For kids with a sweet tooth or just a craving for sugar, you need a go-to cookie recipe your kids will love to make with you. Below are two versatile cookie recipes that change based on add-ins, so feel free to experiment to your heart’s content.
QUICK, VERSATILE COOKIES
Ready in 30 minutes, these cookies are great for a quick dessert. They’re even better the next day sandwiching a scoop of your kids’ favorite ice cream flavor! You can prep the dough ahead of time and have the kids slice pieces off the refrigerated cookie dough log when it’s time to bake. Start with the Basic Cookie recipe, then incorporate add-ins as desired.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients: 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. In another bowl beat until creamy: 1 stick of softened, unsalted butter; 1/4 sugar and 3/4 cup packed brown sugar. Then beat in 1 room temperature egg, a generous pinch of salt, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (you can also substitute orange or almond extract).
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 3 batches, working the mixture until smooth and creamy. Then, fold in 1-2 cups of add-ins: chocolate chips, dried cherries, marshmallows, chopped nuts, pretty much whatever you want. This is where your kids can get creative with their flavors. If you have multiple kids baking, you can divide the dough so they can create personalized batches of cookies.
When ready to bake, drop the cookies onto greased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Using an ice cream scoop helps maintain a uniform cookie size. Then bake for about 10 minutes until the edges are brown and the middle is slightly browned. Cooking time will vary based on the size of your cookies, altitude, and oven. The middle will still be soft, but shouldn’t be too gooey on top. Let the cookies rest for a few minutes on the sheet pans before transferring them to cooling racks or into the hands of patiently waiting children.
If you want to make the dough ahead of time: once mixed, tip out the dough along the longer side of a large rectangular sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Work the dough into a log shape parallel to the long edge of the plastic wrap. It doesn’t have to be perfect, because once you fold the plastic over the dough, you can roll it up nicely. Keep in mind the diameter of your roll will be the the diameter of your cookies. Twist the sides as if you’re wrapping a piece of candy and place in the refrigerator. Take out the dough about 30 minutes before baking. You’ll want to slice 1/2 inch slices (while the dough is cold and firm) and place them on the greased cooke sheets, then allow the dough to warm up a bit before going into the oven for a more even baking.
MIX IN IDEAS
Smores – Chocolate chips, marshmallows and some graham cracker crumbs
PB&J – Raisins and chopped peanut chips or even peanut butter
Chocolate chips, coconut flakes, and dried cherries
Rolled oats and raisins
Mint chocolate chips and substitute 1/2 cup of flour for cocoa powder
Drizzle in some caramel
*Note- if adding rolled oats, you may need to add another egg or a couple of tablespoons of water or milk for additional moisture and the opposite applies for moist add-ins like peanut butter or syrup, you’ll need to add a tablespoon for two of flour