21 Best Cookie Recipes for Back to School

Are you ready for after school snacks and baking season? It's starting soon. We have 21 easy cookie recipes to get you all ready. Time to soften the butter and bring those eggs to room temperature!

Overhead view of nestle chocolate chip cookie recipe cooling on a rack.

You know it’s fall when suddenly the baking aisle in the grocery store becomes a lot more crowded. Ingredients such as fancy chocolate chips (the Guittard ones, oh my goodness) and pumpkin spice everything (that’s another story!) start making an appearance. When it’s quiet for a moment, you can almost hear the whir of the stand mixer calling to you. (Ok, maybe that’s just me.)

The need for cookie recipes, in my book, never ever wanes. We’ve gathered up some of our favorites for you to try this fall.

We've got a few chocolate chip cookie recipes—if you make them frequently and you’re anything like me, it means that you are always looking to improve and tweak them slightly. If chocolate chips are not your cookie kryptonite (I’ve met such people, they exist), there’s a plethora of spice-happy cookies such as snickerdoodles and cinnamon Snaps, or classics with peanut butter and/or chocolate in them.

Time to soften the butter and bring those eggs to room temperature! (Carrie Havranek)

Tips for Making the Best Cookies

  • Warming eggs: If your recipe calls for warmed eggs, you can quickly warm them by placing them in a bowl of warm water on the countertop
  • Cookies for later: If you don’t have time to make all your cookies at once, cover the bowl and stick in the fridge, and bake off the rest of the batch whenever you like. This way you have fresh cookies every day! (How dreamy.)
  • Freeze unbaked dough: You can also portion out any unbaked dough and freeze them on a sheet lined with wax paper. Then, transfer them to a zip-top bag and freeze until needed!
  • Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

    How to make the Best Chocolate Chip cookies from this Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
    Emma Christensen

    Baking, for many of us, starts and ends with chocolate chip cookies. These have a delightfully chewy texture thanks to a secret ingredient: milk powder. (CH)

  • Brown Sugar Snickerdoodle Cookies

    brown sugar snickerdoodles next to a glass of milk

    These cinnamon-dusted cookies are a great balance of soft and crispy, and they come together quickly. (CH)

  • Peanut Butter Cookies

    A plate of Peanut Butter Cookies.
    Michelle Becker

    There is something so satisfying about making peanut butter cookies. Maybe it’s those little cross-hatch marks you make with a fork. Maybe it’s the intense peanut flavor. Maybe it’s the nostalgia. This hits the mark. (CH)

  • Cinnamon Snap Cookies

    Cinnamon Snap Cookies
    Elise Bauer

    I like cookies you can dunk in coffee. Or tea. These are those cookies. They’re snappy, spicy, and sweetened with honey. (CH)

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  • Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

    Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies
    Elise Bauer

    Rather than semi-sweet chips, this recipe uses milk chocolate. Rather than softened butter, this recipe uses browned butter. The adaptations make for a decadent, sophisticated cookie experience. (CH)

  • Pumpkin Cookies

    Pumpkin cookies cooling on a rack.
    Elise Bauer

    These soft and moist cookies manage to put almost everything delicious about fall right into one cookie: cinnamon, cardamom, pumpkin, rolled oats, and pumpkin puree. (CH)

  • S'mores Cookies

    Chocolate Chip and Marshmallow S'mores Cookies
    Emma Christensen

    Bet you didn’t know you could bake cookies with marshmallows in them! Summer may be a memory, but you can conjure up a campfire treat with these s’mores cookies. (CH)

  • Giant Ginger Cookies

    Giant Ginger Cookies
    Elise Bauer

    Along with the edict that there’s no such thing as too many chocolate chip cookies, I also firmly believe there’s no such thing as too many ginger-spicy cookies. These giant 4-inch cookies are deliciously gingery. (CH)

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  • Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies in a basket lined with a tea towel
    Elise Bauer

    Here comes that browned butter again—along with pecan, oats, and shredded coconut for additional texture and flavor. (CH)

  • Butterscotch Cookies

    How to make perfect Butterscotch Cookies
    Elise Bauer

    Ok, we are guilty of a recurring theme here—browned butter. It really makes a big difference in these butterscotch cookies. They only look like they have molasses in them—but don’t! (CH)

  • Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

    Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
    Irvin Lin

    Chocolate is such a great backdrop for the spices and molasses of gingerbread, as it rounds out the flavor and adds a depth and you didn’t know gingerbread needed, or could take. (CH)

  • Maple Cookies

    Maple Cookies
    Elise Bauer

    It’s all about the maple syrup—grade B, specifically, which is richer in taste—in these soft and chewy cookies. (CH)

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  • Gluten-Free Monster Cookie Bars

    Close up of an overhead view of Bar Cookies of the Gluten Free Monster Variety.
    Kalisa Marie Martin

    Full of oats, peanut butter, M&Ms, and chocolate chips, these monster cookie bars made on a sheet pan give you an entire batch of cookies, in bar form, quickly. Line the pan with parchment paper for ease of lifting and super easy cleanup. (RS)

  • Lime Icebox Cookies

    Lime icebox cookies sprinkled with powdered sugar
    Marta Rivera

    The great thing about these cookies, besides that they are irresistibly both sweet and tart, is that you store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and slice and bake as desired. Freshly baked, crisp and buttery cookies anytime you want! (RS)

  • No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

    No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
    Cindy Rahe

    Oh, this could be so dangerous! A cookie you can throw together and just refrigerate. No baking needed. Which means you can have these at your fingertips lickety-split. It’s the little things, right? (CH)

  • Nut-Free "Peanut Butter" Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Sunflower Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Megan Gordon

    Nut-free, egg-free, and gluten-free, these cookies aren't any more difficult to make than peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. They just have different ingredients and cater to different diets. Sunflower butter takes the place of peanut butter in these vegan cookies. (RS)

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  • Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

    Overhead view of Oatmeal Raisin Cookies cooling on a rack.
    Ciara Kehoe

    Oatmeal. Raisins. These cookies are practically breakfast! (Don't quote us on that.) Soft and chewy in the center and crispy on the edges, bite into one of these classic cookies and you'll think you're at Grandma's house. (RS)

  • Simple Soft Sugar Cookies

    Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies
    Irvin Lin

    So simple to make, simple is in their name. For a tiny little extra effort, you can add sprinkles or frosting, but that's not necessary for kids (and adults) to love them. (RS)

  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

    Close up of chewy chocolate chip cookie bars stacked in a serving dish.
    Marta Rivera

    The beauty of any cookie bar recipe is that it takes much less time to make an entire pan of bars than it does individual drop cookies. These chewy, buttery, chocolatey cookie bars can satisfy your chocolate chip cookie craving quickly! (RS)

  • Flourless Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips cooling on a rack.
    Sally Vargas

    Gluten-free and dairy-free, these cookies contain just peanut butter, sugar, eggs, chocolate chips, baking powder, and salt. They're so simple because all the ingredients go into one bowl, and they're mixed together using just a fork. (RS)

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  • Banana Cookies

    Side view of banana cookies on a white plate with a white linen underneath it.
    Kelly Hamilton

    Banana bread is not the only way to use up overripe bananas. These cookies are a good use for them, too. They're a little bit like muffin tops, soft and full of tons of flavor from cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, plus some crunch from pecans. (RS)