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Your best CRISPY, CRUNCHY cookie recipe. Go!

I am firmly in the crispy cookie camp. I will not turn down a great "soft" cookie if it's homemade, but I can't swallow commercially made soft cookies -- the texture just makes me wonder how many preservatives and who knows whatall is in the treat to make it stay soft and shelf stable.

I'm a confident home baker, but lately I've been caving to SO's pressure and making more soft cookies at his request. Well, that's fine, I like to bake for him, but sometimes I want a cookie I enjoy, too!

It seems more and more difficult to find classic crispy cookie recipes out there as the general American tastes right now appear (to me) to run more toward the soft cookie varieties. I do have a small collection of cookbooks spanning the last 100 years, so I do have some "old reliables." I know the different texture outcomes from oven temps, brown vs. white sugar, butter vs. shortening, letting cookies cool on the sheet, and so on. Still, I'd love to hear if you all have any crunchy favorites.

Thought it might be good to share some of our favorites here. I can't be the only holdout for a cookie with crunch! Please share your best crispy, crunchy, toothsome cookie recipes.

I'll start with my own crunchy cookie workaround/tip/cheat. I've been searching for a truly crunchy oatmeal cookie recipe. I tried some that claim they will have a crunchy result, but they really don't. The closest I've come is by adding homemade oatmeal-based granola to a basic cookie dough--pretty close cheat for crunchy oatmeal cookies!

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  1. I've heard that adding cornstarch to oatmeal cookies can help make them crunchier. My aunt makes my grandmother's mother's top secret oatmeal recipe for holidays and they are hands down the best oatmeal cookies ever. Crunchy and very flavorful. I normally like chewy cookies, but these are some of the best cookies on the planet.

    Unfortunately I won't be given the recipe until my aunt is on her deathbed.

    My favorite thin, crispy choc chip recipe comes from Martha:

    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup brown sugar
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 1/4 cups flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    6 oz. chopped chocolate

    They're made like any other cookie. Cream butter/sugars. Add egg, vanilla. Add dry, then chips.

    Bake at 375 for about 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. If you bake til they look totally done, they're crispy and dark. If you pull them when the centers aren't totally done, you have IMO a perfect thin cookie with crisp edges but a chewy center.

    I've been intrigued by this recipe for quite some time, but have yet to try it: http://www.cookiemadness.net/2013/01/...

    1 Reply
    1. re: nothingswrong

      Those cookies sound delicious. Thanks for sharing!

    2. Doorie greenspan's classic sable cookie is a crunchy buttery one:

      An oatmeal lace cookie is very thin and crispy- there are many variations including this one with almonds:

      3 Replies
      1. re: Ttrockwood

        Oh yes, I've been meaning to try baking Dorie's sable. Thanks for reminding me! Those may be the next batch.

        1. re: Ttrockwood

          Along the lines of Dorie's sable is her world peace cookie:


          The real Neiman Marcus chocolate chip cookie recipe is nice and crunch (not to be confused with the one in the myth that has ground oatmeal). I think the cook time is off on these but if you leave them in that long, they end up VERY crunchy.


          1. re: chowser

            I've heard of her World Peace cookies, but never really looked at the recipe. Thanks for posting!

        2. Of course any (twice baked) biscotti recipe will give you a crunchy outcome. There are so many recipes, practically unlimited choice for flavors.

          1 Reply
          1. re: BangorDin

            True! And I do make biscotti. That is one variety of crunchy cookie SO and I both enjoy.

          2. YES!!!! CRUNCHY cookies! Take that, Chris Kimball!

            Now, I have to confess that my crunchy oatmeal cookie comes from CI or ATK or whichever!!!

            I'll dig it up and post it...

            1 Reply
            1. I like these Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies from Giada. They are definitely not your typical chewy chocolate chip cookie from the back of the chip bag.


              1. Almond Sticks

                3/4 c whole blanched almonds
                1 c plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
                2/3 c sugar
                1/4 tsp salt
                6 tbsp unsalted butter cut into chunks
                2 tbsp water
                1 tsp vanilla extract
                1/8 tsp almond extract
                1/4 c coca nibs

                combine the almonds, flour, sugar and salt in food processor and pulse until the almonds are a fine meal
                add butter and pulse until mixture looks like a mass of crumbs
                combine water, vanilla, and almond extracts
                drizzle into the processor and pulse until dough looks damp
                add coca nibs pulse until crumbly
                turn onto foil and form into approx 6x9-inch rectangle 1/2" thick
                wrap airtight and refrigerate 2 hrs or overnight
                slice 3/8" thick and bake at 350°F for about 12-14 min. cool on rack
                store airtight

                Mix in 1) almonds and cherries
                2) walnuts and candied ginger

                1 Reply
                1. re: Cynsa

                  Sounds delicious--I love almond anything!

                2. Sounds like you need to study the Cookwise chapter on cookies. (I assume Bakewise also contains the same info.) The tables there are the perfect resource for tweaking to desired results.

                  The easiest route to crunchy oatmeal cookies is pinhead oats.

                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                      Duck fat cookies! Holy smokes. Thanks for the pointer. :)

                    2. Here they are - they are not HARD crunchy, but are light and crisp.

                      Salty Thin and Crispy Oatmeal Cookies
                      Paraphrased from ATK.
                      1 cup (5 ounces) unbleached AP flour
                      3/4 t. baking powder
                      1/2 t. baking soda
                      1/4 t. table salt
                      14 T. (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, soft but coolish
                      1 c. (7 ounces) granulated sugar
                      1/4 c. (1 3/4 ounces)light brown sugar
                      1 large egg
                      1 t. vanilla extract
                      2 1/2 cups rolled oats
                      1/2 t. coarse salt, for topping, optional
                      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
                      2. Mix the dry ingredients (not oats yet) together.
                      3. Beat butter and sugars in mixer until light and fluffy. Scrape down and throw in the egg and the vanilla - beat this briefly.
                      4. Incorporate the dry ingredients on low just until smooth. Add the oats and mix those in.
                      5. ATK got 24 cookies; I get about 28. Flatten each doughball just a bit on the baking sheet. Sprinkle a bit of the coarse salt over each if desired.
                      6. Bake 'til nicely browned - 16 minutes works for my oven.
                      7. They cool the cookies completely on the baking sheet - I remove them and cool them on a rack.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: sandylc

                        Thank you so much for posting this recipe. Appreciated!

                      2. Milk Bar cookies - any of them - Christine Tosi recipes - they are delicious and crunchy. We love the Compost Cookies, the Chocolate Chip/ Marshmallow, and the Birthday Cake cookies all meet your criteria.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: jeanmarieok

                          Do you bake them longer? All the Milk Bar cookies I've tried have been soft/chewy.

                          1. re: jeanmarieok

                            Interesting. I made the corn cookies once. They were delicious, but definitely soft/chewy. Maybe I'll give the other recipes a look-see...

                          2. I just made the coconut cookies from smitten kitchen and really liked them. They are very crispy.
                            I have also started making brandy snaps a lot and love them with ice cream, mousse or whipped cream.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: DowntownJosie

                              Thanks! I loooooooove coconut. Will try!

                            2. Oatmeal Lace cookies should be a crispier take on the oatmeal cookie. (Sorry I don't have a foolproof recipe.)

                              Nancy Baggett has 3 very crispy cookie recipies in her Simply Sensational Cookies. Something like this. http://leitesculinaria.com/85514/reci...

                              I made the chocolate chip one and I thought it was good. DH said they were dangerous (sweet and salty) and not to make them anymore! There's a peanut version and a coffee/choc version.

                              Worth a check out of the library.