Tuesday, December 11, 2012

One easy sugar cookie recipe; 10 different varieties

Every year, my family makes hundreds of cookies for family and friends. We have an easy sugar cookie recipe that adapts well. A few tweaks can yield ten different types of cookies or more. Baking the treats is a full day of work but we always have a good time. 

You can use almost any basic recipe that your family likes. Our favorite easy sugar cookie recipe is found on this blog link. It lends itself well to each of the varieties that are listed here. The adaptations should work for just about any recipe.

The golden rule of recipe tweaking:

There is one firm rule when tweaking a sugar cookie recipe. When adapting the recipe, you must exchange dry ingredients for dry and wet ingredients for wet. This means that if you want to use a tablespoon of espresso, then you will need to cut back on another type of liquid.

If you want to add two tablespoons of chocolate powder, then cut back on the flour by two tablespoons. It may take a couple of tries but you'll get the hang of it fairly quickly.

Otherwise, the texture will change and the outcome may not be as desired. Cooking time may also be effected.

Here are some adaptations that we make to our favorite sugar cookie recipe. When it comes to baking, it's hard to go wrong.

Tweak number 1 - Peanut butter cookies
Turning the easy sugar cookie recipe into peanut butter cookies is simple. All you do is remove the butter and substitute an equal amount of peanut butter. Bake for the time listed above. These cookies will have a lighter texture and will be done when they are a light golden brown. A Hershey's Kiss ca be added to the top of the cookie if desired.

Tweak #2 – Ginger cookie
Substitute 1 tablespoon of the flour for ½ tablespoon of Allspice and ½ tablespoon of ginger and mix. Add flour in one teaspoon at a time until the dough is thick enough to work with. This adds flavor to the easy sugar cookie recipe without changing the consistency.

Tweak #3 – Chocolate
Exchange 1/3 cup of the flour for 1/3 cup of hot chocolate mix. Exchanging more cocoa will result in a more strongly flavored treat but may change the consistency of the cookie.

Tweak #4 – Almond cookies
Use almond flavoring instead of vanilla. Put three almond slices on the top of each cookie.

Tweak #5 – Butterscotch chip
Add one cup of butterscotch to the easy sugar cookie recipe. Slowly fold the chips in and follow the baking instructions above.

Tweak #6 – Kiss cookies
Bake the cookies as per the instructions above. Remove from the oven. Immediately place a chocolate kiss on top of each one. The kiss will slightly melt on the bottom and adhere to the cookie.

Tweak #7 – Peppermint
Substitute the vanilla flavoring with peppermint. Add ¼ cup of crushed peppermint candies to the recipe. Bake as above. Can add white chocolate chips for extra flavor and texture.

Tweak #8 – Lemon icing
Give the easy sugar cookie recipe a light lemon twang by making lemon icing. Instead of milk, mix lemon juice in the powdered sugar. Keep adding additional drops of juice until the consistency is right. Pour or spoon over cookies that have completely cooled.

Tweak #9 – Candy pieces
Mix 1 regular size package of candy coated chocolate pieces into the easy sugar cookie recipe. Remove from oven. This makes a cookie that is similar to a chocolate chip cookie.

Tweak #10 – Pecans or nuts
Cut ¼ cup of pecans or walnuts into small pieces. Add to the basic recipe. Garnish the top of each cookie with half of a pecan or walnut.

These are some general suggestions for tweaking the easy sugar cookie recipe. As you can see, it can easily make ten different types of cookies or more. You are only limited by your willingness to experiment. I hope you have as much fun as we do.

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