Cookie Thursday: World’s Best Cookie (recipe)

Reading the Mercury News on Tuesday, I ran across a an article in the Action Line column in which a reader asked for the recipe for the World’s Best Cookie, apparently first published in the Mercury News in 1986. And naturally, I was curious. I mean, that is a big claim. After last week’s cookie disaster (Lavender Shortbread, so many things to go wrong). And, since the cookies don’t have chocolate anywhere near them, I was skeptical. But you know me, always up for adventure!

After whipping up a batch of the cookies (which made about 7 dozen), I found the key to the recipe – 1 cup of butter plus 1 cup of vegetable oil. And 2 cups of sugar, plus oatmeal, coconut, cornflakes and nuts. What is not to love! The crunchiness of the cornflakes, along with the extra fat, makes these cookies very much like sable cookies. Pretty darn close to the world’s best.

World’s Best Cookies
from the San Jose Mercury News

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup crushed cornflakes
  • 1 cup oatmeal (not quick cook)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325F.

Cream butter and sugars until smooth and light. Add in egg and vanilla. Add in oil and mix well. At this point, the batter will look a little strange, but keep going.

Add in the cornflakes, oatmeal, coconut, and walnuts. Mix well. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt and add to mixture.

Using your OXO cookie scoop, measure 1 tablespoon of dough and drop onto ungreased cookie sheets. Using a fork dipped, flatten the top of each cookie. If the fork begins to stick, dip it into a glass of cold water.

Bake 15-18 minutes (the recipe in the paper said 12 minutes, but in my oven, that was not enough time, or else, I like my cookies a little crispier!). Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to rack to cool completely. Try not to inhale them all at once.


  1. Wait, this recipe makes 7 DOZEN cookies? Wow.

    Not a big fan of shredded coconut in desserts. But it seems to be a substantial amount in the recipe. I wonder if you could put something else in, maybe minced dried cranberries?

  2. Kitchen Gadget Girl

    Yeah, 7 dozen, about 85 cookies. I gave them away to lots of people! 🙂

    And I am not sure about the coconut. This would be a time where I wished I understood the relationship between ingredients a little better. I am sure the coconut adds something to the recipe – texture definitely, but I also wonder if it helps with the overall crunch. Not sure what substituting cranberries would do, it would be an interesting experiment. Let me know if you decide to give it a go.


  3. Eh 7 dozon?! And you only brought like a dozon to class hahaha. They were very good, but were lacking chocolate! They needed chocolate very badly!! Hahaha They were very crunchy, very different than the cookies I make.

    1. Kitchen Gadget Girl

      Yeah, my kids ate a bunch and I took a couple dozen around the neighborhood. And then a dozen to Japanese class!

      I think the crispiness comes from all the fat and possibly the coconut. Also, there was only 1 egg and a lot of sugar. Definitely worth some experimentation to figure out, although I am sure that if I look harder, I can find someone who has done all the experimenting already 🙂

  4. Hahah I’m just messin’ with you!ヾ(@°▽°@)ノ

    I wouldn’t think that coconut would get crispy like that unless if it was at the top and like brioled on or something. All the fat and I’m sure the cornfalkes make it crispy. I didn’t really taste any of the coconut in it. Then again when I have coconut I think of those girlscout cookies that are like sprinkled on top… even though I don’t like those

    Yeah, pull out a couple of cookie baking books and I’m sure you will find one very similar to it.

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