Imagine an assortment of homemade cookies suitable for a holiday dessert table or a knockout gift. Think almond sablés, brownie bowties, caramelized palmiers, classic rugelach, hazelnut crescents, cocoa wafers, chocolate thumbprints, and more. Even if you love to bake, and even if your fondest memories involve marathon cookie baking, such a dazzling array is a pretty big rabbit to pull out of any hat in these fast times. But there is a way to make it happen.
The trick is to make three doughs that serve as the base for all your cookies. Each dough morphs, with very little effort, into three diverse cookies. My Cocoa Cookie Dough and Almond Cookie Dough are quick to make, and so are the cookie variations. The flaky Cream Cheese Dough’s variations require a tad more assembly. Tackle the whole project and get all nine cookies, or choose just one or two of the doughs and one or two variations.
Once baked, these cookies keep well. But if they won’t be served within a day or two, your best bet is to freeze them in airtight containers. They defrost beautifully at room temperature.