Basic Drop Cookies

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
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Total time:
Yield: 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 dozen medium cookies, depending on add-ins

Recipe photo

Add chocolate or other flavored chips, dried fruit, nuts, even small candies; this "mother cookie" is a perfect starting place for all kinds of wonderful variations. Read our blog about these cookies, with additional photos, at Bakers' Banter.

Basic Drop Cookies

star rating (18) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 dozen medium cookies, depending on add-ins
Published: 01/01/2010


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, light or dark, packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 tablespoons milk, optional
  • 2 cups chips, nuts, and/or dried fruit, optional

Tips from our bakers

  • Substitute 1/2 to 3/4 cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour for an equal amount of all-purpose flour, if desired.


1) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment.

2) Beat together the butter, sugars, salt, vanilla, baking soda, and baking powder till well combined.

3) Add the egg, beating till smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl, and beat again till smooth.

4) Add the flour, mixing it in completely.

5) If you're making cookies using chips, nuts, etc, beat in the milk, then the add-ins.

6) If you're making plain cookies, without add-ins, omit the milk.

7) Drop the cookies by the traditional "tablespoonful" (actually about 2 measuring tablespoons) onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2" apart. A tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

8) Bake the cookies for 14 to 16 minutes, until they're a light golden brown, and a bit darker around the edges.

9) Remove them from the oven, and cool right on the baking sheets.


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  • star rating 03/05/2015
  • Christine from Bethesda, MD
  • This recipe made a good cookie, but my batch seemed very dense/thick. They were neither chewy nor crispy thin. I measured out all of the ingredients as directed. Perhaps my cookie balls were too big?
    Size is a good theory - other culprits may be flour measurement, use of optional milk ingredient, chips or chunks used in the cookies? It may be a good opportunity to call our baker's hotline at 855-371-2253. Happy baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 07/04/2014
  • Vidya from Scottsdale, AZ
  • Perfect recipe - the cookies are awesome! My kids loved them - they did the baking are are working on the eating!!!!
  • star rating 06/18/2011
  • BlondoFondo from KAF Community
  • I think 375 is too hot. I made white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies. the first batch at 375 was brown on the bottom but still raw on the top. the second batch at 350 came out better, though next time i'll go very light on greasing the pans because the edges came out super crispy. i love how versatile this recipe is
  • star rating 03/12/2011
  • redlady from KAF Community
  • I added Special Dark chocolate and some craisins. I think I made them too big because I sure didn't get two dozen cookies! Wonderful recipe! Thank you King Arthur Flour for such a great resource!
  • star rating 03/01/2011
  • chavranek from KAF Community
  • This is such a fast, fast, recipe for basic, endlessly adaptable cookies.
  • star rating 01/27/2011
  • barbara1021 from KAF Community
  • I made these last night and put chocolate chips & coconut in the batter. Next time I'll put in some coconut extract (slipped my mind this time) to give it some extra flavor. They turned out good, but the batter was a little crumbly. I had to add some extra milk to get it to hold it's shape.
  • star rating 07/10/2010
  • Desiree from
  • I made the plain recipe and added lemon extract instead of vanilla, 1 tsp of lemon peel and used white wheat flour instead of white. I also used shortening instead of butter because my daughter is dairy intolerant and added a pinch of extra salt. These cookies are delicious! Thank you so much for such a great recipe!
  • star rating 12/22/2009
  • M from M
  • I will make a recommendation. Retype and repost the recipe without all the postings but with all of the proper corrections. It is way too confusing.
    Have you looked at the basic recipe-the one not on the blog? this will help. Almost always there will be a place to click from the blog to the basic recipe. Joan D@bakershotline .
  • star rating 04/13/2009
  • Carrie from Easton, PA
  • This is a great adaptable recipe but 14-16 minutes was way too long. After a couple of tries, I made them more along the lines of a traditional drop cookie recipe length of 9-11 minutes and that worked great, but I have a convection oven. The first time I did this, the first sheet I put in got too dark, so I agree with the other comment about this.
    Thanks for your reminder that we should check cookies (or any product we bake for the first time) to adapt for our own ovens. Irene at KAF
  • star rating 03/19/2009
  • from
  • Wonderful basic cookie recipe that's a great starter for whatever you want it to be! My family went through an entire batch of dried cherry with dark chocolate chips and walnuts and later this week I think I'll try ginger spice cookies with oatmeal!
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