I’ve never been much of a baker or had much of a sweet tooth… until this year. Something about being home more has me baking lots of pies and cookies. But even though I have a new excitement for baked goods, I still don’t like things that are really fussy, require too many bowls, or take a lot of time. Having a big platter of assorted holiday cookies sounds great in theory, but just the idea of baking multiple different recipes makes me tired. So I made a solution: one master cookie dough that can turn into THREE different unique, beauuuutiful cookies. Aka a way to still be lazy but make something impressive.
It all starts with your new go-to sugar cookie dough that only has seven ingredients. Then you can mix in some spices into ⅓ of the dough for easy spice cookies, some peanut butter for peanut butter & jelly thumbprints, and make different colored easy icings to swirl for ombré iced sugar sookies.
Toons and Miles LOVED the iced cookies most, but any of these cookies are easy enough to make with your kids. If you don’t have kids, you can probably make less of a mess and more perfect looking treats for your virtual Zoom cookie swaps. And if you want to take things to the next level, try sandwiching some of my new No-Churn Black & White Ice Cream between two of them. Even if it’s snowing outside, no one can deny the siren song of an ice cream sandwich.
1. Spice Cookies
These are not as snappy as gingersnaps, but they still pack a nice punch of warm spices. There’s a tiiiiny bit of cayenne in there to wake things up but doesn’t actually taste spicy, so don’t leave it out! What makes them pretty (and delicious) is rolling in coarse raw demerara sugar and spices before baking. If you can’t get your hands on this fancier sugar, white sugar works just fine—they just won’t sparkle as much and there will be less crunchy texture on the outside.
2. Peanut Butter & Jelly Thumbprint Cookies
This tastes like childhood, if you had PB&Js in your lunch box every day. This flavor combo is classic for a reason, and you can switch up the jam flavor inside the thumbprint to whatever you like. Unless you have a perfectly round thumb, you’ll need to shape the divot in the middle into more of a circle so the jam doesn’t start to slide out. And if you have a perfectly round thumb, show me, because that’s weird and cool.
3. Ombré Iced Sugar Cookies
Ooooh! Ahhhh! These cookies are the prettiest (sorry to the other ones) and the most fun to decorate. They look so fancy but are super easy, even the kids could do them...honestly better than me. Make a bunch of different colors of icing—I like this neon food coloring set—and then pour them on top of each other in a ramekin or small bowl. Dip the cookies in, let the excess drip off, and then swirl a bit with a toothpick if you want to try your hand at designing. You can even drip some food coloring directly onto the cookies before they dry to add more pops of color. Bob Ross them as much or as little as you’d like.