What could be better than a large detailed list of cookie cookbooks? Answer: All the wonderful recipes you know are waiting inside of them. I always have some sort of cookie available for a quick snack. Once you know how to make cookies, you can’t help but seek out new baking cookbooks. This massive list of the best cookie cookbooks should help. – Updated 12/19/2022.
List of Cookie Cookbooks
100 Cookies: The Baking Book for Every Kitchen, with Classic Cookies, Novel Treats, Brownies, Bars, and More (2020) by Sarah Kieffer (Amazon) (eBay)
Mom gifted me this Sarah Kieffer cookbook for Christmas or my birthday (the day after Christmas) two years ago. Just seeing the pink spine with shiny gold lettering makes me happy. Knowing the cookies inside of it are delicious doesn’t hurt one bit, either.
Chapters include: The Classics, Brownies and Blondies, Fruitextravaganza (not a typo), The Next Level, Time to Play, Pan-Banging Cookies, Mix and Match, and Extras.
Sarah is behind the whole “bang the pan” of cookies craze. It makes the cookies fall and get these ridges. The technique makes good cookies, even if it can be kind of annoying. So far, I have made her Brownie Cookies (beloved by my 12-year-old, and the Funfetti Sugar Cookies which were super pretty, and looked like bakery quality but needed a coffee or milk dip to cut the sweetness. They reminded me of sugar cookies from The Original Cookie Company. Do you remember that mall cookie shop from a hundred years ago? Make gorgeous cookies with this book, whether you pan-bang them or not.
The 500 Best Cookies, Bars, and Squares (2013) by Esther Brody (Amazon) (eBay)
I have Esther’s 250 Best Cookie Recipes (2013), but if you want the best baking cookbook, I would recommend this title instead. Why? It’s the same thing, but bigger, thanks to the inclusion of bars and squares (even if “500” is older). If you’re familiar with publisher Robert Rose Inc., then you already know they aren’t typically the fanciest of cookbooks, but they do produce useful baking cookbooks. Images appear in a couple of sections mixed in with the book. The recipes are barebones, with a list of Ingredients, steps, and perhaps a gray call-out text box with a helpful tip.
Chapters include: Making Perfect Cookies, Brownies, Bars, and Squares; Ingredients Methods; Baking Problems (and How to Solve Them); Drop Cookies, Hand-Shaped Cookies; Cut Cookies; Sliced Cookies; Sandwich Cookies; Biscotti; Shortbread; Brownies; Chocolate Bars and Squares; Coconut Bars and Squares; Fruit Bars and Squares; Nut and Peanut Butter Bars and Squares; No-Bake Cookies, Bars, and Squares; Specialty Cookies, Bars, and Squares; Holiday Treats; Esther’s Favorites; Frostings, Glazes, and Toppings.
With 381 pages (including the index, excluding a couple of book ads), it’s slightly larger in length and width than a typical book (10 x 7 inches), so you’ll need to prop it open. I need to dig into this one already and bake something. Chocolate Cream Delights, Glazed Lemon Braids, Ambrosia Coconut Drops, Hawaiian Pineapple Drops, and Original Scottish Shortbread sound like superb cookie jar fillers.
All About Cookies: A Milk Bar Baking Book (2022) by Christina Tosi (Amazon) (eBay)
Say “hello” to another visually stunning cookbook from multiple James Beard Award winner (and Momofuku Milk Bar owner) and pastry chef Christina Tosi. This 8.8 x 0.95 x 10.3-inch, 272-page cookie collection highlights over 100 cookie recipes.
Chapters include: Prep Talk, Real Talk, Sandies and Sammies, Bars, Dense and Fudgies, Low Bakes and No Bakes, Snaps, Cookies that like to Party, and Crunchies and Crispies.
If you are on the search for the perfect cookie, let this gourmet cookie cookbook from Christina Tosi be your guide. Expect the recipes for cookies in this book to be a little more involved. But, hey, that’s not unexpected when you’ve got a bounty of recipes from a Milk Bar pastry chef, right? Gooey Butter Cookies, Dulce de Leche Lofthouses, Peanut Butter Sandies, and Sugar Sugar Cookies (not a typo) will easily doll up your cookie jar.
The All-American Cookie Book (2001) by Nancy Baggett (Amazon) (eBay)
This is not a cobbled together 395-page, 8.25 x 1.25 x 10.25 inch-cookbook. It took Nancy years, baking almost 30,000 cookies, to discover the best of the best — more than 150 of them. I’ve never had a New York Black and White Cookie but based on the image and description in this book, it is moving way up on my “bake now” list. The Lemon Jumbles, Mocha-Espresso Wafers, Fantastic Fudgewiches, and Chocolate Whoopie Pies DO have images, and they DO look amazing.
Chapters include: Read This: How To Make Great Cookies Every Single Time; Sugar Cookies and Shortbreads; Chocolate and White Chocolate Chip Cookies; Chocolate and Mocha Cookies; Brownies, Blondies, and Other Bar Cookies; Fruit, Pumpkin, and Carrot Cookies; Nut and Peanut Cookies; Oat, Coconut, and Sesame Seed Cookies; Ginger, Spice, and Molasses Cookies; Cookie Decorating and Crafts.
Words of Kitchen Wisdom, Tips, and other sidebar call-outs alert you to handy advice, a little history about an ingredient, or some other interesting tidbit. Each recipe may not include an image, but it contains a nice lengthy paragraph to read over. Yes, this is a book you can read and bake with.
American Cookie: The Snaps, Drops, Jumbles, Tea Cakes, Bars & Brownies That We Have Loved for Generations (2018) by Anne Byrn (Amazon) (eBay)
If you love American Cakes, you’ll love this title. American Cookie follows along the same lines. Read the origin story of each cookie recipe from across the country and then get to baking them. If you need an image with each recipe, Anne’s 7.57 x 1.08 x 9.13-inch, 336-page cookbook delivers on that too.
