Unlike warmly spiced fall cookies, this list of summer cookies is light, bright, and full of incredible fruity and zesty flavor.
After all, what’s better on a hot day than a bite of something sweet and loaded with lime, pineapple, and coconut goodness?
And don’t worry, there’s plenty on here for the chocolate and peanut butter lovers!
Not to mention, there are a few fun recipes I’ve included just because they look super summery.
Even when it’s hot out, these summer cookie recipes are so worth turning the oven on for. Let’s get started!
Also known as sea biscuits, sand dollars are actually sea urchins. They’re flat with a velvety coating, and when they’re dead, they look like round shells.
These cookies are pretty simple, using almond slivers to give you that sand dollar effect.
The enriched dough has eggs and egg yolks, making it decadent and wonderfully moist.
But it’s the cinnamon sugar coating that gives these a sandy appearance.
The summer can be a long few months when you have kids at home.
So, if you need a fun activity to help pass a rainy day, why not try making these flip-flop cookies?
Nutter Butters are the perfect shape for these, so you don’t even have to turn the oven on.
Or, if someone has a peanut allergy, Milano cookies are a great choice, too.
When it comes to the straps, you can really get creative and have some fun with candy.
I like to use Laffy Taffy or Starburst, twisting the colors together to make it tie-dye.
If you’re craving a beach vacation, these melt-in-your-mouth cookies might just help you on your way.
They’re loaded with sweetened coconut for added flavor, texture, and moisture, plus coconut extract.
There’s also cornstarch in the mix, which is used to keep them super tender and crumbly.
If you don’t want to add the glaze, the lime juice and zest in the cookie will be enough to give you a hint of citrus.
But for more of a pop, I highly recommend a light drizzle.
These delightful lemon shortbread cookies are called meltaways for a reason: they’re sweet, buttery, and ridiculously tender.
Like any good shortbread recipe, this calls for a signature flour, butter, and sugar base. That’s all you’ll need to make shortbread! No eggs, please.
Of course, these are lemon-flavored, so you’ll also need lemon juice and zest. Then to counter that added moisture, you’ll add cornstarch, too.
As with the recipe above, these are subtly citrusy without the glaze.
But why not add the luscious, lip-smacking icing anyway? Trust me; you won’t regret it.
Peanut butter cookies will always hold a special spot in my heart.
I grew up eating them, and I’m pretty sure they were some of the first cookies I ever made all by myself.
Start by beating brown sugar with shortening, creamy peanut butter, milk, and vanilla. The shortening will ensure these don’t spread too far as they bake.
Stir the flour into the bowl, being careful not to overmix it. Finally, scoop these babies onto a tray and press lightly with a fork.
Pink lemonade tastes the same as regular lemonade, but it has some added food coloring to make it more fun.
In these cookies, you’ll use powdered pink lemonade mix to give the dough a lovely rose-colored hue and a burst of lemonade flavor.
Feel free to use regular lemonade, or maybe try out a mix? I’ve always been a fan of strawberry lemonade, or I bet orangeade would work, too.
Unlike pineapple, which has a pretty tart tropical taste, coconut is smoother and far creamier. But it still gives me beachy vibes just from the smell.
So, for a cookie that will have you reaching for your bathing suit, try out these light, chewy, and devilishly sweet coconut macaroons.
They’re gluten and nut-free, and the hardest part will be whipping the egg whites.
Remember to start with room temperature eggs and to wipe the bowl with white vinegar before you start.
Although these cookies require a few steps and a few hours, they’re too cute not to try!
You’ll start by making one batch of cookie dough, which you’ll need to dived and tint with red and green gel food coloring, leaving on portion plain.
Then, roll the red into a log and wrap them all up.
Once they’ve all had time to chill in the fridge, you’ll need to roll out the plain cookie dough and wrap it around the red log.
Repeat this with the green dough and chill again.
When this has set (it might need a few hours or overnight), slice your cookies and press mini-chocolate chips on the surface. Bake and enjoy!
Root beer can be a bit divisive, and I know plenty of people who won’t touch it because they say it tastes like medicine.
But if you enjoy root beer, and especially root beer floats, these cookies are for you.
To get the right flavor, without it tasting synthetic, be sure to get root beer concentrate. I’ve also found it at Walmart before in the baking section.
To add creaminess to these, you’ll use white chocolate chips.
Picture this: you just got home from a day at the beach. You’re tired, hungry, and the kids are making a fuss.
So, you hand them each a whoopie pie and listen as the whole house goes quiet.
Give them two, and you might just get five minutes to enjoy one yourself!
Whoopie pies are the ideal combination of cookie and cake.
They’re light and tender but firm enough to hold their shape and some yummy frosting in the middle.
Poppy seeds are often used to add crunch and a nutty flavor to baked goods.
Unlike sesame seeds, which are slightly bigger, these little morsels stay perfectly crisp even after baking.
Technically, they can be added to anything. But I think you see them so often with lemon because the lighter color helps them stand out.
In recipes like this, which or very buttery and soft, poppy seeds add fantastic texture and plenty of fiber to boot.
I don’t know about you, but in my house, summer fun means long days by the pool and plenty of BBQs with friends.
And those BBQs always have to end with a firepit and s’mores.
Of course, starting up a fire isn’t always possible, and depending on where you live, summer rains can come hard and fast.
So, for when you can’t sit outside, why not try these oven-baked Oreo s’mores?
