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Classic Cookie Recipes To Bake Before a Heat Wave

Perfect for snacking or as part of a dessert spread, we’ve collected our favorite classic cookie recipes, from chocolate chip to chewy peanut butter.

Classic Cookie Recipes To Bake Before a Heat Wave

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies

A lack of flour helps bring out the pure peanut butter flavor of these cookies. They have a wonderful chewy texture and a great balance between sweet and salt.

MAKES 3–4 DOZEN COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

16 oz. Jif brand creamy peanut butter*
1 cup sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 cup demerara sugar   

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350° with racks in the upper and lower thirds. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl cream together peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar. Beat in eggs, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon until thoroughly combined.

2. Place demerara sugar in a small bowl. Form peanut butter mixture into 2-inch balls and roll in demerara sugar, coating completely. Place balls four inches apart on prepared baking trays and flatten with the tines of a fork in a perpendicular cross-hatch pattern, if desired.

3. Bake 10-12 minutes until puffed and lightly golden at edges. Allow to cool 10-15 minutes on trays to set before removing.

*We strongly recommend Jif brand peanut butter for this recipe; a different brand of peanut butter may produce different results.

See more: Peanut Butter Desserts

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies are crisp around the edges, moist and tender inside, and so marbled that every bite contains the perfect balance of sweet dough, melting bittersweet chocolate, and crystalline salt.

MAKES ABOUT 2 DOZEN

INGREDIENTS

2¼ cups flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. kosher salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 375°. Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Combine butter, both sugars, and vanilla in a large bowl; beat on medium-high speed with a hand mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add yolks two at a time, beating after each addition; add dry ingredients; beat on low speed until just combined. Transfer dough to a work surface; divide into 3 equal pieces. Flatten each into a 4″ x 6″ rectangle; wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 30 minutes.

2. Place one dough rectangle on a floured work surface; sprinkle with half the chocolate. Top with another rectangle, sprinkle with remaining chocolate, and cover with last rectangle. Using a floured rolling pin, flatten rectangles into a 9″ x 6″ x 1 ½″ rectangle. Using a 2″ round cutter, cut out cookies; transfer to parchment paper—lined baking sheets, spaced 3″ apart. Gather scraps, reroll into a 1 ½″-thick disk; cut out more cookies. Bake, rotating baking sheets halfway through cooking, until lightly browned and set, about 15 minutes.

See more: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies 

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Glazed Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Laden with dried cranberries and drizzled with a sweet cinnamon glaze, these go beyond the typical oatmeal cookie.

MAKES 3 DOZEN

INGREDIENTS

1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. lemon zest
1 ½ cups rolled oats
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 tbsp. milk

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 350°. Whisk flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Combine sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; beat until creamy. Add the egg, 1 tsp. vanilla, and lemon zest, and beat until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until a soft, sticky dough forms. Fold in oats and cranberries.

2. Working in batches and using wet hands, roll about 1 heaping tablespoon of dough into a ball. Transfer to an ungreased baking sheet. Using your hand or the back of a spoon, gently flatten cookies. Bake until edges are golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack; cool completely.

3. Combine confectioners’ sugar and remaining cinnamon in a bowl. Whisk in milk and remaining vanilla until smooth. Drizzle glaze on top of cookies; return to rack until glaze is set.

See more: 21 Cinnamon Desserts

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Sprinkle Cookies

Blanketed in multicolored sprinkles, these festive-looking treats are a staple of Italian bakeries.

MAKES ABOUT 3 DOZEN

INGREDIENTS

1½ cups flour, plus more
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
Zest of ½ lemon
½ cup multi-colored sprinkles
1 egg white, lightly beaten

 
INSTRUCTIONS

1.Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed of a mixer until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, egg, and lemon zest, and beat until smooth; add dry ingredients, and beat until just combined. Using 2 tablespoons, portion and shape dough into 1” balls; place balls 2” apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Lightly flour the bottom of a ¼ measuring cup, and press each ball into a flat disk; chill disks for 30 minutes.

2. Heat oven to 375°. Place sprinkles in a bowl; set aside. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush tops of cookie disks with egg white and then press into sprinkles to adhere completely. Return cookies to baking sheets, and bake, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through cooking, until set and lightly browned on the bottom, about 10 minutes. Let cool before serving.

