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13 Secret Ingredients for Irresistible Cookies

These unexpected foods make these treats even more delicious.

close up of a white whipped or sour cream on white backgroundPicsfive/Shutterstock

Sour cream

Sour cream helped propel these Frosted Cashew Cookies to win an award at a county fair. Topped with delicious browned butter frosting, these cookies are a staple for Christmas and a treat in a lunch box.

Get the recipe for Frosted Cashew Cookies.

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Peanut butter

These sweet little Fudge Puddles are perfect for an on-the-go treat. As if fudge isn't delectable enough, the peanut butter in the dough complements the chocolate and makes these cookies extra rich and delicious.

Get the recipe for Fudge Puddles. And don't miss these 17 recipes for Christmas cookies.

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Dried cranberries

Perfect for fall, these Iced Pumpkin Cookies combine the traditional—brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg—with flavors that are more unexpected. Dried cranberries add a sweet, chewy contrast, while the walnuts and granola provide some crunch.

Get the recipe for Iced Pumpkin Cookies.

Corn-flakes background and texture. Top view. cornflake cereal box for morning breakfast.Holiday.Photo.Top/Shutterstock

Cornflakes

Looking for a cookie that you can sink your teeth into? The Spruce Eats' Ranger Cookies are packed with oats and coconut. Store-bought cornflakes provide plenty of crunch.

Get the recipe for Ranger Cookies. Then check out the best Christmas cookie from every state.

Healthy Honey Graham Crackers on a PlateBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Graham crackers

If you need some treats to delight and keep your favorite little kids busy, look no further than these Fire Truck Cookies. Graham crackers form the base of these no-bake cookies. Top them with frosting, then let little hands use black licorice, red gumdrops, and Oreos to create their own rescue vehicles.

Get the recipe for Fire Truck Cookies.

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Coffee

Cheesecake and coffee sound like a perfect combination. For these Mocha Cheesecake Bars, brewed coffee paired with bittersweet chocolate, cream cheese, and sour cream makes for an easy-yet-rich treat. Want to make them even more decadent? Sprinkle the bars with chocolate-covered coffee beans.

Get the recipe for Mocha Cheesecake Bars. Plus, check out the surprising secret ingredient for super-fluffy pancakes.

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Sesame seeds

Cookies for breakfast? It's OK if it's one of these healthy Take-Along Breakfast Cookies. Made with whole-wheat flour, oats, wheat germ, and raisins, these cookies provide a nice punch of protein to start the day. Sesame seeds sprinkled on top give them a delicate crunch and a nutty aroma. Wondering if you can really get sick from cookie dough? We found out. 

Get the recipe for Take-Along Breakfast Cookies.

Unhealthy White Mini Marshmallows in a BowlBrent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Marshmallows

These Whoopie Cookies look like they take a lot of time in the kitchen, but they just take about 30 minutes to prepare. Start with a box of devil's food cake mix and shape the dough into balls. While they bake, whip together some cream cheese and marshmallow creme. Once the cookies are cool, sandwich the tasty filling in the middle and enjoy.

Get the recipe for Whoopie Cookies. If you're more of a cookie traditionalist, you need these hacks for the best chocolate chip cookies.

Light green fresh zucchini stacked in a heap shot from aboveShcherbakova Natalia/Shutterstock

Zucchini

A recipe that calls for peanut butter may not seem like the healthiest option. But these Peanut Butter Drops have a secret: The recipe calls for sneaking some shredded zucchini into the batter. The veggie helps keep the cookies soft, moist, and lower in calories than many other treats.

Get the recipe for Peanut Butter Drops.

A Pile of Gourmet Butterscotch Baking ChipsP Maxwell Photography/Shutterstock

Butterscotch chips

Forgot you needed to bring a plate of treats? Here's a quick cookie recipe to help you out. Start with a package of yellow cake mix and combine it with oats, butter, and an egg. The scrumptious part? Mix in some butterscotch chips or M & M's and be out the door within 20 minutes.

Get the recipe for Cookies in a Jiffy. And don't miss these 7 cookies from Grandma that anyone can make.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest