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7 Easy Cookies From Grandma’s Recipe Box That Anyone Can Make

Even if you've never baked before, these cookies should be easy enough for you to follow along. TIp: Don't wait until Christmas to bake up a batch!

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Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Cinnamon Star Biscuits

Serves 16

Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus 1 hour resting

Cook Time: 20 minutes

• 2 egg whites

• 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

• 1 teaspoon McCormick Cinnamon, Ground

• grated zest of 1 lemon

• 1 1/2 cup ground almonds

• 1 teaspoon McCormick’s Extra Rich Pure Vanilla Extract

• 1/4 cup sugar

1. Whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl until frothy. Add the confectioner’s sugar, cinnamon and lemon zest. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is thick and holds its shape well. Remove the bowl from the saucepan.
2. Set aside about 1/3 cup of the egg white mixture for decorating the biscuits. Using a large metal spoon, fold the ground almonds and the vanilla through the remaining mixture to form a dough. Fold more ground almonds into the mixture is too sticky. Then leave to stand for 1 hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
4. Sprinkle half the sugar on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Place the dough on top. Sprinkle with the remaining sugar and place another sheet of greaseproof paper on top. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out the biscuit dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick, then remove the top sheet of greaseproof paper. Using star-shaped pastry cutters, cut out shapes from the dough and transfer to the baking trays.
5. Using a palette knife, spread the reserved egg white mixture over the cookies. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until just firm. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then store in an airtight container.

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Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Shortbread

Serves 24 to 28

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 15 minutes resting

Cook Time: 20 minutes

• 1 cup butter, at room temperature

• 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

• 1 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract

• 2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/2 cup corn starch 

1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla in a bowl until light and creamy. Mix in the flour and corn starch using a wooden spoon.
2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead until smooth. Divide the dough in half, then roll out each portion to form a disc about 1/8 inch thick. Wrap the discs in greaseproof paper and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
4. Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking parchment or greaseproof paper until about 1/4 inch thick. Using a round, fluted pastry cutter, cut 12 to 14 rounds from each piece of dough.
5. Place the cookies on the baking trays and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Store in airtight containers for up to two weeks.

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Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Jam Drop Biscuits

Serves 28

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

• 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

• 1/3 cup sugar

• 1 egg

• 1/4 teaspoon McCormick’s Pure Almond Extract

• 1 1/2 cup self-rising flour

• 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/4 cup corn starch
• 2 tablespoons raspberry jam, as needed

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and creamy. Add the egg and almond extract and beat until well combined. Sift the two flours and corn starch over the mixture, then stir in using a large metal spoon until well combined.
3. Roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls and place on the baking trays. Using your thumb, make small indentations in the center of each cookie, then spoon about 1/4 teaspoon of jam into each dent.
4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then store in airtight containers interleaved with layers of greaseproof paper.

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Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Oat Biscuits

Serves 25

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

• 2/3 cup butter, chopped

• 1/2 cup sugar

• 2 tablespoons golden syrup or black treacle (or substitute equal parts honey and corn syrup or maple syrup) 
• 1/4 teaspoon McCormick’s Pure Lemon Extract

• 1 3/4 cup rolled oats

• 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

• 1 teaspoon baking soda   

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
2. Combine the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until melted, then remove from the heat. Mix the lemon extract, oats, flour and coconut in a bowl.
3. Combine the bicarbonate of soda with 1 tablespoon boiling water. Add to the butter mixture, then stir through the dry ingredients until well combined.
4. Spoon tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking trays. Flatten them slightly with the back of a spoon, allowing room for spreading. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking trays.

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Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Gingersnap Biscuits

Serves 20

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

• 1/4 cup soft brown sugar

• 2 tablespoons butter

• 2 tablespoons golden syrup or black treacle (or substitute equal parts honey and corn syrup or maple syrup)
• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon McCormick Ginger, Ground

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
2. Combine the sugar, butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. Stir until the butter has melted and remove from the heat. Sift the flour and ginger over the mixture and stir until combined.
3. Place teaspoons of the mixture on the baking trays, allowing room for spreading. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave on the trays for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the cookies harden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then store in an airtight container for up to three days.

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Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Melting Moments

Serves 12

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

• 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

• 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus extra, for dusting

• 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

• 1/4 cup corn starch 

CITRUS ICING

• 3 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

• 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar

• 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon or orange zest

• 1/4 teaspoon McCormick’s Pure Orange Extract

• 1 tablespoon lemon or orange juice

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and confectioner’s sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Sift the flour and cornflour over the mixture and stir until well combined.
3. With lightly floured hands, roll teaspoons of the dough into small balls. Place on the baking trays and lightly press with a fork dipped in confectioner’s sugar. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies are just cooked through. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
4. To make the icing, beat the butter, icing sugar, citrus zest and orange extract until smooth. Beat in the citrus juice.
5. When the cookies are cold, spread the icing over half the biscuits, then top with another cookie. Store in an airtight container.

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Reader's Digest Association, Inc.

Cut-and-Come Again Cookies

Serves 50

Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour resting

Cook Time: 10 minutes

• 1 cup butter, at room temperature

• 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted

• 1/4 teaspoon McCormick’s Imitation Hazelnut Extract

• 3 cups plain flour

• 1 cup dried apricots, finely chopped

• 3/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped

1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until light and creamy. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. Sift the flour over the butter mixture and stir in using a large metal spoon until well combined. Gently mix the apricots and hazelnuts through.
3.Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide the dough in half, then roll each piece into a 10 inch log. Wrap each log in greaseproof paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until firm. (The refrigerated dough will keep in the fridge for seven to ten days, or can be frozen for up to three months.)
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking trays with baking parchment or greaseproof paper.
5. Cut each log into slices 1cm thick and place on the baking trays about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10 minutes, or until firm and cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the trays. Store in airtight containers.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest