Saturday, November 03, 2007

Cookie number three

One of my favorite things to do during the holidays is start with a great basic dough and then turn it into all kinds of different cookies. A simple flavor addition can change the entire cookie experience.

This is one such recipe. You begin with a basic dough and make additions as you wish.

* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and extract; mix well, not too much beating though, just until mixed up good. Add dry ingredients a cup at a time blend together. When combined, wrap in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out and cut with cookie cutters or shape into one inch balls. These cookies will spread when baked leave room for this on your sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Yes it looks a lot like a sugar cookie recipe. That's because it is. Now for the variations:

The recipe makes 4 dozen cookies so split the dough in to sections before adding the flavor changes to get a variety of flavors with one recipe. Just make sure if you're choosing to add an extract leave out the vanilla when mixing it together.

Want a lemon-y dough? add 2 tablespoons of lemon zest.
Orange-y? add 2 tablespoons of orange zest.
Cinnamon? 1 teaspoon the dry ingredients.
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg if you want a really homey tasting cookie.
You can roll the dough into 1 inch a ball, poke a well into the center of the ball, add a bit of your favorite jam prior to baking.
Change the extract to almond for a different flavor completely. Be careful when serving these that people with nut allergies know it's in there though.
Other extracts can be used as well, praline is a favorite!
Save the chocolate for another cookie, I've got some great chocolate cookie recipes coming up soon!

The dough can be colored with food coloring for cut out cookies.
You can add red hots to the finished dough.
Sprinkle with colored sugar or ice with a simple icing.

This recipe is so versatile. Try your favorite flavors and candies to give it your "signature".