This recipe makes frequent appearances in my kitchen every December. It’s the base recipe for my marble chocolate covered cookies but for a few years I’ve been using it for any shape cookie, last year I had made them as little sandwich cookies with pistachio butter and some with buttercream and well, I had too many!! They were so good and I knew you had to try them.
The reason I make these so often is because they are fabulous for gifting & sending. Being someone who regularly makes cookies that are best the day of, this particular cookie always surprises me when it’s better the day after, and for days after that.
But also, this dough is INCREDIBLY easy and forgiving. It holds perfect shape post-bake
Butter: Definitely do not over soften or melt the butter. You want it just a bit soft but still cold. If using salted butter, cut the amount in half.
Salt: Fine sea salt, if you are using table salt cut the amount by half.
Vanilla: Be generous with your vanilla! This is a very basic cookie dough and benefits from a good quality and lots of vanilla.
Flour: All purpose flour. I use KAB. I have not tried these with a gluten-free variety but if someone does I’d love to hear how it went!
Sugar: We’re doing a mix of granulated and powdered. I’m particular about using powdered sugar made with tapioca starch (not corn) but more important than that is that you sift the sugar first.
Since it’s such a basic recipe with not a lot going on, this lends itself well to a nice flavoring. Nutmeg gives the cookies that christmas vibe, but also orange zest and an extract like lemon or almond. Whatever flavoring you’d like to add, have it complement the filling you choose. So for example, I’d pair:
Cranberry Caramel with orange zest in the dough
A jam filling with lemon zest in the dough
Pistachio butter filling with pistachio or almond extract in the dough
You get the gist!
I’ve listed a few tart caramel options because I think this is the sort of cookie that lends itself well to a sharp, flavorful filling. Plain caramel would be rather sweet (better if you salt it well though) but really depending on what you are into you can also do nutella, a jam, or any kind of spread Store-bought caramel sauce also works. If you wanted to melt down some caramel candies to use I’d add some heavy cream to loosen it up a little.
These keep well and for at least a week in an airtight container. The only thing I’d caution against is placement because the caramel can get sticky. Layer parchment or wax paper between the cookies so they don’t get messy.
NOTE: You will purposely underbake these cookies. They should not brown at all, browning immediately changes the texture and flavor.
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