See more: Italian American Cookies

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Punitions (French Shortbread Cookies)

Use a good salted butter with a high butterfat content, such as Kerrygold, to make these shortbread cookies. This recipe is based on one in Dorie Greenspan’s Paris Sweets (Broadway Books, 2002).

MAKES ABOUT 60 SMALL COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

10 tbsp. salted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a bowl, use a hand mixer on medium speed to beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, 2—3 minutes. Add egg and beat until smooth. Add flour and mix on low speed until just combined. Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a ball; halve ball and form each half into a flat disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 1 hour. 

2. Heat oven to 350º. Transfer one disk to a lightly floured work surface; using a rolling pin, roll out to ¼″ thickness. Using a 1½″ round or fluted cookie cutter, cut out rounds and transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1″ apart; repeat with remaining dough disk. Bake, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through cooking, until cookies are set but not browned, 8—10 minutes. Let cool before serving.

See more: Buttery Shortbread Recipes

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Snickerdoodles

The ample amount of butter in these soft, chewy cookies draws out and enhances the flavor of the cinnamon.

MAKES 48 COOKIES

INGREDIENTS

3 cups flour
2 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
1 3⁄4 cups sugar
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt; set aside. Using a handheld mixer on medium speed, beat 1 1⁄2 cups sugar and the butter together in a medium bowl until pale and fluffy, 2 minutes. Add 2 tsp. cinnamon and the vanilla; beat for 1 minute more. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add reserved dry ingredients; mix on low speed until just combined. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

2. Heat oven to 375°. Combine remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Remove dough from refrigerator and, using a 1-tbsp. measure, spoon out 48 portions, rolling each portion into a 1” ball as you go. Roll each ball in cinnamon–sugar mixture to coat. Arrange dough balls 2” apart on 2 parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

See more: Snickerdoodle Shortbread

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Molasses Cookies

This recipe comes from Food52’s co-founder Merrill Stubbs, who says: “It’s like a more pliable ginger snap—thin and chewy and warmly spiced. Don’t forget a glass of milk for dunking!”

MAKES 24

INGREDIENTS

1 ¾ cups flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup sugar
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup molasses
1 egg

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat oven to 350°. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, baking soda, and salt in a bowl; set aside. Whisk together sugar, butter, molasses, and egg in another bowl; pour over dry ingredients, and stir until just combined. 

2. Using a tablespoon, drop balls of dough spaced 2” apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets; bake until edges are set but middle is slightly underdone, about 8–10 minutes.

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White Chocolate-Macadamia Nut Cookies

Copious amounts of crunchy, buttery macadamia nuts find their match in large, creamy white chocolate chunks in these classic American cookies. 

MAKES ABOUT 5 DOZEN

INGREDIENTS

2 cups flour
1 tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
1½ cups packed light brown sugar 1½ cups sugar
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1½ lb. roughly chopped white chocolate
1 lb. roughly chopped roasted and salted macadamia nuts

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl; set aside. In a large bowl, beat sugars and butter on medium speed of a hand mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until smooth; beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients, and beat until just combined; stir in chocolate and nuts.

2. Heat oven to 325°. Using a 1-oz. ice cream scoop or 2 spoons, portion and shape dough into balls, and place balls 2½” apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, about 14 minutes.

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Iced Sugar Cookies

The dough for these buttery iced cookies is delicate; if it becomes too soft, work with a smaller portion of dough at a time. 

MAKES ABOUT 1 ½ DOZEN

INGREDIENTS

3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
⅓ cup milk
3-6 drops yellow food coloring
3-6 drops red food coloring

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Using an electric hand mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 tsp. vanilla. Slowly beat in dry ingredients until a soft dough forms. Divide dough in half and shape each piece into a flat disk. Wrap disks in plastic wrap; chill 1 hour.

2. Heat oven to 325°. On a lightly floured surface, and working with 1 disk of dough at a time, roll dough ⅛” thick. Using a flower-shaped or other cookie cutter, cut dough and place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, spacing cookies 2” apart. Reroll and cut scraps. Bake until golden, 10-12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool completely.

3. Whisk remaining vanilla with confectioners’ sugar and milk in a bowl until smooth. Transfer about ¼ cup icing to another bowl. Stir yellow food coloring into the larger amount and red coloring into the smaller amount, making a pale pink icing. Spread a layer of yellow icing over cookies and place a dot of pink icing in the center of each; let icing set before serving.