13 Secret Ingredients for Irresistible Cookies

1. SECRET INGREDIENT: sour cream

Chocolate chips, chocolate sprinkles, and cocoa powder create a triple shot of chocolate flavor. Sour cream gives the cookies an irresistibly soft and tender crumb.

Get the Triple Chocolate Cookies recipe.

2. SECRET INGREDIENT: peanut butter

Some people like oatmeal cookies. Some like chocolate chip cookies. Yet others prefer peanut butter cookies. This recipe combines all three! The peanut butter in the dough makes them extra rich and delicious.

Get this delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe.

3. SECRET INGREDIENT: dried cranberries

Some commercial gingersnap cookies taste like just about every baking spice except ginger. To make up for that, we use both ground and fresh ginger here. Dried cranberries make a terrific stir-in that adds a sweet, chewy contrast.

Make the Gingersnaps recipe.

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4. SECRET INGREDIENT: cornflakes

This amazingly simple four-ingredient recipe makes a delicious cookie that is both gooey and crunchy. Store-bought cornflakes provide the crunch.

Make the No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies in 15 minutes!

5. SECRET INGREDIENT: graham crackers

Graham crackers have a sweet, nutty taste that makes a fabulous flour for cookies when crushed into crumbs. Chopped walnuts enhance the nutty flavor even more. With a simple chocolate topping, these moist treats will have everyone reaching for seconds.

Make the French Christmas Cookie recipe

6. SECRET INGREDIENT: ground coffee

Coffee-flavored desserts are all the rage. Here, instead of adding brewed coffee, we found that you get more bang for the buck by baking ground coffee right into the cookies. A touch of cocoa powder and cinnamon will have you dreaming of a frothy cappuccino.

Make the Espresso Biscotti recipe.

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7. SECRET INGREDIENT: sesame seeds

These sweet golden cookies make a great treat after dinner, at tea time, or anytime. Toasted sesame seeds give them a delicate crunch and a nutty aroma. The sesame seeds blend in nicely but add just enough interest in each and every bite.

Try the Coconut and Sesame Macaroon recipe.

8. SECRET INGREDIENT: marshmallows

Brownies are great to have around for a quick dessert or snack. They're always a hit, and adding mini marshmallows makes them a little more fun and a lot more tasty.

Try this delicious Rocky Road Brownie recipe


Lemon bars make a refreshing afternoon pick-me-up with tea. With zucchini stirred right into the lemon mixture, the snack becomes truly extraordinary.

Try the Lemon Bar Surprise recipe.

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10. SECRET INGREDIENT: butterscotch chips

Here's a way to take that can of mixed nuts in your cupboard to new heights of flavor. Mix them with melted butterscotch chips and bake them on a sweet pastry crust. These addictive salty-sweet bars will become your new favorite afternoon snack!

Make the Mixed Nut Bars recipe for the adults.

11. SECRET INGREDIENT: sweetened condensed milk

Cheesecake bars with two layers can be time-consuming to make. But thanks to the convenience of sweetened condensed milk, these bars take only 15 minutes of kitchen time. When a dessert is this easy — and this good — you know you'll make it often.

Make the Black-and-White Cheesecake Bars recipe

12. SECRET INGREDIENT: ricotta cheese

There are thousands of recipes for cheesecake, but the best ones usually include more than one type of cheese. Combining cream cheese with ricotta cheese gives the cheesecake more body and a more interesting flavor. A little sour cream doesn't hurt either.

Try this Cheesecake Squares recipe.

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13. SECRET INGREDIENT: cherry preserves

Rugelach is a decadent treat, and the best ones are almost always homemade. Typically they are filled with raisins, chocolate, or cinnamon and sugar, but this version goes in another direction and takes full advantage of the tangy-sweet flavor of cherry preserves.

Try this Cherry Ruglach recipe

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