For many, this post will reflect a fair amount of common sense. But for those who have never given cookies a great deal of thought, this post will be like a smack in the forehead, the “Of course there are several types of cookies out there” realization that will allow one to approach the treats in different ways.
Spritz Cookies – Also called pressed cookies, these are cookies that are often shaped by a pastry bag or cookie press.
Rolled Cookies Cookies in which the dough had to be flattened or rolled out with a rolling pin. Sugar Cookies, as an example.
No-Bake Cookies – Pretty self explanatory here. These are cookies that do not require any time in the oven. Sometimes called ice-box cookies. Haystacks and Rice Crispy Treats are both no-bakes.
Shaped Cookies – Cookies which retain their shape even after baking in the oven. Cookie batter of this type allows for shaping the cookie to take on any appearance of the baker’s preference. Peanut butter cookies, shortbread, and rugelach are both types of shaped cookies.
Bars and Squares – These are cookies often served in bars and squares of course, thus the name. The best way to think of these are in two different formats. The first is unleavened cake, essentially a batter full of goodies. Brownies are the best example. The other type of bar cookies are best thought of as the cookie version of pies or tarts, usually with a base off some sort and then a filling/topping layered upon the base. The Cheesecake bars you see in some coffee shops are a great example.
Batter Cookies – There are two types of batter cookies. The first type as a high liquid ratio, which results in a thin batter puddle before baked, and a very thin, very crispy near cracker-like quality after baking. Pizzelles fit into this…ahem…mold quite nicely.
On the other side of the coin are the thicker batter cookies which result in cookies with a very cake-like consistency after baked. Whoopie pies and madeleines both are batter cookies.
Biscotti – I couldn’t think of where to put this, as biscotti is unique in that it’s baked twice, first as a loaf, then after it has been sliced.