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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.53 / 5 (5181 votes)

Prep time:
15 min
Cook time:
15 min
makes 35 cookies

Create perfect cookies with this great cookie recipe from Rachel Allen; experiment with fruits, nuts, spices and even lavender for unique cookie flavours.


1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3.

2. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in a food mixer until soft and creamy. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is pale and fluffy.

3. Sift in the flour and spices or grated zest (if using) and bring the mixture together to form a firm dough.

4. Using your hands, roll the dough into walnut-sized balls and place them slightly apart on a baking tray (no need to grease or line). Flatten them slightly with the back of a damp fork and bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes, or until they are light golden brown and slightly firm on top.

5. Carefully transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool.

Want to make more cookies? Take a look at our cookie recipe collection

Adapted from Rachel Allen, Bake (Collins)


  • 225 g butter, at room temperature
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 275 g plain flour
  • ground spices, or finely grated zest (optional)

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Latest Comment


Used this recipe loads of times now. Perfect every time and really easy.

RebeccaM70419 RebeccaM70419  Posted 30 Mar 2015 11:41 PM

Would it be ok to freeze cookie dough with egg in the recipe ?

carolW80667 carolW80667  Posted 22 Feb 2015 3:55 PM

Fantastic recipe! My mum and I appreciated the simplicity of the recipe and the cookies look great!

SukhdeepG34141 SukhdeepG34141  Posted 13 Feb 2015 12:48 PM

Amazing recipe!!

LauraG53502 LauraG53502 Posted 23 Jan 2015 10:22 AM

My daughter and I made these cookies, we added vanilla,white choc chips and fudge pieces, they were absolutely delicious and so easy to make, we will definitely be making them again!

LauraG53502 LauraG53502 Posted 23 Jan 2015 10:18 AM

Sorry about the single star,I want to rate it a 5 star recipe, but my kindle won't accept more than one, for some strange reason. The cookies are fantastic and so easy to make. A Very big thank you!

MalatiR93693 MalatiR93693 Posted 13 Nov 2014 3:56 PM

Though burned they were yummy :p I added vanilla, orange zest and chocolate chips. Thank u 4 this great recipe. Greetings from Iraq Smile

amunM99462 amunM99462 Posted 19 Sep 2014 3:09 PM

Really easy recipe and the cookies tasted great.

NicolaP27268 NicolaP27268 Posted 26 Aug 2014 5:52 PM

Really good . I use it whenever guests are arriving. Always a winner with them

bushraA64995 bushraA64995 Posted 15 Apr 2014 3:19 PM

A great recipe, thank you. I added chopped cooking chocolate with the flour, tasted fantastic. Will certainly make again!

suwinter suwinter Posted 09 Apr 2014 1:35 AM

I have a 22 year old boyfriend what can't wait to make these cookies Smile

KelseaC11707 KelseaC11707 Posted 23 Feb 2014 9:20 PM

I have a 2year old son and these are quick and easy and also fun for him to help me out with Smile

DemiH69451 DemiH69451 Posted 29 Jan 2014 9:15 PM

i love these cookies so so much, i made them for my family and they all said how much they love them, i made 27 an hour ago and there is only 8 left!! I added chocolate on some and raisin on the otherSmile

meaghanB286 meaghanB286 Posted 02 Nov 2013 5:30 PM

I added cinnamon and Chocolate to mine it was relli nice Smile x

PaulG42935 PaulG42935 Posted 15 Oct 2013 1:23 PM

They don't taste nice. :-(

jadeW67628 jadeW67628 Posted 05 Oct 2013 11:35 AM

It only made 12 largish cookies for me Smile i chopped up chocolate eclairs and added to the mix very nice.

janedb janedb Posted 29 Sep 2013 8:08 PM

Fantastic with mixed spice but just did some with a hint of black cardamom divine

Simon75 Simon75 Posted 17 Aug 2013 6:50 PM

Lovely and light a bit like shortcake. I added orange zest and they where delicious Smile

emmas163 emmas163 Posted 23 Jul 2013 8:29 PM

INCREDIBLE!!!! I added lemon zest, no spice and a pinch of salt. Really great, this is an excellent recipe.

