5 Classic Cookies in 5 Ingredients or Less

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Samantha Clark
Associate Director, Quality Assessment & Due Diligence 


Leaves are changing, days are getting shorter, and winter is right around the corner—all signs that it’s the perfect time of year to bake the cookies you’ve been craving. And what better way to enjoy this simple pleasure in life than some VERY simple five-ingredient (or less) recipes?

SeriousFun camp chefs are experts at navigating dietary restrictions and severe allergies—sometimes accommodating more than 50 different diets during one camp session. In that spirit, we’ve provided an ingredient conversion table at the top of this article with substitutions. Reference it as needed!


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1. Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup butter – softened
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (can substitute vegan and allergen-free chocolate chips or cacao nibs)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
  2. Sift flour and brown sugar; stir in eggs.
  3. Mix butter into flour mixture until dough is creamy; fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon pieces of dough onto a baking sheet, setting them about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake until edges begin to brown, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Let cool; enjoy!


2. Sugar Cookies



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup butter – softened
  • Sugar for topping (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
  2. Mix sugar, butter and vanilla together; stir in flour.
  3. Chill dough for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Form dough into balls, place on cookie sheet, and flatten to ½ inch.
  5. Bake 12-15 minutes until edges begin to brown.
  6. If desired, top with sugar. Let cool; enjoy!


3. Oatmeal Cookies



  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • Raisins or chocolate chips to taste (optional)


  1. Combine sugar, margarine and milk in a large saucepan.
  2. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the oats (and raisins and chocolate chips if opting for those).
  4. Use a tablespoon to drop cookies onto wax paper. No baking needed.
  5. Let stand until firm; enjoy!


4. Peanut* Butter Cookies

*If allergic to peanuts, use a different butter of your choice! See above.



  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
  2. Mix all ingredients together (except chocolate chips).
  3. When all ingredients are incorporated well, mix in chocolate chips.
  4. Form dough into 1 ½ inch balls and place on cookie sheet.
  5. If desired, use a fork to press in traditional peanut butter cookie lattice.
  6. Bake for 9 minutes.
  7. Let cool; enjoy!


5. Snicker Doodle



  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup salted butter – room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs

Topping Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
  2. Sift dry ingredients together.
  3. Mix butter and sugar with an electric mixer about 3 minutes.
  4. Mix eggs into butter and sugar.
  5. Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine topping sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Shape dough into balls, roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture and put on baking sheet.
  8. Bake cookies 12-15 minutes until the edges begin to brown.
  9. Let cool; enjoy!


BONUS: Gingerbread Cookie



  • 1 box spice cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 2-3 tbsp flour (optional)
  • Cookie cutters (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F (175 °C).
  2. Mix cake mix, egg and butter.
  3. If dough is sticky, add flour until no longer sticky.
  4. Roll dough out to ¼” - ½” thick.
  5. Cut dough into desired shapes.
  6. Place on baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 9-12 minutes until cookies are set.
  8. Let cool; enjoy!


We hope you enjoy these cookies as much as we do and, as always, add some camp fun of your own: try topping cookies with icing, buttercream, chocolate chips, sprinkles, or berries. Bon appétit!



Samantha’s favorite thing in the world is smiling kiddos. A close second is probably sloths . . . or chocolate. Teach her something new, the more esoteric the better, and she’ll be your best friend. Her work ensures there are quality medical, safety, and program standards in place at all SeriousFun camps and programs.

For more information about SeriousFun Children's Network, visit www.seriousfunnetwork.org or contact us at info@seriousfunnetwork.org.

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