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Different Types of Cookies: How to Classify Cookies

Here are 10 types of cookies, showing how to classify cookies according to the ways they are baked.

Bar Cookies

Somewhere in between a cookie and a cake, bar cookies are some of the quickest and easiest cookies to make. Dough and other ingredients that are poured or pressed into the pan with sides (instead of on a baking sheet), sometimes in multiple layers. After baking and cooling, they are cut into shapes such as squares, rectangles, triangles, or diamonds.

Drop Cookies

Drop cookies, as the name suggests, are baked by dropping or pushing spoonfuls of cookie dough onto the baking sheet. During baking, the mounds of dough flatten and spread. 

Types of cookies with The Cookie Elf

Filled Cookies

Filled cookies are made from cookie dough stuffed with a fruit or confectionery contents before baking. Some are like a tiny pocket or pouch, prepared similarly to dumplings, in which the dough is encased around the filling and edges are crimped. Others are prepared as tiny tarts in miniature muffin tins. Filled cookies have become favorites because they combine a standard cookie (the dough) with a special filling, offering two treats in one.

Fried Cookies

Fried cookies, growing in popularity, are drop cookies or filled cookies that are cooked in oil. Sometimes referred to as simply “fried dough,” these types of cookies they are often dusted with powdered sugar after being cooked. They are best when served immediately. In addition to traditional fried cookies, today’s favorite cookie recipes (like chocolate chip cookie dough or oatmeal cookie dough) are modified by adding a bit of liquid, rolling the dough in batter, and deep frying the dough to create a rich and crispy treat.

Molded Cookies

Molded cookies, made from stiff dough, are formed into shapes before baking. Cookies are shaped by hand or in a mold. Cookies can be hand-shaped into wreaths, crescents, canes, logs, and balls. Some are molded into large flattened loaves and later cut into smaller cookies. Molded cookies can also be created by using cookie molds, mold pans, cookie stamps, or a specialty rolling pin (Springerle rolling pin) – each created with designs to be pressed into the dough.

No-Bake Cookies

While technically not a cookie category in their own right, no-bake cookies are hybrid between a candy and a cookie. They are made by mixing a filler (such as cereal or nuts) into a sticky binder. The cookies are shaped into individual treats or pressed into a pan and cut as bars, and then cooled to harden. No-bake cookies are unique among types of cookies in that they do not require baking time in an oven.

Pressed Cookies

Pressed cookies are made from soft dough that is placed in a cookie press (also called a cookie gun) or pastry bag and pushed through decorative disks at the tube’s end, forming fancy-shaped designs.

Refrigerator Cookies

Refrigerator cookies are made from dough shaped into cylinders, refrigerated to become stiff, and then sliced and baked. The dough can also be prepared in layers, as for pinwheel cookies, or rolled out flat, sprinkled on the surface with fillings, and rolled into a log before chilling.

Rolled Cookies

Rolled cookies are made from stiff, chilled cookie dough which is rolled out with a rolling pin and cut with a knife, pastry wheel, or cookie cutter. Often cookies are decorated and then baked – or baked, cooled, and frosted.

Sandwich Cookies

Just as a regular sandwich is created with two slices of bread similar in size, a sandwich cookie is assembled with two identically-sized cookies joined together with a sweet filling.


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