The Perfect Cookie: Your Ultimate Guide to Foolproof Cookies, Brownies, and Bars by America's Test Kitchen

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Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Salted peanut butter-pretzel-chocolate chip cookies

    • Aggie92 on December 23, 2017

      Super cookie! I love this more adult version of a peanut butter cookie. I used Maldon sea salt that I sprinkled on before baking. Also used a whole bag of dark chocolate chunks and increased the amount of pretzels by 1/2 ounce. The quick-oats pretty much disappeared into the dough. So if you want more chew from the oatmeal I would suggest switching to old-fashioned oats. I portioned the dough with a medium Oxo cookie scoop and was able to get approximately 50 cookies. High altitude changes (6200'): reduced baking soda by 1/4 teaspoon and decreased brown sugar by 2 Tablespoons.

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      I made these when I wasn't as experienced with baking cookies yet, so that could have been my problem, but I was surprised not to be wowed by these cookies - especially given the combination of ingredients. They were too hard for my liking, and I couldn't distinguish the flavors enough. Will try these again and add a new note if my feelings change.

  • Snickerdoodles

    • Emily Hope on November 18, 2017

      I wasn't crazy about the idea of using vegetable shortening in a cookie (the fat is half shortening and half butter), but I have to admit that these turned out really well -- good texture and flavor. I didn't let the edges brown quite enough on the first batch so they were a bit underdone, but still good. My only change was to add a pinch of salt to the cinnamon sugar the cookies get rolled in, which I'd do again. Also baked successfully from frozen. Would be interesting to try all butter to see what the difference is.

    • julesamomof2 on December 11, 2017

      I have been using the same Snickerdoodle recipe for 15 years, and when I went to bake Christmas cookies this year I couldn't find the recipe, so I tried these. They looked great, and tasted pretty good, but I just can't see myself making them again with all that vegetable shortening. I wouldn't feel good about giving this to my kids, or any kids for that matter. I will go back to my old recipe.

    • LisaILJ on April 06, 2020

      It’s a lot of fat, but these were great. Crispy on the edges but soft in the middle.

  • Hermit cookies

    • jenmacgregor18 on November 26, 2019

      I made these to send along to my Dad for the holidays. They didn't all make it to him. My sister texted from the airport- "delicious. these are keepers" Soft, spicy, chewy. They taste like the holidays; but good enough to make all year long.

  • Foolproof holiday cookies

    • jenmacgregor18 on November 27, 2019

      We normally hate making cut out cookies. We'd rather have ugly but tasty cookies and most sugar cookies don't do it for us. But these are wonderful. This recipe appeared in the ATK family cookbook. We've been making them every holiday season for years - particularly to make linzers/jam sandwiches and the coconut lime balls. Although the raspberry jam sandwiches are our absolute favorites.

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      My mom is a sugar cookie fanatic, and these are her all time favorite cookies that I make. The dough is easy to work with and paired with their frosting, the recipe is just wonderful. they aren't too soft or too crisp. I make them for all holidays - a fun way to be able to use my different cookie cutters.

  • Chocolate-mint cookies

    • Analyze on March 28, 2019

      These are SOOOOOOOO good! I've made them twice. Very similar to a Thin Mint if you like that flavor, but with a slightly chewy texture. And much more fresh tasting :)

    • Shewi128 on January 10, 2020

      No really, this is my favorite recipe

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      Analyze put it perfectly, the flavor of a Thin Mint cookies, only chew. These were delicious and not too complicated.

  • Blondies

    • julesamomof2 on December 27, 2018

      Delicious-perfect chewy texture. Like a chocolate chip cookie in brownie form.

  • Coconut snowmen

    • julesamomof2 on December 11, 2017

      These were so cute-they turned out just like the picture. And not only were they adorable, they tasted great too!

  • Peppermint candy canes

    • julesamomof2 on December 11, 2017

      These did not work for me, the dough was crumbly and fell apart when I tried to twist them into the candy cane look. They didn't taste great either, although my kids thought so. I only had maybe 5 that looked good enough to give away for gifts.

  • Chocolate crinkle cookies

    • laurenlangston on May 21, 2020

      I think the measurements on this may be off. I made these, measuring by weight, and they were very soft. I ended up adding about 1/4 cup more flour to get them to barely hold together after being scooped, and they spread and puffed like cakes. I wonder if there should have been 2 eggs instead of 3. Tastes delicious, though! I used the optional espresso powder.

