Anything Cookies {One Basic Cookie Dough, Endless Kinds of Cookies}

30 Cookies
20 min

Use this basic cookie dough recipe to make pretty much whatever kind of cookie you're craving right now.

The chocolate or vanilla dough mixes up in about 5 minutes. After that, toss in anything you like, in whatever combination strikes your fancy.

Chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch chips, roasted nuts, chopped candies, shredded coconut, pretzels, oatmeal, dried fruit, sprinkles, chopped cookies, graham crackers, mini marshmallows... Start with this base cookie dough to bake any kind of cookies.

Several cookies stacked one on top of the other, with the top cookie broken in half so you can see melted chocolate chips and nuts inside.

One Basic Cookie Dough Recipe for Any Kind of Cookie

It's the middle of the afternoon or late at night and you're rummaging around in the kitchen for something sweet, willing something delicious and freshly baked to magically appear in front of you.

We've all been there. And, that is why this anything goes basic cookie dough recipe exists.

The dough takes about 5 minutes to mix up and will happily accept as much or as little of any mix-ins you happen to have on hand. All you have to do is decide if you want a chocolate or vanilla cookie base, then stir in anything you like.

A stack of double chocolate Anything Cookies with the top cookie broken open so you can see the gooey chocolate middle.

What kind of cookie do you want to bake today?

Craving something salty-sweet? Toss in a few handfuls of roasted, salted nuts or salty pretzels.

In desperate need of copious amounts of chocolate? Add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder and then stir in a ridiculous amount of chocolate chips.

Longing for the comfort of oatmeal raisin? No problem.

Want to let the kids go crazy with sprinkles? Let them!

Want to make cookies with a pantry that looks something like this? Two half-eaten packages of easter candy, an open bag of peanut butter chips and another of mini chocolate chips, a snack-size bag of pretzels, about 30 almonds, some toasted coconut and roasted peanuts leftover from last week's curry, three Oreo cookies, and a nearly empty jar of Nutella?

Dump it all in there, baby. I'm telling you. Anything goes with this one cookie dough base recipe.

A whole bunch of options for things you can add to Anything cookies including nuts, chocolate chips, oatmeal, coconut, and heath bar candy bits.
A pile of Anything Cookies on a tray.

Two Tips for The Best Cookies Ever

#1. Large cookies can handle lots of mix-ins.

When it comes to cookies that are stuffed with all sorts of delicious mix-ins, my preference is for them to be quite large. Why? Because there is a much better chance that each cookie will have a nice distribution of mix-ins when they are on the large side.

#2. Under bake your cookies.

The amount and variety of ingredient that you add to this base cookie dough will affect how long they need to bake. So, pay attention to your cookies as they bake, and remove them from the oven when they are slightly underdone in the middle.

Trust me on this. If you're looking for a slightly gooey, soft cookie center, under baking them ever so slightly is the way to go.

The recipe calls for baking generous golf balls sized mounds of dough for 10-11 minutes. If you're baking even larger cookies, you'll probably need to bake them for a couple minutes longer. If baking smaller cookies, take them from the oven sooner.

Essentially, you're looking for cookies that are set and a bit golden around the edges, but still soft looking in the middle. When unsure, err on the side of under-baked cookies.

Balls of cookie dough on a baking sheet, ready to be baked.
A stack of Anything Cookies on a tray with other cookies all around.

How Many Mix-ins Should You Add?

In the vanilla cookies you see pictured here, I added between 5 and 6 cups of mix-ins:

  • About 2 cups of pretzels
  • 1 cup each dark chocolate chips and heath bar candy pieces
  • And a cup or two of roasted, salted almonds.

But, in the chocolate cookies pictured here, I added only about 2 cups of dark chocolate chips.

So, the amount of mix-ins you add to this basic cookie dough is really up to you.

The dough itself will accept a large volume of mix-ins. But, let the ingredients themself guide how much you add of each mix-in.

For example, 5 cups of chocolate chips would make for extremely sweet cookies. Sometimes - and I don't say this lightly - there really is such thing as too much chocolate.

Likewise, if you're only adding crushed Oreos, or chopped peanut butter cups, adding more than 2 cups is likely to result in cookies that are waaaaay too sweet.

However, if you're adding in a mixture of salty and sweet items, like oatmeal, raisins, white chocolate chips, and salted almonds, 5 cups total should be about right. Just let your personal tastes, preferences, and common sense guide you to your perfect cookie.

A pile of double chocolate Anything Cookies on a tray.
A stack of Anything Cookies with one cookie on the top broken in half to see inside.

More Popular Cookie Recipes

Anything Cookies {One Basic Cookie Dough, Endless Kinds of Cookies}
Recipe details
  • 30  Cookies
  • Prep time: 10 Minutes Cook time: 10 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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  • 2 ½ cups (300g) flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 tablespoon (31g) cocoa powder (*Use ONLY if making chocolate cookie dough)
  • 1 cup (8oz/ 226g) salted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup (213g) brown sugar (light or dark)
  • ¾ cup (148g) white (granulated) sugar
  • 2 large eggs + 1 or 2 large egg yolks (*If making vanilla cookie dough, use 1 extra yolk. If making chocolate cookie dough, use 2 extra egg yolks.)
  • 3 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional, but delicious in both vanilla and chocolate cookie dough)
  • Approximately 3-5 cups of anything you like. *Suggested mix-ins listed above this recipe and below in the recipe notes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the flour, salt, and baking soda (and cocoa powder, if making chocolate cookies) to a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Add the melted butter and both sugars to a separate bowl and beat with an electric mixer until lightened in color and fluffy - about 2 minutes.
Add the eggs and egg yolk(s) to the butter-sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition to fully incorporate each egg. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract (if using).
Stir in the dry ingredients, stirring just long enough to blend. Stir in add any other additions.
Plop the dough onto the parchment lined baking sheet in balls that are about the size of a golf ball (a generous size golf ball), spacing them at least 3 inches apart.
Bake for 10-11 minutes, removing them from the oven when they look set but still slightly underdone in the center. Let cool for at least 5-6 minutes before removing them from the cookie sheet to a wire rack to cool completely.
The cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week.
  • Here are a few suggestions:
  • White, dark or milk chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, or peanut butter chips
  • Shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened, toasted or raw
  • Any kind of nuts, raw or roasted and salted, chopped or left whole
  • Heath bar bits, or any kind of chopped or crushed candy
  • Sprinkles
  • Pretzels
  • Oatmeal
  • Any kind of dried fruit
  • Crushed cookies or grahm crackers
  • Marshmallows
Rebecca Blackwell | Of Batter and Dough
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