Chapters include: Drop Cookies Past and Present; Cookies Shaped, Rolled, and Remembered; Wafers, Icebox Cookies, and Planning Ahead; Bars, Brownies, and Baking for Others; Tea Cakes, Politics, and Conversation; and Candy, Fried Cakes, and Culinary Artistry.
It’s hard to stop finding only a few cookie recipe titles to share with you out of this book, but I’ll try. I want to bake Schrafft’s Butterscotch Cookies, Grandma Hartman’s Molasses Cookies (a recipe from an Amish woman born in 1915), Cousin Irene’s Sugar Cookies, Vanilla Wafers, and Old Fashioned Tea Cakes. Flip through this well-done combination of cookbook and history book, and you have a heap of interesting, delicious days ahead.
Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book (1963) by Betty Crocker (Amazon) (eBay)
You’ve got to be careful with this purchase. If you buy the newer edition, I’ve read that the recipes don’t match the original. If the original cookbook is what you are after (and I vouch for its value), you’ll want the 1963 edition I’ve linked above.
Chapters include: Cooky Primer (Drop Cookies, Bar Cookies, Refrigerator Cookies, Rolled Cookies, Pressed Cookies), Holiday Cookies (Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Halloween, Christmas), Family Favorites (Cookies for Children Lunchbox Cookies, Cookies that Travel, Heritage Cookies, Cookies for Special Diets), Quick ‘N Easy Cookies (Brownies, Date Bars, Ginger Cookies, Cookies Made from Mixes), Company Best Cookies (Teatime Cookies, Cookies for a Crowd, Confections) and Betty Crocker’s Best Cookies.
When you think “vintage cookbook,” this is what you are picturing. It is everything you expect: Perfect illustrations, some images, and call-outs on all manner of things. Bonus: There is plenty to read too. Betty Crocker’s Best Cookies chapter is fantastic, with a breakdown of the most popular cookie within a range of years. Read it, bake from as like I have (Candy Cane Cookies will up your Christmas cookie game and the Banana Oatmeal Cookies are fantastic), and enjoy this bold and bright cookbook gem.
Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies (2010) by Alice Medrich (Amazon) (eBay)
“A personal collection such as this is not meant to be encyclopedic. I hope you find this one whimsical yet practical, quirky but comforting, and eccentric but engaging. I hope that Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy will pull new bakers into the kitchen for the first time and inspire seasoned hands to ever greater heights of cookie creativity,” writes Alice in her introduction. Convincing, no?
Chapters include: User’s Guide, Quick Start, FAQs, Crispy Crunch, Chunky, Chewy, Gooey, Flaky, Melt-in-Your-Mouth, Components, Ingredients, Equipment, and Resources.
You should know right off that this 9.06 x 1 x 9.06-inch, 384-page book isn’t crammed with images. I’m sorry. You won’t find any in this cookie cookbook. But you will find a Smart Search in the back of the book (page 365) that organizes the cookies by categories like Wheat-Free, Dairy-Free, and Whole Grains, Ridiculously Quick and Easy, Less Fat and 2 to 3 Points-Plus Treats, Cookie Doughs that Freeze Well, and Cookies that Keep at Least 2 Weeks. Account for any need in a snap.
The Cookie Bible (2022) by Rose Levy Beranbaum (Amazon) (eBay)
What happens when Rose Levy Beranbaum, the author of The Cake Bible and The Baking Bible, tackles cookies? You get The Cookie Bible, a stunning 8 x 1.41 x 9-inch, 448-page classic of just over 150 recipes. Yes, the Cookie Bible uses Rose’s recipe chart with metric and US standard measurements.
Chapters include: Rolled by Hand, Dropped or Piped, Shaped by Hand, Rolled and Cut, Holiday Cookies, Bar and Cake Cookies, Meringues and Candies, and Extra Specials.
Will you bake Chocolate Chip Cookies (yes, you do need another recipe for them since this recipe uses browned butter), Some recipes are found in her previous books, while some are new. It’s a nice mix. Try Melting Moments, Bourbon Balls, Coconut Crisps, or Lazy Susans. You may just find your new favorite holiday cookie or every day fave. After that, you can go read her Cake Bible and Baking Bible and never run out of kitchen fun.
The Cookie Book (1954) by Culinary Arts Institute, Part of the Encyclopedia of Food (Volume 17) (Amazon) (eBay)
A month or two after an elderly neighbor passed away, her family had an estate sale. I picked up the entire Encyclopedia of Cooking (24 volumes) in the original binder. Although Helen didn’t write in any of the little booklets, I can tell they were books she valued, as several pages contain cut-out recipe place-savers. You know how much I love that.
Chapters include: Rolled Cookies; Filled Cookies; Molded Cookies; Refrigerator Cookies; Drop Cookies; Cookie Bars; Curled Wafers; Macaroons, Meringues and Kisses; and Christmas Cookies.
For many of you, this cookbook won’t quite match your modern expectations. You won’t find pages of images (very few contain pics of the cookie) nor ingredients measured by weight, and it’s in black-and-white (even the photos). But I still love it. No, there aren’t intro paragraphs to read, but there are clever photo captions. Not every recipe will be a “win,” but I am taken in by plenty, from the Caramel Sour Cream Cookies, Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies, and Honey Orange Crisps, to Scottish Shortbread, Rich Chocolate Teas, and Fudgies. Do remember that during the time of this cookbook, shortening was a term for butter and margarine, not hydrogenated vegetable shortening.
