Prep 15 mins
Cook 12 mins
From Woman's Day mag 10/7/03. Tightly wrapped dough for each variation can be refrigerated up to 5 days or frozen up to 3 months. Thaw frozen dough in refrigerator overnight. Once baked, cookies may be stored in an airtight container with wax paper between layers up to 1 week at room temperature or frozen up to 2 months.
Basic Cookie Dough
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 3⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- Put butter, granulated and light brown sugar, the baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Beat with mixer on medium speed 3 minutes or until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well blended.
- Reduce mixer speed to low; gradually beat in flour until blended. Divide dough in half (about 1 3/4 cups per portion). Prepare each portion as directed in recipes.
- Chocolate Chunk Cookies: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Have baking sheets ready. Put 1 portion (1/2 recipe) basic cookie dough, 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks, 1/2 cup each pecans and walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped, and 1/4 cup semisweet or milk chocolate mini M & Ms baking bits in a large bowl; stir until blended. Drop heaping measuring tablespoons dough 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown. Cool on baking sheet on a wire rack 2 minutes before removing to rack to cool completely.
- Lemon Wedges: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Have baking sheets ready. Put 1 portion (1/2 recipe) basic cookie dough, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel and 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract in a large bowl; stir until blended. Roll 1/4 cup portions into balls. Place 4 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press into 4 inch circles. Bake 13 to 15 minutes until light brown. While hot, remove circles with a broad spatula to a cutting board. Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Transfer wedges to a rack to cool completely. Whisk 3/4 cup confectioners sugar and 1 tablespoon water until smooth, adding more water if needed until just thin enough to drizzle. Place a piece of wax paper under cookies on rack. Drizzle cookies with sugar mixture; let stand until drizzle sets.
- Berry Crumb Bars: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9 inch square baking pan with foil, letting foil extend above pan on opposite sides. With floured fingers, pat 1 1/4 cups dough (from 1/2 recipe chilled basic cookie dough) over bottom of prepared pan. Put 1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped and 1/3 cup raspberry preserves in a small bowl; stir until well blended. Spread on dough to within 1/2 inch of edges of pan. Add coconut to remaining dough; stir until blended. Break off small pieces and place randomly on cranberry mixture. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until top is browned. Cool in pan on wire rack. Holding foil ends, lift onto cutting board. Cut into 18 bars.
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Have baking sheets ready. Put 1 portion (1/2 recipe) basic cookie dough, 1 1/4 cups old-fashioned oatmeal, 1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped and 1/3 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter in a large bowl; stir until blended. Drop level measuring tablespoons 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. Cool on sheet on wire racks 2 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely.
- Spicy Snickerdoodles: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Have baking sheets ready. Put 1 portion (1/2 recipe) basic cookie dough, 3 tablespoons cornmeal, 2 tablespoons molasses, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon ginger in a large bowl; stir until blended. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm. Place 1/4 cup granulated sugar in a shallow bowl. Shape scant tablespoons dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in sugar to coat. Place 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Sprinkle with decorating sugar. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until edges are browned. Cool on sheet on wire racks 2 minutes before removing to racks to cool completely.
- Chocolate Toffee Brownies: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 inch square baking pan with foil, letting foil extend above pan at opposite sides. Put 1 portion (1/2 recipe) basic cookie dough and 6 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, melted, and cooled in a large bowl; stir until blended. Coarsely chop three 1.4 ounce Skor bars. Add 2/3 of the chopped candy bars to dough mixture; stir to combine. Spoon into lined pan; spread to cover bottom. Combine remaining candy bars, 1/3 cup milk chocloate chips, 1/3 cup pecans, chopped and 1/4 cup mini marshmallows in a small bowl. Sprinkle over dough; then press lightly to adhere. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Holding foil ends, lift onto cutting board. Cut square brownies using a serrated knife.