When you want an easy dessert that everyone loves from kids to grandparents, cookies are pretty much the go-to choice. Uncomplicated, portable, and adaptable enough to make them either healthy or decadent, a supply of reliable, simple cookie recipes is pretty much the little black book of desserts.
From snack cookies that are made with low sugar and healthy ingredients to rich double chocolate, or even easier bar cookies for everyday or special occasions (quadruple brownies!), this list can become part of your little black book of go-to recipes - especially because they're made with all real ingredients from scratch.
There's a reason that cookies are a perennial favorite - not only does everyone love them, you can also count on them being simple to make, no matter what type you decide to make.
Cookies are one of the first things I remember making with my mom when I was little, and were one of the "specialties" I was known for in high school and college. Some of them I still make today, like peanut butter swirl bars, soft chocolate chip cookies, and chocolate topped oatmeal bars.
Cookies are one of the recipes my kids always wanted to make with me, too. I have many sweet memories of teaching them to cook with some of our favorite simple cookie recipes.
And of course, what would Christmas be without cookies? My mom always made cookie plates that we'd deliver to all the neighbors and my sisters and I keep the tradition. I may give up holiday cards and some activities, but the baking will always be a part of the Christmas season for me.
Most of the recipes below have appeared in our holiday goodie bags at one time or another over the years - they are that good. But I don't really have time for complicated, so you can rest assured that they are all simple, too. I've separated them into drop cookies, bar cookies, and shaped cookies just to organize them a bit. Be sure to scroll all the way to make sure you see them all!
31 Simple Cookie Recipes
1 . Amazing Multi Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies. When you want a chocolate chip cookie with a bit more nutrition (but doesn't taste like it...) and that turns out every time, this is your recipe!
2. The Best Chewy Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have two favorite go-to soft chocolate chip recipes that I am known for in my family - the double grain cookies above and this chewy whole grain cookie. You can't go wrong with either, so I suggest you try both!
3. Soft And Chewy Whole Grain Peanut Butter Cookies. I love peanut butter, but am a soft cookie fan, so regular peanut butter cookies were always too crisp for me. Enter this recipe for truly soft and chewy whole grain peanut butter cookies, which stay soft. You can make them pure or add chocolate chips for a Reeses flavor.
4. Whole Grain Oatmeal Cookies with Cranberries & Walnuts. This is my favorite oatmeal cookie of all time. It's rolled in sugar which creates a perfect crisp crust. These can be made plain, with the cranberries and walnuts as written, with more traditional raisins, or even with chocolate chips.
5. Soft & Flavorful Mocha Chip Cookies. These cookies are such a surprise when you bite into them - soft with a combo of chocolate and coffee that produces the perfect mocha flavor. Everyone loves these!
6. Flourless Chocolate Truffle Cookies (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free). These cookies are a revelation - naturally grain free to produce the truffle-like interior and tasting totally decadent.
7. Fudgy Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cookies. When you've got zucchini to use up, make a change from bread to cookies! Especially when they're these fudgy dark chocolate cookies - the kids will never care what you included.
8. Chocolate Chip, Nut & Seed Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten-Free). This healthy version of a chocolate chip cookie works great for snacks or breakfasts on the go. "Cookies" can be healthier than store bought granola bars when you control the ingredients!
9. Multigrain Snickerdoodle Cookies. Up your basic snickerdoodle game with a couple of whole grains and less sugar. Still the snickerdoodle you know and love, just a little bit healthier.
10. Whole Wheat Blackberry Crumb Bars. Are these a cookie bar or a coffee cake? Who cares! They are just good any time, for breakfast, snack, or dessert.
11. Healthy No-Bake Fudge Oatmeal Bars (Gluten-Free). These cookies are super easy and perfect for taking to potlucks and sending with kids in their lunches. Or pretty much any time.
12. Grain Free Peanut Butter-Honey Brownies. Added protein, gluten free, and sweetened with honey, these are your brownies when you want to be a bit healthier.
13. Flourless Coconut Almond Bars. You know those recipes that you forget how good they are until you take a bite? That's this recipe - they almost melt in your mouth and are such a treat for those who are going grain free.
