The worst thing that can happen during the Holiday season is that you find yourself out of homemade cookies. That, and maybe your entire online order of Christmas gifts mysteriously vanishes from the face of the earth. True sob story, but I will spare you the sorry details. So we shall have some cookies, okay?
These are vanilla sugar cookies baked two ways. One with a sprinkling of golden sugar on top and the other with dried cranberries and chocolate chips mixed in the dough.
Amid all the excitement and planning, the smartest thing you can do this festive season is probably freeze a large batch of cookie dough. Most kinds of cookie dough can be frozen. Drop cookies like chocolate chip cookies can be frozen as individual portions and then stored in a bigger container. Sugar cookie dough like this one can be formed and frozen as logs.
Need a couple of cookies to satisfy your midnight craving? Slice off a few and pop them straight into the oven. No need to thaw and no need to wait. Except for it to bake and cool down reasonably enough, of course.
I have had these cookie logs in my freezer for a couple of weeks now, but I have heard that they keep well for a couple of months with no problem. I still have some leftover. Maybe I should go bake some more?
The size and shape of the baked cookies will depend on how you shape the logs. You can make them perfectly rounded (for which I have no patience really) or as a large rectangle or even a triangle. You can also use any number of add-ins in this recipe. I kept one log plain and rolled the cut cookies in sugar sprinkles before baking. They turned out so cute and classy.
I mixed in a handful of dried cranberries and chocolate chips in the rest of the dough. They are almost like drop cookies but with all the convenience of slice and bake cookies.I probably could have worked more on shaping this log. But cookies are cookies are cookies, no?!!
A few other combinations I will probably be trying soon are,
- citrus zest, dried cranberries and almonds (I tried this combo in a batch of biscotti I made this week and was simply blown away)
- pistachios and dried rose petals (inspired by my nankhatai shortbread cookies)
- coconut flakes and almonds
- coconut flakes, almonds and chocolate chips (Almond Joy candy, anyone?)
- chocolate chips and walnuts/pecans/macadamia nuts/etc,
- cashew nuts and tutti-frutti, etc.
Just use your imagination.
You can very well put together a large platter of cookies with this one basic cookie dough recipe. Isn’t that awesome? Not to mention the ease of gifting these beauties.
These cookies buttery and light and taste amazing.
Recipe loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen.
- Butter - 1 cup, softened
- Powdered sugar - ⅔ cup, sifted
- Egg - 1, large
- Vanila extract - 1 tsp
- Salt - a fat pinch
- All-purpose flour - 2 cups, sifted
- Dried cranberries - ½ cup (optional add-in)
- Mini chocolate chips - ½ cup (optional add-in)
- Colored sugar sprinkles - 2-3 tbsp or as needed (optional)
- Take the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed till soft. Add sugar and beat well on medium-high till soft and creamy, 1-2 minutes.
- Add egg, vanilla extract and salt and beat well to incorporate, maybe 1 more minute.
- Add flour and combine till the dough just comes together.
- Divide dough into two. Add dried cranberries and chocolate chips to one half and mix to combine. Leave the second half plain. (See notes for more ideas).
- The dough will be sticky, but you will be able to work it into logs to freeze for later. I recommend forming logs on large sheets of cling wrap. This way, you can wrap it around the log and seal the ends. Place formed logs in a large resealable freezer bag and freeze dough till required, upto 3 months.
- To bake the cookies, pre-heat oven to 350 deg.F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Take the dough from the freezer, remove cling wrap and cut into slices ⅓ inch thick. If you wish to, you can roll the plain cookie dough in some colored sugar sprinkles.
- Arrange cookies ½ inch apart on the baking sheet and bake for 12-14 minutes. Cookies will be soft but bottoms will be lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for a few days or as long as they will last!
1. Dried cranberries and almonds
2. Pistachios and dried rose petals
3. Coconut flakes and almonds
4. Coconut flakes, almonds and chocolate chips
5. Chocolate chips and walnuts,
6. Cashew nuts and tutti-frutti, etc.
You will get anywhere between 3-4 dozen cookies with this recipe depending on the circumference of your cookie dough logs and how thick you slice your cookies.
If you make one type of cookies this Christmas, let it be this one. Make a large batch, divide the dough and mix in different nuts and fruits to make a whole lot of different cookies.
Do you have a favorite sugar cookie recipe? Have you tried slice and bake cookies? Do share.
Need more cookie inspiration? Go here and see all my cookie recipes at once.
Go here for Christmas recipes, from appetizers to mains to desserts.
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