The Midwest's Best Cookie Recipes
Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
These cookies come with a friendly warning: Chewy caramel, toasted pecans and a flurry of sea salt will make you popular. Very popular. A product called caramel bits gives these cookies great flavor and chewy texture. Some supermarkets carry them, and they’re widely available online. (Search for Kraft Caramel Bits.) Take care to follow recipe directions when baking: caramel bits melt quickly.
S'More Cookies, Please
Cinnamon, brown sugar, oats and finely crushed grahams shape this moist cookie made even more irresistible with a thumbprint filling of marshmallow creme and an upside-down milk chocolate candy.
Our Own Dream Cookies
It's not easy satisfying everyone, but this cookie from the Midwest Living® Test Kitchen tries to meet the challenge! It's packed with oatmeal, chocolate, peanut butter and nuts.
Caramel Apple Cookies
Chopped apple, pecans, apple juice, apple pie spice and more combine for a hearty, delicious cookie. The frosting and nuts add just the right touch of sweetness and crunch on top.
Lemon-Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Irresistible tangy lemon and rich pecans flavor one of the easiest cookies around: buttery shortbread. Serve with a cool dish of ice cream in the summer or a hot cup of tea in winter.
Mrs. Truman's Coconut Cookies
Here's our version of Bess Truman's coconut cookie recipe from the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri. We added the fruit.
Orange-Ginger Cookie Sandwiches
A round cookie cutter with scalloped edges makes a nice shape for these cookies, but bell, tree or star cutters would also be good choices for the holidays.
Opal's Walnut Shortbread Cookies
Patrick Groth, owner-chef of Incredibly Delicious bakery in Springfield, Illinois, uses his grandmother's recipe for these cookies. "Use the best walnuts you have and fresh butter," he advises.
Fantasy Chocolate-Caramel Delights
"I love caramel, nuts and chocolate," says the Mandan, North Dakota, reader who sent this recipe to a Midwest Living® cookie contest. Fantasy Chocolate-Caramel Delights were one of the highest-rated cookies in the contest.
The recipe for these sweet and spicy cookies comes from the Warren family in Stanley, Kansas. The gingersnaps are a favorite at family gatherings.
Chocolatey Shortbread Bites
Because this recipe makes so many cookies, you might want to freeze some dough for future use. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week. Or freeze in a freezer container for up to 6 months; thaw in refrigerator before use.
Peanut Butter Munchies
A Hanover, Kansas, reader sent the recipe for these chocolate cookies with peanut butter centers to a Midwest Living® cookie contest. A judge described them as "regally rich chocolate with a peanut butter kick."
Double Chocolate-Cherry Cookies
Carol Schneider of Wausau, Wisconsin, brought home a blue ribbon when she entered these cookies at the Wisconsin State Fair. The recipe combines white and semisweet chocolate with dried cherries and walnuts.
Kansas Sunflower Cookies
Chocolate, raisins, pecans, almonds, brown sugar--this recipe has it all, in an easy drop cookie.
Hazelnut-Chocolate Chunk Cookies
We loaded these crisp and chewy chocolate chip cookies with white and chocolate chips along with toasted hazelnuts.
Aunt Hilda's Sugar Dream Cookies
The recipe for these big, soft sugar cookies was contributed by Mellissa Deyo, former owner of Jerabek's Bohemian Coffeehouse and Bakery in Saint Paul. "It's my Great-Aunt Hilda's recipe, which has been in my dad's family for 50 years or more," Mellissa says. "It's my favorite!"
Linda Roberts of Rapid City, South Dakota, tops her buttery cream cheese, coconut-coated cookie with fruit jam.
Chocolate Nut Revels
A luscious chocolate and pecan mixture swirls throughout these festive cookies.
Awesome Chocolate-Peanut Blowout Cookies
What makes these cookies so awesome? "Special ingredients," says the Marion, Ohio, reader who contributed the recipe, which includes chocolate and peanut butter. "I like them because they're decadent yet so easy to make."
Triple-Flavored Big-Batch Cookies
Chocolate chips, peanut butter and oatmeal pack these cookies from a Door County, Wisconsin, bed-and-breakfast. Because this recipe makes so many cookies, you might want to freeze some dough for future use.
Chocolate-Caramel Pecan Clusters
Pecans form the base for a gooey caramel topping crowned with semisweet chocolate and white chocolate pieces.
Orange and chocolate: a cookie match that tempts everyone to take seconds. This recipe comes from Jill Drury in Milwaukee, who loved to bake cookies with her grandmother. "For the longest time I couldn't decide which cookie I liked best, until one day Grandma had me mix my favorite flavors: chocolate and orange," she says.
Chocolate Lovers' Oatmeal Delight
Crisp on the outside and fudgy on the inside, these easy drop cookies feature semisweet chocolate pieces as well as peanut butter-flavored pieces. Unsweetened cocoa powder punches up the chocolate flavor.
Great with coffee or as an afternoon snack, these cookies combine the spicy flavors of cinnamon and cardamom, with sliced almonds on top.
Hunka Chocolate Cookies
This recipe will satisfy chocolate lovers' cravings with semisweet chocolate pieces, unsweetened chocolate, melted white chocolate and melted semisweet chocolate. Just a half a cup of flour goes into this fudgy delight.
Peanut Butter Temptations
To shape these treats, bake peanut butter cookie dough in a small muffin pan, and then sink in miniature peanut butter cups. No muffin pan? Just roll the dough into a ball and bake on greased cookie sheets.
Chocolate Waffle Turtle Cookies
These cookies are cooked in a waffle iron, not oven-baked. The recipe comes from the Triangle Ranch B&B in South Dakota. "Our children demonstrated this recipe for 4-H," ranch owner Lyndy Ireland says. Fellow 4-H'ers consumed the cookies before the demonstration was even over.
Dried cherries make oatmeal cookies even more memorable in this recipe from American Spoon Foods, which has locations in the Traverse City, Michigan, area. We like the cookies' crisp edges and chewy centers.
Marjorie's Chocolate Chip Cookies
Marjorie Johnson of Robbinsdale, Minnesota, won one of her 2,500 state fair ribbons with this recipe. It's also part of her cookbook, The Road to Blue Ribbon Baking.
Lemon Walnut Biscotti
Biscotti gets its crunch from twice-baking. This citrus-speckled recipe comes from the Inn at Kristofer's in Sister Bay, Wisconsin.
Mother Knows Best Carrot Cookies
These cookies are almost like a miniature carrot cake. Top them with orange frosting and finely shredded orange peel for a cookie that's as beautiful as it is delicious.
This recipe is from Nancee Allan of Centertown, Missouri, and "dates back to the 1940s at least," she says. "My mother, Helen Kaufmann, and our next-door neighbor, Georgia Mae Wenkle, used to bake a lot of desserts. This was one of our favorites."
Snowballs and Nutjammers
The Cole family of Wadsworth, Ohio, bakes these each year for friends and family. The tradition started more than 50 years ago when Phrania (Fran) Cole and her sister, Ann, began making cookies as affordable gifts. With the Snowballs, the Coles like the tang of black walnut and the snowy look that comes from powdered sugar. The Nutjammers are another old favorite. You can choose from two fillings when you make these tiny, turnoverlike treats.