The Cookie Collection: Artisan Baking for the Cookie Enthusiast (2019) by Brian Hart Hoffman (Amazon) (eBay)
Do you know Bake From Scratch? Many recipes are ripped from the magazine, so if you want to downsize your mag stash or lack issues, this cookie cookbook will fill in the gaps. Cookbooks from editor Brian Hart Hoffman are always inspiring, so it’s not hard to elevate your cookie baking with the precise direction and inspiring images found in this 200-page, 9 x 1.25 x 10.5-inch gourmet cookie book.
Chapters include: Unknown.
These books feel good in your hand. Everything about them screams, “Well done!” to me. Tahini and Milk Chocolate Chip Cookies, S’mores Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Snickerdoodle Sablés, and Black Cocoa Sandwich Cocoa Cookies are a feast for the eyes, though you may need to do some serious pantry stocking to find the less common items. From the page quality to the seriously incredible photos and the accessible directions, these recipes won’t disappoint if you enjoy cookie recipes that are different from the norm.
Cookie Cookery (1969) by John J. Zenker and Hazel G. Zenker (Amazon) (eBay)
Oh, I wish my copy of this book had the dust jacket because it is just fantastic, with three tiers of lovely assorted cookies on a maroon background. At 319 pages, the book is a typical book kind of size which doesn’t make it ideal for cooking. You’ll need to prop it open. There are minimal images, so don’t go into this one looking for visual inspiration. But to me, this cookbook reads as a classic.
Chapters include (as listed): Cookie Helpers; Almond Cookies; Bars, Fingers, Squares, and Sticks; Brownies; Butterscotch, Caramel, and Maple Cookies; Chocolate Cookies; Coconut Cookies Cones, Cornucopias, Crescents—”Horns;” Fruit-Filled Cookies; Ginger and Molasses Cookies; Holiday Cookies; Honey Cookies; Ladyfingers; Lemon Cookies; Macaroons; Marzipan; Meringues and Kisses; Oatmeal Cookies; Peanut Cookies; Pecan Cookies; Petits Fours; Poppy-Seed Cookies; Refrigerator Cookies; Spritz Cookies; Sugar Cookies; Vanilla Cookies; Walnut Cookies; and Fillings, Icings, and Frostings: Fillings for Cookies; Icings and Frostings (Bottoms, Coatings, Toppings, Whips).
Hazel’s Chocolate Chips, Chocolate Mounds, Polka-Dot Cookies (they use raspberry jam), and Granny’s Sugar Cookies caught my eye (I love a good sugar cookie). Each recipe has a table with the ingredients and the method. Then there are special instructions, oven temperature, baking time, and yield. It’s a different setup, but I don’t mind it. It will help if you know what you are doing. All in all, this is a great cookie cookbook.
Cookie Love: More Than 60 Recipes and Techniques for Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary (2015) by Mindy Segal with Kate Leahy (Amazon) (eBay)
Mindy was nominated for Outstanding Pastry Chef in the US five years in a row by the James Beard Foundation, had a James Beard Award win in 2012, plus features in food mags and publications you know and trust. Mindy is also the owner of the Hot Chocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar, now Mindy’s Bakery, in Chicago for 15 years. It’s 296 pages of cookie-loving fun in an 8.25 x 1 x 9.3-inch book. Feel like you went to baking school without leaving your kitchen.
Chapters include: Drop Cookies, Shortbread, Sandwich Cookies, Egg White Cookies, Spritz and Thumbprints, Twice-Baked Cookies, Rugelach and Kolachkes, Bars, and Basics.
A chapter featuring cookies that need egg white? I’m in! The youngest loves meringues, so that’s what I usually bake when I have extras, but I would enjoy branching out. Recipes use extra large eggs, just so you know. Recipes for Chocolate Chip Cookies, “Any Which Way But You Will Never Lose” Snickerdoodles, and Oatmeal Scotchies are recognizable staples, but then the recipes begin to diverge into the unknown. Smoky Bacon Candy Bar Cookies, Smoked Almond Shortbread with Orange Blossom and Raspberry Framboise, Graham Cracker, and Passion Fruit Whoopie Cookies are some of the more unique recipes, but “unique” is the common theme in this one.
Cookie Lover’s Cookbook (2003) by AllRecipes (Amazon) (eBay)
At first, I was all set to tell you to skip this title in favor of the 2001 AllRecipes Tried and True Cookies cookbook (mentioned below). But then I realized this version is a partial overlap of recipes. Those that don’t overlap sound tasty, with a soft chocolate, chocolate chip cookie given to the woman by her grandma 10 years ago and a melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter cookie recipe. Oh, the Whipped Shortbread Cookies claim to feature that cookie softness I crave too.
Chapters include: Drop Cookies, Refrigerator Cookies, Shaped Cookies, and Squares and Bars.
This is not a large cookbook. At 48 pages (with the index in there), it’s just a little guy. That doesn’t mean it isn’t valuable. If you like the way AllRecipes shares a little intro sentence or two, recipe call-outs with tips and tricks, and a clean design — this book is for you.
Cookies (1987) by Natalie Hartanov Haughton (Amazon) (eBay)
There are two versions of this book. One is a paperback copy, while the other is a mass-market paperback. Same publication year, same recipes—different covers. I haven’t had my copy for a week yet, and I already want to earmark the heck out of it with my animal Post-It notes. I’d enjoy Chocolate Hello Dollies (chocolate!), Bullets (the author’s sister’s favorite cookie as a kid), Honey Crunchies (which would be perfect during car trips), Raspberry Swirls (beautiful), and the Sinfully Rich Fudgy Brownies (because of the chocolate-marshmallow frosting and lovely image).
