The people speak: our top-ranked cookie recipes.

Nov 4, 2009_4

There’s nothing like a customer review to keep you on your toes, huh?

I tend the online recipes here at King Arthur Flour. And sometimes I feel like a mother with lots and lots of needy kids.

About 2,152 of them, at last count.

Yes, each and every recipe feels like a child to me. Like babies, some had difficult, exhausting births, while others were – well, a piece of cake.

Many of our online recipes made their first appearance in our Baking Sheet newsletter. Still others, in our Baker’s Catalogue.

Now, many go directly from test kitchen to our new recipes page. I mean, one minute I’m pulling hot muffins out of the oven; and 5 minutes later, the recipe pops up online.

Now THAT’S instant gratification!

But let’s get back to customer reviews.

Every time you, a reader, posts a comment, it gives me a chance to reflect on the recipe. When the comment is positive, I’m proud and happy; my kid just scored the winning goal!

When a recipe gets a not-so-good comment, I’m bummed. Bad report card.

So, like moms everywhere, I think what “the kid” needs to do to improve.

Could I write this particular step more clearly? Is the picture an accurate representation of the final product?

Is the recipe itself just too gosh-darned persnickety for prime time? It happens.

Thankfully, most of our reviewed recipes get four or five stars. And some get LOTS of four- and five-star reviews.

These are our straight-A students; our all-stars.

The recipes you want to bookmark for the math team’s next bake sale.

So now, without further ado, meet our Cookie All-Stars – the eight top-ranking cookie recipes on our site.

The winner and still champion: our guaranteed Chocolate Chip Cookies. See the recipe, and blog.

“I didn’t think any recipe could be better than the original Toll House recipe, but this is.” Annerip, KAF community

Our secret: using a full pound of chocolate chips in the cookies, for more chocolate in every bite.

Almond Cloud Cookies. See the recipe, and blog.

“These cookies are absolutely AWESOME!!! …these are extraordinary, top-tier bakery-quality cookies.” M. Schindel, Chestnut Hill, MA

Our secret: believe it or not, these are flour-free, gluten-free, and free of leavening, making them perfect for those on a GF diet and potential Passover favorites.

Salty-Sweet Butter Pecan Cookies. See the recipe, and blog.

“This is the second year we’ve made these amazing cookies. No other cookie has ever created so many requests for ‘please make more,’ and they are EASY.” Heather, CT

Our secret: Toast the pecans. And don’t skip the sweet-salty coating – it’s what takes these cookies from good to WOW.

Our guaranteed Classic Peanut Butter Cookies. See the recipe, and blog.

“If there were a hundred stars this recipe would get them all.” Isle2000, KAF community

Our secret: For variety, use the pusher from a Cuisinart food processor to imprint a spiral on top, instead of the traditional fork criss-cross.

Our guaranteed Oatmeal Cookies. See the recipe, and blog.

“Wow! These taste like bakery cookies! I’m no Betty Crocker and my family swooned over these.” nummynummy, KAF community

Our secret: For soft/chewy cookies, be careful not to over-bake. They’ll look pale when you take them out of the oven, but will cook just a tiny bit more as they cool, giving them perfect texture.

Our guaranteed Shortbread. See the recipe, and blog.

“This is the best shortbread recipe! Haven’t met a person who didn’t love it!” jeanbuller, KAF community

Our secret: use salted butter. While we usually bake with unsalted, these cookies have no liquid ingredient, and added salt won’t dissolve/disperse, leaving cookies gritty.

American-Style Vanilla Biscotti. See the recipe, and blog.

“This biscotti recipe is the BEST… They are everyone’s favorite.” Brenda, GA

Our secret: coarse white sparkling sugar on top, for a wonderful crunchy finish.

Basic Whole Grain Cookies. See the recipe, and blog.

“They are fantastic!! This is a great recipe. I’ll make them again this week I’m sure. Love, Love, Love!” jms2, KAF Community

Our secret: white whole wheat flour, and a touch of orange juice – which tempers any “whole wheaty” taste. You’ll NEVER know these are whole grain.

Don’t tell me – you’re dying to get into the kitchen and bake a batch of cookies, right?

Go for it – your family, friends, and work colleagues will be thrilled.

And that’s what baking’s all about, right? Sharing the joy… which King Arthur Flour’s been helping bakers do for 222 years.