  • Brown sugar cookies

    • stef on May 15, 2021

      Converted this recipe into grams. Used 300gr of brown sugar on another bakers recommendation. They are still sweet. Next day the taste becomes more carmelized. Used 1 tablespoon scoop next time will use a smaller one. Baked in 10 minutes.

  • Lemon sour cream cookies

    • stef on March 26, 2021

      Lovely lemon flavor. Puffed up like madelines. Drizzled glaze on cookies with a fork. 375f 12 minutes #40 scoop.

    • mamacrumbcake on November 27, 2020

      These cookies have a lovely lemon flavor and the texture of a little cake. I don’t normally like this type of cookie, but I found it surprisingly habit forming. Using a #40 scoop, these needed 12 minutes to bake. They are very homely looking.

    • bwhip on February 03, 2018

      I'm not usually a cakey cookie kind of guy, but these turned out really good. Great lemony flavor with just the right amount of tang.

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      Great texture, nice and soft. The lemon flavor was perfect. My family really enjoyed these!

  • Almond biscotti

    • stef on October 23, 2021

      Almond anise biscotti. Added 2 teaspoons ground anise. Food processor and lots of bowls used. They were easy to cut.

  • Greek honey cakes

    • jluvs2bake on January 05, 2020

      Wonderful melomakarona recipe! Easy dough to work with. Syrup was good. Cookies save well layered with waxed paper in an airtight container. Delicious.

  • Chewy chai spice sugar cookies

    • jluvs2bake on January 05, 2020

      The cookie was soft, chewy, great texture - a really great sugar cookie. I would like the chai variation better increasing the spices. It was more sugar cookie than chai.

  • Trail mix cookies

    • dianev on February 12, 2018

      Good oatmeal cookie. I used salted pepitas and they came out fine. Very sticky dough. It was easiest to use a medium cookie scoop and drop the dough rather than making it into balls.

  • Cranberry, white chocolate, and macadamia cookies

    • dianev on January 25, 2018

      Although this seems like a basic chipper cookie recipe, the results were outstanding. I substituted pecans for macadamias and the result was still wonderful. Use the best white chocolate you can find--it will really make a difference.

  • Chocolate peanut butter blondies

    • dianev on January 25, 2018

      These blondies were to die for--rich with peanut butter and bittersweet chocolate chips. Hard to stop eating them!

  • Strudel bars

    • dianev on January 25, 2018

      Unusual cookie with apple and cherry (I used dried cranberry) filling and phyllo pastry. Easy to make and forgiving of pastry mistakes. Flavor improved with sitting.

  • Molasses spice-lemon cookies

    • dianev on January 25, 2018

      Very tasty sandwich cookie. The combination of lemon and spices was just right. I added the lemon zest as well as juice to the filling.

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      While tedious, these are some of my favorite cookies to make. Pairing lemon with molasses is genius - each component is delicious but together, spectacular.

  • Cranberry oat bars

    • dianev on February 12, 2018

      Made with fresh cranberries. Recipe calls for 8oz berries but a bag is 12 oz. I used whole bag and adjusted sweetener accordingly. Tasty bar. A little orange flavor would add to this.

  • Butterscotch meringue bars

    • mamacrumbcake on November 16, 2017

      11/16/17 This was an easy recipe and required only pantry ingredients. The meringue is very sticky and hard to spread without moving the chocolate chips. It is a good, tasty cookie. My chocolate chips stayed whole, unlike the photos that show them looking melted and fudge-like. These do not taste like butterscotch, but rather more like caramel. I think the recipe might benefit from a little more salt. Also, I could not help but think that nuts would be very good. This is a solid 3 star cookie, which in my book means that there is nothing wrong with it and it is a pleasure to eat. But it is lacking that something special that would cause me to choose this recipe instead of other favorite blondies recipes.

  • Shortbread cookies

    • LisaILJ on April 06, 2020

      Not the shortbread I was looking for. Good but just not the right consistency I was looking for. They were also a bit fussy.

  • Butterscotch cookies

    • LisaILJ on April 21, 2020

      Delicate butterscotch flavor.

