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I Tested A Bunch Of Miracle Cookie Recipes, And Here's What Worked

From peanut butter cookies to chocolate coconut bites.

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Charlotte Gomez / BuzzFeed

I love to cook, but there's something about baking that always intimidates me. Ask me to make lasagna and I'm all in, but assign me dessert for a pot luck dinner, and I'll panic.

Pixar

So I went looking for some easy baking inspiration and found a handful of three-ingredient cookies on Pinterest. I figured it has to be pretty hard to mess up such a simple baking project, right?

Pinterest

I put eight three-ingredient cookie recipes to the test to see if they actually worked. Here's how they came out.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

1. Oreo Thin Mints

I'm obsessed with Girl Scout Thin Mints, so when I discovered I could make a copycat version at home with just three ingredients, I was pretty excited.What you'll need: Oreo cookies, peppermint extract, and semisweet melting chocolate.
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I'm obsessed with Girl Scout Thin Mints, so when I discovered I could make a copycat version at home with just three ingredients, I was pretty excited.

What you'll need: Oreo cookies, peppermint extract, and semisweet melting chocolate.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The process: While a bit time consuming, these cookies were easy as 1,2,3 (see what I did there?). Separate the Oreos and scrape off the cream, then melt the chocolate and add the peppermint extract, then dip the cookies one by one into the melted chocolate. Place them on parchment paper in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes until the chocolate hardens.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The result: These came out a bit thicker than traditional Thin Mints, but they tasted shockingly similar. Just be careful you don't go overboard on the peppermint extract because the flavor is very strong and can easily overpower the chocolate. I would definitely make them again... and they're good enough to hold you over until Girl Scout cookie season. Get the recipe.

Final Grade: 🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

2. Pie Crust Pinwheels

Since I'm a lazy baker, store-bought pie crusts are a good friend of mine (especially around Thanksgiving time). But I've never used them to make cookies before. What you'll need: Store-bought pie crust, cinnamon, and granulated sugar.
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Since I'm a lazy baker, store-bought pie crusts are a good friend of mine (especially around Thanksgiving time). But I've never used them to make cookies before.

What you'll need: Store-bought pie crust, cinnamon, and granulated sugar.

The process: According to the directions, just roll out the pie crust, top it with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar, then tightly roll the pie crust into a log and slice it.
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The process: According to the directions, just roll out the pie crust, top it with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar, then tightly roll the pie crust into a log and slice it.

The result: I wouldn't make these again. While easy to make, these cookies tasted pretty bland. And despite using a lot of sugar, they weren't very sweet.The pie crust quickly got hard and stale-tasting in the oven and the whole thing lacked flavor. If you're intent on trying them, I would add some vanilla icing or cream cheese frosting for more sweetness. Get the recipe.Final grade: 🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The result: I wouldn't make these again. While easy to make, these cookies tasted pretty bland. And despite using a lot of sugar, they weren't very sweet.The pie crust quickly got hard and stale-tasting in the oven and the whole thing lacked flavor. If you're intent on trying them, I would add some vanilla icing or cream cheese frosting for more sweetness. Get the recipe.

Final grade: 🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

3. Pretzel M&M Hugs

OK, so if you want to get technical, these probably don't qualify as cookies. But when I was younger, my aunt always used to make these cute, festive pretzel bites at family gatherings. So when I stumbled upon them on Pinterest, I got hit with serious nostalgia.What you'll need: Square pretzels, Hershey's hugs (or kisses), and M&Ms.
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

OK, so if you want to get technical, these probably don't qualify as cookies. But when I was younger, my aunt always used to make these cute, festive pretzel bites at family gatherings. So when I stumbled upon them on Pinterest, I got hit with serious nostalgia.

What you'll need: Square pretzels, Hershey's hugs (or kisses), and M&Ms.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The process: Believe me when I say literally anyone can make these. Heat your oven to 250°F, place an unwrapped Hershey's hug on top of each pretzel square, and pop them into the oven for about 4 minutes (the chocolate begins to melt really quickly). Then, add an M&M on top of each bite and place them in the fridge to harden.

The result: These are especially great if you're hosting a crowd. They're easy to make in bulk (just double or triple or even quadruple the ingredients), they're very shareable, and you can make them ahead of time. Get the recipe.Final grade: 🍪🍪🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The result: These are especially great if you're hosting a crowd. They're easy to make in bulk (just double or triple or even quadruple the ingredients), they're very shareable, and you can make them ahead of time. Get the recipe.

Final grade: 🍪🍪🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

4. Chocolate Coconut Truffles

Coconut and chocolate is usually a crowd-pleasing combination. And while I always assumed any chocolate-dipped dessert is pretty time intensive, these supposedly require zero baking skills.What you'll need: Unsweetened coconut flakes, sweetened condensed milk, and dark melting chocolate.
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Coconut and chocolate is usually a crowd-pleasing combination. And while I always assumed any chocolate-dipped dessert is pretty time intensive, these supposedly require zero baking skills.

What you'll need: Unsweetened coconut flakes, sweetened condensed milk, and dark melting chocolate.

The process: According to the directions, you mix sweetened condensed milk with unsweetened coconut flakes. Form the coconut mixture into little balls and put them in the freezer so they can harden. After about half an hour, the coconut should be firm enough to dip into melted dark chocolate without losing its shape.
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The process: According to the directions, you mix sweetened condensed milk with unsweetened coconut flakes. Form the coconut mixture into little balls and put them in the freezer so they can harden. After about half an hour, the coconut should be firm enough to dip into melted dark chocolate without losing its shape.

