Quick & Easy 4-in-1 Cookies

By Purex | Dec. 2, 2013 | Family Life

The holidays are quickly approaching and many people have the mistaken belief that stay at home parents have all the time in the world to get the house holiday ready for visitors, plan menus, keep the kids entertained, and do routine chores.
 
Time is something we always try to save. What better way than one recipe yielding four different holiday cookies? Everyone loves classic sugar cookies, but you can also dress them up with spices, cocoa and lemon zest to give each batch a unique and enjoyable holiday twist!
 
Base Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (½ lb.) Unsalted butter
  • 3 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ⅔ cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups Royal Icing
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

 
4-in-1 Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon allspice
  • 3 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • White sanding sugar

 
Making the Cookies
 
For the base Sugar Cookies
Mix the butter and 1 ⅔ cups of sugar in your electric mixer’s bowl. Beat for about five minutes or until fluffy. When fluffy add vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Set your mixer at medium speed and beat until mixed. Add eggs and beat until eggs are blended in. Add flour, mix at low speed until combined – be sure to scrape down the bowl a couple of times.
 
To Spice It Up
Apply the base sugar cookie instructions in addition to the following:
 
Add 2 Tbs. of sugar, ginger, allspice, and cinnamon into a full batch of sugar cookie dough and beat until blended.
 
To Add Some Zest
Apply the base sugar cookie instructions in addition to the following:
 
Beat the Lemon Zest into a full batch of sugar cookie dough.
 
For Chocolate Lovers
Apply the base sugar cookie instructions in addition to the following:
 
Follow the first step outlined in the base sugar cookie recipe, but after you beat the eggs add the cocoa powder and then only add 2 ⅔ cups of flour.
 
For All Cookies
Separate the dough into two equal sections and with your hands shape them into discs. Then wrap them tightly in plastic and chill the dough until it’s firm. You can chill the dough for as little as 1 hour or up to two days.
 
Use two large cookie sheets lined with parchment for baking. Arrange your oven racks in lower and upper sections of your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
 
Take one dough disc from the refrigerator and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. When you are done, the dough should be 1/4– to 1/8– inch thick. Take your holiday cookie cutters and cut out stars, trees, snowflakes and any other holiday shapes you have. Using a metal spatula move the cookies to the cookie sheets and chill them for 10 minutes in the refrigerator. Depending on the size and thickness of the cookies, bake for 12 to 15 minutes. About halfway through, rotate the pans and finish baking until the cookies are golden and firm to the touch. Cool for five minutes and using a metal spatula again, move the cookies to cookie racks and let cool.
 
Decorate the cookies using the Royal Icing recipe and dust with sanding sugar.
 
Cookies stored in a tightly closed cookie tin will stay fresh for up to two weeks.
 
There you have it – one recipe, four kinds of cookies. The versatility of this recipe is a big help to busy bakers.