How to Judge a Cookie Recipe Based on Ingredients and Ease of Use

The name is the first thing I notice on a new cookie recipe. Descriptive flavors entice me, especially if it is unusual. Flavors like coffee or rosemary interest me more than a sugar cookie. Not to say that you can’t have a lot of fun flavoring up a plain sugar cookie with some interesting spices.

I like to read through the list of ingredients. If the recipe asks for something that I don’t have on hand, I ask myself whether it is worth getting. I do try to see if I can make a substitution. I’ve been known to exchange cottage cheese for sour cream to cut back on the fat. I also like to make spice or extract substitutions. With cookies involving fruit I’ll use one berry for another or use figs instead of dates to avoid running to the store. You can create a lot of happy accidents with well-placed substitutions.

If I don’t understand the ingredient, I immediately dislike the recipe. For example, a recipe calling for caster sugar, could just as easily say very fine sugar or instruct you to grind up some regular sugar in your food processor. I think of these recipes as a bit snobby. (Caster sugar is used because it dissolves faster and more thoroughly.)

On the other hand, a recipe that asks for corn syrup or a box of cake mix or a can of frosting isn’t likely to make the grade either. One reason I bake is to avoid man-made chemicals and overly sweet recipes. If there is a gooey icing involved, then I know they are selling sugar over any real flavor.

Ingredients aren’t the only reason to select a cookie or bar recipe. I also like to read how long it takes to bake. Cookies that take longer than 20 minutes or bars that take longer than 35 minutes usually don’t make the grade. I don’t like using up a lot of electricity for a single recipe, nor do I like to spend a lot of time on just one item.

If the instructions are several pages long, I know I’m in trouble. A cookie most often involves creaming some form of sugar with some form of fat and then adding flour, flavoring and nuts or fruit. I used to avoid cookies that said, “chill overnight.” Now I understand that chilling allows the flavorings to spread throughout the dough and solidify it for better baking results. I often make several recipes at once (since the ingredients are so similar) and bake them the next day. Or I will make larger quantities and freeze some of the batter for later use.

Like with anything, there are exceptions. I make cutout cookies at Christmas and over the years I’ve collected more do-dads for decorating than I’ll ever use up. Decorating takes time and some of that sugary icing, but it’s just once a year and it looks so festive. Finding a good cutout cookie can be challenging.

So the next time you go rummaging around in your cookbook or go browsing online for a good cookie recipe, ask yourself these questions. Do the ingredients include flavors (other than sugar) that you like? Is it worth going to the store to get special ingredients? Are you truly baking from scratch or just adding more ingredients to a cake mix? Are the instructions easy? How long does it need to bake? And does it require any special pans or tools you may not have? The answers will help you focus on flavor, healthier choices and convenience.

Ultimately, it is the taste of the cookie that determines whether the recipe is a keeper. Don’t forget to jot down those that you like, not only for their flavor, but for their ease of use.

Cookie Recipes

Looking for some cookie recipes? The Internet is the ultimate place to search for exquisite cookie recipes. You will find various sites offering some great cookie recipes. Some recipes are quite simple. You can surprise your family and friends by preparing cookies with these recipes. Thanks to those websites, all the latest cookie recipes will at your fingertips. Whether it is chocolate brownie cookies, blarney stone cookies or peanut-butter cookies, online cookie recipes will help you make them perfectly. Not only that, you will also find sugar-free cookie recipes for those who have diabetes. Sugar is also strictly prohibited for those who want to lose weight. For those cookie lovers, it’s quite painful to resist the temptation.

Sugar-free cookie recipes will give people an opportunity to enjoy cookies without worrying about calories and carbohydrates. These types of cookie recipes use artificial sweeteners. The use of artificial sweeteners is the real problem area, as artificial sweeteners can leave a nasty flavor in your mouth. Nevertheless, cookies will remain popular. If you want to give someone a gift, you can do that with cookies. It’s really impossible for anyone to dislike cookies. That’s why cookie recipes are quite popular worldwide. During the holiday season, the demand for cookie recipes will be sky high.

If you want to know more about cookie recipes, all you need to do is check out various websites offering innovative cookie recipes. Learning traditional Christmas cookie recipes has now become quite simple. Just log on to those sites specializing in these cookie recipes. You can also learn how to make other popular cookies, such as refrigerator cookies, shortbread cookies and more. You will definitely feel temped to try the cookie recipes at home. Explore the world of cookie recipes on the Internet.

Favorite Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes

We all have memories of our favorite Christmas cookie recipes.

Whether chocolate covered, fruit filled or icing topped, holiday baking recipes have to include a few fantastic cookie recipes to satisfy the sweet tooth in all of us.

I love easy cookie recipes. Most of us don’t have enough time to accomplish all we hope to, so quick and easy recipes, especially at this busy time of year, make it a bit easier on the cook. That’s always a good thing.

This is a selection of delicious but very easy Christmas cookie recipes that are a perfect fit for the festive season.

Any of these treats would be a wonderful contribution to a Christmas cookie exchange too, where a group of friends each makes a bulk amount of one or two cookie recipes, then trades, so all have a variety of cookies to serve throughout the holiday season.

Create holiday memories for your family with this batch of sweet and delicious easy Christmas cookie recipes.

Christmas Surprise Cookies

3/4 cup of shortening
3/4 cup of light brown sugar
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup shredded coconut
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Any flavor jam or jelly

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Cream the shortening and the sugar together. Add the egg and mix it all together well. Sift the dry ingredients together and add them to the wet mix. Add vanilla and mix. Drop the dough by teaspoons-full onto an ungreased cookie sheet. With your finger or a spoon, make an indentation in the center of the cookie ball and fill with jam or jelly. Sprinkle coconut over all and bake at for 10-12 minutes.

Fruited Shortbread Cookies

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 – 9 ounce jar mincemeat
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Combine the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg. Stir in the vanilla and the mincemeat. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix. Mix together well. (The batter will be stiff.) Roll into 1 1/4″ balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.

Tip:
You can ice these cookies with a glaze mixture if you would like. Mix confectioner’s sugar with a few drops of milk and vanilla until it reaches a runny but thick consistency. Drizzle over the Christmas cookies while they are still warm.

Almond Christmas Balls

1 cup of soft butter
1/4 cup of confectioner’s sugar
2 cups of sifted flour
1 cup of ground almonds
1 teaspoon of almond extract
Candied or maraschino cherries
Granulated sugar (for rolling cookies after baking)

Cream together the butter and sugar. Add the flour, ground almonds and almond extract and mix until it forms a dough. Roll a teaspoon of the dough into a ball, press down in the middle and place a cherry in the center. Cover the cherry completely with the dough. Bake the cookie balls on a greased cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 325ºF. Roll in granulated sugar before cooling.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Each of these holiday recipes can be stored in an airtight container for at least a week.