Most cookies are made from the same basic ingredients. The dry ingredients consist of all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. The sweetness comes from granulated and/or brown sugar. The fat is either softened butter or margarine and sometimes shortening. Eggs and vanilla extract are also used. For different flavored cookies you can add any or all of these: chocolate, cocoa, nuts, raisins, oatmeal, spices or extracts.
Making the dough is pretty consistent with all cookies. Mix your dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. In a large bowl, cream your butters and sugars, then add your slightly beaten eggs and vanilla. To this mixture, slowly add the dry ingredients until well mixed. Usually at this point the extra flavorings are added to the dough. Then the dough is prepared the way dictated by the cookie type.