My Recipe Box

A Sweet Holiday Gift

by Joanne Chang

fromFine Cooking
Issue 68

At my bakery, Flour, we sell cookies year-round, but during the holiday season, people clamor for them in droves. We just shape them a little smaller, wrap them in cellophane, and tie them with festive ribbon.

The recipes here are for some of my favorite cookies, from chocolate chunk and peanut butter to snickerdoodles and gingerbread. The recipes are very simple; each contains ten or fewer ingredients, and the dough for each can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Once the cookies are baked, you can also freeze them, well wrapped, for up to two weeks.

Tips for evenly baked cookies

• Be sure that unbaked cookies are all about the same size or rolled to an even thickness; that way, they’ll all finish baking around the same time.

• Use cookie sheets, not rimmed baking pans. ­Unrimmed sheets allow better air circulation around the cookies while they’re in the oven.

• Be sure to use heavy-duty cookie sheets that won’t warp. If the sheets warp, your cookies will slide around and bake unevenly.

• Bake cookies one sheet at a time, unless you’re using a convection oven. If the dough doesn’t fit onto one cookie sheet, drop the remaining batter onto a second sheet and bake it after the first batch comes out of the oven. If you’re re-using cookie sheets, be sure to let them cool down before putting more dough on them.

Photo: Scott Phillips

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