Save on Pinterest

33 Cookies to Make When Your Pantry Is Bare

Are Mother Hubbard's cupboards bare? Don't worry—you can still stir up delicious cookies. All of these basic cookie recipes use five ingredients or less but still have five-star flavor.

1 / 33

Chocolate Caramel Wafers

To keep my holiday cooking quick, I've come to rely on fast recipes like this one. The crunchy-chewy tidbits are our youngster's favorite.
2 / 33
Exps3355 Cc143384c04 24 4b 4

Shortbread

I live in Missouri, but many family recipes come from New Zealand where I was born. My parents moved there when I was a year old, so I have a "Down Under" heritage. This easy shortbread recipe brings back warm memories of my childhood, and I'm going to make sure they're passed on to the next generation in my family…no matter where they live! —Allen Swenson, Camdenton, Missouri
3 / 33

Chocolate Almond Drops

So much rich, chocolaty flavor, so little time! My trufflelike cookies are deceptively easy to make and look so elegant on a party tray. —Betsy King, Duluth, Minnesota
4 / 33

Raspberry Coconut Balls

My family loves Hostess Zingers, especially the raspberry flavor coated with coconut, inspiring this treat to make for school bake sales. We can make about four dozen in 30 minutes, and they sell out fast! —Pam Clark, Wheaton, Illinois
5 / 33
Raspberry Almond Strips Exps Hccbz19 27229 E03 29 6b 12

Raspberry Almond Strips

Get ready to pour yourself a cup of tea, because you won’t be able to resist sampling one of these cookies. Almonds add taste and texture to the simple strips that are dressed up with raspberry pie filling. —Taste of HomeTest Kitchen
6 / 33
Peanut Butter Cookies Exps2733 5bs29733292b03 15 3bc Rms 21

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

It is amazing how much flavor is in these simple 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies without brown sugar. I make them very often because I always have the ingredients on hand. —Maggie Schimmel, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
7 / 33
Tender Pecan Logs Exps Lsbz18 19573 C01 19 3b 1

Tender Pecan Logs

Folks always ask me to make these tender nutty logs. Not overly sweet, they're just right with a steaming cup of coffee or tea. —Joyce Beck, Gadsden, Alabama
8 / 33
Chewy Coconut Macaroons Exps Wrsm17 27356 C03 24 1b 2

Chewy Coconut Macaroons

These chewy cookies are my husband's favorite, so he requests them often. I like to make the macaroons on cold winter days and keep them in an airtight bowl on the kitchen counter. They never last long! —Peggy Key, Grant, Alabama
9 / 33
Mexican Wedding Cakes Exps16765 Sddj17 3616 D08 05 9b

Mexican Wedding Cakes

As part of a Mexican tradition, I tucked these tender cookies into small gift boxes for the guests at my sister's wedding a few years ago. Most folks gobbled them up before they ever got home! —Sarita Johnston, San Antonio, Texas
10 / 33
Cranberry Pecan Cookies Exps Hccbz18 37302 D05 07 1b 4

Cranberry Pecan Cookies

These are so tasty and simple to prepare! Each delightful little cookie is loaded with cranberries, nuts and vanilla, giving them the taste of a treat that’s been slaved over. —Louise Hawkins, Lubbock, Texas
11 / 33
Sweetheart Cookies Exps Hccbz19 14753 B05 23 3b 8

Sweetheart Cookies

These rounds filled with fruit preserves were blue-ribbon winners at the county fair two years running. A family favorite, they never last beyond December 25! —Pamela Esposito, Smithville, New Jersey
12 / 33

Buttery Almond Cookies

"My husband loves these cookies," says Elaine Anderson of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania. "They have an old-fashioned flavor that goes well with a cup of tea. Plus they're simple to put together."
13 / 33
Homemade Chocolate Shortbread Exps Ucsbz17 8378 C05 05 3b 3

Homemade Chocolate Shortbread

This recipe has been in my files for a long time...probably from when I first learned to bake. Any chocolate lover will like these melt-in-your-mouth cookies. I make them year-round with variations. They're even richer with a thin coat of icing or as a sandwich cookie with frosting in the middle. —Sarah Bueckert, Austin, Manitoba
14 / 33
Peppermint Puff Pastry Sticks Exps Hccbz18 41414 C05 25 2b 1

Peppermint Puff Pastry Sticks

I wanted to impress my husband's family with something you'd expect to find in a European bakery, and these chocolaty treats are what I came up with. The flaky pastry melts in your mouth. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
15 / 33
Buttery 3 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies Exps Hcbz22 77957 Dr 04 26 1b 9

Buttery 3-Ingredient Shortbread Cookies

With only a few ingredients, these butter shortbread cookies are so simple to prepare. —Pattie Prescott, Manchester, New Hampshire
16 / 33
Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies Exps Cbz16 167511 C04 26 2b 10

