Cookies are the secret weapons of the pastry kitchen. In one or two bites, you get a hit of concentrated flavor and sweet deliciousness, all without making a huge calorie commitment. It’s the perfect way to “cheat” just a little. Bake a batch of these cookies, save a few to treat yourself, and bring the rest in to work, where you will quickly become everyone’s favorite person.
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This filled and rolled cookie comes together quite easily. Classically, the dough is butter- and cream cheese-based; here, Jennifer Segal adds an egg yolk as a rich binder for the tender dough. The filling of cinnamon sugar, raisins and finely chopped walnuts can be replaced by raspberry jam and chopped dark chocolate, or any favorite jam and nut combination (I’m also fond of apricot jam and chopped almonds). Find the recipe at Once Upon a Chef.
These delicate, gluten-free beauties came of age in Paris, where you can find virtual temples to them in fine French pastry shops, like the famous Ladurée (which now has American outposts in LA, New York and Miami). This is the basic recipe, complete with step-by-step photos and instructions. Make them your own by playing with color, flavor and filling. Find the recipe at Sally’s Baking Addiction.
These genius cookies have only three ingredients (four if you count the pinch of kosher salt, but come on!) yet they pack quite a flavor punch. Deb Perelman suggests you sandwich two of them around a bit of chocolate ganache. Bonus: gluten-free, if that’s your thing. Find the recipe at Smitten Kitchen.
Another recipe roundup, another Molly Yeh reference. Yes, I know I’ve become obsessed. Deal with it. Because at the root of my obsession is this cookie that has chocolate chips, coconut, tahini and toasted walnuts. So no apologies from me. You’re welcome. Find the recipe at My Name Is Yeh.
There’s a reason why Dorie Greenspan has long been revered by professional chefs and home cooks alike: her recipes are brilliant. They always work, because she exhaustively tests them, and she knows her way around a pastry kitchen. Furthermore, she cares more about cookies than anyone else. Thus, when she first published this recipe, her version of a Pierre Hermé chocolate sablé cookie with flaky sea salt, it became a phenomenon. The idea behind the name is that this cookie could bring people together because it’s just that amazing. Find the recipe at Every Day Dorie.
Alice Medrich’s Ginger Cookies
Medrich is the dessert guru of Northern California and an award-winning cookbook author. These super gingery cookies — they’ve got ground, freshly grated and crystallized ginger within a crunchy exterior — are simply perfection. Truly one of my favorite cookie recipes of all time. Find the recipe on her website.
Rosemary might not be your go-to flavor when you think of sweets, but think again. This is an inspired pairing of bright lemon, pine-y rosemary and crunchy cornmeal. The lemon glaze gilds the lily in the most wonderful way. Find the recipe at Family Style Food.
Momofuko Milk Bar in New York City has a gem in pastry chef Christina Tosi. These cookies were born of necessity; some call them “garbage cookies,” but Tosi prefers “compost” as you make the best of what you have leftover. You’ve gotta love a cookie that uses up the ends of your pretzel, potato chip and graham cracker bags! Find the recipe on the Milk Bar Store website.
Joan Nathan, the well-known authority of Jewish cooking, makes these appealing Black and White Cookies, a refined version of the much-beloved deli standards. This takes me back to living in Manhattan 30 years ago, when I would often wander down Broadway munching a black-and-white from Zabar’s. Find the recipe on Joan’s website.
I’m kind of mad that I didn’t have the inspiration to come up with these cookies. Adding bittersweet hot cocoa mix and marshmallow morsels to a cookie? That is GENIUS. Find the recipe at Love from the Oven.
Oh, Ina, you saucy minx! This delectable cookie first made an appearance in her 2015 cookbook, “Make It Ahead,” and I’m a fan. This is a gussied-up chocolate chip-oatmeal cookie with dried cranberries thrown in for good measure (although, full disclosure, I prefer dried cherries), and just the right amount of salt to bring out all the tasty flavors. Find the recipe at Barefoot Contessa.