  • Applesauce cookies

    • LisaILJ on April 21, 2020

      This was a fail for me. More like a muffin top than cookie.

  • Peanut butter cookies

    • LisaILJ on April 21, 2020

      Delicious. The child assisted and had fun with the cross hatch.

  • Perfect chocolate chip cookies

    • LisaILJ on April 21, 2020

      Very tasty. I don’t know if they were perfect, but they were very good.

    • edybwad on February 07, 2020

      The cookies did not flatten out enough. I may have over-baked them. I have a better recipe I like more for choco chip cookies.

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      These are wonderful. The brown butter really enhances the flavor. The get firm kind of quickly, so I use the old trick of keeping a piece of bread in the container of cookies to keep them soft and chewy.

  • Chocolate chunk oatmeal cookies with pecans and dried cherries

    • LisaILJ on April 06, 2020

      Very crispy and good. I baked for the recommended time but may have overcooked a bit? Still delicious. Not crazy sweet.

  • Chewy sugar cookies

    • LisaILJ on April 21, 2020

      Nothing special, just a good sugar cookie.

  • Key lime bars

    • LisaILJ on April 21, 2020

      Tasted just like mini key lime pies.

    • Mlr5 on June 06, 2021

      Just the right amount of tart. And a nice ratio of crust to key lime filling…they were almost equal and felt very balanced. Because of the equality, I can see why they don’t suggest using graham crackers. The animal crackers have a more subtle flavor and allow the lime to shine. I did not use any toasted coconut and didn’t miss it.

  • Raspberry streusel bars

    • LisaILJ on April 06, 2020

      These were good, I think the lemon juice may have been too much though. The sweetness was balanced out by the tartness of the filling. I have not made better, but I’ve eaten better.

  • Peanut butter swirl brownies

    • LisaILJ on April 06, 2020

      So yummy! My swirls were definitely not as pretty as those in the picture. Also I had to bake this much longer than it said (like 10 minutes) even so, they seemed like they were done, but were not as crispy as I would have expected. Except the delicious corners of course.

  • Dream bars

    • LisaILJ on April 21, 2020

      Tastes more like a delicious pecan pie bite than a traditional dream bar.

  • Rice crispy treats

    • LisaILJ on April 21, 2020

      Very good. Some of my favorite that I’ve ever made.

  • Chocolate-cherry rice crispy treats

  • Peanut butter rice crispy treats

    • LisaILJ on April 21, 2020

      Loved the peanut butter taste, didn’t love the whole peanuts. I would chop the peanuts next time.

  • Chewy brownies

    • bwhip on December 30, 2017

      These are great! Very chocolatey, nicely chewy with a wonderful crisp edge and flaky top. Excellent.

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      Great brownie recipe, but King Arthur Flour 'on the fence' brownies still surpass this one.

  • Chewy chocolate cookies

    • bwhip on January 02, 2018

      These were really good. Very chocolatey, with a great texture - chewy in the middle, with crispy edges and a nice crunch from the sugar coating. Really interesting ingredients for a cookie, including egg white (no yolk), and dark corn syrup. Turned out great, and we'll make them again.

  • Coffee toffee cookies

    • bwhip on November 29, 2017

      These are really tasty, and a nice change of pace from the usual chocolate chip or other more common cookies. I baked them for 16 minutes as the recipe called for, and they turned out to have nice crispy edges and soft centers. I chopped up a couple of Skor bars for the toffee bits.

  • Peach squares

    • fultre on October 17, 2018

      There are 2 variations: Apricot Squares, sub dried apricots and apricot jam; Cherry Squares sub frozen cherries and cherry jam.

  • Almond-raspberry sandwich cookies

    • Kinhawaii on June 22, 2021

      Have made these multiple times for the holidays. Dough is easy to work with even as it softens. Delicious & tender. Great cookie!

  • 15-minute rocky road fudge

    • Kinhawaii on August 21, 2021

      Did add less peanuts & more marshmallows as requested by some family members, but nice & good chocolate flavor. Texture of course not quite the melt in the mouth creamy texture of real fudge. Very easy.

  • Cranberry swirl shortbread

    • Tweedles81 on December 19, 2020

      Wow were these delicious! The sourness of the cranberry contrasts beautifully with the buttery flavor of the shortbread. I made the recipe as stated and the cookies were perfect. This would be a great recipe to give out on a cookie platter - if you don’t eat them all first!