Pumpkin-Spice Sugar Cookies

I've been making these quick and easy cookies for over 20 years. They're the first to go at our annual church bake sale.—Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
17 / 33
Chocolate Amaretti Exps Thca19 41203 C10 16 2b 13

Chocolate Amaretti

These classic almond paste cookies are like ones you'd find in an Italian bakery. My husband and children are always excited when I include these goodies in my holiday baking lineup. —Kathy Long, Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin
18 / 33
Palmiers Exps Mcsmz17 30144 C01 05 5b 2

Palmiers

It takes just two ingredients to make these impressive but easy-to-do French pastries, which are often called palm leaves. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
19 / 33

Brownie Crackles

These chocolate chips and brownie mix cookies pack a rich chocolate taste while remaining simple to make. Rolling the dough in powdered sugar gives them their inviting crackled appearance. —Ellen Govertsen, Wheaton, Illinois
20 / 33
Whipped Shortbread Exps Hccbz19 2523 E05 23 3b 6

Whipped Shortbread

These whipped shortbread cookies melt in your mouth. Mostly I make them for the holidays, but I'll also prepare them year-round for wedding showers and afternoon teas. —Jane Ficiur, Bow Island, Alberta
21 / 33

Dipped Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

You’ll love to give tins of these chocolate-coated cookies to your lucky friends. The shortcut holiday recipe is almost too simple to believe! Here's how to make peanut butter cookies without eggs. —Jackie Howell, Gordo, Alabama
22 / 33

Colorful Candy Bar Cookies

No one will guess these sweet treats with the candy bar center start with store-bought dough. Roll them in colored sugar or just dip the tops for even faster assembly. Instead of using miniature candy bars for the centers, you can also slice regular-size Snickers candy bars into 1-inch pieces. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
23 / 33
Mimosa Butter Cookies Exps Sddj18 204670 C08 09 6b 2

Mimosa Butter Cookies

You can add many different flavors to butter cookies to make them your own. Try an alternate type of citrus zest, or add an alternate liquid to change things up. —Sara Lark, Raton, New Mexico
24 / 33
Snickers Cookies Exps Ft19 10346 F 1113 1 4

Snickers Cookies

Though you wouldn't know by looking, you'll find a sweet surprise inside these cookies. My mother got this Snickers cookie recipe from a fellow teacher at her school. It's a terrific way to dress up refrigerated cookie dough. —Kari Pease, Conconully, Washington
25 / 33
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies Exps Diyd19 6149 B08 27 1b 28

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

When my mother (who's now a great-grandmother) gave me this no-flour , gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipe about 15 years ago, I was skeptical, because it calls for only three ingredients (and no flour?!). But since then I've never had a failure. For these gluten-free peanut butter cookies—3 ingredients are all you need! —Maggie Schimmel, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
26 / 33

Shortbread Hearts

These flaky cookies melt in your mouth. Dipped in chocolate, they look festive.—Barbara Birk, St. George, Utah
27 / 33
Lemon Snowflakes Exps Hcbz22 2533 Dr 05 24 5b

Lemon Snowflakes

You’ll need just four ingredients to make these delightful lemon snowflake cookies. Confectioners’ sugar highlights the cracked tops to give them their snowflake appearance. —Linda Barry, Dianna, Texas
28 / 33
Surefire Sugar Cookies Exps19197 Cc2860595b05 30 6bc Rms 5

Surefire Sugar Cookies

You can invite kids to help make these easy treats. Sometimes I melt white coating instead of chocolate chips because it can be tinted to match the season. —Victoria Zmarzley-Hahn, Northhampton, Pennsylvania.
29 / 33

S'mores No-Bake Cookies

There's no easier way to get that s'mores goodness in your kitchen. Mix these cookies together and chill till you're ready to share. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
30 / 33
Scottish Shortbread Exps Diyd20 1889 B09 17 3b 2

Scottish Shortbread

My mother, who is of Scottish heritage, passed this shortbread recipe, along with other favorite recipes, on to me. When I entered this treat at our local fair, it won a red ribbon. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
31 / 33
Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies Exps Ucsbz17 21640 A05 25 6b 3

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

Everyone who tries these beloved gems is amazed that they use only five ingredients. Baking cookies doesn't get much easier than this. —Dee Davis, Sun City, Arizona
32 / 33
Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Cookies Exps Hccbz19 37310 E03 27 2b 3

Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Cookies

These tempting fudgy cookies need only five ingredients—what could be easier? The melt-in-your-mouth goodies go over big with kids and make a fantastic pick-me-up for adults. —Elaine Stephens, Carmel, Indiana
33 / 33
Exps167052 Cc153599a04 24 2b 1

Confetti Cake Batter Cookies

Mom and I took up cake decorating. Funfetti was our favorite cake, so we used the mix to make cutout cookies. Plain or decorated, they’re a fave at parties. —Danielle DeMarco, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.