Chapters include: Cookie Basics; Successful Cookie Baking; Cookie Ingredients; Cookie Equipment and Storage; Cookie Gifts and Parties; Bar Cookies; Drop Cookies; Refrigerator Cookies; Rolled, Cut, and Molded Cookies; Traditional Cookies; Entertaining and Holiday Cookies; Masterplan and Mix Cookies; Lunch Box and Travel Cookies; Easy Enough for Kids; and Specialty Cookies.
This cookbook offers multiple cookie recipes on a page, but they are in a nice, larger-than-usual font size. With 160 pages, the 10 3/4 x 8 1/2-inch cookbook is a convenient magazine size. Don’t expect images with every recipe, but there are still images; some not only of a finished product but a specific step — like how to make Peanut Butter Blossoms or a candy cane-shaped holiday cookie. I’m so glad I picked up this cookbook. We are going to have many happy hours together.
Cookies The New Classics A Baking Book (2021) by Jesse Szewczyk (Amazon) (eBay)
These are not your mama’s cookies and in no way resemble those made by your grandma or grandpa either. Fine applewood smoking chips, dark muscovado sugar, liquid smoke, and unsulphured molasses are some of the more uncommon ingredients I’ve seen in this Jesse Szewczyk work of art.
Chapters include: Let’s Make Cookies, Ingredients, Tools and Equipment, Chocolaty, Boozy, Fruity, Nutty, Tart, Spiced, Smoky, and Savory.
Maple and Cinnamon Chocolate Moon Pies with Maple Marshmallow Crème, Double Mint Chocolate Chunk Cookies, Chocolate Hazelnut Wedges, and Cinnamon Rum Raisin Oatmeal Cookies are a small selection for you to consider. While I’m not sure how I feel about making cookies with raisins in them, that is a fun twist. If you enjoy trying different flavor combinations and aren’t afraid of having to stock your pantry with unfamiliar ingredients — meet your dream cookbook. It’s vibrant, it’s fun, and the images are gorgeous. Discover 100 cookie recipes in the 7.67 x 0.81 x 9.78 inches book.
Cooking Class Chocolate Cookies and Brownies Cookbook (1994) by Publications International, Ltd. (Amazon) (eBay)
Need images? You’ve got pictures with each and every recipe. Moreover, each recipe includes a sidebar call-out demonstrating a particular step of the recipe. You might see how to press dough into a cake pan or piping dough onto a cookie sheet. It’s 94 pages of cookie discovery.
Chapters include: Class Notes, Quick as a Wink, Chips Galore, Family Favorites, Brownies, and Extra Special.
My picks are the Orange-Walnut Chippers, Double-Dipped Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, Surprise Cookies (a nice-looking customizable filled cookie), and Marshmallow Sandwich Cookies. Okay, I’m evidently feeling like some sort of chocolate and marshmallow combination because that’s the third time I’ve honed in on such an animal. Join me in the kitchen, won’t you? With this book, you can’t go wrong.
Crazy for Cookies, Brownies, and Bars: Super-Fast, Made-from-Scratch Sweets, Treats, and Desserts (2022) by Dorothy Kern (Amazon) (eBay)
Dorothy loves dessert as much as we do. More than 85 recipes, plus a photo with each, form this 208-page, 8.65 x 0.85 x 10.25-inch cookbook. With tips and twists, plus an easy-to-view sidebar containing important info like yield, prep time, chill time (if applicable), and bake time; this is a cookie cookbook you’ll use.
Chapters include: Let’s Get Crazy About Cookies; Cookie Jar Favorites; Brownies; Blondies and Bars; Cookie Cakes, Skillet Bakes, and Cups—Oh My!; Crazy Cookies; Stuffed and Sandwiches; No Oven, No Problem: No-Bake Cookies and Bars; and For Man’s Best Friend” Dog Cookies for Your BFF.
Yes, Dorothy included a chapter for dog cookies, but it’s only three recipes, so those in dog-less households won’t have a book full of irrelevant recipes. If you have a dog, enjoy three treats recipes for your pup. Now, let’s look at Dorothy’s other (people-friendly) recipes for cookies. Salted Butterscotch Cookies, Lemon Poppyseed Thumbprints, Raspberry Almond Spirals, Margarita Bars, and Mint Chip Brownies sound rather delightful, don’t you think?
Dorie’s Cookies (2016) by Dorie Greenspan (Amazon) (eBay)
Technique, tools, ingredients…you’ll learn plenty before you ever flip on the oven in the 9 x 1.43 x 9-inch, 528-page cookbook. There is something about Dorie that makes you trust her. She seems real. Do you know what I mean?
Chapters include: Introduction; The Perfect-Cookie Handbook: Techniques, Ingredients, and Gear; Brownies, Bars, Break-Ups, and Biscotti; Cookies for Every Day, Any Day; Cookies for Weekends; Holidays, and Other Celebrations; The Beurre and Sel Collection; Cocktail Cookies; and Cookie Go-Alongs and Basics.
Dorie talked about how she invented a new cookie in her sleep, and I created a pie (a family favorite still today). Isn’t that funny? I bet plenty of you are out there reading this and nodding your heads, too, because you’ve done the same thing! Aren’t we a fun bunch? Speaking of fun, that is the key word to this cookbook. The rest of the class will turn to page 42 for Salted Chocolate-Caramel Bars or to page 242 for Little Rascals or to page 371 for Coconut Patties (how unique is that method?). More than typical cookie recipes, like chocolate chip cookies, shortbread, and oatmeal, this book has a LARGE run of unfamiliar cookie recipes with an international flavor. Two giant cookies raised for this one.
Fabulous Modern Cookies: Lessons in Better Baking for Next-Generation Treats (2022) by Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin (Amazon) (eBay)
Admire more than 100 cookie recipes in this 360-page, 8.1 x 0.8 x 8.1-inch book. Venture beyond the usual cookie flavors. These recipes could include ingredients like BBQ sauce or hazelnut liqueur. Choose between volume or weight to bake up the perfect cookie.