14. Whole Grain Peanut Butter Blondies Recipe with Chocolate Chips. Adding peanut butter to a blondie recipe not only adds flavor and protein, but also gives a chewier flavor. The frosting is of course the icing on the cake.
15. Crunchy Layered Peanut Butter Brownies. Can't decide between Rice Krispie bars or brownies? Don't - make these bars that are layers of brownie, peanut butter, and chocolate mixed with crisp rice and have it all!
16. Caramel Coconut Shortbread Cookie Bar Recipe. This is such a great addition to holiday cookie plates - rich caramel mixed with coconut (made without corn syrup) that tops a shortbread crust. The dark chocolate topping makes this taste like a candy bar.
17. Fudgy Espresso Truffle Bars Recipe. When you want truffles without the time needed to shape them, make them into a bar. They still melt in your mouth and taste amazing in a fraction of the time.
18. Chocolate Drizzled Nut Squares Cookies. Here's another easy bar cookie that reminds you of a candy bar with the caramel coated nuts and chocolate drizzle.
19. Quadruple Chocolate Decadent Brownie Recipe. This is probably the most decadent recipe on AOC! It's so full of chocolate, butter, and eggs you may not believe it. What you will believe? How amazing they are. They are a traditional part of our holiday cookie plates.
20. Whole Grain Apple Butter Bars. On the opposite end of the spectrum, maybe, are these whole grain bars with apple butter center and crumb topping that work for breakfast, snacks, as well as dessert.
21. Black Bottom Maple Pecan Pie Bars. I love making these bars during the holidays - they remind you of pecan pie without all the work. Plus the size is a lot easier to handle (and it's sweetened just with maple syrup).
22. Grain Free Almond Chocolate Truffle Bars. Oh the truffle topping on these bars are amazing! These are another recipe that's nice to take places where you're not sure if people on on grain free diets because everyone will love them, no matter.
23. Rhubarb-Honey Crumb Bars. I make sure to make these every time I have fresh (or frozen) rhubarb - they are SO good.
24. Chocolate-Topped Oatmeal Bars (Wheat Free). I've been making these bars since college - they just happen to be gluten free, but that's not the main draw. That would be the candy-like flavor of the oat bottom and peanut butter-chocolate topping. You need to cut them small, though, since they are rich!
25. Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Bars. This is like a chocolate chip-peanut butter cookie made into bars which makes them so easy. Take a pan of these to a party and you will be pretty popular.
26. Favorite Classic Peanut Butter Swirl Bars. Now these cookies I've been making since high school and are the first cookie I made for Brian when we were dating. The bars are moist, peanuty and chocolatey - no wonder they've stood the test of time.
27. Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie (or Skillet Cookie). A giant cookie that's technically a chocolate chip bar cookie made in a cake pan, this is a perfect company or celebration dessert served warm with ice cream.
28. Espresso Walnut Shortbread Cookies with Dark Chocolate Ganache. These look more complicated than they really are - you mix up the dough, roll it into logs, cut and bake it before sandwiching two together with an easy dark chocolate ganache. And the flavor and texture is perfection.
29. Rich & Mouthwatering Mini Chocolate Truffle Cakes. Maybe not an actual cookie, but I'm including it because it's a small cookie shape, just made in mini muffin pans. And it's really easy, rich, and melt-in-your-mouth good.
30. Mini Almond Joy Brownies Recipe. These brownies are shaped in mini muffin pans like the truffle cakes and then are topped with a coconut mixture, nut (or not), and dipped in chocolate. Another special cookie for the holiday plate.
31. Whole Grain Cut Out Cookies. Let's make out holiday cut-out cookies a little more healthy - use this whole grain recipe to add more nutrition plus great a texture and flavor that you just can't get with plain cut out sugar cookies.
I hope you enjoy these simple cookie recipes as much as our family has when you're looking for a good cookie recipe!
I'd love to know if you make any of these recipes – follow me on Instagram and tag #anoregoncottage to share what you’ve created!
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