Chocolate chip cookies are a tried-and-true dessert staple for a reason; whether you like them chewy, crunchy or packed with nuts and fruit, there’s a cookie out there for you. Ready to take your cookie game to the next level? Try our mix of classic and creative chocolate-chip cookie recipes, including one that gives you permission to eat all the raw cookie dough you want (yes, really). Plus, check out our guide to baking your version of the perfect chocolate chip cookie, complete with your pick of textures and flavors.
All cookie fanatics know that the only thing better than one cookie is two — plus a rich, creamy filling. A step up from the classic chocolate chip or sugar cookie, these treats feature cookies that are fruity, nutty, cakey and more. Try the cookie version of an already traditional dessert, like carrot cake, or go for an unexpected flavor (popcorn?); this list of our favorite sandwich cookies has it all.
Cake-Mix Mint Chocolate Sandwich Cookies (pictured above)
Who knew you could use boxed cake mix as cookie batter? With the simple addition of chocolate chips and peppermint extract, these easy-to-make cookies will be fudgy and minty.
We’ve all heard of shortbread, but what exactly does it mean when we say a pastry is “short”? The terms “short crust,” “shortbread” and even “shortening” all refer to the texture of the crumb of the pastry. Short pastry is usually dense, crumbly, crisp and buttery, and these flavorful bars, studded with orange zest and nuts — and drizzled with chocolate — are no exception.
When I was little my neighborhood block was my universe. My best friend lived next door. We played kickball on the street in front of the house and explored the woods behind; our driveway was the best racecourse that any daredevil biker could hope for.
My dear friend Doris also lived on my block. She probably had a good 50 years on me, but that didn’t stop us from becoming close. She was kind and extremely gracious, considering that I would drop in on her without notice whenever it pleased me. My own grandmother lived 8,000 miles away, but Doris was nearby and I was grateful for her company. We’d play checkers and drink lemonade for hours. I loved our chats, and I loved her smile.
But that wasn’t all. Doris had the best snacks around — Little Debbie everything! She had crispy and crackly Star Crunch, dense and fudgy brownies, and my personal favorite, plenty of Oatmeal Creme Pies. Even today when I see those boxes in the supermarket, I’m immediately whisked back to the time when I’d sit on Doris’ fuzzy, teal couch in front of the glass coffee table considering my next checkers move with a mouthful of sugar.
Meal planning over the weekend for a few nights’ worth of dinners during the week indeed has its merits; after all, who doesn’t want to come home to a nearly-ready-to-eat meal? But you know what’s perhaps even more enticing than supper at the ready? Dessert at the ready. Take a few hours today to prep one of these over-the-top indulgences — think towering chocolate cake, the easiest chocolate chip cookies and buttery lemon bars worthy of citrus season — and get set for some sweet treats during the week when the craving hits.
In case you missed it, last week FoodNetwork.com and HGTV.com came together in the Scripps Lifestyle Studios to host the ultimate live holiday cookie party on Facebook (watch the three segments here, here and here). Justin Warner hosted the event, and I had the pleasure of nerding out with him and Michelle Buffardi, from FoodNetwork.com, on chocolate chip cookie recipes.
One of my favorite parts of the day was the unveiling of the gingerbread house that recipe developer Melissa Gaman and FoodNetwork.com’s Eric Kim (with special help from Mory Thomas and Miriam Garron) worked on ALL DAY! Viewers had a ton of questions about the construction of the house, so here are some of their building tips:
The Secret Roof Compartment (pictured above): Melissa cleverly turned our house into a surprise cookie jar. Here’s how she did it: She cut one of the roof sides into two pieces and “glued” the bottom piece, with royal icing, onto the house. The removable piece simply sat on top without needing to be affixed to the house. Then the whole roof was decorated in almond shingles that covered the seam to the secret panel!
I have four kids under the age of 7, so you can bet there are some Christmas cookies baking in my house — and the rascals want in on it. These are our favorite cookies for baking as a two-generation team.
Cocoa Thumbprints from Food Network Magazine
Anything that involves rolling dough into a ball, jamming your finger into it and placing candy on top is a hit with kiddie cooks.
If you’re going to put all the time into baking your holiday cookies from scratch, they better be good, right? So before you go with any recipe that falls into your lap, feast your eyes on these tried-and-true, fan-favorite cookie recipes, each bringing dozens of 5-star fan reviews to the plate.
With nearly 1,000 reviews and a 5-star rating, Giada De Laurentiis’ Lemon Ricotta Cookies are at the top of the heap. These tender, citrusy ricotta cookies will add a refreshing brightness to your cookie exchange, with fresh lemon zest mixed into both the dough and the glaze.
Good friends, fresh baked goods and a few generous mugs of (possibly spiked) hot chocolate: That’s what a holiday cookie swap is all about. If you’re hosting this year, it’s time to choose your recipes, check your pantry (ditching old spices and other baking staples that have been collecting dust at the back of your shelves), and head to the store for missing ingredients. Remember to stock up on treat bags or roomy covered containers; that way, everyone can go home with a few edible mementos.
Guests are generally expected to bring one batch of cookies. (Or you might ask guests to bring two or three batches, depending on the size of the swap.) When hosting, it’s wise to bake two or three different varieties, and remember to take food allergies into account. Choose two familiar, tried-and-true recipes, like classic sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies. (That way you won’t stress over making errors and can focus on beverages and decor too.) The third cookie should be super-seasonal and more of a challenge. You can make one recipe the day of, but make the other recipes a day in advance — whatever works best with your schedule. Here are a few of our most sought-after holiday cookies to get you started.
Cookie #1: Classic Sugar
Food Network Kitchen’s Soft Sugar Cookies (pictured at top) are the classic sugar cookies you could roll out in your sleep — except they might be more tender than you’re used to, thanks to an extra egg in the dough. Before baking, roll the dough in red and green sanding sugar. The cookies will bake up in just 20 minutes. Check out more of our festive takes on sugar cookies here.
If Valentine’s Day is for chocolate, Halloween for candy and Thanksgiving for turkey, then Christmas may be for cookies. Just as you likely wait all year to dig into Mom’s famous peppermint spritz or your own special recipe for chocolate-cherry chunkies, your favorite chefs, too, are indulging in their holiday cooking cravings come December. FN Dish checked in with stars like Giada De Laurentiis, Katie Lee and Michael Symon to find out which cookies are their favorites — click the photos above or below to hear what they had to say.