P.S. After completing this post, I realized I’d completely missed another of our most popular cookie recipe: our guaranteed Sugar Cookies.

Sigh… you know how it is when you’re dealing with lots of kids – one of them is bound to get overlooked at some point!

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. "P.V. Grammy"

    Your recipe section is my “go to” place to find yummy baking recipes. I made the sourdough pizza this week and it was wonderful. Thank you for the best resource around.

    You’re most welcome – thanks for connecting here. Glad you enjoyed the pizza! PJH

    Reply
  2. Bridgid

    The almond cloud recipe is the second best cookie I have ever had! I put a small dollop of polaner all fruit seedless raspberry in the center of some, dark chocolate in the center of others. Others I leave plain. I can’t make them that often because I will eat the whole batch! I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE them!

    In a few weeks when I am not doing a play I will post what I consider the best cookie I have ever had. (It changed my life.)

    Oh, Bridgid… you’re tantalizing us! Can’t wait to see the cookie recipe that changed your life… :) PJH

    Reply
  3. jtee4short

    Wow, thanks for highlighting these cookies. I like to bake cookies because they’re usually easy and quick. Nothing like that instant gratification! I made your peanut butter cookies just recently and they were fabulous. The shortbread was on my to-do list; now so are several more recipes. I can’t resist titles like “Almond Cloud”!

    Thanks for your enthusiasm! Cookies and muffins and scones are my “need right away for the bake sale” treats. PJH

    Reply
  4. ndpeter

    I’ve made so many of these I’m sure I’ve contributed to their rankings. Surprised the basic drop cookie recipe isn’t among this list, but it does maybe hint at why a certain recipe hasn’t show up. For ages I’ve been saying, “Gee you, you ought to suggest they add a recipe for that.”

    and what is that…a basic chocolate drop cookie. I know you could sub some cocoa into the basic drop cookie. But how about something from the test kitchen that just hits the chocolate out of the park with the double dutch cocoa or one of your other great cocoas! Because what’s better than a quick drop cookie? A chocolate one! that’s what!

    I’m on it! Just printed out the Basic Drop Cookie recipe, and will see what I can do to make it chocolate – hopefully in one easy step! Thanks for reminding me about this recipe – not sure it’s in the top 10, but definitely in the top 15, ranking-wise. PJH

    Reply
  5. ebenezer94

    One of the things that makes the King Arthur web site and blog stand above the rest is that when I make a comment on a recipe or blog post, I know that somebody reads it, thinks about it and maybe replies. On other web sites, comments often seem to go into a black hole. You never know if there’s a person back there. Keep it up!

    And sometimes your comments are even answered immediately! Just happened to be looking at comments when yours popped up, Eb – thanks for your kind words. PJH

    Reply
  6. czkershner

    I’ve never met a KAF cookie I didn’t love… but my son’s absolute, all time favorite is Ranger Cookies. And it’s one recipe I’ve never messed with … pure perfection. He loves them with coffee in the morning, and since they have oatmeal and crisped rice cereal in them, who am I to object?

    Reply
  7. gaa

    PJ – See my comment to your post on the oatmeal cookies. I also love your writing. You make me smile always and some times laugh out loud. You inspire and encourage me to try new and different things. You have taken my baking to a level I didn’t know existed. The result? Happy faces when my friends see me coming in with something I have baked and warm satisfaction when the baked I have shared disappear and I come home with nothing but a few crumbs in the box. As for these recipes above? Made ‘em all at one time or another and they are all wonderful. But if I have to pick a favorite (hard to do because I love them all for different reasons) the Salty Sweet Butter Pecan cookies are it. They are, as you so aptly put it, DA BOMB!! Now I want to bake. Right NOW. Sadly, however, I am at work and must wait until I get home. But then, oh the joy!! Tonite’s recipe … Chocolate Peanut Butter cookies with the mini peanut butter cups. And later this weekend?? Another batch of those Buttermilk Granola Muffins you wrote about a couple of weeks ago. Keep up the great work PJ both baking wise and writing wise. As tyou may have guessed, I am a big fan!!

    Reply
  8. diebel

    People always think im silly when i say how much i love you guys until they dive into something ive baked from the website =:? I think i may have to save this blog to try for a rainy day….or sunny or just cause! Thanks PJ for putting it together!

