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45 Secret-Ingredient Cookie Recipes

Step your cookie game up with these secret-ingredient cookie recipes.

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Sour Cream Drops

MY MOTHER is an excellent baker, and this is her recipe. Whether Mom makes these cookies or I do, they always disappear quickly. Friends rave about them and often ask me to bring them to get-togethers. My young children enjoy all kinds of cookies, but these are their favorites. -Tracy Betzler, Reston, Virginia
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Frosted Malted Milk Cookies

My family loves anything made with malt or chocolate malted milk balls, so these cookies are one of our favorites!—Nancy Foust, Stoneboro, Pennsylvania
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Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

With the perfect hint of rosemary and a classic buttery texture, these delicate cookies look and taste elegant. The fact that they’re very easy to prepare can be our little secret.
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Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies Exps Hrbz17 27195 C09 01 2b

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

These soft banana cookies have a cakelike texture and lots of flavor that everyone seem to love. It's one of the best banana cookie recipes I've found. —Vicki Raatz, Waterloo, Wisconsin
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Swedish Almond Rusks

Not too sweet, these nutty, crunchy cookies go well with a cup of hot coffee...and travel well in care packages, too!
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Butterscotch Toffee Cookies

With its big butterscotch and chocolate flavor, my cookie stands out. I like to enjoy it with a glass of milk or a cup of coffee. It’s my fallback recipe when I’m short on time and need something delicious fast. —Allie Blinder, Norcross, Georgia
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Air-Fryer Lemon Slice Sugar Cookies

Here's a refreshing variation of my grandmother's sugar cookie recipe. Lemon pudding mix and icing add a subtle tartness that tingles your taste buds. —Melissa Turkington, Camano Island, Washington
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S'mookies

S'mores are one of my favorite desserts. I wanted to create a cookie to replace the graham cracker—that's when my s'mookie was born. Just as delicious as the classic.—Maria Davis, Hermosa Beach, California
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Orange Shortbread with Spicy Dark Chocolate

Of all the cookies I've made over the years, shortbread is the one that won't last 24 hours in our house. My 11-year-old daughter is wild for dark chocolate and the cayenne pepper is hardly noticeable, but adds a sophisticated kick.—Holly Campbell, Palouse, Washington
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Potato Chip Banana Bread Cookies

My 5-year-old wanted to bake a cake with potato chips and bananas. I couldn't quite manage that, but I did combine two cookie recipes to create these. They are stunningly delicious, and everyone tells me they are addictive! —Rebecca Emmons, Tulsa, Oklahoma
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Hawaiian Dream Cookies

These cookies are lovely as they are, but I'll sometimes use a light-colored sanding sugar for the top: First, lightly brush the top cookie with cream, then sprinkle with sanding sugar. This can be done before or after placing the cookie on top of the filling. —Lorraine Caland, Shuniah, Ontario
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Easy Slice and Bake Cookies

These treats are larger than most slice-and-bake cookies, which I find to be quite nice. The great thing about these cookies is that you can slice however many you want at a time and enjoy them all warm from the oven. —Heather Chambers, Largo, Florida
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Mango Fudge Refrigerator Ribbon Cookies

I’ve always thought that a ribbon cookie is especially nice. Although it’s a single cookie, it really seems like two or three different cookies because of its lovely layers of flavor. These refrigerated ribbon cookies have a rich chocolate layer balanced by a bright orange-mango layer—a very special combination. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
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Mocha Meringue Sandwich Cookies

These crisp, chewy cookies can be made any size you choose. They're also great with a variety of fillings—try making them with fruit preserves. —Marie Valdes, Brandon, FL
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Ginger S'mores

I’ve spent a few years now perfecting this recipe to get a soft, flavorful cookie while balancing the marshmallow and chocolate so they don’t overpower the cookie. I think I finally got it! Recently I added orange zest—it really complements the other flavors. —Lynsay Benson, Minnetonka, Minnesota
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Soft Cornmeal Cookies

Combining humble ingredients can sometimes result in a delicious treat. Use these versatile cookie as the base for ice cream sandwiches or crumble them over strawberries and ice cream. —Gina Martin, Spooner, Wisconsin
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Salted Cashew & Caramel Chews

Nothing says "welcome home" like warm, gooey, chewy cookies right out of the oven with a cold glass of milk—mmm, heaven. You don't need a plate. Just grab and go. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Confetti Cake Batter Cookies

Mom and I took up cake decorating. Funfetti was our favorite cake, so we used the mix to make cutout cookies. Plain or decorated, they’re a fave at parties. —Danielle DeMarco, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
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Coffee-Glazed Molasses Cookies

I dreamed up these molasses cookies while sipping coffee and watching snow fall. The aroma from the baking cookies reaches all corners of the house. —Faith Ford, Big Lake, Minnesota
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Coconut Banana Cookies

This is a springtime variation on my grandma's banana drop cookies and, with tons of coconut flavor, it's perfect for Easter. —Elyse Benner, Solon, Ohio
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Mimosa Butter Cookies

You can add many different flavors to butter cookies to make them your own. Try an alternate type of citrus zest, or add an alternate liquid to change things up. —Sara Lark, Raton, New Mexico
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Cinnamon Chip Chai-Spiced Snickerdoodles

I love cinnamon chips, and this is an intriguing way to use them. Make sure to stock up on them during the holiday season so you have plenty to last during the year. —Marietta Slater, Justin, Texas
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Shortcut Coconut-Pecan Chocolate Tassies

