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Dec 4, 2008 06:22 PM

Gourmet's Annual Best Cookies - 1940s to 2000s

Got this link in a Gourmet newsletter tonight...very interesting to see how the cookie styles and flavors change over the decades. I like the photograph of each year's cookie for a quick "do I remember those?" view.

And while it might not be the specific Gourmet cookie recipe my Mom or I made, many of these look familiar - the ginger sugar cookie (which one person commented she knew as Molasses Crinkles, which is how I remembered them), the Lace Cookie, the Speculaas, which I remember my Norwegian grandmother making (although Fatigmans were more often made in her house), and the Lemon Thins.

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  1. I've actually made 2 of the cookies listed :-)

    1999 the Chocolate Crinkle Sambuca Cookies (really good)
    2001 the Cranberry Turtle Cookies (really, REALLY good)

    13 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      Cranberry Turtle Cookies - sounds VERY good - but that darn corn syrup. (I like that they use fresh cranberries!)

      1. re: LindaWhit

        You could probably try substituting agave nectar for the corn syrup. Yes, the recipe uese fresh cranberries. If I take these cookies to any holiday function they are the first ones to disappear.

        1. re: DiningDiva

          Ooh, I like that idea! And I'm pretty sure I can get that at Whole Foods. Thanks, DD!

          1. re: DiningDiva

            Oh, I think that recipe is a good excuse to buy Lyle's golden syrup! I can't eat corn syrup b/c of an allergy, so have come to rely on either cane or agave as a replacement.

            1. re: amyzan

              You need an excuse to buy Lyles? :-D

              Love that stuff too and I think it's actually a better suggestion than the agave

              1. re: amyzan

                Even BETTER! Because I have that in my pantry - thank you!

                1. re: LindaWhit

                  How did they turn out, Linda? I'm so curious, as a cookie lover...

                  1. re: amyzan

                    I never did get around to making them, amyzan. I was busy this weekend making miniature chocolate and pumpkin mousse tartlets for a party. Hopefully soon!

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I know how that goes, but thanks for replying anyway, Linda. Your tartlets sounds good, and I hope the party is a success!

          2. re: DiningDiva

            do you make the turtle recipe exactly as is? and if anyone tries with something other than corn syrup let me know - these look great and different! thanks!

            1. re: AMFM

              Yes, I make them as is, no alterations to the recipe. They're not as difficult as the recipe sounds when you first read it. The recipe is somewhat time consuming, but the end results is really worth it.

              1. re: DiningDiva

                thanks. they sound great - and different. always looking for that!

                1. re: DiningDiva

                  I actually made them with walnuts instead of pecans and they deeeelicious.

            2. the 40's were my kind of cookie decade! I will be making the Brandy snaps this week.

              1. I did some baking today and made 3 of these recipes. 2 were clear winners and the 3rd isn't quite finished yet, but it's not looking too good at the moment.

                The Dutch Cashew Caramel Crunch cookies are outstanding. It's a 70's recipe and the method/directions need a little tweaking, but other than that I ended up with some pretty tasty cookies. They're a BIG cookie and surprisingly rich. The directions say to form the dough into "cylinders" 2 1/2" long and 3/4" thick, but the photo showed round cookies, a little confusing. I think if you just used a generous #60 scoop, rolled the dough into a ball and then form it into a disc about 1/2" thick it would work just fine, the dough should look like a small biscuit when it goes in the oven.

                The Chocolate Crinkle Sambuca Cookies were even better than I remembered. Think Sambuca flavored brownie dusted with powdered sugar and you'll be pretty close to what they taste like.

                I haven't finished up the Irish Coffee Crunchies, and based on where we stand with them now I'm not too sure how they'll end up. These are essentially crisp oat sandwich cookies flavored to taste like an Irish coffee. The cookie dough itself was crumbly, very difficult to get to stick together when rolled and rather flavorless in spite of the whiskey, coffee and cream. The recipe called for only 1/4 cup of butter, 5 TEASPOONS total of liquid, but 3 cups of oats and flour. I kept looking at the recipe to make sure it said teaspoons on the liquid and not tablespoons. I would imagine that might be why the dough was so dry and and crumbly, not enough fat or liquid. But we shall see.

                1. What a grand list and idea. Thanks for the link; I look forward to making my way through some of the list.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: raidar

                    What?! They haven't come out with a book???

                    I would buy it.

                    Thank you for the url, LindaWhit.

                    1. re: dolores

                      LOL! A book is actually a VERY good idea. They could do the Top 3 of each year and get a nice book out of it.

                  2. Gourmet Magazine Favorite Cookies 1940 - 2008. The Gourmet website pages were
                    taken down, but you can access the pages and recipes at

                    Gourmet Magazine Favorite Cookies 1940 - 2008 recipes / pages at

                    Give these links a minute to load the page after clicking on it.

                    Gourmet Magazine Favorite Cookies 1940s

                    Gourmet Magazine Favorite Cookies 1950s

                    Gourmet Magazine Favorite Cookies 1960s

                    Gourmet Magazine Favorite Cookies 1970s

                    Gourmet Magazine Favorite Cookies 1980s

                    Gourmet Magazine Favorite Cookies 1990s

                    Gourmet Magazine Favorite Cookies 2000s