  • Pumpkin-pecan cookies

    • Tweedles81 on October 05, 2019

      These were absolutely delicious - a great cookie for fall and the holidays! The cookies were so great out of the oven that we ate them all before we could add the icing! Draining the pumpkin purée with paper towels was tedious but worth it!

  • Cinnamon swirl cookies

    • Tweedles81 on May 25, 2019

      These cookies were very tasty - buttery with a caramelized sugar flavor and a hint of cinnamon. These will be perfect with tea or ice cream! My only complaint is that these were not easy to roll and cracked a lot. Half of our cookies had no visible cinnamon swirl to speak of and the other half had them, but they were very wonky. Don’t let that stop you from making these though, as they are delicious! Just go for 45-60 minutes on the first chill instead of 30 minutes.

  • Classic chewy oatmeal cookies

    • Tweedles81 on May 07, 2020

      These were delicious! We made half the batch as just plain oatmeal cookies and added chocolate chips to the second half. We only used 3 oz of granulated sugar but otherwise followed the recipe to a T. I loved the flavor of the cinnamon in the cookies! This is our go-to oatmeal cookie recipe from now on!

  • Peanut butter blondies

    • sdeathe on June 29, 2020

      These were very quick and easy to make. Lovely texture, very even but light. Not enough peanut flavour for me (I used smooth peanut butter, which may have made a significant difference to the taste). By about the third day the blondies had improved. More peanut flavour, and a little more dense. Really good.

  • Glazed chocolate-mint butter cookies

    • Shewi128 on January 10, 2020

      One of my favorite chocolate mint cookies of all time.

  • Cornmeal olive oil cookies

    • SpatulaClark on April 20, 2020

      Pleasant flavour and texture, savoury and sweet notes in the same bite. Worth the effort of double-dusting for a good finish.

  • Peanut blossom cookies

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      Delicious, as always. Very classic taste!

  • Chocolate turtle cookies

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      Not the most simple cookie to prepare, but very tasty. Great combination, and fun little bites to eat.

  • Fudgy peanut butter mousse cups

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      These are superb. Wonderful combination of flavors - a big hit with the gang!

  • Fudgy brownies

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      These are truly FUDGY brownies. My uncle mistook them for actual fudge. Good flavor, but very rich.

  • Millionaire's shortbread

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      These are outstanding. Perfect combo of shortbread, caramel, and chocolate. I just love this recipe.

  • Oatmeal butterscotch bars

    • taste24 on September 21, 2021

      These are so darn good. If you like butterscotch, you will love these. Moist and chewy, great texture from the oats, and wonderful flavor from the butterscotch chips melted into the browned butter.

  • Oreo mint balls

    • taste24 on June 18, 2020

      These are pretty good, but I wish they had more 'Oreo' flavor.

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Reviews about this book

  • Eat Your Books by Jenny Hartin

    ATK does it again with another perfect cookbook for all our cookie needs.

    Full review
  • Simply Recipes

    If you love cookies, this book, with 250 recipes, is for you—especially for the holidays...there’s no such thing as boredom here.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 1940352959
  • ISBN 13 9781940352954
  • Published Aug 29 2017
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 448
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher America's Test Kitchen

Publishers Text

Bake better cookies. America’s Test Kitchen has almost 25 years of experience in the art and science of cookie baking, and now you can find all of that wisdom in one beautiful hardcover book.

Discover foolproof recipes for cookie jar classics (such as Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brown Sugar Cookies, and Jam Thumbprints), recipes for irresistible rich and chewy brownies (including S’mores Brownies, Butterscotch Meringue Bars, and Peanut Butter Blondies), fruit-and-crumble topped bars (like Lemon Bars, Blackberry Bliss Bars, and Apple Cobbler Bars), fancy treats (such as Florentine Lace Cookies, Tahini Cookies with Sesame Seeds, and Orange-Cardamom Twists) and no-bake cookies and candies (including seven flavors of Rice Crispy Treats!). We include full chapters on Christmas cookies and gluten-free cookies, too. There are tips and tricks throughout, and insight on everything from what makes a cookie crunchy vs. chewy, to equipment and ingredients that set you up for success, and a troubleshooting guide that keeps you in control of every batch. The result? The perfect cookie, every time.

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