All you’ll have to do is line a baking sheet with cookies and top half with chocolate and half with marshmallows.
Broil until the marshmallows are golden and the chocolate is melted.
These can be ready in just 5 minutes, and you won’t need to worry about any nasty burns.
If I could only eat one type of cookie for the rest of my life, it would be a classic, chewy, soft, fudgy, sinful chocolate chip cookie.
What kind of chocolate chips? It doesn’t matter; they’re all delicious!
These white chocolate chip cookies are extra creamy and sweet, with no hint of bitter dark chocolate in sight.
That said, the basic dough here is as close to perfect as you’ll find.
So, make a big batch, break it down, and try it with everything from yogurt chips and cranberries to toasted almonds and toffee bits.
What could possibly be better than a dreamy, creamy peanut butter cup? How about a peanut butter cup wrapped in a cookie?
Yeah, that should do it!
I almost always have a bag or two of mini peanut butter cups in my freezer. They’re an excellent little snack when you need a chocolatey pick me up.
They’re also just what you need to make these cookie cups.
Just bake your cookie dough as a ball, and press the cup in the middle as soon as they come out of the oven.
This might look healthy on the top, but the base is pure, sweet sugar cookie.
After all, anything can be a pizza if you have a base, sauce, and toppings, right?
I found this looked pretty authentic when I just rolled it out into a rough circle.
If you want it more precise, try pressing the dough into a round cake pan or pie dish.
Something with a removable base will probably work the best.
For the sauce, you’ll need to make a smooth cream cheese frosting.
That lighter color allows the fruit to sit pretty on top without anything peaking through the crack.
Although, I bet chocolate ganache would be insanely good, too.
Monster cookies are like three cookies in one. You have creamy peanut butter, chewy oats, yummy chocolate chips, and bright, fun M&Ms.
I guarantee even an avid oatmeal cookie hater will fall for these.
These babies are also gluten-free (provided you get certified gluten-free oats), so they’re perfect for bringing along to a summer soirée.
Here’s another terrific shortbread cookie recipe that keeps it simple with just flour, sugar, butter, and a few tasty extras.
Unlike many other cookie recipes, you’ll start with the flavor-makers here, followed by the flour.
It’s similar to pastry in that you want the dry blended before working in the butter.
So, add the coconut, sugar, lime zest, and vanilla to a food processor and pulse a few times before pouring in the flour.
Blend that before adding the butter and pulsing until it only just starts to come together. If it looks like a smooth ball, you’ve gone too far.
For this unusual recipe, you’ll make a cross between a cookie and a cake, but unlike the whoopie pies from above, these are a little more firm.
The dough is loaded with butter, vanilla, and sour cream, making it very rich and moist.
When it’s mixed together, it is scoopable and will hold its shape.
As this bakes on top of the pineapple, the top will turn golden and slightly crisp, while the underneath will soak up the yummy fruit juices and come out nice and soft.
If you’re lucky enough to have air conditioning in your home, you probably won’t think twice about whipping up a batch of cookies.
But for those without, I find it way easier to make up one big recipe and then freeze down the dough I don’t use.
That way, you’ll have cookies on hand whenever the craving strikes.
This recipe taste just as good baked fresh as it does after a couple of weeks in the freezer.
It doesn’t get more summery than a plate full of rainbow-colored cookies.
Plus, there’s no frosting needed when you have that many sprinkles involved, making these ideal for travel.
Unlike chocolate chip cookies, which use a blend of white and brown sugar, these need only white.
That way, the dough will stay light enough for the sprinkles to shine.
To keep the sprinkles from seeping their color, only add them right before you portion the dough.
Heath bars are slabs of crunchy toffee covered in rich chocolate. Some of them also contain nuts, and they’re pretty identical to Skor bars.
To make Heath bar cookies, you need to chop up Heath bars and mix them into the dough.
The different-sized chunks will give you pockets of buttery toffee and melted chocolate throughout.
Of course, you can also get toffee bits if that’s easier, and any brand will do.
But it has to be toffee bits and not caramel chips. The latter won’t give you the same chewy texture.
When I’m baking for a crowd, I often turn to cookie bars because they’re so much faster to make, bake, and portion.
Rather than spending time scooping out individual cookies, you can just press the dough into a baking dish and slice the whole thing once it’s cooled.
These should be super pale, so pay attention to the oven temperature and check them after 20 minutes.
They’re done when the edges start to turn golden brown.
If the idea of turning the oven on during the summer makes you want to stick your head in the fridge, then you have to try these no-bake cookies.
They take just 20 minutes to make, and they’re ridiculously chocolate and full of lovely chewy oats.
If you’d rather not use oats, this would work with cornflakes, too, and leave you with a fantastic crunchy treat.
Believe it or not, these adorable little clamshell cookies need just a handful of ingredients, all of which you can buy readymade in the grocery store.
You’ll use NILLA Wafers, which are the perfect shape already. Then, spread some colored frosting over the flat bottoms.
White sugar pearls will make these stand out, and they’re available online or in stores like Michael’s.
This recipe is for those of us with a sweet tooth who just can’t decide between funfetti and chocolate chip.
And why should we decide when we can have both?
Essentially, you’ll use your classic chocolate chip recipe and just toss in a whole bunch of rainbow sprinkles.
As I mentioned above, they won’t stand out quite as well as they would in sugar cookies, but they’re still super colorful and extra scrumptious.
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