If you’re looking for a change from your go-to treat recipes, why not try out a batch of vintage cookies?
Cookies have been around for a long time, and some recipes are just as good today as they were back then.
Linzer cookies are a terrific example of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” with their adorable shape and sweet filling.
I grew up eating so many amazing cookies, and it was hard to narrow this list down.
From classic thumbprint cookies and buttery shortbread to rugelach and pecan pralines, this list has you covered for the next few parties.
I can pretty much guarantee you’ll love everything you see here but remember you can always make adjustments where necessary.
Nobody will call the cookie police if you leave the nuts out of a batch of Mexican wedding cookies.
And if you prefer your shortbread with chocolate, orange zest, or lavender, then go right ahead and add it in.
Whatever your tastes, it’s time to grab your apron and crank up the oven. You have cookies to make!
1. Linzer Kekse (Linzer Cookies)
Hailing all the way from Austria, I know you’re probably very familiar with these sweet little cookies.
I typically make mine with a simple almond-flavored shortbread, but this recipe is closer to the original, using cinnamon and ground nuts.
What’s great about these cookies is that you’ll get a whole bunch of mini-cookies as a bonus when you cut out the middles.
2. Amish Sugar Cookies
Amish sugar cookies have a much more rustic look to them.
They’re more like chocolate chip cookies in appearance than the sugar cookies we usually see in the stores.
Where these are different is the use of both butter and oil for maximum moisture.
Not only that, these use white and powdered sugar (rather than white and brown) to guarantee they’re sweet and will melt in your mouth.
This recipe is perfect as is, but it’s also great if you want to add in some extras.
Everything from chocolate chips and chopped nuts to dried fruit and Reese’s Cups would make these cookies extra special.
3. Classic Shortbread Cookies
I’m a bit of a stickler when it comes to shortbread. In my opinion, if you have more than three ingredients, it’s not traditional shortbread.
All you’ll need to make these insanely buttery and tender cookies is flour, sugar, and butter. That’s it! (Although, I would allow a little bit of cornstarch to help keep them tender.)
Just beat the butter with the sugar until it’s nice and fluffy, and then very gently stir in the flour.
Stop your mixer before the dough comes together. You’ll then finish it by pressing it into a pan or on your table while rolling.
4. Cowboy Cookies
Cowboy cookies were designed to be something sweet and sturdy that cowboys could take out for a day on the ranch.
But just because they’re sturdy doesn’t mean they’re not super chewy and tender.
Although these do have oats in the mix, they’re definitely not your typical oatmeal cookies.
Instead, they are super delicious chocolate chips cookies that just happen to also have a bit of extra roughage.
5. Spritz Cookies
Here’s another buttery, holiday fave hailing from our friends over in Europe.
This time, we’re heading to Germany for some cute little piped cookies.
These are closer to sugar cookies than shortbread cookies (though they’re still incredibly buttery), only they’ll need some extra ingredients to get the right consistency.
As the name suggests, these babies get spritzed (piped) onto a baking sheet, so the dough will be pretty soft.
To ensure they keep their shape, chill before baking and pull them from the oven just as they start to turn golden at the edges.
6. Peanut Butter Blossoms
These soft and nutty cookies are totally irresistible. I seriously can’t have just one.
You’ll notice that the recipe calls for white, brown, and powdered sugar. This is for sweetness and to get that fantastic chewy texture we all love.
Powdered sugar is used to help them be sweet without leaving you with a grainy texture.
I love the look of these with the Hershy Kiss on top, but I’ve also made them with toffee bits inside and mini-chocolate chips.
7. Barbara Bush’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Apparently, these cookies are so good, a chef in Houston asked for the recipe and served them in his hotel for special occasions.
You’ll see why once you make them!
Unlike a lot of chocolate chip cookies, these are designed to be small. About one tablespoon of dough should do the trick.
This amount might not seem like a lot, but it’s how you’ll get that chewy middle and lovely crisp edge.
8. Homemade Golden Oreo Cookies
As much as I love the classic chocolate Oreo, I find myself craving their Golden variety way more these days.
I think it’s because I can dunk them in my tea for the perfect afternoon snack.
Though these look like regular sugar cookies, they contain Golden Syrup, which is a UK pantry staple.
