We’re heading back to the basics today, as in baking basics. I began this series a year ago with two goals in mind: (1) to share what I’ve learned in the kitchen and (2) to have these posts be a place where we can all chat about BAKING! Whether that is super science-y chemical reactions or simply my favorite baking pans, this series has been a space for me to deliver something a little more substantial than recipes: knowledge. I’ve really enjoyed writing these tutorials and rambles (um, thanks for reading all 2000 words in my pie crust novel) this past year and I have even more up my sleeve for year #2. Grab a seat and stay awhile!
Today I want to dive into the world of cookie dough. Because before our beloved soft and buttery cookies become chocolate chip wonders, they start in a bowl with ordinary ingredients like butter, sugar, and eggs. If you have a few basic, super dependable cookie dough recipes under your belt—you’re set for life. Who doesn’t yearn for that kind of simplicity?!
I have 4 basic cookie dough recipes that I make more than any others. These are timeless favorites that have only been in my kitchen for 3 or so years, but I constantly go back to ’em. From these 4 favorite cookie doughs, I have created dozens of other cookies and desserts. Consider them your cookie smorgasbord starting point! They’re all versatile, simple, and straightforward. Not to mention, taste PHENOMENAL when baked. Since I’ve got big love for more than 4 cookies, I’ve got a couple runners-up at the bottom of this post. Cookies taking over the world!!
We’ll start with the head honcho of all cookie doughs.
Basic Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
These are the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made. It’s the only recipe in this list using melted butter. Why? I love me some chewy chocolate chip cookies and melted butter helps achieve that chew. We also use an extra egg yolk (fat) for even more chewiness, a higher ratio of brown sugar to white for flavor and tenderness, and cornstarch for super soft centers. Chilling the cookie dough is imperative—in fact, the longer the better. I’ve chilled this dough for 3-4 days and the cookies have SO much flavor and bake up supremely thick. Try them stuffed with Rolos as salted caramel chocolate chip cookies. If you haven’t yet, you must!
Chocolate Cookie Dough
Use my double chocolate chip cookies recipe if you’re ever looking for a perfect chocolate cookie dough base. The same dough has been everywhere from salted caramel dark chocolate cookies and peanut butter swirled chocolate cookies to peppermint mocha cookies and chocolate crinkle cookies. This is a very sticky cookie dough, so chilling it is crucial in order for the cookies to hold their shape. By the way, the cookies are brownie-level rich and chocolatey!
Oatmeal Cookie Dough
Soft and chewy, hearty and healthy. That last one’s a lie, but who the heck cares when you’re eating old-fashioned style oatmeal raisin cookies that taste nearly as good as grandma’s? This recipe is a mix of three other oatmeal cookie recipes I love (loaded oatmeal cookies, brown butter toffee chocolate chip cookies, and oatmeal creme pies). I took what I enjoy about each one (including molasses!). And know what makes it all even better? RAISINS.
Sugar Cookie Dough
Be still our rainbow hearts. This dough produces buttery and super soft drop sugar cookies without the need of a rolling pin, cookie cutter, or decorating icing. It’s a blend of a few sugar cookie recipes that are on my blog and a recipe that is in my 1st cookbook. They’re extra soft in the centers, extra buttery, and mega chewy on the edges. Try them with extra sprinkles. And try not to smile when you eat one.
All of these cookie doughs are for drop cookies, which are the kind I bake most often. Here are a few others I love, including cut-out cookies and slice ‘n’ bakes.
Soft chocolate chip cookies – not quite as chewy as the ones above, but still ridiculously soft.
Snickerdoodles – my favorite! The dough is so sturdy and thick that we don’t have to chill it before baking. So this is a quick recipe.
Classic peanut butter cookies – nothing fancy, just in-your-face PB classics, large with crisp crunchy edges and soft-baked centers. Try adding 1 – 1.5 cups of chocolate chips or even chopped peanuts! You could drizzle the finished cookies with melted chocolate too. Or even sandwich some chocolate ice cream between two of them?! Someone stop me. For a smaller cookie that’s completely soft, I recommend my regular peanut butter cookies.
So tell me! What are your cookie staples? Are you more of a chocolate chip cookie family or is oatmeal/sugar cookie/anything-with-chocolate your standard cookie jar fave? I want to hear it all!