10 Types of Cookies + 5 Tasty Hacks
Cookies are America’s second-favorite dessert (after ice cream.) This comes as no surprise, as cookies have been made and enjoyed across the world for over 1000 years. Find here the most famous types of cookies as well as a recipe and easy hacks.
There are hundreds if not thousands of delicious cookie recipes available throughout the world. However, most of these can be divided into ten basic types of cookies.
You can readily make all of these at home. All you need is some great recipes, quality ingredients, and an eagerness to bake more delicious goodies.
What Cookies Are
Cookies are small baked treats made from different kinds of pastry. Cookies can be similar to cake, crispy or soft, sweet or slightly savory. Most often, cookies contain plenty of sugar and plenty of fat.
Though modern day baking would disagree, as you can make lots of delicious cookies from healthier ingredients and (sometimes) skip the sugar and fat.
Classic Ingredients in Cookies
The most classic ingredients of cookies are fairly similar to those of cake: sugar, flour, fat (usually butter), and liquids of some kind. Cookies frequently contain eggs and/or milk, as well as added morsels of goodness such as chocolate chips, chopped fruit, or nuts.
Different Types of Cookies You Should Try
As we’ve noted above, there are 10 basic types of cookies you’ll want to try making at home.
Of course all ten of these come in hundreds of different varieties; getting the basics absolutely right first will enable you to get really creative with your baked goodies later on.
Below are the ten most simple types of cookies.
Drop Cookies (Chocolate Chip Cookies)
Drop cookies are easily the most-made cookies home bakers like to prepare. The name refers to the process of dropping the batter onto a cookie sheet using a big spoon.
Chocolate chip cookies are one such concoction, and are always a popular choice for bakers and cookie-lovers alike.
The best recipes usually contain a mix of butter, sugar, flour, egg, and chocolate chips. Softer cookie recipes also have some milk and/or baking powder.
These tend to be more cake-like in the center, which is really just down to personal preference.
Sandwich cookies are a popular choice for those who like cake frosting or some type of filling. They’re generally made from drop cookies or similar, which are then sandwiched around some type of filling once baked.
Our favorites are made with chocolate chip cookies and vanilla buttercream frosting. Another great variety is pumpkin-spiced cookies with cream cheese frosting in the middle.
These are particularly good as treats around Fall-time, served alongside a hot cup of coffee.
Cutout or Rolled Out Cookies
Cutout cookies are, as the name suggests, cut from rolled out dough using cookie cutters. Generally these are made from some type of sugar cookie or butter dough.
They’re often iced in bright colors once baked, and make a fun craft for kids.
The best way to achieve nice, clean shapes is to chill your prepared dough before cutting them out. Warm, soft dough won’t retain its shape as well when cut out.
You can frost cutout cookies with either buttercream or royal icing. Bear in mind that royal icing will be harder and sweeter than buttercream, and buttercream can be flavored more readily.
Filled cookies are a decadent treat that offers a delicious surprise inside.
The best way to make filled cookies is to add heaped teaspoons of whatever filling (for example Nutella) to a lined baking sheet and flatten gently into small disks. Freeze until completely solid.
When making your cookies, add a disk to the center of each chunk of cookie dough and cover with a little more cookie dough.
Bake, and the center will melt, resulting in a gooey and delicious surprise whenever someone bites into a cookie.
Molded cookies are great fun, as they can be made into almost any shape you might imagine. They’re made from a stiffer, more clay-like dough that can easily be formed.
Traditional speculoos cookies spring to mind, which you’ll know if you’ve ever had Biscoff.
They’re made with plenty of dark brown sugar, almond or hazelnut flour, egg yolks, and a large variety of spices.
The dough is rolled out and molded into cookie molds or ‘stamped’ using cookie stamps. These make lovely homemade gifts as well.
No Bake Cookies
No bake cookies are another very literal type of cookie: they’re whipped up in no time and allowed to set, rather than being baked in an oven.
There are plenty of no bake cookie recipes that contain minimal ingredients, and many are vegan and/or gluten free, too.
Our favorite recipe uses a mix of peanut butter, coconut flour, maple syrup, and chocolate chips. The first three ingredients are mixed up and shaped into cookie shapes.