Chapters Include: Bar Cookies; Drop Cookies; Rolled Cookies; Slice-and-Bake Cookies; Filled, Stuffed, and Sandwiched Cookies; Piped, Shaped, Molded, and No-Bake Cookies; Savory Cookies; and Fillings and Other Additional Recipes.
Bake up a batch of Salted Caramel Sugar Cookies, Pumpkin Snickercrinkles, Peanut Butter Cup Cut-Out Cookies, and Orange Harvest Spice Cookies. Can’t you just smell them baking? Enjoy this lovely cookie collection from frequent cookie award winners Chris Taylor and Paul Arguin.
Food Writer’s Favorites: Cookies (1991) Edited by Barbara Gibbs Ostmann and Jane Baker (Amazon) (eBay)
Are you familiar with this series? Each book is short and sweet but crammed with the favorite recipes from people behind all kinds of food publications. Newspaper editors, columnists, cookbook authors, and freelance food writers shared their favorite cookie recipes over 160 pages (no images). Every recipe has a paragraph of story or explanation.
Chapters include: Information about MADD, Contributing Writers, Introduction, Cookie Basics, Drop Cookies, Molded Cookies, Rolled Cookies, No-Bake Cookies, Cookies that Travel Well, and Bar Cookies.
Browse through the Contributing Writers, their papers, and locations, and then get to the good stuff. Cherry-Filled Cookies, Hazelnut Chocolate Cookies, or Persimmon Cookies. A scant number of recipes begin with a cake mix or other packaged item. Very few. Entertaining stories, mostly homemade recipes, and a variety of cookies draw me to this book every time.
Homemade Cookies (1971) by Farm Journal (Amazon) (eBay)
If you’ve already read my post about Farm Journal cookbooks or the editor of so many, Nell B. Nichols, then feel free to toodle right along. If not, take a look at this cookie classic. You’ve got to love vintage cookbooks. From the cover to the interior, this cookbook is pure magic.
Chapters include: Choice Homemade Cookies from Countryside America, How to Bake Good Cookies Every Time, How to Pack Cookies for Mailing, Bar Cookies, Drop Cookies, Rolled Cookies, Refrigerator Cookies, Molded Cookies, Pressed Cookies, Meringue Cookies, Cookie Confections, Pie-Bar Dessert Cookies, Ready-Made Cookies, Cookies to Make from a Mix, Cookies Children will Love to Make, and Cookies for Special Occasions.
I’ve said it before, but I do love this Farm Journal cookbook. Flip through 320 pages featuring 460 recipes. I always find something new I’d like to try. Molasses Wagon Wheels (a “stripe” of frosting makes the spokes), Frosted Drop Brownies, Lemon/Almond Riches, and French Chocolate Pie Squares. Ooh, la la!
Good Housekeeping The Best-Ever Cookie Book: 175 Tested-’til-Perfect Recipes for Crispy, Chewy & Ooey-Gooey Treats by Good Housekeeping and Jane Francisco (Amazon) (eBay)
This cookbook may not include weight measurements, but surely you wouldn’t let a little thing like that get in your way, right? An image, a tip, and plenty of encouragement along the way accompany each recipe in the 224-page book. It is a cookbook best for newer bakers looking for simplicity or seasoned bakers who love the brand and want to try new-to-them traditional recipes.
Chapters include: Bake Your Best Cookies; Drop Cookies; Slice & Bake Cookies; Bars, Blondies, and Brownies; Spectacular Cookie Creations; and Let’s Celebrate!
Spiced Cookie Dough, Chocolate-Pistachio Slice and Bakes, Lemon-Thyme Coins, Millionaire Shortbread, and Oatmeal Cream Pies might have you hurrying to the kitchen to turn on the oven. It’s a lovely 8.31 x 1 x 9.3-inch cookbook that rookie bakers will use often in the months and years ahead.
Good Housekeeping’s Book of Cookies (1958) by Good Housekeeping (Amazon) (eBay)
Appealing illustrations in muted colors, the occasional black-and-white photograph, and one-sentence intros form a sweet 70-page vintage cookbook you might do more than just read. After all, these are cookie recipes from the 1950s. Remember that recipes listing shortening mean butter or margarine, so you will need to adjust accordingly. If a recipe DOES want you to use shortening, shortening, it will read as “Vegetable Shortening” under the ingredients.
Chapters include: Tips; Cookies to Mold; Filled Cookies; Drop and Bake; Refrigerator Cookies; Premed Cookies; Bars and Squares; If It’s a Gift; Storing, Freezing, Mailing Cookies; Roll-and-Cut Cookies; Packaged-Mix Cookies; Cookies-in-a-Hurry; No-Bakes; Frostings and Glazes; and Decorating Petit-Fours Cookies.
Yes, some recipes begin with a packaged mix of brownies or cookie mix (among others), but the excellent retro illustrations make it easy to forgive. Those recipes are contained in the chapter “Packaged-Mix Cookies,” and not scattered throughout. Chocolate Dips, Israeli Honey Cookies, Real Orange Cookies, Peanut Whirligigs, Swedish Spice Cookies, and Chocolate Halfways would still fit our modern taste.
Great Cookies: Secrets to Sensational Sweets (2003) by Carole Walter (Amazon) (eBay)
Carole explains everything. Most recipes have an image of the finished product (not all, most). Recipes aren’t crowded together. Each recipe receives a one, two, or more-page spread, depending on the length of the intro, the ingredients, the number of steps involved, and the image (if applicable) to make a 416-page, 7.75 x 1.15 x 10.35-inch cookie cookbook. A small sidebar within each recipe lists three “cookie characteristics.” These include a long shelf life, travel well, versatile, temperature sensitive, festive, or home-style. Then, you might find another call-out on the page to tell you the secrets to a tremendous specific kind of cookie or some other helpful tip.