You can garnish these cookies with pecan halves or a couple of chocolate chips before baking, or drizzle with a little melted chocolate after taking them out of the oven. —Deb Villenauve, Krakow, Wisconsin
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Sea Salt Mint White Mocha Cookies

This recipe came from my mom's Grandma Alice, who taught her how to bake. Grandma Alice always had a fresh plate of warm cookies on her counter. I learned some of her recipes by heart as a child, and I've been making these since high school. They taste like Christmas.—Kristin Bowers, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
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Coconut Lime And Pistachio Cookies Exps Thd18 225107 C07 26 2b 4

Coconut, Lime and Pistachio Cookies

Perfect for freezing, these cookies look like Christmas but taste like summer. —Barbara Crusan, Pass Christian, Mississippi
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Crystallized Gingerbread Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is the best of twp worlds—gingerbread and chocolate chip cookies. Since they're combined, you don't have to choose between them. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Chocolate Lebkuchen Cherry Balls

Here's my twist on the traditional German holiday lebkuchen—with a surprise inside. Maraschino cherries add a sweet and unexpected punch to the holiday spice of gingersnaps. —Arlene Erlbach, Morton Grove, Illinois
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Jamaican Chocolate Cookies with Caramel Creme

I made these for an office party cookie contest—and not a crumb was left on the platter! Sweet potatoes are the secret ingredient. Canned sweet potatoes will work, too, if you're short on time. —Noelle Myers, Grand Forks, North Dakota
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Lemon Blueberry Whoopie Pies

These whoopie pies are soft, cakey cookies studded with tart, juicy blueberries and filled with tangy cream cheese frosting. I take them to family and school events and they are always the first thing gone! Be sure to continually scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula while making the batter and frosting. —Kathy Martino, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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Air-Fryer Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

I am crazy about chocolate chips, and this chewy cookie has enough to satisfy me. My husband and kids love these cookies. This big batch is perfect for our family. —Diane Neth, Menno, South Dakota
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Grandma Brubaker's Orange Cookies

At least two generations of my family have enjoyed the recipe for these delicate orange-flavored cookies. —Sheri DeBolt, Huntington, Indiana
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Sacher Torte Cookies

This cookie recipe will be a hit whether you are making it for your family or for a potluck. Apricot is traditional but you can choose whichever fruit preserves you prefer.—Audrey Thibodeau, Gilbert, Arizona
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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm one of the cooking project leaders for my daughter's 4-H club, where these soft, delicious cookies were a great hit with the kids. —Marietta Slater, Augusta, Kansas
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Chocolate Malted Cookies

These cookies are the next best thing to a good old-fashioned malted milk. With malted milk powder, chocolate syrup, plus chocolate chips and chunks, these are the best cookies I've ever tasted…and with six kids, I've made a lot of cookies over the years! —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
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Soft Zucchini Spice Cookies

These cookies are fantastic. They don't last very long at my house. Why don't you see how long they will last at yours? —Mili Seemar, Chatham, New Jersey
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Butterfinger Cookies

These great cookies don't last long—make a double batch! —Carol Kitchens, Ridgeland, Mississippi
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Lemon Zucchini Drops

When we lived on the East Coast, a nearby fruit and vegetable stand had a bakery featuring these soft, cakelike cookies. We missed every bite when we moved away, so I developed this recipe. —Barbara Franklin, Tucson, Arizona
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Toffee Chip Thins

In an attempt to create the "ultimate" cookie, I took the best features from my favorite recipes to create this sweet, crisp cookie. My family can't get enough of them. —Lynae Lang, Wolf Point, Montana
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Potato Chip Crunchies

When my family comes home, I like having treats ready for them. No matter what's on the cookie tray, these are always the first to vanish. —Dorothy Buiter, Worth, Illinois
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Giant Spice Cookies

I heard this cookie recipe over the radio about 1950—shortly after my husband and I married. The big spicy treats are so nice and chewy, they remain my favorite to this day. —Sandy Pyeatt, Tacoma, Washington
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Coffee Shortbread

You'll be remembered for these cookies when you serve them for a morning coffee or at a gathering. Melted chips drizzled on top make them look fancy, but they're so easy to make. —Dixie Terry, Goreville, Illinois
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Orange Slice Cookies

Soft candy orange slices are a refreshing addition to these crispy vanilla chip cookies from Britt Strain, Idaho Falls, Idaho. To quickly cut the orange candy, use scissors, rinsing the blades with cold water occasionally to reduce sticking.
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S'more Sandwich Cookies

Capture the taste of campfire s'mores in your kitchen. Graham cracker crumbs added to chocolate chip cookie dough bring out the flavor of the fireside favorite. Melting the cookies' marshmallow centers in the microwave makes them simple to assemble. —Abby Metzger, Larchwood, Iowa
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Coffeehouse Caramel-Dark Chocolate-Latte Cookie

These taste like my favorite coffee house drink in cookie form. They're crispy outside, but soft in the middle. —Angela Spengler, Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
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Ultimate Candy Bar Cookies

I created these after Halloween, when I had way too much candy left over. You can make them with any mini chocolate candy, but if you use peanut butter cups, throw them in the freezer just before unwrapping so the chocolate won’t stick to the paper. —Tara John, Plymouth, Minnesota

Rashanda Cobbins
When Rashanda’s not tasting and perfecting Taste of Home’s recipes, you’ll find this food editor sifting through our recipe collection, curating digital content or tracking the latest culinary trends. While studying for her bachelor’s degree in culinary arts, Rashanda interned in Southern Living’s test kitchen and later spent nearly a decade developing recipes and food content at ConAgra Brands. In her spare time, she loves scoping out local farmers markets and having picnics in the park.
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