AnnC75636 AnnC75636 Posted 08 Apr 2013 2:54 PM

Just made theese for me and my flat mates, they loved them and so did I ! Smile

josieH6849 josieH6849 Posted 25 Jan 2013 8:31 PM

Made these for a school project everyone loved them!

CaitlinS75345 CaitlinS75345 Posted 09 Dec 2012 7:06 PM

They taste great, but mine are a bit crumbly and almost turn to powder in the mouth. What might I be doing wrong?

PhilipG42076 PhilipG42076 Posted 18 Oct 2012 4:34 PM

How would I make these apple flavoured? Add apple jucie or flavouring, should I remove some of the butter?

FuchsiaW23670 FuchsiaW23670 Posted 16 Sep 2012 8:53 AM

How would I make these apple flavoured? Add apple jucie or flavouring, should I remove some of the butter?

FuchsiaW23670 FuchsiaW23670 Posted 16 Sep 2012 8:53 AM

can i put cocoa powder in them, if so then how much and shall i reduce the amount of flour

TheAwesomeDude TheAwesomeDude Posted 05 Aug 2012 5:42 PM

Yes, try creamy peanut butter or experiment with chunky for a different texture - you will need to add oil if the mixture needs loosening.

If it's peanut butter cookies you're looking for, try Paul Hollywood's recipe


Anna -Good Food Anna -Good Food Posted 13 Jul 2012 2:21 PM

can I use peanut butter instead of butter?

McatT79132 McatT79132 Posted 12 Jul 2012 4:46 AM

I didnt have plain flour so i used self raising instead. they are a bigger size but that's only due to the size of the balls i put out on the trays. i added vanilla essence and cinnamon to these to add tot he taste! turned out lovely... very simple recipe! 2 thumbs up!

EmmaB44203 EmmaB44203 Posted 02 May 2012 10:18 AM

quick and easy specially that my 4yr old daughter loves to spend time with me in the kitchen, recomend for everyone. Thanks rachel.

bartC91725 bartC91725 Posted 07 Apr 2012 4:32 PM

This is a perfect biscuit recipe. very easy and delicious. Easy enough for my 11 year old girl to make a second batch adding desicated coconut. Yummy

sharonJ8394 sharonJ8394 Posted 18 Mar 2012 5:26 PM

I made these cookies with the exact recipe and the mixture turned out like butter cream. They are now in the oven but are all collided together and there was lots of space between them i have got 4 on 1 sheet pan.

melissaS41769 melissaS41769 Posted 01 Mar 2012 6:34 PM

I made them with dark sugar and orange zest. Really nice, and easy.

MarieG50288 MarieG50288 Posted 28 Feb 2012 8:36 PM

This recipe is amazing!
I have tried many biscuit recipes and none of them have turned out right, but this one was perfect on my first try.
I added 50g of chocolate chips too! Delicious!
This is my new favourite recipe!

Josie Lola32399 Josie Lola32399 Posted 28 Jan 2012 1:03 PM

Such an easy,tasty recipe.When cooked for 15 mins the cookies tend to have a fudgey texture.I cooked mine for almost 25 minutes and got a much crisper texture.
I've experimented with chocolate (add 2 tsp cocoa), ginger (2 tsp) and cinnamon (2 tsp). All delicious.

MaryH25552 MaryH25552 Posted 20 Nov 2011 2:42 PM

I loved this recipe, they turned out really well and they were delicious!! I uploaded a picture for you onto this page somewhere Smile

LaurenS90887 LaurenS90887 Posted 17 Oct 2011 2:37 PM

Awesome recipe!
Mine turned out a little wrong so i called them rock cookies! :D
lol id definately reccomend making them they're supa!

laurenK84321 laurenK84321 Posted 16 Oct 2011 1:00 PM

Awesome recipe!
Mine turned out a little wrong so i called them rock cookies! :D
lol id definately reccomend making them they're supa!

laurenK84321 laurenK84321 Posted 16 Oct 2011 1:00 PM

I made these with margarine (Stork) and they are delicious. I added 3 spoons of cocoa for a delicate chocolate flavour. But I think I could have cooked them for 15 - 17 minutes as they are a little soft. Nice texture though.