Chapters include: The Cookies; Hand-Formed Cookies; Big Boys; Cold Cuts; Pipe and Press; Roll Call; Rugelach and Others; Bake a Batch of Bars; Around the World; Biscotti and Such; Meringues and Macaroons; Fillings, Glazes, et Cetera. Part II: The Teacher’s Secrets for Sensational Cookies, About Ingredients, About Equipment, Techniques, Troubleshooting, and Specialty Sources.
Black Beauties, Zach’s Chocolate Coconut Devils, Chocolate Cappuccino Cheesecake Squares, Coconut Lemon-Lime Tassies, and Chocolate-Glazed Marshmallow Mounds beg for baking. Carole includes storage directions with each and every recipe, so you never have to guess how to store your cookies, for how long, or if you can freeze them.
The International Cookie Cookbook (1993) by Nancy Baggett (Amazon) (eBay)
There are two versions of this book. The first is the 1988 hardcover version with 150 recipes and more than 60 full-color images within 256 pages, while the 1993 paperback version contains 140 recipes and 55 full-color photos over 240 pages.
Chapters include: Baking Cookies: The Basics, American and Canadian Cookies, Latin American Cookies, British Isles Cookies, Scandinavian Cookies, Western European Cookies, Southern European Cookies, and Eastern European Cookies.
What’s the perk of working on an international cookie cookbook? “It has given me the excuse to spend hours with old recipe files and heirloom cookbooks, and the opportunity to “know” several fine home bakers of past generations from the recipes and baking notes they left behind,” writes Nancy in her introduction. With cookies like Buttercream Sandwiches, Pennsylvania Dutch Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, Welsh Country Fair Cookies, and Yugoslavian Cinnamon-Honey Cookies, you know the recipe testing was the best time ever.
The International Cookie Jar (1975) by Anita Borghese (Amazon) (eBay)
This book was published in 1975, long before the Internet. So, how do you amass a collection of great International cookies? You reach out to home cooks and tourist departments and ask for recipes. At least, that’s what I glean from her long list of acknowledgments. These cookie recipes represent almost 70 nations, aren’t too labor intensive (usually), and were chosen because they are “typical of the type made in its native land.” They are the real deal, tested by the author and her mother. Cute.
Chapters include: Before You Begin to Bake You’ll Want to Know These Things; Cookies from Europe and Eastern Europe; Cookies From Africa and the Middle East; Cookies from the Far East, Pacific Islands, and Australia; Cookies from North America and the West Indies; and Cookies from Central America and South America.
Below each chapter heading, Anita lists the cookie’s location, name, and translated name, plus the page number. View the countries for fun. Here’s a sampling: Syria, Albania, Poland, Philippines, Japan, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Korea, and Tibet. No country is repeated. Okay, so you won’t find images, but illustrations next to every cookie name give you an idea of the finished product. Other pictures add a little pizzazz to a page or demonstrate the “how,” like how to make a crescent-shaped cookie (page 29) or how to make a pocket cookie (page 109). I love everything about this cookbook.
The King Arthur Baking Company Essential Cookie Companion (2021) by King Arthur Baking Company (Amazon) (eBay)
Do I need to sell you on King Arthur Baking Company Cookbooks? You may better know the brand by its former name, The King Arthur Flour Company. They produce recipe-rich cookbooks like the hefty The King Arthur Baking School. Detailed, precise, and thorough; the most common complaint about KAF books is a lack of images — and this book is no different. Do you know the America’s Test Kitchen brand of cookbooks? It will remind you of those. Cookie Companion is a revised and updated version of the 2004 King Arthur Flour Cookie Cookbook. If you want to learn technique without attending baking school, check it out.
Chapters include: Introduction, Getting Started, The Essentials, Bars and Squares, Drop Cookies, Roll-Out Cookies, Shaped Cookies, Batter Cookies, No-Bake Cookies, The Finishing Touch, and Ingredients.
With a cookbook this size, it feels almost silly to give you five or so cookie titles, but that’s what I’m going to do. Butterscotch-Granola Chippers, Candy Bar Cookies, Cherry-Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies, Dutch Chocolate-Almond Biscotti, Café au Lait Bars, and Marlita’s Chocolate-Raspberry Bars should be enough to tempt you.
Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Cookies (1977) by Maida Heatter (Amazon) (eBay)
“Two women shared the same prison cell for twenty years. At the end of that time, one of the women was released. The guards led her out through the front gates. As the gates closed behind her she ran back screaming, “Mary, Mary, I forgot to tell you something.” I felt like that woman when, after working for years on a dessert cookbook, I finally mailed the finished manuscript to the publisher. And then I suddenly remembered a whole batch of great cookie recipes that I had forgotten to include. They were the beginning of this collection,” writes Maida in her Introduction. And just like that, you know you are into something good. Of course, you are. It’s a Maida Heatter cookbook, for cryin’ out loud!
Chapters Include: Introduction, Equipment, Ingredients, Procedures, Drop Cookies, Bar Cookies, Icebox Cookies, Rolled Cookies, Hand-Formed Cookies, and Et Cetera.
At 278 pages, the 9 1/2 x 6 1/2-inch book is a typical non-cookbook size, so yes, you’ll need to prop it open. That’s a small price to pay for all the vintage lovelies inside. Yes, you can go after Maida Heatter’s 2020 Cookies are Magic, but it’s a compilation of her top 100 recipes. The new book is bold, dotted with cute illustrations inside, and easy to read. None of Maida’s books include images, just so ya know. But if you stick with acquiring her vintage cookbooks, you’ll have all her recipes eventually, like Big Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cookies, Swedish Honey Cookies, and Weinerstrube Cookies.