    My pleasure, really – I LOVED doing this blog post, reading people’s comments on all the separate recipes to review what had been said. You should definitely add Molasses Cookies to the list, as Thomas noted. Enjoy – rain or sunshine! PJH

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  9. thomasmtemple

    I did not see a posting for your molasses cookies and I think they are the best after choc. chip. When I was a child we bought some like them from a bakery. I can now duplicate my favorite cookie. I use my thumb to make an imprint in the center and put jelly in the middle and they are just like the old timey ones. Thank you.

    Molasses cookies are definitely in the top 15, Thomas – and would be even higher if you put the reviews of a few of the similar molasses cookies recipes together… Cape Cod Soft Molasses Cookies are my current favorite – is that the recipe you like? PJH

    Reply
  10. LeeB

    I am intrigued by the almond cloud cookies – hadn’t heard of them until today. I have been on the hunt for flourless/GF cookie recipes. Looking at the page for the almond paste it does not list ingredients except for a description that mentions it is sweetened. In order to recommend this recipe to friends with dietary considerations I would need to know the ingredients for each item. Do you think blanched almond flour would work? Or almond butter? thanks!

    Neither would work, Lee – it’s the almond paste that gives the cookies their distinctive texture/flavor. If you call our customer service, 800-827-6836, they can tell you exactly what’s in the almond paste. Hope you get a chance to make them someday – PJH

    Reply
  11. milkwithknives

    Oh, boy, this is my favorite place to be right now. Yeast bread and cookies are my purest joys in the kitchen. If I don’t make any for a couple of weeks for whatever reason it becomes this almost physical need to pick out a recipe and go for it. Luckily my husband loves bread and cookies or I’d be in trouble. (grin) I’ve made your wonderful butter pecans and biscotti and both are permanent in my recipe box.

    Incidentally, I have a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough chilling in the fridge for tonight (new recipe from a gal at work) and it reminds me to ask if you ever use oat flour in your cookie dough. I bought a grain mill a couple of years ago (thanks again, KAF!) and grind up fresh oat flour every time I make cookies. The taste is fantastic and it’s much harder to overmix and toughen things up. I swap it in for white flour all the time but was wondering if you have a real recipe specifically built around it that you can suggest.There is a great recipe from Neiman Marcus (do you remember them) which uses oat flour, espresso powder, and chocolate chips. Here is a recipe from our site for Scottish Oat Shordbread. http://bit.ly/JNfuiT Glad you are experimenting! betsy@kaf

    Also, here’s a little confession: I eat most of my share of the cookies in dough form. My husband gets the baked ones. I even love the pictures of dough on your blog posts.

    Reply
  12. gminner

    I can’t believe you don’t have the lemon jam slices on the list. They are by far my favorite. I will have to try those on the list though.

    Reply
  13. marcin

    A couple of weeks ago, I had a houseful of people. One night the week before, I made several batches of different kinds of cookies and froze them in dough cookieballs, as you explained how to do over the holidays. I followed your directions, and, as always, the cookies came out perfectly, including, by the way, Cape Cod Molasses cookies. I also invented a cookie, after my favorite candy bar, which is a Chunky. I started with the chocolate chip cookie dough recipe, and then I chopped up a bar of German sweet chocolate, added lightly salted peanuts, and some golden raisins. I froze them and baked a few at a time, and they were amazing! Baking is fun!

    Reply
  14. magpie411

    Upon seeing the old Cape Cod recipe talk, how about those wonderful Hermit cookies? Soft, molasses, raisins… Always cut in rectangles.

    Oh dear, missing them so much. Used to buy one for a nickel on the way home from school as a youngster. G

    I agree – love hermits, and they’re a real old-fashioned favorite. have you seen our Good ‘n’ Chewy Hermit recipe? Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  15. CocoaNut

    Why do some of the recipes have the nutritional information at the bottom of the recipe, but most do not ? This would be nice to have for those of us trying to decide if we can have another cookie ! Thanks.

    Some of the recipes come from our Baking Sheet newsletter, which prints nutritional info. with recipes. We’d love it if all of our recipes had the info.; and it’s on our list of things to address, but we haven’t found quite the right software program yet. Thanks for your feedback – just wanted to let you know it’s our goal to provide this information, at some point. PJH

    Reply
  16. dogsdish103

    I’m really curious to try the almond cloud cookies. I love your idea of using the cuisinart pusher for the cool design on you peanut butter cookies. I’m planning on making mine pb&j with the jammy bits :)
    My favorite oatmeal cookies are oatmeal scotchies, but anytime I eat oatmeal instead of another type, I feel like I’m being healthier :-)
    I was surprised to not see snickerdoodles on the list. Would you consider them top 15? Thanks PJH!

    It’s a funny thing – whenever I ask people their favorite cookies (for instance, on our Facebook wall), Snickerdoodles are always in the top 3. But on our site – the recipe just doesn’t get that many reviews. Nevertheless, I’d day they’re top 20, probably. And higher in my book – and obviously yours! :) PJH

    Reply
  17. kelli ann

    Hello from just over the VT-QC border, from the lovely border town of Sutton! I am one of the cooks here at the elementary school, and we use your (nut-free) recipes all of the time. Your archive is an absolutely invaluable resource. Thanks for all of the time and effort you put into it. (I was also lucky enough to go by the store on a recent trip through the state. Wow– counting the days until I can make it back there!)

    Reply
  18. Cindy LeighI love thos

    Sweet and salty butterscotch pecan cookies. I add some Heath bar bits, too.
    I also really like the Just in Time cranberry cookies, which I have dubbed Cape Codders.
    One cookie I made this year for the first time was a Pignoli nut cookie. Divine!
    I’m still seeking a great pistachio cookie. I’ve done the square ice box cookies with pistachio, and they’re great, but I wanted something more like a Pignoli cookie but with pistachios. Versions I tried did not offset for the saltiness of the pistachio.
    Oh, stay tuned for my July blog. Hint hint! :) ~Amy

    Reply
  19. SheenaC

    Those salty-sweet butter pecan cookies are calling my name! PJ., on the blog post for said cookie, you mention Guittard butterscotch chips. However they are no longer available for purchase at KAF. Do you know if KAF will get them back in stock? I’d love to try these cookies with the Guittard chips. I already have the vanilla butternut flavoring in my cart. I can’t wait to bake. Thanks so much for all the great posts!

    Sheena, I don’t think there’s any plan to get the chips back, unfortunately. Hopefully you can find them at a local supermarket somewhere; or I’ll bet the Guittard Web site could help you. You’ll enjoy that vanilla butternut flavor; it’s deliciious in all kinds of cookies. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  20. JuliaJ

    Cindy commented on the saltiness of pistachios. If all I have are salted nuts, I rinse them in water to wash off the salt and then toast to crisp them up.

    Reply
  21. cartvl219

    I once went a little crazy trying to get the butterscotch chips. It may have been on the Guittard site that I discovered that they’re only available during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season!
    One of my few non-KAF cookie recipes is one for Cranberry-Pistachio Biscotti. It was the first recipe I tried for biscotti and, when I had co-workers to share with, a regular during the Christmas season. Really easy. Just put all the ingredients into the food processor, pulse a few times and dump out the finished dough, shape into logs and bake, cool, slice and rebake. Done!
    Of the recipes you’re talking about here my favorite would be the Salty Sweet Butter Pecan Cookies. After that, anything I can put pecans and chocolate into. :)
    Carolyn
    Wow, I’d never heard of doing biscotti in the food processor, but it sounds really fast and easy. I’ll have to give it a try! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  22. argentyne

    I was just thinking last night that I really wanted to make some cookies. I ended up stalled because I couldn’t decide on which ones to make.

    So I made sourdough cinnamon rolls instead. Delicious, but not quite the same. :D

    Thanks for the suggestions! I will have to catch up on my baking cookies for lunches this week and I will have to venture into several of these. :D

    Reply
  23. Brenda

    Maybe the reason snickerdoodles rate much lower in recipe hits than in surveys is because most people who like them already have a favorite recipe? If you have an old tried & true, any other recipe is just a wannabe.

    True, Brenda – why mess with success, right? :) PJH

    Reply
  24. Sonya

    Thank-you for collecting all of these into one post for us – this is awesome. I also loved your story and how you feel reading the reviews – the highs and lows, the learning. You guys are the best!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks, Sonya – surely you know we owe it all to our wonderful customer/bakers who awe and inspire us every day. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

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