MaryH25552 MaryH25552 Posted 09 Oct 2011 8:40 PM

this is a really good recipe, it not only simple but tasty with the crunchy texture :D

sophieW99425 sophieW99425 Posted 06 Jul 2011 1:55 PM

The easiest and most tasty cookie recipe i've tried. I make these with my 5 year old, we add choc chips, raisins sometimes for a change. Fab recipe.

LORRAINEA23829 LORRAINEA23829 Posted 22 May 2011 2:25 PM

Hi Rachel,
thank you so much for the recipe. i always thought cookie baking was the most complicated thing in the whole world. you made it soo easy, also now i have started making cookies to Indian tastes. no baking powder and no eggs is the kind of cooking that we dig and now possible all because of you.

smilingM51635 smilingM51635 Posted 11 Mar 2011 2:04 PM

made these for my dad he loved them used butterfly cookie cutter to shape and put lemon icing on it Smile

zoeH80785 zoeH80785 Posted 01 Jan 2011 5:44 AM

Tried this recipe for the 1st time today with my 2.5 year old and we both loved it! Even though the dough is not suitable for cookie cutters, it is still a great recipe to try with little ones (or without them for that matter!) We did 1/2 the batch with lemon zest and I added cocoa powder to the other half and added chocolate chips on top.
The cookies came out tasting great and I'll be sure to use this recipe many time more!

YaelW67042 YaelW67042 Posted 06 Nov 2010 6:51 PM

very easy and ideal recipe for doing with my 4 year old. Mine looked exactly like Rachel's, except my fork imprints were a bit more obvious - down to the four year old! We made them with ginger and lemon zest. Nice.

MandyB45715 MandyB45715 Posted 26 Oct 2010 3:27 PM

i made these cookies and loved them ! i made mine alot thicker and added cinnamon and nutmeg with a little orange zest , topped with a little cinnamon sugar they were a delight . as a very novice baker i found the recipe great and liked that no egg was needed as i am pregnant i could still lick the spoon tehee . janine x

janineS67712 janineS67712 Posted 22 Oct 2010 10:44 AM

This is the easiest cookie recipe I have used and it is excellent. My four year doesn't like cakes and loves to bake cookies. We add chocolate chips or leave plain and have fun decorating them. Excellent tasty simple recipe!!!

LORRAINEA23829 LORRAINEA23829 Posted 14 Aug 2010 11:47 AM

we make these cookies all the time they are so easy to make my kids love the double chocolate chip ones.

Kerry-Cashman Kerry-Cashman Posted 28 Jul 2010 8:14 AM

added some chopped pecan, raisins and maple syrup - turned out excellent but not overly crisp

Cagey53 Cagey53 Posted 21 May 2010 3:09 PM

I added a little more flour to get a stiffer dough and added some chopped up easter eggs and vanilla extract rolled them out to about 4mm thick, and they were delicious!

Note: They were more like a biscuit than a traditional cookie.

Jamesy79 Jamesy79 Posted 29 Apr 2010 12:56 PM

This recipe is so easy to do and so yummy

ElizabethT39127 ElizabethT39127 Posted 15 Apr 2010 4:54 PM

I made these with my 4 year old nephew yesterday, we added chocolate chips and they were yummy, and very easy to make.

hazelC88587 hazelC88587 Posted 13 Apr 2010 12:01 PM

added sour dried cherries and chopped apricots - delicious

CatherineG94854 CatherineG94854 Posted 10 Apr 2010 12:30 AM

really simple and easy to clean up after. I put some cocoa powder in with the flour to make them chocolate, they were devine!

alexL25851 alexL25851 Posted 12 Nov 2009 10:45 AM

great recipe even for a rubbish cook like me. I added chopped up terrys chocolate orange. they are lush.

natashaJ69576 natashaJ69576 Posted 26 Sep 2009 5:08 PM

fab recipe i added lemon and apricot

josh96 josh96 Posted 24 Aug 2009 1:15 PM

I did citrus biscuits and hazelnut biscuits at the weekend using this recipe and they turned out great - as always! I posted a step by step guide with pics on my blog at


LouiseM55093 LouiseM55093 Posted 22 Jul 2009 9:50 AM

this was so easy to follow my 3 yr old loved helping, we added fresh cherries and some cadbury's milk chocolate cut into small chunks! YUMYUM!!

