The 30 Popular Types Of Cookies, Ranked Worst To Best

Cookie types on white background
Cookie types on white background - Static Media / Shutterstock

If given the choice of one food to eat for the rest of our lives, we would undoubtedly choose the cookie. There are hundreds of varieties of this confection worldwide, each with different ingredients, textures, and flavors to boot. With all this variety, how could you ever get sick of eating them?

Like other folks, we have very deeply set opinions on the best types of cookies and which ones should be left on the tray for someone else. To rank some of the most popular cookies, we took into account several factors, including taste, texture, and versatility. For us, a great cookie (not just a good one) has both complexity in flavor and consistency and can be enjoyed for just a late-night snack. Here are some of our favorite cookies, as well as those that we would -- granted -- still eat but not let out a "Wow, this is a really good cookie" afterward.

Read more: 25 Chocolate Brands, Ranked Worst To Best

30. Pinwheel Cookies

Pinwheel cookies on plate
Pinwheel cookies on plate - natkinzu/Shutterstock

Pinwheel cookies may look whimsical, but the flavor is just not there. The recipe wins points for being relatively simple; all the baker needs to do is make chocolate and vanilla dough, stack them on top of one another, and roll them like a jelly roll for the perfect swirl. In theory, these pinwheel cookies can be made with other types of dough rather than chocolate and plain vanilla, which would make these cookies much better than they would be in traditional preparation. For us, pinwheel cookies are just like marble cake -- it can't decide if it wants to be chocolate or vanilla, so it decides to be both -- poorly.

29. Italian Cookies

Tray of Italian cookies on table
Tray of Italian cookies on table - Gaffera/Getty Images

We expect to receive some hate mail from the Italian grandmothers out there, but we will proudly say that we despise Italian cookies. Like meringues, they look more inviting on a plate than they taste. We also want to know why these cookies never seem to be labeled as to what they actually are -- because biting into a licorice anise cookie thinking it's plain vanilla is not our idea of a fun time.

28. Meringues

Meringues on white background
Meringues on white background - Thelinke/Getty Images

Meringues scored so low on our list because they always look more appetizing than they taste. After all, who wouldn't want to eat a cloud?

One bite, though, and you'll find the texture of these "cookies" (which, are they really even cookies?) to resemble styrofoam more than dessert. It's mealy and even worse when the light egg white interacts with the saliva in your mouth. Like pinwheels, these faux cookies require few ingredients to make and have a relatively simple prep but can take upwards of an hour to bake correctly. That's a lot of work for a cookie!

27. Biscotti

Biscotti on white tray
Biscotti on white tray - Robert Kirk/Getty Images

The Italian grandmothers really won't be thrilled when they find out we ranked their "famous" orange cranberry biscotti so poorly on the list of popular cookies. But let's be honest, the texture of biscotti is just pitiful. It's just bread that's been left out on the counter for a few days too long, studded with the occasional piece of dried fruits or nuts. Biscotti is only palatable when dipped (or soaked) in a cup of coffee.

26. Madeleines

Making Madeleines with molds
Making Madeleines with molds - Andreycherkasov/Getty Images

Madeleines were made for people who love to cry when they realize their batter is stuck in the mold. Moreover, these madeleines are relatively plain and don't come in any other flavors besides plain vanilla, which limits how much you can do with them.

But the main reason these cookies scored so low on our rankings is that madeleines aren't cookies at all; they're mini cakes posing as cookies. They're light and fluffy like a good sponge cake should be, but come in small packages to make them easier to eat. It's a great idea in theory, but we still don't think they should count as cookies.

25. Fortune Cookies

Fortune cookies in bowl
Fortune cookies in bowl - New Africa/Shutterstock

"You will eat more cookies soon." What a great fortune!

These cookies are a part of the experience of eating Chinese takeout. But does anyone actually enthusiastically search out these cookies, which taste like vanilla-flavored cardboard? Probably not. In our experience, fortune cookies rarely taste fresh and always come in a takeout bag that is at least partially stale. There have also been some occasions where we've opened the wrapper just for the fortune and tossed the rest in the compost bin.

24. Macaroons

Coconut macaroons on plate
Coconut macaroons on plate - Viktoria Hodos/Shutterstock

These are macaroons -- spelled with two o's -- which are not to be confused with the fluffy French cookie. The coconut macaroon is a simple drop cookie made without flour. Essentially, it's a tropical version of the meringue with the unique addition of sweetened condensed milk.

The texture of these cookies (if you can even call them that) is rather strange. There's a crunchy exterior and a soft, moist coconut interior. We find that macaroons can be quite mealy and less pleasurable than other popular cookies.

23. Ladyfingers

Dipping ladyfingers in espresso
Dipping ladyfingers in espresso - Elisa Festa/Getty Images

The only time we've ever had ladyfinger biscuits is in a tiramisu. These cookies are more tedious to make than you might think because you have to whip the batter to the perfect consistency (careful to avoid overmixing) before piping them onto a baking sheet and baking them until perfectly golden brown. The texture of these cookies is designed to soak up the coffee for tiramisu like a sponge, so eating these cookies can be a mealy experience. The flavor isn't anything to write home about, and their utility is somewhat limited.

22. Snowball Cookies

Snowball cookies with Christmas theme
Snowball cookies with Christmas theme - Lana_M/Shutterstock

We admittedly groan when we see the classic snowball cookies on the Christmas cookie platter. Sure, there must be someone out there who loves biting into a piece of chalk interspersed with hunks of nuts, but it isn't us. The powdered sugar on the outside hides what could be a potentially good cookie. Although the name implies that these cookies have to be round like snowballs, they would be much easier to dip if they were shaped like standard cookies.

21. Spritz Cookies

German spritz cookies on marble
German spritz cookies on marble - Firn/Shutterstock

Spritz cookies probably aren't on everyone's "popular" confections list, but they are a common Christmas cookie. The name comes from the German word for "squirt," given because these cookies have to be pressed through a machine into shapes. While these cookies are probably more fun to shape than a cutout sugar one, it's one more kitchen gadget for you to have on hand. We aren't a fan of the texture of these cookies because it's not short and snappy enough.

20. Gingerbread Cookies

Decorating gingerbread cookies with icing
Decorating gingerbread cookies with icing - Gmvozd/Getty Images

We're convinced people only make gingerbread during the holiday season because building royal-icing piped houses with peppermint candy walkways is a fun activity. It's also why people would rather play with gingerbread rather than eat it.

As the name implies, gingerbread has a bready, stodgy consistency, making it a great building material but a poor cookie. If people rolled the dough out thinner, it would diminish its sturdiness; gingerbread would be more palatable. But at that point, isn't it just a gingersnap?

19. Lofthouse Cookies

Lofthouse cookie with sprinkles
Lofthouse cookie with sprinkles - Jennifer Gauld/Shutterstock

When we were younger, these cookies were the top of the line. But the sugary, plastic icing on these Lofthouse cookies has grown on us -- and not in a good way. If you take some of the icing off, you'll find that these cookies are relatively pleasant to eat and have some tangy, sour cream-like notes to balance out the sweetness. But the icing on these store-bought cookies is just too overwhelming for us.

18. Macarons

Macarons on blue plate
Macarons on blue plate - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

Macarons, when (and only when) they're done well, are fantastic. Each bite into the almond flour and egg white shell is soft and plush, while the center is filled with a surprising layer of sweet icing, jam, or spread.

There's a reason why most home bakers will leave macarons up to the professionals. If you make one small mistake with macarons or even go so far as to look at them the wrong way, they will crack or come out oozy and not stable enough to support the filling. They're finicky and annoying and should be reserved for your trips to the pastry shop.

17. Crinkle Cookies

Chocolate crinkle cookies in oven
Chocolate crinkle cookies in oven - Alinakho/Getty Images

Crinkle cookies are a staple during the holiday season, but we wouldn't be mad to see them stop around more often. You can make not only chocolate crinkle cookies but also summery lemon crinkle cookies. Just don't forget to roll the dough in a layer of powdered sugar to get the characteristic crinkle effect.

These cookies scored in the middle of our rankings because although we like eating them, they're softer than we would like to see. You can't dunk them in your coffee without the powdered sugar coming off and the cookie disintegrating.

16. Vanilla Wafers

Vanilla wafer biscuits on white
Vanilla wafer biscuits on white - New Africa/Shutterstock

We're not quite sure if vanilla wafers are indeed cookies, but we don't have any other classification to group them in. These cookies are made by stacking paper-thin layers of wafers between an equally thin layer of cream, resulting in a satisfying crunch.

Alternatively, the other cookie that shares the same name as these baking anomalies is the Nilla Wafer, which is essentially a hybrid between a sugar cookie and a shortbread. We feel the same about these two cookies: we'll eat them but are not enthusiastic to see them stocked in the pantry.

15. White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Macadamia white chocolate cookies plate
Macadamia white chocolate cookies plate - AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock

White chocolate macadamia nut cookies aren't bad cookies, but they're just not great cookies. With a chocolate chip cookie, the chocolate makes a statement and does something for the rest of the dough. But for the white chocolate, it just glues up and melds into the already vanilla flavor of the cookie. Moreover, creamy white chocolate combined with soft nuts, like a macadamia, doesn't benefit the texture of the cookie. The most redeeming quality of this confection is that it is a solid dunking cookie because it holds together in warm or cold beverages.

14. Jam Thumbprints

Jam thumbprint cookies on plate
Jam thumbprint cookies on plate - AS Foodstudio/Shutterstock

Jam thumbprints are a relatively customizable cookie that can be filled with whatever fruit preserves or jam your heart desires. There are even some recipes that skip the fruit altogether and go with a sweet spread like Nutella.

As long as you get the perfect sugar cookie texture, these cookies are relatively easy to make at home. The balance of the jam is perfect for the size of the cookie, which means a little bit of fruitiness in every bite. This cookie would have scored higher on our list if only it were more popular year-round.

13. Jaffa Cakes

Jaffa cakes on plate
Jaffa cakes on plate - Drong/Getty Images

Although these cookies aren't well-known in the U.S., they are a popular British biscuit. Technically, these biscuits are considered cakes because they start with a layer of sponge covered in orange-flavored jam and melted chocolate. The base of these cookies is rather plush rather than soft, which plays well with the hard layer of chocolate and soft jam. Ultimately, we like eating Jaffa Cakes more than other soft cookies because the ratio of sponge to topping is more proportional than that of other cookies, like the Lofthouse cookie. Plus, orange and chocolate are a heavenly combination.

12. Black And Whites

Stacked black-and-white cookies on plate
Stacked black-and-white cookies on plate - Rojoimages/Getty Images

We have to grab a black and white cookie every time we visit New York City. These cookies, which also technically count as cakes, are made with a thickened cake batter base topped with equal halves of chocolate and vanilla frosting. Much of our association and interest in these cookies is rooted in nostalgia. But when we think about it, these cookies don't taste like anything. The chocolate and the vanilla frostings taste almost the same, and the cakey base isn't particularly leaning towards any flavor.

11. Whoopie Pies

Whoopie pies on plate
Whoopie pies on plate - Hihitetlin/Shutterstock

Whoopie pies only made this list because some people put them in the cookie category rather than the cake. In essence, these cookies are just very big, poofy sandwich cookies that have a more generous filling. While the whoopie pie may not technically be a cookie, it's more delicious than most of the cookies we ranked on this list. It's versatile and can be swapped out for a pumpkin recipe or red velvet one -- but we're big fans of the classic chocolate. Although it doesn't hold together when dunked, it's still one dessert we wouldn't have a problem devouring.

10. Stroopwafels

Stroopwafels stacked on white plate
Stroopwafels stacked on white plate - Lovelypeace/Getty Images

Count us in for cookie waffles. The famous stroopwafel was created from bakery leftovers, but it has since become a popular snacking cookie made by sandwiching a thin layer of buttery caramel between two thin cinnamon-sugar waffles. Stroopwafels have all the characteristics of a good biscuit. They're snappy and sweet and are best when placed on top of a mug of hot coffee so that they can soften in the center. But, the versatility of this cookie isn't comparable to others since it's only made for snacking and not much else. It's why it placed in the high percentile of our rankings but not necessarily the top.

9. Shortbread Cookies

Star-shaped shortbread cookies
Star-shaped shortbread cookies - Vasylchenko/Shutterstock

Shortbread cookies are one of the most underappreciated and versatile cookies. Not only are they the base for favorites like pecan sandies, but they can also be shaped into bars and dipped in chocolate. Shortbread cookies don't have the same pliable texture as sugar cookies, so some people find them too crumbly (and ... well ... short). But it's a texture we love and appreciate, especially when flavored with savory herbs, cheese, or citrus.

8. Biscoff Cookies

Lotus cookie on white background
Lotus cookie on white background - wisnupriyono/Shutterstock

We would gladly leave the cookie butter on the shelf for a package of these Biscoff cookies. Each cookie is perfectly buttery and greets you with warm notes of cinnamon, sugar, and spices. It's perfect to dip into your coffee or tea or grind up to use as a pie crust for your baked ricotta cheesecake.

The biggest issue we have with the Biscoff cookies is that they're difficult to master at home and get the same crunch you would get from an industrially made one. You might as well buy them from the store.

7. Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Oatmeal raisin cookies with coffee mug
Oatmeal raisin cookies with coffee mug - Charles Brutlag/Shutterstock

The people who dislike oatmeal raisin cookies only dislike the dried fruit part. Oatmeal is a great ingredient to add to these cookies because it soaks up water and keeps the cookie soft yet still allows it to brown perfectly on the outside. And really, the raisins aren't bad additions, so long as there aren't too many of them in the cookie. In short, don't rule out the cookie just because raisins aren't your forte.

6. Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies on plate
Peanut butter cookies on plate - Alena_Kos/Shutterstock

We think of two different kinds of cookies when we hear "peanut butter cookies." One is the 3-ingredient peanut butter cookie with the fork press, while the other is a bakery-style peanut butter cookie that resembles the consistency of a chocolate chip drop cookie. We prefer the latter because it's crunchier rather than doughy, but it's all a matter of personal preference.

Peanut butter adds saltiness to the cookie, which is something that all good cookies need. But peanut butter quickly becomes the sole flavor when mixed into cookie dough, which masks any vanilla or brown sugar undertones.

5. Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

OREO cookies broken with wrapper
OREO cookies broken with wrapper - Achmad Agus Ilyas/Shutterstock

Chocolate sandwich cookies are a frequent craving of ours and one that has inspired mixing it into ice cream or even crushing it up and adding it to a chocolate chip cookie. These cookies are indeed snappy and have a contrast of textures, but we don't see any explosion of flavors when we bite into one. The chocolate is subdued and bland, and the vanilla filling (which is lacking compared to the amount of chocolate cookie) resembles plastic more than frosting. But, there are not many other cookies you can grind up for a crumb crust or buy in almost every flavor under the sun.

4. Snickerdoodles

Snickerdoodle cookies with bite missing
Snickerdoodle cookies with bite missing - Linda Hughes Photography/Shutterstock

Traditional snickerdoodles are an acquired taste, but they have significantly more complexity than other types of cookies. The cream of tartar in the cookies, combined with the sweetness of the sugar and spiciness of the cinnamon, creates a tangy contrast not often seen in plain cookies. We recommend dipping them into hot chocolate or sticking to eating them right off the cookie plate.

Our only complaint with snickerdoodles is that the texture is plush rather than snappy. And although tweaking the recipe would produce a thinner cookie, it would change the fundamental texture of it.

3. Sugar Cookies

Soft undecorated sugar cookies
Soft undecorated sugar cookies - Bwfolsom/Getty Images

Sugar cookies are easily the most versatile cookie out there. Not only can you make easy icebox cookies with the dough, but you can also tweak it to make roll-out cookies or drop cookies. These cookies are sturdy and easy to decorate, making them popular for home cooks.

Sugar cookies need extra help from icing or some other ingredient to make them more exciting, though. When we eat a bare sugar cookie, we have to put it down after three bites because nothing exciting is happening in the flavor department.

2. Gingersnaps

Gingersnap cookies on plate
Gingersnap cookies on plate - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

If we're feeling like a cookie from the jar at our local café, it will likely always be a gingersnap. These cookies are delectably moist and complex thanks to the addition of molasses. Plus, a quick roll of these cookie balls in sugar will help develop a contrasting crunch. And we, of course, have to mention how sublime and bright ginger can be in a cookie. Gingersnaps are nothing short of a perfect storm, but they're just not as versatile as our top-performing cookie.

1. Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies with milk
Chocolate chip cookies with milk - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, our top confection is the type we all think of when we hear the word "cookie" mentioned: chocolate chip. Although these cookies seem so simple, especially considering they're just dough and chocolate chips, there are so many ways to upgrade your chocolate chip cookies into something truly spectacular, including adding brown butter, nuts, and spices. You can also alter the bake easily for pillowy, crisp, or soft cookies.

Besides dipping in a cold glass of milk, chocolate chip cookies can also be used for chipwich ice cream sandwiches, garnishes on top of cakes, and more. The versatility of this cookie and its nostalgic flavor make it our favorite cookie ever.

Our Methodology

Hands grabbing cookies baking sheet
Hands grabbing cookies baking sheet - Gerenme/Getty Images

If you're anything like us, you have very strong opinions about the best (and worst) kind of cookie. In order to stay as objective as possible, we examined each kind on several factors, including the overall flavor and texture of it, the ease of making the cookie at home, and its versatility in both adding new ingredients and using it for other things besides eating it straight off the cookie sheet.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.