12 Easy, One-Bowl Cookies for a Simply Sweet Season

Sometimes you want a baking project to last all day, while other times you just need to satisfy a craving — and quick. Or maybe you just found out about tomorrow’s school bake sale, um, tonight. These sweets require only one bowl for assembly, one vessel for baking and a reasonable number of ingredients. But wait. There’s more! Most come together in well under an hour, so you can get to the most important part: eating.

1. Lemon Meltaways

Credit…Mark Weinberg for The New York Times

Samantha Seneviratne’s tangy, melt-in-your-mouth cookies are perfect for the lemon lover in your life. (Maybe that’s you!) Tightly wrap half of the dough, and freeze it for later.

Recipe: Lemon Meltaways

2. M&M Cookies

Credit…Anna Williams for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Susan Spungen. Prop Stylist: Sarah Smart.

With colorful candies sprinkled throughout the dough, these chewy cookies from Eric Kim can brighten the dreariest of days. The secret is to chop the M&Ms so that the chocolate and candy shells are evenly distributed.

Recipe: M&M Cookies

3. Shortbread Jammers

Credit…Lisa Nicklin for The New York Times

If you were lucky enough to get your hands one of those much ballyhooed Bonne Maman advent calendars this year, chances are you have a little extra jam hanging around. Here’s a suggestion: Make this simple recipe that The Times adapted from “The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion.” Shortbread, spread with good jam, then topped with shortbread crumbs, it sure beats more toast.

Recipe: Shortbread Jammers

4. No-Bake Cookies

Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

These achingly-sweet-in-a-good-way chocolate-peanut butter treats are a cinch to put together. Just combine everything in a pot over medium heat, then drop spoonfuls onto a sheet pan and chill until set.

Recipe: No-Bake Cookies

5. Torticas de Morón

Credit…Anna Williams for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Susan Spungen.

Krysten Chambrot developed a version of these “delightfully sandy” cookies that originated in central Cuba. They call for just six ingredients: flour, shortening, sugar, lime zest, salt and vanilla. Smear one with a little dulce de leche or guava paste if you’re feeling festive.

Recipe: Torticas de Morón

6. Caramelized Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats

Credit…Craig Lee for The New York Times

Julia Moskin adapted this recipe from Colin Alevras, then the chef at the Tasting Room in New York, which offered Rice Krispies treats every day until it closed in 2008. (Seems like a noble goal to us.) Basic Rice Krispies treats are always good, but browning the butter takes these to the next level.

Recipe: Caramelized Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats

7. Almendrados (Almond Lemon Macaroons)

Credit…Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times

Toss all the ingredients — almonds, sugar, egg and the zest of a lemon — into the bowl of a food processor, blitz until a smooth dough forms, then chill. Pinch off bits of dough, roll into balls, then top with an almond and bake. Ta-da! You have these lemony-bright, gluten-free delights. Joan Nathan adapted this version from the cookbook author Ana Benarroch de Bensadón.

Recipe: Almendrados (Almond Lemon Macaroons)

8. Rose and Almond Ghriba

Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

Ghriba is a crackly-chewy cookie that is popular in Morocco. Flavors and recipes vary depending on the region or family, but here, Nargisse Benkabbou makes them with rose water and ground almonds. Sticklers will point out that, technically, this isn’t a one-bowl recipe — it calls for an additional small vessel to hold the confectioners’ sugar for rolling — but we think it’s good enough to merit looking the other way.

Recipe: Rose and Almond Ghriba

9. Pepper-Cumin Cookies

Credit…Craig Lee for The New York Times

Black pepper and cumin in a cookie? Indeed. These just-shy-of-savory, sort-of-spicy wafers are revelatory on their own, but serve them with good wine, jam and cheese, like Roquefort or Stilton, and be prepared for accolades.

Recipe: Pepper-Cumin Cookies

10. Banana Everything Cookies

Credit…Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

This recipe exists so that the overripe banana on your counter doesn’t languish, alone and dreams unfulfilled, in your compost bin. Adapted from the cookbook “Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar” by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, they are chock-full of oats, walnuts and chocolate chips.

Recipe: Banana Everything Cookies

11. Salted Pistachio Shortbread

Credit…Con Poulos for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich.

Alison Roman’s salty-sweet-nutty shortbread is made completely in a food processor, so it’s done in a jiffy. The green-hued pistachios give the triangle cookies a Christmas tree vibe, but substitute walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts if you like.

Recipe: Salted Pistachio Shortbread

12. Brown-Edge Cookies

Credit…Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. Prop Stylist: Christina Lane.

These unassuming little wafers are the Walt Whitman of cookies: They contain multitudes. At once buttery, crispy, delicate and chewy, they go with everything, but shine brightest on their own. Putting them together is as simple as whipping butter, sugar, egg, vanilla and salt into a creamy frenzy, dropping spoonfuls onto a sheet pan, then baking until the edges, you guessed it, brown.

Recipe: Brown-Edge Cookies

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