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30 best cookie recipes of all time

Because your cookie jar should never be empty.
Chris Andre
/ Source: TODAY

The world of cookies is wide and wonderful. From the timeless classics that evoke nostalgic memories to innovative new recipes that push baking boundaries, there's truly a recipe out there for everyone.

Traditionalists will love the familiar aroma of chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles wafting through the kitchen as they bake, while home bakers looking to learn new techniques or try out unexpected flavor combinations can expand their cookie repertoire with saffron-chocolate biscotti and maple-raisin cutout cookies. There are also options for time-strapped bakers or those who prefer to keep the oven off — especially in those hot summer months — like these no-bake cookie recipes that require minimal effort, but deliver maximum satisfaction.

Like most baking projects, cookies require precision and care. Each of these recipes come with step-by-step instructions and helpful tips that make sure you get the desired results. No matter if you're a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, you’ll be baking cookies like a pro in no time.

Grab your apron, preheat the oven and get ready to bake up the sweet symphony of flavors and aromas that only freshly-baked cookies can offer. Whether you're baking for a special occasion or holiday, sharing treats with loved ones, or simply satisfying a late-night sugar craving, these recipes will become part of your go-to cookie arsenal. From classics to inventive new twists — a duck-fat macaron, anyone? — they’re guaranteed to delight with their familiarity and creativity.

Packed with corn flakes, crushed candy canes, chocolate chips and mini marshmallows, these festive cookies truly have it all: holiday flavor and textural contrast that will make kids and adults giddy with delight.

A variation on the classic Nestle Toll House recipe, these cookies are a favorite at the TODAY studio and it’s clear why. The chocolate chip-studded treats are browned and crispy on the outside and melty and gooey on the inside thanks to one trick: Freezing the cookie dough helps them spread less and gives them a lovely chewy texture.

Craving a warm chocolate chip cookie that's big enough to share? This recipe takes the classic treat to the next level by baking it in a skillet to form one giant cookie with a crispy edge and soft, cake-like center. Top with vanilla ice cream to make it an extra decadent dessert.

“Don't think for a second that these are just regular, run-of-the-mill chocolate chip cookies,” says Bobby Flay. These delightful treats require a little bit of patience, as the dough needs to chill in the fridge before baking, but they're worth the wait. Plan ahead and you’ll be rewarded with some of the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever made.

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brown butter adds a rich nuttiness to these chocolate chip cookies. A combination of white and dark brown sugars, plus dark and milk chocolate, give them an additional layer of flavor. Don’t forget to finish each cookie with a sprinkle of sea salt.

Indulge in the ultimate chocolate lover's dream with double chocolate marshmallow cookies. Imagine the fudgy richness of a brownie combined with the irresistible texture of a chocolate chip cookie. Inspired by the best of both worlds, these cookies are a delightful twist on classic favorites.

Maple-Raisin Holiday Cookies

Get into the holiday spirit with these pretty cut-out cookies. Inspired by cookbook author Zoe Francois' childhood in picturesque Vermont, the cookies bring the warm flavors of maple and sweet raisins together in a perfect union. They’re perfect for winter gatherings, gift exchanges, or enjoying with a cup of hot cocoa by the fireplace.

Dylan's Aunt Tillie's Christmas Cookies

Enjoy the nostalgic flavors of the Christmas season with anise-flavored holiday cookies. The treats were one of TODAY’s own Dylan Dreyer's childhood favorites. No family gathering was complete without Aunt Tillie’s cookies and you’ll see why once you bite into the soft, pillowy cookies topped with a sweet icing and rainbow non-pareils.

With their gorgeous snow-capped tops, crinkle cookies always make a notable first impression. This recipe from Jocelyn Delk Adams combines the warming flavors of gingerbread with zesty lemon to make uniquely crunchy cookies with pillowy spiced centers.

Crispy Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies

Dr. Jessica B. Harris grew up making a version of these oatmeal cookies with her mom, who found the original recipe in the "Boston Cooking-School Cook Book." In the years since, Harris has put her own spin on the confection, incorporating dried coconut and almonds for additional texture and crunch, while still keeping them completely gluten-free. What truly sets these apart from regular oatmeal cookies is a dash of lemon extract, imparting a subtle brightness to every bite.

Make-Ahead Freeze-and-Bake Cookies

Take your cookie-baking game to the next level with this genius recipe for make-ahead and freeze cookie dough. Preparing the dough in advance and allowing it to chill ensures the best texture, resulting in round and chewy cookies every time. You can customize the dough with your favorite fill-ins, whether it's chocolate chips, nuts or crushed pretzels. Freeze some of the dough and you can easily whip up a batch whenever the craving strikes.


Polvorones go by many names — they’re also known as Mexican wedding cookies or Russian tea cakes — but no matter what you call them, they have one thing in common: The nutty, sugar-coated cookies are as easy to make as they are to enjoy.

