Day 9: Butter Cookies, A Variety that You can Rely on

We are getting very close to Christmas now. All the decorating has been done and hopefully, the shopping is almost all done, too. By this time in December, I begin to start feeling short on time. This is when a mother cookie dough recipe comes in handy.


With this recipe, you make big batch of butter cookie dough. Then, you divide it and add stuff to it to make different types of cookies. I have been making these cookies since the recipes came out in Gourmet magazine’s December 1995 issue.


Each type of cookie calls for 1/2 batch of the butter cookie dough. Sometimes, when I don’t feel I need as many cookies, I divide the dough into quarters and then halve the individual cookie recipes. The yields for each individual cookie are quite large, but that’s because the cookies themselves are really quite small. That just means you can eat more, right?


Over the years, I have modified a couple of the variations a little, but the base cookie dough stays the same. The dough comes together very easily and is also easy to work with, all good traits in a holiday cookie dough when the last thing you want is a fussy dough.


The doughs also do well to be frozen and then baked when you need them, which is what I did this year and it worked out exceedingly well. I made two batches of the base dough and baked up a trio of cookies from them. Wait, shouldn’t there be four, you ask? Well, yes. But, I am saving the last quarter of cookie dough for something else.

The cookies look awfully pretty on the plate, don’t they? I made coconut chocolate sandwich cookies, spiced icebox, and mexican mocha butter balls.


I am not going to type out each individual recipe here, but at the end of the post, there is a list of links to all of them and details on any mods that I make. Happy Baking!

Do remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a tin of cookies. I can’t believe there are only three days left after today. There are way more than three cookies left on my cookie wishlist to make, haha. There’s always next year.

Basic Butter Cookie Dough
Spiced Icebox Butter Cookies
Jelly Bowl Cookies; This one is a favorite of my boys.
Orange Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies; I almost always make these and did not this year. I miss them already.
Mocha Butter Balls; I added a Mexican flair to this one this year by adding 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.
Almond Butter Crisps
Apricot Stars
Raspberry Hazelnut Triangles; This is the only one of the bunch that I have never made. I must remedy that sometime because they sure do sound good!
Spritz Wreaths; Make sure your dough is really soft before you do this or it will be hard to spritz.

Chocolate Dipped Coconut Sticks; Oddly, this is the only recipe not on the website so I will include it here. Basically, you take 1/2 recipe of butter cookie dough and mix in 2 and 1/2 cups of sweetened flaked coconut that has been toasted until golden. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a rectangular log, about 2 inches wide and 1 inch deep. Wrap in parchment and refrigerate until cold, at least 30 minutes. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350, slice the logs into 1/4 inch slices and arrange on a baking sheet at least inch apart. Bake until pale golden, about 12 minutes. Cool cookies for about two minutes. At this point, the recipe tells you to cut each piece in half lengthwise, but I skipped this step because I did not want to dip the cookies in chocolate. I decided to make sandwich cookies with the chocolate instead. After the cookies are cool, you melt 2 cups of chocolate chips and either dip each cookie stick (original recipe) or take one cookie and give it a generous swipe of chocolate with a knife and sandwich it with another (my modification). Place the cookies on a sheet of parchment and let the chocolate set before removing them to an airtight container. Makes 6-8 dozen sticks or 3-4 dozen sandwich cookies.


Posted on December 14, 2013, in Baking, Holiday, Recipe and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. I’ve always thought that making cookies from one master dough would just make cookies that all taste the same, yet look different – your variations really look like they create unique flavorful cookies, though! I am intrigued by several of them…. do you think I can get away with postponing Christmas another week so that I can do a lot of baking while I’m off from school?

  2. Brilliant! Thanks for showing how different each cookie can turn out even though they all start out the same. I really like this concept – especially when baking time is limited.

  3. This sounds like something I need to add to my cookie list thks year! What a versatile dough! Thanks!

  4. Holy variety batman!! Those look amazing

  5. You get to make cookies; I get to make brisket today.

  6. Wow, that’s great to use one dough and then add different things to it.

  7. Can’t wait to try these!

  8. Wonderful and easy to make multiple kinds of cookies.

  9. You all are cookie making machines!

  10. a festival of treats!

  11. You are so talented! Those cookies look yummy. (byjiminy on ravelry)

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: