4-Way Sugar Cookies

The holidays tend to demand a lot of baking. Parties, cookie exchanges, I always feel like I never have enough time for all the baking I have to do! That’s where this recipe comes in. One basic sugar cookie recipe turns into four delicious cookies!

IMG_4582

I have been making these fabulous cookies since high school. I got the original idea from a Martha Stewart magazine, but over the years have modified it to make four cookies that I can’t get enough of.

You end up with a classic sugar cookie sprinkled with coloured sugar, orange-kissed chocolate coins, chocolate raspberry thumbprints, and chocolate vanilla swirls. Each one is so different, you’d never guess they all come from the same basic recipe!

All cookies will keep, stored in airtight containers, up to 5 days.

Base Recipe
This recipe is large, so it’s best to do it in a stand mixer, but if you don’t have one, a large bowl and a hand mixer will do.

Ingredients
2 cups (4 sticks) butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp salt
5 cups flour

Directions

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and salt; mix on medium until combined. Add flour in two batches, mixing on low until dough comes together.

Divide dough into four equal portions. Flatten each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use, at least overnight and up to one week.

Sparkly Sugar Cookies
Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients
1/4 portion of base recipe
Coloured decorative sugars or sprinkles

Directions

Divide dough in two; while working with the first half, keep the second half in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350 and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll dough to 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters and place on prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle with coloured sugars and refrigerate about 10 minutes. Repeat with second half of dough.

Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Chocolate orange coins
Makes about 4 dozen

Ingredients
1/4 portion of base recipe
1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

Divide dough in half; while you work with one half, keep the second half in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350 and line a few baking sheets with parchment paper.

Roll dough out to 1/8 inch thick and cut out cookies with a small round cookie cutter. Transfer to prepared baking sheets and chill in the fridge about 10 minutes.

Bake until edges are golden, 8-10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.

When cookies are completely cool, melt chocolate in 30-second intervals in the microwave, stirring between each interval. Transfer to a small ziplock bag and snip the corner of the bag. Pipe chocolate in a zigzag pattern over coins. Let chocolate harden completely before storing.

Chocolate raspberry thumbprints
Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients
1/4 portion of base  recipe
3 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped.
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove dough from fridge and let it warm about 20 minutes.

While dough is coming to room temperature, melt chocolate in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each interval.

Place dough in a medium bowl. Drizzle melted chocolate over dough and stir to combine.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheets. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, make an indent in the centre of each ball. Chill 20 minutes.

Bake until firm, 12-15 minutes. As soon as you take them out of the oven, use the handle of the wooden spoon to reform the indents in the centre of each cookie. Quickly fill with a small amount of jam. Let cookies cool on cooling racks completely.

Chocolate Vanilla Swirls
Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients

1/4 portion of base recipe
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

Divide portion of dough equally in half. Set aside one half, place other half in a medium bowl.

Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each interval. Pour melted chocolate over dough and stir to combine. Pat each portion of dough into disks about 1/2 inch thick and wrap each in parchment or plastic wrap. Chill about half an hour.

Roll out vanilla dough on a well-floured surface to a 10×8 inch rectangle. Roll out chocolate dough to the same size rectangle and place chocolate rectangle on top of vanilla rectangle (if it breaks, just patch the dough back together once you’ve got it on the vanilla rectangle).

Roll up the dough into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Unwrap dough log and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place on baking sheet and chill about 20 minutes.

Bake until edges are golden, about 10-12 minutes.

One recipe and a few tweaks make 4 delicious cookies! Perfect for parties and cookie exchanges, you now know my Christmas baking secret!

 

 

Share it!Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on Twitter

One thought

  1. Pingback: Meg's Food! | What I’m Baking This Christmas

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.