Once set, they’re coated in melted chocolate using the chocolate chips. Delicious.
Cookie bars are essentially a blend of cookies and brownies. They’re baked in a baking pan, just like a brownie would be, and then cut into bars or squares once finished.
Cookie bars are a great option when you’re short on time and still want to make delicious treats.
Chocolate chip cookies are great made into bars, even more so when you add other scrumptious treats to them. M&Ms, peanut butter chips, and chunks of chocolate bars all make great additions to cookie bars.
They go down a treat in kids’ lunchboxes as well, and you can make them healthier than store bought cookies.
Pressed or ‘spritz’ cookies may sound similar to molded cookies at first glance, but they couldn’t be more different.
Pressed cookies are made from a soft dough, which is then filled into a cookie press or cookie gun. They’re ‘pressed’ through a type of nozzle onto a baking sheet, before being baked.
Pressed cookies are quite easy to make and result in even cookie shapes. They’re also very quick to produce.
Pressed cookies are buttery and soft, making them perfect for those who prefer a little less crunch to their baked treats. They’re also very fun to decorate with sprinkles and sugar balls.
Refrigerator cookies are essentially ‘no bake’ cookies. They’re prepared and set in a refrigerator, rather than being baked in an oven.
The tastiest recipe we found used a mix of sugar, cocoa powder, butter, milk, oats, and Nutella.
The cookie batter is mixed in a saucepan and cooked very briefly. The cookies are then being placed on a non-stick baking sheet, before being refrigerated until solid. You can then enjoy these straight from the fridge.
Fried cookies are delicious. Most of them are either of a doughnut-like consistency or resemble waffles. There is also a very interesting Thai cookie recipe called Khanom Dok Jog.
These deep-fried flower cookies are made from a mix of flours, sugar, salt, egg yolk, coconut milk, lime water, and black sesame seeds.
A special Dok Jog mold is then heated in a pan, and used to dip into the batter, which is then dipped into hot oil. It’s a fairly tricky (hot) process, but the results are stunning and delicious.
The Most Popular Types of Girl Scout Cookies
Girl Scout Cookies are widely available across America today, though they were first baked by members and their moms. They were first sold in 1917. Since then there have been plenty of popular varieties, though the three below remain first favorites amongst fans.
Thin mints are made from peppermint-flavored chocolate wafers, which are then dipped in a delicious chocolate coating.
Thin mints are vegan, making them a great option for those avoiding animal-derived products. Cookie company Keebler makes a cookie called the grasshopper, which is very similar.
Samoas or Caramel deLites
Samoas or caramel deLites (depending on which bakery you get them from) are vanilla cookies at the heart. These are coated in gooey caramel, dusted with toasted coconut flakes, and decorated with stripes of chocolate.
Tagalongs or Peanut Butter Patties
Tagalongs, also known as peanut butter patties, are vanilla cookies with a crunchy bite. These are topped with creamy peanut butter before being coated in chocolate. They’re a great choice if you enjoy Reese’s peanut butter cups.
Types of Christmas Cookies
Christmas cookies are a fun family tradition in many households across the world. There are so many reasons you might want to make Christmas cookies: they’re delicious treats which are much better for you than anything store bought, they’re fun to make, and they make lovely homemade gifts.
Sugar cookies are tasty, slightly crunchy treats which are decorated liberally with icing. Sugar cookies look best coated in colorful royal icing with pretty sugar paste decorations and sprinkles.
Some bakers prefer buttercream for the less sweet flavoring and softer feel.
Christmas butter cookies tend to be a little softer, buttery and crumbly. They almost melt in your mouth. You can make butter cookies using the cutout method or a cookie press, depending on your recipe. They’re great dipped in chocolate and decorated with colorful sprinkles.
Gingerbread cookies were apparently made popular by Queen Elizabeth I, who had them decorated to resemble dignitaries coming to visit her court.
Gingerbreads are usually heavily spiced and both crunchy and a little soft in the middle. German gingerbread, or Lebkuchen, is an altogether exemplary treat, which is made with nuts, candied citrus, and spices.
Whichever gingerbread cookie you choose to make, however, it’s all delicious.