The result: These tasted better than they looked. The dark chocolate got a little bit clumpy once melted, and the coconut balls quickly lost their shape (even after sitting in the freezer). In the future, I would use a better quality melting chocolate and let the coconut balls freeze for even longer before dipping them. Get the recipe.Final grade: 🍪🍪🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The result: These tasted better than they looked. The dark chocolate got a little bit clumpy once melted, and the coconut balls quickly lost their shape (even after sitting in the freezer). In the future, I would use a better quality melting chocolate and let the coconut balls freeze for even longer before dipping them. Get the recipe.

Final grade: 🍪🍪🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

5. Peanut Butter Cookies

Like the vast majority of mankind, I'm a peanut butter lover, so anything made with a jar of PB sounds like a win in my book.What you'll need: Creamy peanut butter, one egg, and brown sugar.
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Like the vast majority of mankind, I'm a peanut butter lover, so anything made with a jar of PB sounds like a win in my book.

What you'll need: Creamy peanut butter, one egg, and brown sugar.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The process: These cookies are basically foolproof: Just mix all the ingredients together and combine until smooth. Then, make little balls of the peanut butter dough, place them in parchment paper, and flatten the dough out with the back of a fork. Bake them in the oven for about eight minutes. When they first come out of the oven, these cookies are soft and brittle, but let them cool for a few minutes and they'll harden.

The result: These were pretty addictive and SO low-effort. While you might expect them to taste dense, these cookies are super light and airy. If you like peanut butter, you'll love these. Get the recipe.Final grade: 🍪🍪🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The result: These were pretty addictive and SO low-effort. While you might expect them to taste dense, these cookies are super light and airy. If you like peanut butter, you'll love these. Get the recipe.

Final grade: 🍪🍪🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

6. Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

When baking for the holidays, it's always a good idea to have a great chocolate dessert in your arsenal. But could such a simple chocolate hazelnut cookie actually taste great?What you'll need: Eggs, chocolate hazelnut spread, and flour.
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

When baking for the holidays, it's always a good idea to have a great chocolate dessert in your arsenal. But could such a simple chocolate hazelnut cookie actually taste great?

What you'll need: Eggs, chocolate hazelnut spread, and flour.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The process: Just mix the three ingredients together in a bowl, scoop the chocolate dough into little balls on parchment paper, and bake them for eight minutes. Allow them cool for a few minutes once out of the oven.

The result: Next time, I'll stick with brownies. I was expecting these cookies to taste rich and dense, but they were actually pretty light. I personally prefer the dense, fudgy flavor of brownies. Get the recipe.Final grade: 🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The result: Next time, I'll stick with brownies. I was expecting these cookies to taste rich and dense, but they were actually pretty light. I personally prefer the dense, fudgy flavor of brownies. Get the recipe.

Final grade: 🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

7. Shortbread Cookies

Who knew that classic, buttery shortbread cookies require just three ingredients that are probably already sitting in your pantry?What you'll need: Salted butter, brown sugar, and flour.
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

Who knew that classic, buttery shortbread cookies require just three ingredients that are probably already sitting in your pantry?

What you'll need: Salted butter, brown sugar, and flour.

Han

The process: The instructions say to use a stand mixer, but since I don't own one I decided to use my basic handheld electric mixer (which worked just fine, BTW). After combining the ingredients, I kneaded the dough by hand for about five minutes, rolled it into a ball, and popped it into the refrigerator to cool for 30 minutes.

I happened to have some Hanukkah-themed sprinkles in my pantry, so I used them to jazz up the shortbread cookies. I didn't have any cute cookie cutters though, so I sliced the dough into rectangles and baked them for about 15 minutes.

The result: Super buttery and rich cookies perfect for a holiday party. You could make these much prettier with colorful sprinkles, a bit of icing, or a melted chocolate drizzle. Get the recipe.Final grade: 🍪🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The result: Super buttery and rich cookies perfect for a holiday party. You could make these much prettier with colorful sprinkles, a bit of icing, or a melted chocolate drizzle. Get the recipe.

Final grade: 🍪🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

8. Palmiers

I've eaten palmiers, a popular French pastry before, but I had no idea they were so simple to make. I always assumed they'd require some veteran baking skills.What you'll need: Thawed puff pasty sheets, granulated sugar, and kosher salt.
Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

I've eaten palmiers, a popular French pastry before, but I had no idea they were so simple to make. I always assumed they'd require some veteran baking skills.

What you'll need: Thawed puff pasty sheets, granulated sugar, and kosher salt.

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The process: Roll the puff pastry dough over half the sugar and salt mixture, then sprinkle the remainder of the sugar on top. Fold the puff pastry into a log and slice it. The recipe directions for folding the puff pastry can seem confusing, but folding it is actually very easy. Here's a handy tutorial if, like me, you need a visual. Bake the puff pastry for about six minutes on each side until they're caramelized, and voilà: Fancy French cookies in no time

Hannah Loewentheil/BuzzFeed

The result: These were easily the most delicious of all the three-ingredient cookie recipes I tried. For such a simple recipe, these were really so satisfying. I loved how the sugar gets caramelized and gooey. It's the perfect sweet contrast to the savory puff pastry. Get the recipe.

Final grade: 🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪/🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪

IMHO, the peanut butter cookies, palmiers, Oreo thin mints, and chocolate coconut bites are well worth trying at home. Despite being such easy recipes, the guests at your holiday party would never imagine they each call for just three ingredients.

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