The Perfect Cookie Base

So today I am going to solve a world of problems for you.

I mean, I guess that’s only if you consider cookie making to be a problem…


Let’s recalculate my last phrase…

Today I’m making your cookie baking life simpler.


I mean, who doesn’t want some simplicity?  AmIrightoramIright?

So today we’re going to talk about the perfect cookie base.

A cookie recipe that you can adapt until your heart’s content…quite possibly the only cookie recipe you’ll ever need.  Ok, that’s probably too dramatic a phrase…but you get me, right?


It will turn out perfect every time, I promise.

Let me show you…

Perfect Cookie Base ~ The only cookie recipe you'll ever need!Above you, you’ll see cookies.

They are all made from the same recipe, but they are all different.

How?  Candy, of course.
 photo IMG_8030_zpsafe926d8.jpgThis cookie recipe will hold up to even your most caramelly candy.  Honest.
You see, I added cornstarch. It seems to be the new trend in cookie baking.
Some people claim that baking with cornstarch in your cookie will make them puffy and soft. I didn’t notice that so much, but what I did notice was it gave them the perfect texture for add-ins, with a perfectly soft and not under-baked center.

I played around with the recipe a touch and came up with the perfect cookie base for any candy addition.


Start with some butter and sugar. Duh.
 photo IMG_8018_zps19a86f85.jpgOf course add in an egg and some vanilla.

*If you’re adapting this to say an Almond Joy Cookie, You can sub in a coconut extract for the vanilla.  Just an idea!  Feel free to place around with other flavors, like almond or mint!
Here’s the vanilla I’ve been using lately.. I really like it…
 photo IMG_8022_zpsd1f1f813.jpgNext up whisk your flour, baking soda, cornstarch and salt together.
Honestly, I’m not usually a whisker of dry ingredients…I’m lazy.
But this time, I wanted to make sure the cornstarch was evenly distributed into the flour…
 photo IMG_8028_zps197140fd.jpgAnd go ahead and mix in your favorite cookie add-in…whether it be M&Ms, peanut butter cups, Butterfinger, Snickers…
 photo IMG_8045_zpsfcaaa45b.jpgThen bake them just like any normal cookie…although if you are baking with a super caramelly candy, like Snickers, Milky Way or Rolo…you might want to freeze your candy before you add it in. And always use parchment paper…it’ll save you a load of trouble.

Here are mine with Snickers…
 photo IMG_8059_zpsaf4aae4b.jpgAnd here are some with peanut butter cups…
 photo IMG_8063_zps7d5e08dd.jpgAnnnnd here are some with M&Ms…
Get it?
 photo IMG_8049_zps65ab9347.jpgSo yeah. This is the best base cookie that I have come across…I mean, it doesn’t take the place of my Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe, but it is great everyday cookie, and it doesn’t require chill-time, which means your cookie to mouth time is substantially lower.

Try them, you’ll be happy you did!



The Perfect Cookie Base

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Dessert


The perfect cookie base recipe that you can use time and time again!


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups your favorite candy or chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper, set aside
  2. In medium bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In mixer cream butter and both sugars together on medium speed, beating until light and fluffy 2-3 minutes. Turn mixer to low and add in egg and vanilla. Turn mixer back up to medium and mix until incorporated, scraping sides when necessary.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add in flour mixture until dough comes together.
  5. Stir in candy until evenly distributed.
  6. Drop by heaping tablespoon onto lined baking sheet and bake for 8-9 minutes until edges are just golden. Make sure not to over bake.
  7. Remove from oven, let cool on baking sheet for 3 minutes, and then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.


When adapting this recipe…feel free to swap out vanilla extract for another flavor for an extra twist!

Keywords: Cookies, Cookie Recipe, Base Cookie


120 Responses

  1. Carrie Mohr

    Thank you so-ooooo much for this FANTASTIC recipe! This really does solve ALL my cookie worries/problems! YOUR A DOLL!!! ?

  2. nancy K

    I know you mentioned these do not need chill time but I am wondering, if I did chill, would it cause a problem? I like to chill to let the flavors meld together.