Maida Heatter’s Brand-New Book of Great Cookies (1995) by Maida Heatter (Amazon) (eBay)
“Maida’s first cookie book, published twenty years ago, inspired a generation of cookie bakers. Her new book defines the art of the cookie for the twenty-first century,” reads the interior book flap. Except for the chocolate chip cookies, they are all-new recipes. I love her cover, with the illustration in the book flap to tell you the names of the cookies. It’s fun — as are the rest of the 249 pages in the 6.25 x 0.75 x 9.5-inch book.
Chapters include: Happiness is Baking Cookies, In the Kitchen, Biscotti and Zwieback, Bar Cookies, Drop Cookies, Cookies that are Dropped and Rolled Between Your Hands, Icebox Cookies, Rolling Pin Cookies, Cookies Shaped by Hand or with a Pastry Bag or Cookie Press, and Et Cetera.
No images, as is typical with Maida books, BUT explanatory recipes guide you along. Chocolate-Chunk-Coconut-Peanut-Butter Cookies (as she wrote it), Light-as-Air Cookies, Saturday Night Meringues (my youngest loves meringues), and Sweet Pretzels. If you enjoy reading cookbooks, you’ll like Maida’s. If you enjoy baking from cookbooks, you’ll also like Maida’s.
Martha Stewart’s Cookies: The Very Best Treats to Bake and to Share (2008) by Martha Stewart Living Magazine (Amazon) (eBay)
This was the first Martha Stewart cookies cookbook, and some still prefer it to the newer version below. You’ll view 175 cookie recipes and variations, images with each recipe, and (of course) decorating ideas and gifting tips in a 7.46 x 0.93 x 9.18-inch, 352-page book.
Chapters include: Cookie Recipes: Light and Delicate, Rich and Dense, Chunky and Nutty, Soft and Chewy, Crispy and Crunchy, Crumbly and Sandy, and Cakey and Tender; Tools and Techniques; Packaging and Giving; and Sources.
Do you know what I absolutely love? After you flip past the contents, see all the cookies in this book underneath a “texture” heading. Isn’t that neat? Pistachio Lemon Drops, Raspberry Cream Sandwiches (raspberry!), Vanilla Malted Cookies, Lemon-Apricot Sandwiches (look adorable), and so many more I can’t even decide what I’d make first. Expect a cookbook to read and bake with, using well-written recipes in Martha Stewart’s signature style.
Martha Stewart’s Cookie Perfection: 100+ Recipes to Take Your Sweet Treats to the Next Level (2019) by Martha Stewart (Amazon) (eBay)
Meet another “must-have” cookie cookbook if you are the kind of baker who wants to spend a little more time to making something jaw-dropping gorgeous. Prepare to be “wowed” by this 256-page, 7.54 x 0.89 x 9.38 inch-cookbook. Martha cookbooks don’t skimp on images, so expect to find sweet inspiration on almost every page.
Chapters include: All Dressed Up, Classics with a Twist, Some Assembly Required, Giant Cookies, Tools of the Trade, Cookies by Any Other Name, Celebration Cookies, and The Basics.
Plan ahead for many of these cookies since chilling dough or making multi-part sandwich cookies, or shaping dough runs to the norm. Check out more images of cookies from this book on the Martha Stewart Blog. After looking at all the cookie possibilities, I’m completely sold. Any baker looking for cookie projects beyond a basic drop cookie needs to get their hot little hands on this one.
The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Foolproof Cookies, Brownies, and Bars (2017) by America’s Test Kitchen (Amazon) (eBay)
Devour cookies galore in a 448-page, 8.88 x 1.19 x 10.31-inch cookbook. If you feel like you need pictures, each recipe in this cookie compendium includes a full-page image. As is the norm in America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks, you’ll see tips and tricks scattered throughout.
Chapters include: Drop Cookies; Slice and Bake Sweets; Rolled, Shaped, and Pressed; Sublime Sandwich Cookies; Let’s Get Fancy; Brownies and Blondies; Let’s Get Fancy; Brownies and Blondies; Bar Cookies; No-Bake Cookies and Candies; Christmas Cookies; and You’ll Never Know They’re Gluten-Free.
Try your hand at Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies, Chocolate Turtle Cookies, Glazed Mint Butter Cookies, and Noche Buena Chocolate Sandwich Cookies. Tried-and-true, kitchen-tested, and darn good cookies won’t steer you wrong.
Pillsbury Best Cookies Cookbook (1997) by Pillsbury (Amazon) (eBay)
My copy of this 256-page, 7.76 x 0.81 x 8.77-inch cookbook is jacked up. It didn’t have the dust cover, and now the binding has broken, so my pages sit inside here, there, and everywhere. Finding a recipe takes patience, I tell you what. Yet it’s worth it. I have been writing my notes in it for over a decade, and I’ve made over a dozen recipes from it. Each page includes the usual recipe layout (but not necessarily an image). They also hold high altitude instructions, nutrition info, and (my favorite) sidebar blurbs that give you an ingredient substitution idea, how to make it look pretty, a kitchen tip, a fact about an ingredient, or some other note. Some recipes include tags near the title like “Editor’s Favorite,” “Kid Pleaser,” or “Chocoholics Choice.”
Chapters include (and this was tough given the state of my cookbook): Cookie Know-How, Drop Cookies, Hand-Formed Cookies, Refrigerator Cookies, Rolled Cookies, Bars and Brownies, Holiday Cookies, and Bake-Off Favorites.
