This simple and easy cookies recipe goes a long way and is extremely versatile. I start with basic dough, divide it into three portions and add different flavors to each. Once the dough logs are prepared, I wrap and place them in the freezer. Now all that is required is to slice and bake as many cookies as needed, and in less than half an hour freshly baked cookies in different flavors are filling the air with their wonderful aroma. I’m sure that once you’ll prepare these cookies, you too will have a few cookie dough logs in your freezer at any given time.
You can choose not to flavor the dough at all, to use one or more of the flavors suggested in the recipe, or add any other flavors you have in mind. Other flavors that I sometimes use are: ginger powder, apple pie spice mix, chopped nuts, cocoa, orange…- you get the idea!
A few notes:
* The prepared dough logs can be kept in the freezer (well wrapped) for up to two months.
* The cookies are baked from frozen.
* Demerara sugar is a pale golden sugar, with fairly large grains. It adds both flavor and texture. Do try to find it and not substitute with any other sugar, especially when rolling the cookie dough log in it.
Makes: 80-90 cookies
Prep time: 30 minutes
Freezing time: 4 hours minimum
Baking time: 15-17 minutes
1 stick (115 grams) butter, soft
¾ cup white sugar
¼ cup Demerara sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 XL egg
2 ½ cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 Tbs milk, if needed
For the different flavors:
Cinnamon: 2 tsp cinnamon powder
Anise: 2 tsp anise seeds
Lemon: 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbs lemon zest, 2 Tbs cornstarch, ¼ cup Demerara sugar for rolling
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, white and Demerara sugar and salt. Add the egg and whisk to incorporate. Add the flour and vanilla, and knead to form a ball of dough. If the dough is too dry, add 1-2 Tbs milk, at room temperature, to help bind it. Make sure not to add too much milk. Cut the dough into 3 portions.
2. Add to each portion one of the flavorings above. Knead to incorporate and roll each into a log about 1.6” (4 cm) thick, and about 11” (28cm) long. Roll the lemon dough in Demerara sugar.
3. Wrap each log in wax paper and place on a tray. Place in the freezer for at least 4 hours. To freeze the cookies for a longer period of time, place the logs in a freezer bag, and squeeze out the air.
4. To bake: preheat the oven to 355F (180C). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place the dough logs on a cutting board and cut, with a sharp, heavy knife, into thin slices, about 0.2”(0.5 cm).
5. Bake, from frozen, for about 15-17 minutes, until the cookies are lightly golden at the bottom and sides. Let cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes, before transferring to a rack to cool completely.