Martha Stewart's Linzer Flower Cookies

Shaped as blooming flowers, these gorgeous cookies are a springtime spin on the classic Linzer tart. Toasted hazelnuts give the dough a nice nuttiness to complement the fruity jam. The unique shape makes them a great option for warm-weather celebrations or as baby and bridal shower favors.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

Snickerdoodles are a timeless Christmas cookie known for their irresistibly chewy, yet crisp texture. With their signature cinnamon-sugar coating, they offer a perfect balance of sweetness and spice. Whether you're a seasoned baker or a cookie-making novice, this is a recipe that’s always worth trying.

Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Heart Cookies

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Chocolate-Covered Peanut Butter Heart Cookies

Kristen Tomlan, founder of DŌ, Cookie Dough Confections

No cookie cutter needed — baker Kristen Tomlan has a nifty trick for making heart-shaped cookies using a flat-bottomed glass and butter knife. With its classic peanut butter flavor, these cookies will be a surefire hit during Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day.

There are two key tricks to making the best-ever sugar cookies. Use room-temperature butter so they hold their shape and roll the dough between parchment paper for easy cleanup. Enlist family and friends to cut out shapes and ice the cookies as a fun bonding activity.

In an homage to California citrus, Gaby Dalkin infuses classic sugar cookies with lemon extract to add a hint of tartness that pairs nicely with the sweetness of the white chocolate chips.

Lemon, Lime and Earl Grey Sablés

When you don’t have time to roll or scoop individual cookies, slice and bake cookies are a total lifesaver. But just because they’re easier to make doesn’t make them any less impressive. The lemon, lime and Earl Grey flavor in these buttery make-ahead sablés is special enough for a dinner party or holiday cookie swap.

Boasting the crisp sweetness of sugar cookies and the tender texture of cake, these bars are delicious all on their own. But the recipe is also great for customization so you can make a unique bar with whatever your heart desires.

Ina Garten's Shortbread Hearts

These Ina Garten-approved shortbread cookies are pure buttery bliss. With its simple five-ingredient dough, shortbread is a canvas for endless possibilities. From adding in sprinkles to dipping them in chocolate, you can customize these buttery delights for any occasion.

This biscotti is infused with saffron, adding a touch of luxury and floral flower to every bite. The warm, aromatic notes of the spice beautifully complement the rich, indulgent taste of the bittersweet chocolate. Perfectly crunchy and dunkable, these biscotti are the ideal companion for a hot cup of coffee or a sweet treat on their own.

Jam-filled linzer cookies are a guaranteed hit when added to any dessert spread. Justin Chapple adds both lime zest and juice to his dough for a sweet, citrusy aroma that complements the raspberry filling.

Apple Butter Thumbprint Cookies

This recipe reimagines the traditional thumbprint cookie for autumn. Not only does buckwheat flour give the dough a deep earthy aroma, but jam is swapped for apple butter. Finely-ground walnuts and a final roll in sugar add a unique texture.

Joy Bauer combines the best of buttery snowballs and coconut macaroons in these melt-in-your-mouth cookies. They’re fabulous on their own, especially if you love the flavor and texture of coconut, and even better when dipped in chocolate.

“They taste like the last bite of your Thanksgiving meal,” says chef Chris Hammer of these rich holiday-inspired macarons. Scented with rosemary, sage and thyme, the ganache works surprisingly well with the crunchy almond-flour macaron shells when paired with a dollop of from-scratch cranberry jam.

Complete your holiday cookie tray with a batch of cranberry-pistachio biscotti. Whole wheat flour and coconut oil make it a wholesome alternative to other rich, buttery Christmas cookies, but the white chocolate drizzle adds a festive and indulgent feel.

No-Bake Cookies

No-Bake Nutella Oat Cookies

These six-ingredient no-bake cookies come together in just 20 minutes. Thanks to quick-cooking oats, they’re filled with fiber, but that doesn’t mean they’re bland and boring. A whole cup of Nutella holds these cookies together!

Is your pantry looking a bit sparse? No need to make a grocery run — these cookies only utilize three ingredients: peanut butter, sugar and egg. The drop cookies come together in no time and better yet, they’re completely gluten- and dairy-free.

These decadent bars taste exactly like a peanut butter cup. The PB layer is sweetened with maple syrup and gets a nice crunch from crushed graham crackers, while the chocolate ganache uses semisweet chips so it’s not overly saccharine. Add some flaky sea salt for an even stronger sweet-to-salty contract.

Prep a double batch of these spectacular cookies and freeze one for the future. The five-ingredient treat combines melted butter and chocolate with corn flakes, raisins (or mini marshmallows if you’re feeling extra indulgent) and coconut flakes. They keep nicely in the freezer so you can have cookies on hand for any last-minute gatherings.