tea Cakes
Recipe: Chocolate Gingerbread Snowflakes
Recipe: Triple-Threat Chocolate Cookies
Unlike traditional meringues, which are crisp all the way through, these are still chewy on the inside, like mini pavlovas—but with white chocolate chips and plenty of peppermint. For an elegant touch, dip the edges in melted dark chocolate.
Recipe: White Christmas Dream Drops
Cornstarch gives these cookies a delicate, sandy texture. You could also fill them with thick caramel or frosting.
Although the flavors here are rich and complex, the recipe is very easy to make.
Recipe: Chai-spiced Shortbread Cookies
Instead of making traditional, individually shaped cuccidati, Marilyn came up with a simplified bar cookie technique to fill and shape her recipe.
A low oven temperature is the secret to developing the melt-in-the-mouth texture.
Recipe: Pecan Balls
Recipe: Gingerbread People
Recipe: Cranberry Thumbprints
Recipe: Almond Butter Cookies
Recipe: Bourbon Snaps
Recipe: Buttery Semolina Currant Cookies
Recipe: Inside-Out Carrot Cakes
Recipe: Ginger Chocolate Cookies
Recipe: Raspberry Shortbread Sandwiches
Recipe: Candied Ginger-Citrus Cookies
Recipe: Candy Cane Cookies
Recipe: Carmelized-Sugar Cookies
Recipe: Raspberry Window Shortbread
Recipe: Chinese Almond Cookies
Recipe: Chocolate Orange Cookie Cups
Recipe: Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Clusters
Recipe: Chocolate Thumbprints
Recipe: Coffee Meringues
Recipe: Cranberry Rugelach
Recipe: Favorite Cutout Cookies
Recipe: Cardamom Brown-Sugar Palmiers
Recipe: Frosted Ginger Cookies
Recipe: Gingerbread Pinwheels
Recipe: Greek Almond Tea Cakes
Recipe: Lemon Fruit Swirls
Recipe: Mint Chippers
Recipe: Orange Butter Shells
Recipe: Double Chocolate Cookies
Recipe: Zucchini Cookies
Recipe: Peanut-Chocolate Macaroons
Recipe: Stained-Glass Cookies
Recipe: Almond Butter Crescents
Recipe: Chocolate Hazelnut Domes
Recipe: Matcha Whoopie Pies
Recipe: Ice Cream Gingersnap Sandwiches