JohnN657 JohnN657 Posted 14 Jul 2009 3:44 PM

this was so easy to follow my 3 yr old loved helping, we added fresh cherries and some cadbury's milk chocolate cut into small chunks! YUMYUM!!

JohnN657 JohnN657 Posted 14 Jul 2009 3:43 PM

Lovely easy cookie recipe. I made lemon ones and they came out tasting delicious!

ChantalS2289 ChantalS2289 Posted 11 Jul 2009 1:13 PM

i love these cookies so much they are so tasty!!!

Anonymous Anonymous Posted 04 Jul 2009 7:26 PM


Anonymous Anonymous Posted 04 Jul 2009 12:25 PM

An excellent basic recipe, for me it resulted in a light, crumbly cookie with a texture not unlike that of shortbread (i did skimp a little on the butter thanks to a lack of ingerdients)
I flavoured mine with lemon and ginger and they were all gone in no time.

Anonymous Anonymous Posted 27 Jun 2009 11:51 AM

Wow these cookies are wonderful!! i have done so many different variations and they have turned out great everytime

Anonymous Anonymous Posted 24 Jun 2009 2:41 PM

These are absolutely amazing,
try adding maltesers or raisins... Smile xxx
Btw im onlt 13, and i found these sooo easy to make.

This recipe is, simply, easy, fun and creative, try it with your children, i enjoyed it, they will to Smile xxx

Anonymous Anonymous Posted 24 Jun 2009 1:33 PM

okay dokey, i will comment when i have tried them Smile

Anonymous Anonymous Posted 24 Jun 2009 12:08 PM

Great recipie for kids. My children loved making these cookies. A real quick and easy way to introduce them to cooking. Thankyou

Anonymous Anonymous Posted 23 Jun 2009 3:09 PM

if you use plain flour wont it mean that the cookies wont rise?

Anonymous Anonymous Posted 21 Jun 2009 11:47 AM

This was a really easy and lovely recipe. I added some raisins and some cinammon. Will definately make these again. Thank you

NickiC47342 NickiC47342 Posted 17 May 2009 8:23 PM

Brilliant cookies and have tried loads of different flavourings, so tasty

traceyT10301 traceyT10301 Posted 14 Mar 2009 3:49 PM

such fatastic cookies and so easy to make.

MariaD29709 MariaD29709 Posted 08 Mar 2009 9:07 AM

ur cookies r peng

jamesM12526 jamesM12526 Posted 13 Feb 2009 3:57 PM

great cookies, I used semi-sweet morsels from americansoda.co.uk, and used about 100g with a single batch

daveH76395 daveH76395 Posted 20 Nov 2008 8:49 PM

Could not believe that such an easy recipe produced such a delicious batch of cookies.

CatherineY31607 CatherineY31607 Posted 26 Oct 2008 3:24 PM

I made a batch of cookies with this reciepe and my grandchildren cleared them in no time I added some nuts and choc chips yum !!!!

PatriciaF98910 PatriciaF98910 Posted 25 Oct 2008 2:17 PM

first time at making cookies they were wonderful

janiceS61734 janiceS61734 Posted 18 Oct 2008 5:32 PM

A bit messy and fidley for me

ANDYP7180 ANDYP7180 Posted 15 Oct 2008 2:03 PM

This cookie Recipe is FAB I made orange poppy seed and cinnamon, making more today with choc chips don't expect them to last long!!!

KarenM55637 KarenM55637 Posted 12 Oct 2008 1:02 PM

Best cookie recipe I've ever used.I'll never buy cookies from the supermarket again.The recipe is quick,easy and delicious.I added choc n nuts to half the mix and smarties to the rest.Thankyou Rachel.

AnnO26815 AnnO26815 Posted 10 Oct 2008 1:20 PM

I made these cookies for work with chocolate chips and they disappeared very quickly!!! Very easy and quick to do.

hannahP24694 hannahP24694 Posted 10 Oct 2008 12:22 PM