Simple Recipe for Tasty Cookies: A Guide
Arguably the simplest cookies you can make for any season or celebration are sugar cookies. They’re versatile, easy to cut out in any shape you like, and fun to decorate. This basic recipe is great to make just those.
If you have any food allergies or intolerances, you can substitute the all-purpose flour in this recipe for a similar gluten free variety.
You may also replace the butter with a vegan alternative, and the eggs with yogurt or aquafaba.
- 4 cups of all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp of baking powder
- 1 cup of salted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsps of vanilla extract
And here’s how you do it:
- Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl, including the flour and baking powder.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla to the wet mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet mixture until just combined. Set the dough aside in a cool place or your refrigerator. Chill for at least two hours. Prepare one or two baking pans with parchment.
- Preheat your oven to 375 F while you roll out the cookie dough. You’ll want to roll it to approximately ¼” thickness. Cut out shapes and immediately add them to your prepared baking tins.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are just softly browned.
- Cool and decorate the cookies to your liking.
Tasty Recipes and Hacks with Cookies
Cookies are great on their own, but they’re even better in combination with other treats. Experiment with the hacks and recipes below. These are the best for quick and easy cookie-based deliciousness you’ll want to make at home.
Ice Cream with Cookies on Top
If you love ice cream and cookies (who doesn’t?) you’ll enjoy ice cream topped with cookies. To make this, simply place a few scoops of your favorite ice cream in a bowl or glass.
Break your homemade cookies – we love chocolate chip – into quarters and top the ice cream. Add a generous helping of chocolate fudge sauce and serve.
Birthday Cake with Different Kinds of Cookies
You can make birthday cake cookie sandwiches and top them with a candle, or top a cake with cookies (and a candle.)
If the birthday boy or girl really enjoys all kinds of cookies, you’ll want to top your cake with a generous selection.
If they really only love one, a cake topped with a drip glaze and cookies placed upright in the center looks classy and elegant.
Edible Cookie Dough
If you can’t resist tasting the batter when baking, you’ll love this edible cookie dough recipe: all you need is a cup of heat-treated all purpose flour, ½ cup of salted butter.
Add ½ cup of light brown sugar, 3 tbsps of granulated sugar, 1 ½ tbsps of milk, ½ tsp of vanilla extract, and ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Whisk the butter and sugars using a mixer until pale and fluffy. Blend in the remaining ingredients, and enjoy. It’s as simple as that.
Three Ingredient Nutella Cookies
If you’re after a quick and easy chocolate fix cookie hack, this is it. All you need is a ¾ cup of Nutella, 1 ¼ cups of all purpose or cake flour, and one egg. Mix everything until blended and chill in the refrigerator.
Once chilled, shape the cookie dough into small balls and place on a baking sheet . Use a spoon or your clean finger to dent each ball.
Bake in a preheated oven at around 355 F for 10-12 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool before adding a dollop of nutella to each one.
Healthy Peanut Butter and Oat Cookies
The most delicious and easiest cookies to make have got to be no-bake oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips.
Our favorite recipe uses just four ingredients: 2 cups of rolled oats, 1 cup of peanut butter, ⅓ cup of maple syrup, and a ¼ cup of dark or semisweet chocolate chips.
Mix everything well and shape cookies on a non-stick baking sheet. Chill until set and enjoy, it’s that simple.
Alternatives to Cookies
Now you know about all of the main categories of cookies to make at home, you may wish to expand your baking skills further. There are many tasty alternatives to cookies. We’ve collected the top three below.
Cupcakes are great for those who love the taste and texture of cake, but prefer smaller portions and less work decorating. Cupcakes are readily made using either a cupcake or even a cake recipe.
Once they’re baked and have cooled down, you can frost them with a buttercream of your choice. Add your favorite sprinkles and enjoy.
Brownies are ideal for those who love chocolate. They’re essentially a more dense tray-baked cake.
Most people prefer gooey brownies with tons of chocolate inside them. Once baked, brownies are cut into bars or squares, making them a great treat to add to lunchboxes.
Waffles are delicious made for breakfast or brunch. They’re slightly similar to cookies in shape and size, and can also be made in the oven using a waffle mold.
Waffles can also be prepared using a waffle maker or waffle iron, however, giving them a crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside appearance.