It’s also a must-have, so if you can’t find it in the store, try making your own.
9. Mexican Wedding Cookies
Soft, rich, and covered in powdered sugar, these cookies don’t just have to be saved for a special occasion.
The dough needs real butter for the best flavor and chopped almond for a bit of texture.
Of course, you can leave the nuts out if you want and maybe swap them for some chocolate chips. But the powdered sugar coating is a must!
10. Butterscotch Cookies
Butterscotch is basically caramel, made with brown sugar instead of white.
It also has more butter to give it a more intense and rich flavor, which is just what you’ll need in a cookie.
I love these Guittard butterscotch chips, but any you find in the store will work just fine.
Somehow, I ran out of cinnamon when making these, so they didn’t have any spice. But they were still super yummy!
11. Thumbprint Cookies
I think these were one of the first cookies I ever “made” as a kid.
My grandma would let me help stir the bowl, and then I had the critical job of making the thumbprint.
I’m also pretty sure I licked my fingers every other cookie, so these were strictly for family only.
Now, I make these all the time when I need something simple and sweet.
Use whatever flavor jam you have, or make a whole bunch of different options for a colorful plate.
12. Jif Peanut Butter Cookies
These make and bake cookies are wonderfully tender, perfectly moist, and require no chill time.
Once you have the dough ready, it can be scooped and baked right away, saving you time.
Unlike chocolate chip cookies, this recipe calls for brown sugar and shortening instead of a mix of sugars and butter.
This is because shortening has a higher melting point, which keeps these high-fat cookies from spreading too much.
13. 4-Ingredient Pecan Sandies
You’ve probably guessed it, but the main ingredient for these cookies is pecans.
So, if you’re need something nut-free, go ahead and scroll down because there’s no sense in modifying these.
These are more or less pecan shortbread cookies, needing just flour, sugar, and butter, in addition to the nuts.
That makes them crazy-buttery and very crumbly!
These will look familiar, I’m sure, but I’m willing to bet not many of you have tried to make these Italian cookies at home.
That will be down to the fact you need a pizzelle maker, which might feel a bit extra.
That being said, you can’t deny how impressive these look!
And you can use them as cookies, as waffle cones, or as decorations for cakes and ice cream.
15. Black and White Cookies
These cookies are synonymous with New York City. You’ll see them all over the place, and they’re so worth the extra time it takes to decorate.
They’re thick, cakey, tender, and bursting with vanilla flavor. Since the dough is thick and sticky, these need to be scooped out rather than rolled and cut.
To get the cleanest coverage when you ice these, you’ll actually need to ice the bottom. That way, you get a nice flat surface.
16. Easy Lace Cookies
Lace cookies are very thin and fragile-looking, with tiny air pockets over the surface that give them their “lace” effect.
What’s unusual about this recipe is that the cookie dough is cooked on the stove-top and baked while it’s still warm.
These are also some of the only cookies that you’ll want to spread. That’s how they get their delicate appearance.
17. Simple Vegan Oatmeal Cookies
Believe it or not, it’s pretty easy to make super tasty and chewy vegan cookies.
In a lot of recipes, you’ll see the butter is simply replaced by oil, and in many cases, you won’t need eggs with such small amounts of dough.
Eggs are used as a binder and to help cakes and cookies rise. But cookies don’t need a ton of rising, and they’ll get from the baking soda, anyway.
This recipe calls for vegan butter, and there’s no need for any egg substitutes.
18. 5-Ingredient Chewy Coconut Macaroons
Coconut macaroons are a fun little recipe for those days you want something different.
They’re light, chewy, a little sticky, and loaded with coconut texture and flavor.
When working with egg whites, you’ll just need to remember to be gentle.
I know it will be tempting to beat the mix to get all that coconut incorporated, but be patient and gently stir to ensure you don’t lose any air.
19. Dark Fruitcake Cookies
I really like gingerbread cookies, but I do find them a bit one-note in terms of flavor.
That’s where these come in!
These cookies are deep, dark, and intensely flavorful. Between the molasses and spices, they’re everything you’ll want out of a holiday cookie.
They also have dried fruits and chopped nuts for a lighter flavor, chewier texture, and more exciting finish.