Each time I close the book, a cloud of flour fills the air. What can I say about the Pillsbury Best Cookies Cookbook other than it is worth every penny? It is just the best baking cookbook. We love the Cherry Chocolate Kisses, the Sunburst Lemon Bars, the M&M Cookies, the White Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and the Caramel Cream Sandwich Cookies. I could keep going.
Sally’s Cookie Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cookie Bars, Shortbread, and More from the Creator of Sally’s Baking Addiction (Volume 3) by Sally McKenney (Amazon) (eBay)
If you want a particular flavor, Sally makes it easy to find whatever cookie your heart desires in this 8.5 x 1 x 10.5-inch, 200-page cookbook. Are you feeling like chocolate? Head to her Serious Chocolate Cravings chapter. Do you want sprinkles? How fun! Yes, you’ll find a chapter for that too. Sally includes both cups and gram measurements, so whether you have a scale or not, baking up a batch of cookies won’t require extra math.
Chapters include: Family Favorites, All About Oats, Happy Holidays, Shortbread and Slice-and-Bakes Galore, The Sprinkle Chapter, Nuts About Nuts, Serious Chocolate Cravings, and Find Your Flavor.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies, Pinwheel Cookies, Chai Tea Spice Shortbread, and Iced Carrot Cake Oatmeal Cookies float my boat. Oh, and if you are a “make ahead” cookie baker, you’ll like how Sally includes instructions with each recipe, referencing an earlier chapter. “Sally Says” call-outs provide a generous dose of cookie baking or ingredient advice specific to the recipe. New cookie bakers will like the hand-holding elements, while seasoned cookie bakers will enjoy the mostly classic recipes (because we can’t help looking for our next new favorite cookie, can we?).
Taste of Home Cookies: 623 Irresistible Delights (2009) by Taste of Home (Amazon) (eBay)
More than 600 cookie recipes span this 384-page, 8.11 x 0.9 x 9.01-inch book. Following the typical Taste of Home crowd-sourced recipe format, some recipes are homemade, while others use packaged items. Many recipes include a couple of sentences offering up a story or tips (or both) in the same style as the magazine from which they are typically pulled.
Chapters include: Cookies 101, Cookie Jar Favorites, Chock-Full of Chips, Easy Drop Cookies, Timeless Slice and Bake, Shaped Sensations, Cookie Cutter Delights, Snazzy Sandwich Cookies, Unbeatable Brownies, Delectable Bars, Shortcut Creations, Christmas Classics, and Big Batch Bonanza.
Even ignoring all the recipes beginning with packaged stuff, I still see plenty I would be okay with mixing up. Toffee Chip Cookies, Lemon Butter Cookies, Lavender Cookies, Back-to-School Cookies, and Eggnog Thumbprints top my list. If you generally want simple recipes and clear directions, this is a great source to turn to.
Tried and True Cookies: Top 200 Recipes (2001) by AllRecipes (Amazon) (eBay)
It’s an AllRecipes community-sourced cookbook. I own it, and I love it. I’ve only made the Big, Soft Ginger Cookies out of here, but I have plenty of others earmarked. Raspberry Oatmeal Cookie Bars (you know me and raspberry), Banana Split Cookies, and Lemon Meltaways (because my life can always use more lemon).
Chapters include: Cookie Tips, Recipe Tips, Chocolate and Chocolate Chip, Sugar Cookies, Oatmeal and Peanut Butter, Spice Cookies, Bar Cookies, Special-Occasion Cookies, Cookie Mixes, and Recipe Contributors.
No images, but each recipe has its own page — whether it’s a lengthy recipe or not. Spoiler alert: Most recipes are short, so these aren’t one of those “takes lots of planning” baking cookbooks. At 286 pages, the 7 x 0.75 x 9.25-inch book is an easy size to read, but you’ll likely need to prop it open when you bake with it. I use it, I’m excited to use it more, and I recommend it.
Williams-Sonoma Cookies (2002) by Marie Simmons (Amazon) (eBay)
These Williams-Sonoma cookbooks are excellent and well done. At 8.25 x 0.6 x 9 inches, and 120 pages, it’s the size where, once it’s broken in a little, it will have better luck staying open while you bake. Full-color images appear with each recipe, with a non-essential image highlighting a sidebar call-out (like a note on chocolate or grinding nuts, that type of thing).
Chapters include: The Classics, Cookies for Kids, Party Cookies, Cookies for Giving, Holiday Cookies, and Decorated Cookies. Each chapter breaks down into cookie names and page numbers for easy flipping.
Neapolitan Cookies, Butterscotch Coconut Cookies, Coconut Macadamia Triangles, caught my eye right off. Almond Crisps Drizzled with Chocolate look like just the thing when company is coming, and you can’t fit in biscotti. Pistachio-Spice intrigues me (my youngest loves pistachios). I wish there were introductions with each cookie to give you an idea of why THIS is the recipe you should make, but at least we have images.
Cookbooks with Cookie Recipes
I thought you’d like to see the state of my poor Pillsbury Best Cookies cookbook. I wasn’t kidding. It’s sad. But it’s also so good. Do you have any cookie cookbook favorites I don’t know about? Do tell! Leave a comment below, and I’ll add it to the list.
Do share your beloved best baking cookbook too. I’ll update this article as new cookie cookbooks are rediscovered or newly published. Don’t forget to check out all the Christmas cookie cookbooks too.
So many good cookie recipes, so little time! I’m always drawn to the vintage and international baking books – an easy way to armchair travel or time travel, I guess. I see several on your list I must check out! A few favorites of mine I could recommend are Richard Sax’s “The Cookie Lovers Cookie Book” and Golde Hoffman Soloway’s “Golde’s Homemade Cookies”. Thanks for another great list!
Jessy Nunemaker says
That’s so right. I love seeing what other people are baking in their kitchens. Oh! I will definitely check those cookbooks out and add them to this list. Thank you!