Cookies Part 3 – Drop Cookies

Drop cookies are among the quickest cookies to bake. The cookies are made from teaspoonfuls of dough placed on a baking sheet. The tops of the mounds of dough are often sprinkled with sugar and spice before baking. The cookies can also be shaped by rolling one inch balls of the dough in sugar and spice or nuts. Sometimes the balls of cookie dough are flattened before baking.

The variety of ingredients that can be mixed into the cookie dough gives endless variety. The basis of the simple dough is butter or shortening, sugar, egg, flour and flavoring. The dough can be enhanced with raisins and other dried fruits, nuts and spice, chocolate or other flavored baking chips, and crushed candy or candy coated chocolates. Oatmeal, cornmeal and whole wheat flour can be used along with all-purpose flour. Butter or shortening is used in the dough, often in combination. Peanut or other nut butters can be added in place of part of the fat. If the balls of cookie dough aren’t rolled in sugar and spice before baking the cookies can be iced and decorated with candy sprinkles or nuts.

Like most cookies and small cakes these cookies were among the earliest. Small sweet cakes containing fruits, nuts and spice were common in Europe during the middle Ages. Sweet cake recipes originally traveled from countries in the Middle East into Europe following the Muslim invasion of Spain, the return of soldiers from the Crusades and with the spices that came from the Spice Road.

Drop cookies are good to keep on hand for an after school treats a coffee break or to fill out a holiday cookie tray. Below are a few recipes for this type of cookie that I’ve collected.


This is a fairly standard recipe. If you do not have cream of tartar and baking soda you can use a couple teaspoons of baking powder instead.


  • ½ cup of soft butter
  • ½ cup of shortening
  • 1 ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (can use more)
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 2 ¾ cups of all-purpose flour
  • Enough sugar and cinnamon to roll the balls of cookie dough in.


Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. and set out a couple of cookie sheets. Do not grease the cookie sheets.

Cream the butter and shortening together in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Cream in the sugar until no longer grainy, then beat in the eggs and vanilla extract. Blend the dry ingredients together in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the first mixture and mix together well. In a small bowl mix together about 1/3 cup of sugar with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon. Roll the cookie dough into balls a little larger than an inch. Roll the balls of dough in the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Place the coated balls of dough on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cookies from the baking sheets and cool on a wire rack.

Mom’s Mince Meat Cookies

Mom made these tasty cookies every year during the holidays. She added lemon icing. I believe she found the recipe on a package of mince meat.


  • 3 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 cup of shortening
  • 1 ½ cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 package of mince meat
  • Powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of soft butter and lemon extract and lemon zest for the icing


Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. and lightly grease a couple of cookie sheets.

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. In another bowl cream the shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Break the mince meat into small pieces and stir into the egg and shortening mixture. Stir in the flour mixture and mix well. Drop teaspoons of the cookie dough about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheets and cool on a wire rack.

Mix the butter with about 1 ½ cups of powdered sugar together with a drop or so of lemon extract and some lemon zest. Add a few drops of water until it is right to spread on the cooled cookies. I never measure for this type of icing. It depends on how much powdered sugar I have on hand.

Brown Sugar Drop Cookies

There are many variations of this cookie recipe.


  • 1 cup of soft butter
  • 1 cup of dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of chopped or ground nuts, such as walnuts
  • 1 cup of chopped raisins


Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. and lightly grease a couple of baking sheets.

Mix the soda, salt, cinnamon and flour together in a mixing bowl. Cream the butter and sugars together in another mixing bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla. Add the nuts and raisins and stir well. Stir in the flour mixture. Drop teaspoons of dough about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from pans and cool the cookies on a wire rack.

A combination of dried fruits and nuts or chips or candy can be added instead of the cup of nuts and cup of raisins. The total should equal 2 cups.


1 cup of chopped or ground walnuts or other nuts can be added to the first two recipes.

These recipes can be baked as bar cookies in a sheet pan and iced.

If you are running low on all-purpose flour you can use oatmeal, cornmeal or whole wheat flour as part of the total amount of flour called for.


About dwittopinions

A great grandmother living in the middle of the United States. My interests include art, needlework, reading, history, politics, and cooking.
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