20. Chocolate Icebox Cookies
If you have a sweet tooth as I do, you’ll have to try this chocolate cookie recipe.
This dough is designed to be mixed up and frozen so that you can slice and bake whenever a craving hits.
Keep them simple and wrap the dough as is, or try adding some fun extras to make these really pop.
I made a double batch and split it into four, adding chopped pecans, dried cherries, peanut butter chips, and mini-chocolate chips to each bowl, respectively.
Plus, they’re even better if you sprinkle over a bit of sea salt before baking.
21. Homemade Butter Cookies
Butter cookies are some of the richest tasting cookies around. And since butter is the star of the dish, it’s essential to get the best kind!
These also have some almond extract, which you can leave out if you want.
However, if you do use it, just remember that it’s pretty intense, and a little goes a long way.
These will be lovely as is, extra tasty dipped in chocolate, and out of this world sandwiched together with some strawberry jam and vanilla frosting.
22. Grandma’s Sour Cream Sugar Cookies
Just as you might add sour cream to a cake batter for moisture and flavor, this recipe wants you to add some to make the cookie dough extra tender.
The sour cream will make sure these come out moist and rich. They won’t be overly sweet, which makes them the perfect vessel for a bit of frosting.
23. Brown Sugar Cookies
Typically with cookies, we add brown and white sugar. This ensures they will be sweet, have a slightly crispy edge, and be chewy and intensely flavorful.
Obviously, the brown sugar is responsible for the latter, thanks to the molasses.
So, if you’re a lover of chewy, fudgy, caramel-y cookies, this is the recipe for you!
24. Best Southern Pralines Pecan Recipe
Pralines are a sweet, nutty treat that is kind of a cross between a cookie and a candy.
Their base is a rich mix of sugar, cream, and butter, which will give you a butterscotch taste and texture.
This needs to be boiled up to ensure it will set properly.
Mix in the nuts, salt, and vanilla, and then you need to work quickly to drop portions on a lined baking sheet before it goes hard.
25. Cherry Bell Cookies
Some cherry bell cookies are made by wrapping maraschino cherries in cookie dough and baking them standing upright.
That’s totally an option. Just be sure you chill the dough well before baking so it doesn’t lose its shape.
Or, you can make this simplified version, folding the rolled cookie dough to look like a bell by placing the cherry in the middle.
26. Lemon Drop Cookies
Lemon drop cookies are such a classic, and they couldn’t be easier to make at home.
You’ll notice that the cookie dough is more or less a traditional shortbread recipe (including the cornstarch for the best texture).
Though, naturally, you’ll add some lemon zest to the dough as you work it.
For the glaze, I prefer mine without the zest. But that’s just a matter of preference. I find it’s zesty enough with just the lemon juice.
27. Christmas Rocks
These unique cookies are soft, sweet, and jam-packed with dried fruits and nuts.
They’re a lot like the fruit cake cookies; only they have way more extras stuffed inside!
Between the walnuts, almonds, pecans, dates, cherries, pineapple, cranberries, and warm spices, these babies will knock your socks off!
28. Old-Fashioned Whoopie Pies Recipe
Whoopie pies are soft, tender cookies sandwiched together with something sweet and fluffy.
The classic recipe (which you see here) is chocolate cookies and vanilla filling. If you want your cookies to be neat and uniform, try using a whoopie pie tin.
This traditional filling uses shortening, sugar, flour, milk, and egg whites. It’s nice and sturdy and not too sweet. Or, you could use your favorite frosting.
29. Chocolate Pinwheel Cookies
These cookies look super impressive, but they’re a cinch to whip up at home!
I love that you only need one cookie dough for this, so there won’t be a ton of dishes in the end! Just split it in two and add cocoa powder to one half.
You’ll roll out each of the flavors and layer one on top of the other before rolling into a log. Chill, slice, bake, and enjoy!
Rugelach is a scrumptious cookie filled with chocolate, cinnamon, and often, chopped nuts.
The cookie dough is made using butter and cream cheese for something slightly tangy and incredibly tender.
Once the dough is made and chilled, roll it out into a circle (it doesn’t have to be perfect).
Spread over the filling and cut into thin pizza-like sections before rolling them up like croissants.
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