By the time the last batch of cookies came out of the oven last Christmas, it was after midnight and I was exhausted—too late for Santa even. Butter wrappers littered the counter and my feet were making powdered sugar footprints on the floor.
True, I was surrounded by lots of lovely cookies, but it occurred to me that they were all variations of the same three ingredients: butter, flour and sugar. As someone who bakes cookies all the time, I asked myself, “why not create a basic recipe that could be turned into a variety of cookies?”
What I had in mind was a cross between butter and sugar cookies. I wanted a dough that could be shaped, rolled, dropped, and even pressed into a pan so by the time they were done, they would look different. Of course, there would have to be a few in-between steps involving toffee bits, citrus icings, and salted peanuts. But once I had the dough, the rest was easy.
Here’s a cookie dough that’s easy to handle, easy to work with and provides plenty of opportunities for little hands too. Once done, the cookies are not so fragile they’ll shatter when packing into a jar to give to a teacher or for leaving on a plate for old Kris Kringle himself.
—By Jean Kressy