By Vanessa Greaves

Iced cookies do more than just taste good. They also satisfy your hunger for beauty with the icings, frostings, and glazes that turn them into mini-masterpieces. Here's a guide to some our most popular types of iced cookies -- ranging from clever cut-outs to simple drop cookies -- embellished with toppings that take them over the top.

Rolled Cut-Out Cookies

Method: Roll out cookie dough into a thin layer and cut into shapes before baking. Decorate with frosting or icing after cookies are completely cool.

1. The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

This simple recipe is also one of our highest-rated, with 7,000+ reviews and 2,000+ photos. It makes an ideal blank canvas for all kinds of decorations for any holiday or special occasion. Lots of different icings and frostings would work well, but if you're looking for ones that dry to a hard finish, try these classic royal icings made with egg whites or meringue powder, or this glossy hard sugar cookie icing made with light corn syrup.

Photo by LadyOlts

2. Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

With a softer and more cake-like texture, these sugar cookies are best for rolling and cutting out into rounds or simple shapes rather than into elaborate forms.

Photo by AshleyK

3. Classic Gingerbread Cutouts

Build the gingerbread house of your architectural dreams, or bake up a whole community of gingerbread creatures with this sturdy recipe.

Photo by Meredith

Get more recipes for cut-out cookies, plus tips to roll and cut out flawless sugar cookies.

Drop Cookies

Method: Drop cookie dough by the spoonful onto baking sheets before baking. Apply icing, frosting, or glaze after cooling, or according to the recipe.

4. Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Soft and cake-like, these mildly spicy cookies are topped with a simple glaze of confectioners' sugar, milk, butter, and vanilla after they cool.

5. Glazed Apple Cookies

Finely chopped apples and walnuts make these easy drop cookies perfect for fall. For this recipe, you'll apply the glaze while the cookies are still warm from the oven.

Photo by baking_queen

6. Cranberry Orange Cookies

Here's an example of how glaze can intensify the flavor of the cookie. For this recipe, there's orange in the cookie dough and also in the glaze for a double dose of citrusy goodness.

Photo by Kimberly Kahmann Harvey

Get more recipes for drop cookies.

Bar Cookies

Method: Pour or press dough into a pan and cut into shapes after baking. Top with frosting or icing before or after baking, depending on the recipe.

7. Peanut Butter Bars I

You won't have to turn on your oven for this no-bake cookie bar, but you do melt chocolate and peanut butter together to spread as a top layer before chilling.

Photo by Sugarplum

8. Caramel Shortbread Squares

For this iced bar cookie, you'll pour melted caramel over a baked crust, and top it with melted chocolate when the caramel cools.

Photo by footballgrl16

9. Nanaimo Bars III

O, Canada! We love these decadent multi-layered bar cookies from the coast of British Columbia. Watch the video and see how they're made. Try not to eat the screen.

Molded Cookies

Method: Use your hands to form the dough into balls, logs, or other shapes before baking. Embellish with icing or frosting before or after cooling, following recipe recommendations.

10. Chocolate Mint Candies Cookies

Roll the cookie dough into balls that flatten out when they bake, and when they're still hot from the oven, you'll press a mint wafer on top for a melted no-fuss frosting.

Photo by Tricia

11. Raspberry Almond Kiss Cookies

Roll balls of dough in sugar and bake until golden brown. That's when you'll press a chocolate kiss into the center, let the cookie cool, and finish with a raspberry jam glaze. So pretty!

Photo by Dianne

12. Buckeye Balls II

These no-bake peanut butter balls are dipped in melted chocolate to make a beloved treat from the Buckeye State.

Photo by Dianne

13. Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookie Logs

Shape cookie dough into individual logs, bake, and glaze with melted chocolate when the cookies are cool.

Photo by Maggie Tidwell

Refrigerator Cookies

Method: Roll dough into logs, chill, and slice before baking. Ice or glaze following recipe directions.

14. Chocolate Dipped Orange Biscotti

After you roll, cut, and bake the biscotti dough, you'll let it cool off before dipping the pieces into melted chocolate.

Photo by LynnInHK

15. Thin Mint Cookies

After rolling, slicing, and baking this mint-flavored cookie dough, you'll glaze it with melted chocolate while the cookies are still warm. The heat from the cookies helps the glaze smooth out evenly for these popular copycat Girl Scout cookies.

Photo by kketnick

16. Lemon Meltaways

Lemon juice and lemon zest flavor the dough and the icing for these citrusy treats. Make sure to line your baking sheet with parchment paper so the delicate cookies don't stick and crumble.

Photo by Pam Ziegler Lutz

Get more recipes for refrigerator cookies and biscotti, and learn how to melt chocolate so it's smooth and glossy.


Love dessert? (What a question.) Get more sweet inspiration on Allrecipes Sweet Life.