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Easy Homemade Cookies Your Way

October 2, 2014

Cookies are a favorite treat year round but October is national cookie month, and it starts with homemade cookie day! What batter way to celebrate it than with a few batches of homemade cookies. This isn’t from the store baking but “old fashioned” baking that can still fit into today’s tastes!

The cookie to us is a small handheld cake by design. In England and Australia they’re called biscuits. Chocolate chip is among the favorite cookies but a variety can be made with fruit, nuts, jelly, sugar sprinkles and frosting. There’s bar cookies, pressed, cut out, drop and refrigerator cookies. There’s every day peanut butter cookies and snickerdoodles which for many signify Christmas.

Cookies are not the place to use low fat margarines. The air whipped into the margarine changes the texture and can result in flat cookies – use real butter if possible! Enjoy baking but don’t like the weight gain? Contact any one of many organizations to send cookies to the troops serving around the world.

While purchased cookies are popular homemade cookies generate an extra touch but don’t have to take a great deal of time. Purchased “slice and bake” cookies have become popular but we pay for the convenience. It’s convenience bakers have done for many years, once calling them refrigerator cookies! This is the ultimate cookie for those who like variety.

The basic recipe involves combining ½ cup butter or butter shortening with 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 egg and ½ teaspoon vanilla, mixing thoroughly. Blend in 1 ¾ cups flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda and ¼ teaspoon salt. When thoroughly mixed you can add extras. A few ideas – for Christmas cookies add finely crushed candy canes, Halloween add a little pumpkin (you may have to balance out with a little more flour), or add peanut butter, chopped nuts, fruit bits, candy bits or just use as is. You can also add cocoa for chocolate cookies, dip in colored sugar before cooking or add maple flavoring. Form into a long roll about 2 ½ inches across. Wrap in waxed paper and you have slice & bake cookies – your way!

Put these in the refrigerator overnight or up to 1 week. (this also stores in the freezer!) and when you’re ready for cookies, remove the waxed paper and slice 1/8 inch thick, arranging on baking sheets. Place in 400F oven for 8-10 minutes. You can enjoy them as is or put a small amount of frosting, icing or jam on them. They are limited only by your creativity and tastes!

This is an easy and highly adaptable way to have homemade cookies whenever you want. You can even celebrate national cookie month with 30 varieties! Enjoy.

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