I believe it is unethical to make cookies that are anything less than amazing. Because, if there are cookies, it’s not like I’m gonna NOT eat cookies… but if they’re bad, I’m so disappointed. In my very soul. Cookies should always be super-delicious. And these are.
(This cookie-ethics rule is also the reason I don’t make ’em with wheat germ and Splenda or some sick substitution like that. That sort of behavior is a crime against cookiehood and should not be allowed. Your dough should immediately burst into flames if you inflict some horrible low-cal substitution on poor, innocent cookies. Now, if you make a vegan cookie, and it’s actually super-delicious, I have no objections, but if you’re compromising the taste of the cookie with your efforts to make it “healthy”, there’s a special place in hell for you. A place where you have to eat nothing but your crappy cookies all day forever.)
And now… the moment you’ve been waiting for…
I… may have to discover a less unwieldy name for these, ’cause once you’ve made them, you may wanna do it again and again and again, and if you had to say this every time… well.
Makes 20-24 cookies the way I do it. If you’re entertaining or taking these to a party, I’d suggest a minimum of two batches. They will disappear. And if you’re making a BUNCH of different types of cookies, you’ll want to have more than 2 of each type, ’cause some guests will tell their friends about their favorite, and then the friend will be disappointed if there’s none left, and you’ll become a social outcast and have to boil your shoes to eat when you’re living on the street.
Wait… wait, no, most of that is probably inaccurate. But make more than you think you need, ’cause they make an awesome breakfast if you have leftovers anyway.
I adapted these cookies from an absolutely lovely but unassuming little recipe from AllRecipes.com: Soft Sugar Cookies IV. These cookies are exactly what I want in a cookie — a tiny al dente crust and a moist, chewy, buttery, melt-in-your-mouthy interior. The first time I made them, I followed the recipe exactly, and I made both sugar cookies and snickerdoodles, and they were deliiiiiiiiiiiicious. So delicious, in fact, that less than a week passed before I made more cookies, using this recipe as a base but expanding it.
So, if you want delicious sugar cookies, follow the link to the original recipe. If you want Super-Duper-Multipurpose-AmaziCookies, keep reading. The way I make them, they’re maybe a little more work than conventional drop cookies, but at least you don’t have to roll out dough or some craziness.
The beauty of this recipe, the way I make it, is that you can have as many different types of cookie as you have actual cookies. When I took them to a party, I had 2-3 of each of the following cookies:
- milk chocolate chip
- milk chocolate chip/pecan
- milk chocolate chip/walnut
- milk chocolate chip/dark chocolate chip
- almond joy (dark chocolate chip/almond/coconut)
- dark chocolate chip/mixed dried berries
- snickerdoodle (cinnamon/sugar)
- kitchen sink cookies with EVERYTHING listed above
There’s no stopping you! Got friends who don’t like nuts? Hanging out with freaks who don’t eat chocolate? Wanna try something really crazy like gingered lemon rind/lavender cookies?!?! DO IT! And if they’re terrible, you only have to eat a couple.
Wha’d’ya put in ’em?
- 2/3 cup shortening (I know some people don’t like shortening, but I don’t have much of an objection to it. There’s probably a way to sub-in butter, but is this your recipe? No, it’s mine. I do what I want.)
- 2/3 cup butter
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
Whatever the hell you want! But some suggestions:
- cinnamon/sugar (You COULD do just sugar, but because the brown sugar that I added turns the dough brownish, they won’t LOOK like traditional sugar cookies.)
- milk chocolate chips (+ walnuts or pecans)
- dark chocolate chips (+ coconut or dried berries)
- dried cranberries (+ walnuts)
- mixed dried blueberries/cranberries/cherries
- almonds (+ coconut)
- KITCHEN SINK COOKIES: all that you see here!
How d’ya do it?
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put some parchment paper on two cookie sheets, if you don’t like washing them. The cookies won’t really stick to the sheet (although the innards could get messy), but I like to keep mine as clean as possible.
- In a medium bowl, cream together shortening, butter, and sugars. Just found a pretty great description of creaming: Baking 911. They suggest beating the shortening first, then beating in the butter, then adding the sugar and beating until it’s well-integrated and lighter in color.
- Stir in vanilla and eggs. (At this step, it sometimes looks all weird and curdled and kinda gross and I consider throwing it out and starting over. Luckily, I’m too lazy and not wasteful enough, and I power through it. It might do this ’cause my butter was too warm or something. They still turn out totally fine and delicious.)
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. I usually sift them together, but it probably isn’t necessary.
- Add flour mixture into wet ingredients and stir until well-integrated. WARNING: The dough is THICK by the time it’s done! Like, if you don’t have a Kitchenaid, it may seriously strain your mixer. I sometimes have to stop mixing, scrape it off the beaters, and finish it by hand.
- Once you’ve got your beautiful, smooth dough, you’re ready to make your cookies: For snickerdoodles, grab a golf-ball-sized lump of dough and roll it into a ball. Roll it in cinnamon/sugar. Put it on the cookie sheet, still in ball format. They will spread to perfectly-domed little muffin-top-looking cookies.
For cookies with other fillings, grab a golf-ball-sized lump of dough in one hand and a small handful — maybe like a tablespoon? — of toppings in the other. Smoosh them together, getting the toppings integrated into the cookie. Roll the whole thing into a ball, spreading the dough over any toppings that are totally on the surface — the idea is that all the innards should be inside, with at least a thin film of dough over them. If you’re using coconut, you can roll these in coconut. Put the cookie on the cookie sheet in ball format.
Pro tip: I put a little “key” on top of each cookie, denoting what’s inside; for example, if it has chocolate chips and walnuts, I press one chip and one walnut quarter into the top of the cookie. That way, every guest knows which cookie s/he’s eating.
- You’ll wanna give your cookies a little breathing room — maybe put ’em 2 inches apart. They don’t spread very far, but they look so much nicer if they don’t have that jagged edge where you had to cut them off of their conjoined twin.
- Bake. The recipe says 10-12 minutes. I think I make ’em too big for that, and I wind up baking them 15-20 minutes. Check on them often, is my solution to that. They’ll still be soft and delicious if you overbake them, but they won’t have that super-moist melt-in-your-mouth quality that you want. WARNING: Because this recipe is based on a sugar-cookie recipe, they may not darken and be very golden like most chocolate chip cookies. They may retain their beautiful pallor, so don’t judge doneness on color alone. I sometimes stick a skewer into a middle cookie, the way you would a cake. And I’d suggest erring on the side of undercooked. Because cookie dough.
- They’ll keep in an airtight container for as long as you can resist eating them all, approximately 2 hours. 😉
There you have it. May it serve you well. I’ve trumped it up an awful lot, but I really do adore this recipe, and I hope you do too.