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The Secret Cookie Recipes Grandma (Almost) Wouldn’t Share

Learn how to bake like grandma with these time-tested secret cookie recipes.

Grandma Krause's Coconut CookiesTaste of Home

Grandma Krause's Coconut Cookies

When my two daughters were young, their great-grandma made them coconut cookies with oats. Thankfully, she shared the recipe. —Debra Dorn, Homosassa, Florida

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Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter CookiesTaste of Home

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies

My mother insisted that my grandmother write down one recipe for her when she got married in 1942. She needed to know this how to make peanut butter cookies from scratch recipe. That was a real effort because Grandma was a traditional pioneer-type cook who used "a little of this or that 'til it feels right." This treasured recipe is the only one she ever wrote down! —Janet Hall, Clinton, Wisconsin

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Cookie Jar GingersnapsTaste of Home

Cookie Jar Gingersnaps

My grandma kept two cookie jars in her pantry. One of the jars, which I now have, always had these crisp and chewy gingersnaps in it. They're still my favorite cookie recipe. My daughter, Becky, used this recipe for a 4-H fair and won a blue ribbon. —Deb Handy, Pomona, Kansas

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Grandma Brubaker's Orange CookiesTaste of Home

Grandma Brubaker's Orange Cookies

At least two generations of my family have enjoyed the recipe for these delicate orange-flavored cookies. —Sheri DeBolt, Huntington, Indiana

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Crisp Sugar CookiesTaste of Home

Crisp Sugar Cookies

My grandmother always had sugar cookies in her pantry, and we grandchildren would empty that big jar quickly because they were the best! I now regularly bake these wonderful cookies to share with friends. —Evelyn Poteet, Hancock, Maryland. We wonder if this grandma knew about this little secret to making the best sugar cookies.

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Great-Grandma's Oatmeal CookiesTaste of Home

Great-Grandma's Oatmeal Cookies

Not only is this recipe a favorite of my husband's, but it's also extra special to me because it goes back to my great-grandmother. For holidays, we like to sprinkle on colored sugar for a festive touch. —Mary Ann Konechne, Kimball, South Dakota

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Mexican Chocolate Sugar CrispsTaste of Home

Mexican Chocolate Sugar Crisps

My grandma loved these so much, she would hide them from my grandpa! I think of her every time I make a batch. Like Mexican spice? Try stirring in a little chili powder. —Michele Lovio, Thousand Oaks, California

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Frosted Spice CookiesTaste of Home

Frosted Spice Cookies

This recipe has been handed down through many generations of my husband's family. The cookies were always in his grandmother's cookie jar when he'd visit. Today, he enjoys them more than ever—and so I do. —Debbie Hurlbert, Howard, Ohio

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Honey-Lime Almond CookiesTaste of Home

Honey-Lime Almond Cookies

Decades ago my grandmother passed this buttery lime cookie recipe to me. Through years of baking, our cookie memories keep the family connected, although we’re miles apart. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania. Do you know about this step everyone skips while making cookies?

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Grandma's Raspberry RugelachTaste of Home

Grandma's Raspberry Rugelach

I remember sitting on my great-grandmother's couch with a pad and pen in hand as she told me each ingredient and measurement for her special rugelach. Her recipe stands apart because it's a fun twist from typical versions. —Dalya Rubin, Boca Raton, Florida

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Coconut WashboardsTaste of Home

Coconut Washboards

This simple yet satisfying coconut cookie recipe has been around for generations. Pressing a fork into the top gives the look of an old-fashioned washboard. —Tommie Sue Shaw, McAlester, Oklahoma

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Buttery Orange Sugar CookiesTaste of Home

Buttery Orange Sugar Cookies

My husband's grandmother made a variety of cookies every year for her grandkids at Christmastime. She would box them up and give each child his or her own box. This crisp, orange-flavored cookie is one of my favorites from her collection. —Heather McKillip, Aurora, Illinois. Up your holiday cookie game with these helpful Christmas cookie baking hacks.

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Chocolate Chip Oat CookiesTaste of Home

Chocolate Chip Oat Cookies

Back in the '30s, my grandmother found this recipe on a cereal box. For moist, flavorful oatmeal cookies, these can't be beat! They make a tasty snack that's convenient to take along on family outings. —Diane Maughan, Cedar City, Utah

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Grandma's Polish CookiesTaste of Home

Grandma's Polish Cookies

This traditional khruchiki recipe has been handed down through my mother's side from my great-grandmother. As a child, it was my job to loop the end of each cookie through its hole. —Sherine Elise Gilmour, Brooklyn, New York. Before you get cooking, brush up on the baking mistakes you had no idea you were making.

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Italian Rainbow CookiesTaste of Home

Italian Rainbow Cookies

My family has made these classic Italian cookies for generations, and this homemade version is so much better than the bakery version. They are always a special treat during the holidays or any time of year! —Cindy Casazza, Hopewell, New Jersey

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Icebox CookiesTaste of Home

Icebox Cookies

This cookie recipe from my 91-year-old grandmother was my grandfather's favorite. She still makes them and sends us home with the dough so that we can make more whenever we want, I love to make a fresh batch when company drops in. —Chris Paulsen, Glendale, Arizona

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Grandma's Star CookiesTaste of Home

Grandma's Star Cookies

My husband's grandma would only make these butter cutouts with a star cookie cutter. I use various shapes for celebrations throughout the year. —Jenny Brown, West Lafayette, Indiana

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Italian Horn CookiesTaste of Home

Italian Horn Cookies

My family has been making these delicate fruit-filled Christmas cookies for generations. Light and flaky, they have the look of elegant pastry. Find out what the best Christmas cookies from every state are—and how to make them!

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Apricot Pinwheel CookiesTaste of Home

Apricot Pinwheel Cookies

My grandmother always made these cookies for the holidays. The recipe has been passed down through generations to me, and now from me to you. —Robert Logan, Clayton, California. Can't get enough cookie recipes? Check out this three-ingredient cookie recipe that's been viewed by over 40,000 people.

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Mint Chocolate WafersTaste of Home

Mint Chocolate Wafers

My grandmother gave me a cookbook stuffed with recipes. This is a slight twist on one of the first—and best—recipes I made from the book. It's best to store these in the refrigerator. —Mary Murphy, Evansville, Indiana

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Triple Ginger CookiesTaste of Home

Triple Ginger Cookies

My dad loved ginger cookies. I've tinkered with the recipe my grandma handed down by using fresh, ground, and crystallized ginger for more pizzazz. —Trisha Kruse, Eagle, Idaho

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Sea Salt Mint White Mocha CookiesTaste of Home

Sea Salt Mint White Mocha Cookies

This recipe came from my mom's Grandma Alice, who taught her how to bake. Grandma Alice always had a fresh plate of warm cookies on her counter. I learned some of her recipes by heart as a child, and I've been making these since high school. They taste like Christmas. —Kristin Bowers, Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Check out some more easy Christmas cookie recipes you'll want to make every year.

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Italian Sprinkle CookiesTaste of Home

Italian Sprinkle Cookies

Of all the Italian cookie recipes I make, this is my favorite. These sprinkle cookies take some time, but, believe me, they are well worth it! My husband and I used to operate an Italian-American restaurant, and this recipe goes back generations. —Gloria Cracchiolo, Newburgh, New York. Get a look at some surprising secret ingredients that make cookie recipes even better.

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Spiced Oatmeal CookiesTaste of Home

Spiced Oatmeal Cookies

I'm the fourth generation of cooks in my family to bake these cookies. When my grandmother sent me a batch for my birthday one year, I asked her for the recipe. That's when I learned it was originally my great-grandmother's recipe. It's one that I will definitely make sure gets passed on! —Loretta Pakulski, Indian River, Michigan

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Grandma's Sugar CookiesTaste of Home

Grandma's Sugar Cookies

This is one of my great-grandmother's recipes that I received years ago from one of my great-aunts. We bake these cookies for holidays and other special occasions. —Kristy Deloach, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Iced Orange CookiesTaste of Home

Iced Orange Cookies

I usually make these bite-size cookies at Christmastime, when oranges in Florida are plentiful, but they're delicious any time of year. Every time I sniff their wonderful aroma, I remember my grandmother, who shared the recipe. —Lori DiPietro, New Port Richey, Florida. Beyond cookies, try out all of these delicious vintage recipes like Grandma used to make.

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Originally Published on Taste of Home