22 Cookie Recipes Easy Enough to Memorize

A low-effort, high-reward cookie for all occasions.

December 19, 2019
Photo by Rocky Luten

These are the cookies for when you’re too tired to make cookies, or when you’ve got more important things to worry about (the roast! the cups! the flowers!) and need something quick and fuss-free.

The majority of these are five ingredients or fewer (yes, fine, Carla’s calls for eight, but two of them are salt), many don’t require a stand mixer, and some—gasp—don’t even require an oven. From oats bound with tahini to crackers dipped in chocolate, here are 22 of our easiest-ever cookie recipes.

22 Easy Cookie Recipes

1. 5-Ingredient Molasses Cookie

Garam masala keeps these spiced, basically-constructed cookies from tasting, well, basic.

2. Pretzel Shortbread Cookies

Buttery, dangerously crumbly, salty-sweet, and chocolatey—what more could you want from a cookie? Kirsten S. provided a genius suggestion in the comments: "I kind of want to top this with some sweet peanut butter and dunk the entire thing in a chocolate coating."

3. Honey-Almond Sesame Cookies

"These cookies are so good that they are used as bargaining and bartering tools in our household," writes OliveandPearl. We see your Honey-Almond Sesame Cookies...and raise you three White Chocolate Snowflakes.

4. Butter Pecan Cookies

Big Little Recipes columnist, Emma Laperruque, 2.0'd this classic cookie by browning the butter and toasting the nuts.

5. Snickerdoodle Shortbread

Cut these into bars right when they emerge from the oven, lest the tenderness crumbliness of the bars work against you!

6. Mint Chocolate Harbor Bars

Ice cream, sandwiched by chocolate chip cookies, dipped in chocolate? We're listening.

7. Croissant Brittle

It's as life-changing as it sounds.

8. Dorie Greenspan's Pailles (Puff Pastry Sandwiches)

Like a palmier, but with more layers (and jam).

9. White Chocolate Snowflakes

Not a huge fan of white chocolate, our co-founder, Merrill, makes an exception when it's paired with puffed rice and salty peanuts.

10. Strawberry Shortbread

Try subbing the strawberries with other freeze-dried fruits, like blueberries or raspberries.

11. Coconut Milk Fudge (Topra Pak)

Traditionally made with fresh coconut and reduced coconut milk, this ancient Gujarati sweet gets an update with dried coconut and condensed milk.

12. Ammama's Semolina Butter Cookies

Honestly anyone can pull off these crumbly, buttery biscuits perfect for nibbling alongside coffee or tea.

13. Alice Medrich's New Classic Coconut Macaroons

These rogue (but still classic) macaroons feature a few game-changing twists: coconut chips instead of shreds, and a chocolate hunk instead of coating.

14. Minty Oreo Meringues

These meringues are a cookie-fied version of Associate Editor Erin's favorite family tradition: eating mint-chip ice cream with her mom, while watching Will and Grace.

15. No-Bake Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

For these simple no-bake cookies, butter crackers get dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with crushed mints. Grant Melton says to try them frozen (!).

16. 3-Ingredient Oatmeal Cookies

Oats bound with just tahini, sugar, water, and salt make for deliciously easy cookies.

17. Our Best No Bake Cookies

Sharing is optional at this chocolate/peanut butter/oat/flaky salt party.

18. Dorie Greenspan's 3-Ingredient Almond Crackle Cookies

If you surprised Dorie with a house visit, these are the cookies she would make—because no one leaves Dorie's without sampling cookies.

19. Peanut Butter Peppermint Chip Cookies

You read right: Sandy peanut butter cookies prove to be the unexpectedly-perfect match for chocolate-mint candies. Elettra Wiedemann writes, "[it] works—like, really works. I sold these cookies at a charity bake sale and got multiple messages from total strangers on Instagram telling me it was their new favorite flavor combination."

20. Pie Crispies

Try these crispies on yogurt or ice cream; use them to sandwich jam or chocolate. Really, anything is possible.

21. Salted Rosemary Shortbread

Are these sweet or salty? Or both? Chew on that while you chew on these.

22. Flourless Chocolate-Walnut Cookies From François Payard

Free of butter, oil, and flour, these Genius, impossibly glossy and crackly cookies take after their ancestor: the French macaron.

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What cookies do you make when you don't want to make cookies? Tell us in the comments.

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Coral Lee is an Associate Editor at Food52. Before this, she cooked food solely for photos. Before that, she cooked food solely for customers. And before that, she shot lasers at frescoes in Herculaneum and taught yoga. When she's not writing about or making food, she's thinking about it. Her Heritage Radio Network show, "Meant to be Eaten," explores cross-cultural exchange as afforded by food. You can follow her on Instagram @meanttobeeaten.