It’s not like me at all to get excited over baking or cooking. I am incredibly fortunate (as are my children) to be married to someone who loves cooking. In fact, truth be told, preparing food is the thing that I least like doing in the world. But this caught my eye and I thought I would put it on the blog!
Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the USA. I, for one, am grateful for my inkling of interest in a food recipe. And I’m going to bake them with my young children and take them to my step-daughter’s Thanksgiving – for her adorable children.
Enjoy!!! I know your children will!
(PS. We need a gluten free option here too! Anyone?)
A Month of Cookies
One basic cookies dough makes the building blocks for 30 different kinds of cookies — just in time for the holidays. Grab the kids and get rolling.
by Sandy Gluck / Photo by Getty RF
Basic Cookie Dough
Makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 large egg
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.
2. With the mixer on low speed, beat in the flour mixture until just combined. Tear off 2 sheets of waxed paper, each about 12-inches. Spoon half the dough lengthwise down the center of each sheet of paper forming a strip about 8 inches long. With your hands, roll each strip into a log about 2 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. Wrap the logs up in the paper.
3. Freeze several hours until firm or freeze up to 3 months
4. To bake: preheat oven to 400. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap frozen dough and with a sharp knife, slice 1/4-inch thick. Bake until golden around the edges, rotating baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back. With a wide, thin metal spatula, remove from baking sheets to wire rack to cool completely.
1. Ginger Cookies: Add 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard powder to flour mixture. Beat 2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger in to mixture when adding egg.
2. Peanut Cookies: Grind enough peanuts to make 1/3 cup finely ground. Reduce flour to 1 1/3 cups and stir ground peanuts into remaining flour mixture. Add 2 tablespoons finely chopped peanuts when adding egg.
3. Espresso-Almond Cookies: Add 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder to flour mixture. Reduce sugar to 2/3 cup and add 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar. Add 1/8 teaspoon almond extract when adding vanilla. Fold in 1/3 cup sliced almonds after adding flour.
4. Molasses Cookies: Increase flour to 1 3/4 cups, swap in 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar for 1/4 cup granulated, and add 3 tablespoons molasses when beating butter and sugar.
5. Citrus Cookies: Beat 2 tablespoons grated lemon, lime or a combo into mixture when adding egg.
6. Malted Milk Cookies: Add 2 tablespoons malted milk powder to flour mixture. Add 1/4 cup crushed malted milk balls when adding egg.
7. Cornmeal-Currant Cookies: Replace 1/3 cup of flour with 1/3 cup finely ground cornmeal. Stir 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest and 1/3 cup currants into mixture after adding flour.
8. Red-Hot Cookies: Finely crush 1/3 cup of red-hot candies and fold in when adding flour mixture.
9. Spice Cookies: Add 1 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon allspice to flour mixture.
10. Peanut Butter Chips: Reduce butter to 6 tablespoons. Add 2 tablespoons peanut butter. Fold in 3 tablespoons peanut butter chips when adding flour mixture.
11. Brown Butter: Melt butter over low heat until lightly browned and fragrant (do this in a pan that isn’t dark so you can see the change in color). Chill butter until firm then proceed with recipe as directed.
12. Toasted Coconut: Toast 1 cup of angel-flake coconut (the sweetened kind you get in the supermarket in bags) until golden brown. Grind a little more than half to get 1/3 cup ground and replace 1/3 cup of the flour with the ground coconut. Fold the remaining coconut in when adding the egg.
13. Chocolate-Chile Cookies: Remove 3 tablespoons of flour and replace with 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Add 3/4 teaspoon ancho or chipotle chile powder, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon to flour mixture.
14. Granola Cookies: Coarsely shop 1/2 cup of your favorite granola and stir in when adding flour mixture.
15. Orange-Cranberry: Fold 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest and 1/4 cup finely chopped dried cranberries into dough after adding flour mixture.
16. Black Forest: Beat 2 ounces of melted and cooled semisweet chocolate into dough after adding egg. Fold in ¼ cup finely chopped dried cherries after adding flour mixture.
17. White and Dark Chocolate: Remove 3 tablespoons of flour and replace with 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Reduce granulated sugar to 3/4 cup and add 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar. Fold in 1/3 cup chopped white chocolate after adding flour.
18. Double Chocolate: Remove 3 tablespoons of flour and replace with 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Fold in 1/3-cup mini chocolate chips after folding in flour.
19. Rocky Road: Beat 1/3-cup marshmallow fluff when beating butter and sugar. Increase vanilla to 1 teaspoon. Fold in 3 tablespoons mini chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans after folding in flour.
20. Carrot Cookies: Beat 1/2 cup of finely grated carrot into the mixture when adding egg. Swap in 1/3 cup maple sugar for 1/3 cup of regular sugar.
21. Pine Nut Cookies: Fold 1/4 cup of pine nuts into dough after adding flour mixture. Add 1/8 teaspoon almond extract along with vanilla.
22. Crispy Rice Cookies: Stir 2/3 cup of crisp puffed rice cereal into mixture when beating in flour mixture.
23. Sesame Cookies: Beat 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil and 3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds into mixture when adding egg.
24. Apricot-Anise Cookies: Fold in 1 1/2 teaspoons anise seed and 1/4 cup finely chopped dried apricots after adding flour.
25. Cashew Cookies: Reduce butter to 6 tablespoons and add 2 tablespoons cashew butter. Add 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg to flour mixture. Fold in 1/3 cup finely chopped salted cashews after adding flour.
26. Sunflower Seed Cookies: Reduce butter to 6 tablespoons and add 2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter. Fold 2 tablespoons toasted hulled sunflower seeds and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest to mixture after adding flour mixture.
27. Whole-Wheat Cinnamon Sugar Cookies: Replace 2/3 cup of flour with 2/3-cup whole-wheat pastry flour. Add 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon to flour mixture. Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar to sugar and butter mixture.
28. Toasted Oatmeal Cookies: Toast 1 1/2 cups rolled or quick cooking oats until fragrant and golden brown. Grind 1 cup of the oats and once ground measure and substitute for an equal amount of flour. Reduce sugar to 3/4 cup and add 1/4 cup light brown sugar. Fold remaining 1/2 cup oats into dough after adding flour.
29. Butterscotch Cookies: Reduce sugar to 1/2 cup and add 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar. Fold in 1/2 cup butterscotch morsels after adding flour.
30. Tropical Cookies: Fold 1/3 cup finely chopped dried pineapple, 1/4 cup finely chopped dried banana chips, and 2 teaspoons grated lime zest after adding flour.
Sandy Gluck hosts Martha Stewart Radio’s Everyday Food weekdays at 11 a.m. EST on on Sirius XM.