  3. ColleenB.

    You’re Awesome coming up with the perfect cookie base and sharing it with all of us.
    Your cookies look absolutely fantastic.
    I just got finished making some Chocolate Chip cookies but will be using your base recipe from now on.
    Thank you

  4. I’ve been loving this dough base, too! I started using it about 6 mos ago (thank you Pinterest!) Cornstarch is such a workhorse and although I do chill the dough before I make cookies with it, it’s good to know you don’t and don’t have any spreading issues. I just used this base for some M&M cookies this week and they’re the best M&M cookies Ive ever made because the dough base is the perfect sweetness/chewy/buttery-ness!

  5. I started adding bread flour to my cookies to give them a super chewy texture…and now here you are telling me the REAL secret is cornstarch! I need to try.

  6. So, this is just pure and utter genius. Aaaand, my stomach is literally growling looking at your pictures. Why I clicked on your blog after “trying to be good” with a low-calorie dinner, I’ll never know. #gluttonforpunishment

  7. love this post. it is very smart to use one basic recipe and then add variations to it … so much better than remembering so many different proportions and various ingredients of recipes!

    LOL @ “cookie to mouth time” 😀

  8. Jessica

    Dear LORD these were the best cookies I think I ever made. I cut up Reeses peanut butter cups, mini snickers, mini Three Musketeers and mini Milky Ways and tossed in and they are SO DELICIOUS. Crisp to the touch but chewy when you eat them. PERFECT thank you so much!!!

  9. Sara E

    As always, this recipe is just divine! Everything I have ever made of yours has been fantastic! You always make me look good for my coworkers and friends at pot lucks. 🙂

  10. Alisa

    This is a great cookie base! I made these yesterday with Heathbar English Toffee bits and chocolate chips and they are fantastic. I’ve received rave reviews from everyone on this cookies. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. These cookies look amazing! I’ve never considered myself a “great” baker so recipes need to be pretty simple for me. This looks like one that I have to try. Thanks for posting this 🙂

  12. Chloe

    In your recipe when you mention the cups are you using standard metric or US cups. I know there is some variation between the two. I am so looking forward to trying these as I found them on Pinterest.

  13. LynNae Hill

    Awesome! Perfect for Christmas cookies! One question, where did you get that baking parchment? I need that in my life! Thanks!

    1. Courtney

      Do you know if using cornstarch has any impact on making high-altitude adjustments? (I wish recipes all included the altitude of who created it.)

  14. Krisilyn

    I made these cookies tonight and they came out puff(cake like) I thought they would be flatter and crisp to the touch but chewy. Wonder why this is..?? Any suggestions on how to fix that? I baked half of the batch and I am chilling the other half to see if that helps..

    1. Shelly

      THat’s so strange! I haven’t ever had that at all…my best guess would be you overbaked them a little bit. Take them out when they begin to golden around the edges..if they still seem a bit underdone in the center it will be fine.. let them cool a bit on the baking sheet and then transfer them over to a wire rack to finish cooling.

      1. Krisilyn

        It seemed like they didn’t spread out as much. Even after I chilled the dough for an hour. Hmmm I just wish I knew what I did wrong. Mine didn’t look as delicious as yours. They didn’t have the nice folds on top and they were more puffy rather than thin crisp and chewy.

  15. Rebekah

    You are AWESOME!! I’m using up all my leftover Halloween candy to make batches for my “adopted” soldier. This recipe is seriously on point and delicious!!

  16. Lori

    Thank you for the amazing recipe. I added butterscotch and white chocolate chips to this recipe. My son loves them. He says they taste just like blondie bars which are his favorite. Looks like I will be sending theses to his dorm room this semester! Thank you =)

  17. Jawaria

    Hey there Shelly!
    I woke up yesterday morning and had this sudden urge to bake cookies for some reason! (The last time I made them was using Betty Crocker’s expired cookie mix and safe to say I thought I won’t try my hand at cookies again). Anyway I googled, came across your recipe and aha! they turned out to be so good Masha’Allah. Yummy and crunchy and chewy. I think i overdid the salt and baking soda but guess that counts as learning for next time. (wait- next time?! yes!) Thanks alot for sharing this recipe and specially for the pictorial depiction.

  18. Deborah

    Hi! I read this recipe and it is AMAZING!!I have a question though, can you add gummies? Like Welches or some sort?

    Thxs again for the awesome recipe!!

  19. Clara Louise

    I just tried these and although I haven’t sampled any yet (I am sure they are delicious) my cookies didn’t spread out nice and thin like yours… they remained somewhat in their ball formation. I love thinner cookies so was wondering what I may have done incorrectly for this to happen?


  20. Love this cookie base recipe! Mine is so similar, but I use all brown sugar instead of white and always add a dash of cinnamon to help emphasize the flavors of the add ins. It’s so easy to whip up a bathc of the base and then portion out to make several different kinds using add ins. Love it!

  21. Tina

    I used your base recipe and added those cherry filled chocolate chips….Sooo good. This is my new FAVORITE cookie recipe!!

  22. Wow. This is perfect beyond words. I didn’t know I was looking for this until I stumbled upon it. Godsent, I’m sure. Do you think it works with PB & J? Because I’ve been looking for PB & J cookie recipes and there are mostly thumbprints and sandwich but I want the peanut butter and jam to be swirled in the batter, you know?

  23. Sara

    Do you use salted butter or unsalted butter? I’m going to try this with Andes Creme De Menthe baking chips….we’ll see how it goes.

  24. Jody

    This is our new cookie recipe. We live at a higher altitude and this needed no measurement adjustments. The only thing that I did differently was flatten the cookies a little before and after baking. Thanks.

  25. Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of cookie knowledge! I used this base, but added a little extra butter, some cinnamon, some walnuts, and some coarsley chopped apple pie filling. After mixing everything, I became concerned about the and texture because the filling made the dough “wet”, but I threw a batch in the oven anyhow. They came out AMAZING! My daughter called them Buttery Cinnamon Apple Walnut Cookies! I will be using some more nontraditional mixins just to see what happens next! Maybe a Sea Salted Caramel Pretzel Cookie…. Om nom nom 😀

    Thanks again!

  26. Holstang

    This cookie base is amazing! I hate having to weed through comments from people who haven’t even made the recipe, who wants to read through 80 comments like, “This sounds delicious!”? I want actual comments from people who have actually made the recipe. I have, and this didn’t disappoint. Thank you!

  27. Donna Brown

    This was great! I made M&M cookies then made another batch of the batter and threw in chocolate chips, sliced almonds and coconut flake. Came out great! My go to cookie base from now on, saved so much time! Thank you!!!!

  28. Denita Davis

    Hi, tried your cookie receipes about two weeks ago,turned out great, I did not scroll down all the way down to the receipe just looked at the pictures and assumed,by the pictures 1 cup brown sugar,1 cup flour, 3/4the cup cornstarch, 1 egg,one stick of butter,salt,baking soda,came great,finally scrolled saw the receipe,used it ,did not come like the first batch.They didn’t spread out, your cookies look so great,help!

  29. Mary C.

    This Recipe was great, however, I was worried about the salt being too much for the recipe, and indeed it turned out tasting too salty for my liking. Next time I’m using 1/2 tsp salt instead instead of 3/4 tsp. ~I used white whole wheat flour, and used coconut sugar instead of the white and brown sugar. For the extra 1 1/2 cup “candies” I added were 1/2 sliced almonds, 1/2 unsweetened coconut, and 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips. This is my favorite recipe, and I’ll use it again… however with a little less salt. Thank you!

  30. Kaye

    Thank you for sharing. This recipe was easy to make and my cookies came out perfectly. I followed the directions as written. This will be my new go to basic cookie dough recipe.

  31. Jennifer

    Just made this recipe tonight and I have a few thoughts. 1- I doubled the recipe and made 3 different mixture add-ins. The dough worked beautifully for each element. But the salt was really overpowering. I will make this again tomorrow with 1/3 of the salt. I’m also curious about the vanilla. If this resolves my issue, I will leave it as is, but the next step will be to tweak the vanilla amount. Overall- fantastic.

  32. Ashley ?

    I just made these with all kinds of weird substitutes (because I was using only what I had on hand), and they still turned out delicious! They aren’t too pretty (it turned out more like a cookie ‘cake’, but I’m confident that was due to my adjustments and laziness. ?

  33. Pingback : Biscoff White Chocolate Chip Cookies {#Leftovers Club} - Sugar Dish Me

    1. Shelly

      You can sub in peanut butter for butter in baking if you combine equal parts peanut butter and oil, as peanut butter alone doesn’t have a high enough fat content. So since this recipe calls for 1/2 cup butter, I might suggest using 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup peanut butter mixture. So you would need 1/8 cup peanut butter mixed with 1/8 cup oil. You could use this same formula if you wanted to replace all the butter as well, adding in 1/4 peanut butter and 1/4 oil. Hope this helps!

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