Yield: Yields about 4 dozen 2-inch slice-and-bake cookies
From this basic recipe you can create dozens of different cookies; see the variations below for different flavors. For more texture and flavor, you can also roll logs of raw slice-and-bake dough in finely chopped nuts or coarse sparkling sugar before slicing and baking them, or after baking decorate them with either Royal Icing or Basic Glaze and your choice of sprinkles and dragées.
Make Ahead Tips
You can cover and refrigerate the dough overnight, or freeze the dough log for up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator for one hour before slicing and baking.
Baked, undecorated cookies can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month; thaw in the refrigerator before decorating.
Decorated cookies can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Coffee Dough: Dissolve 1 Tbs. instant espresso or coffee granules in the vanilla paste or extract before adding with the egg.
Almond Dough: Reduce the vanilla paste or extract to 1 tsp. Add 1/2 tsp. pure almond extract and 1/3 cup ( 1-1/2 oz.) finely chopped toasted slivered almonds with the egg.
Chocolate Dough: Reduce the flour to 6-3/4 oz. ( 1-1/2 cups) and add 2 oz. (1/2 cup) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy, to the flour mixture. Increase the sugar to 1-1/4 cups.
Lemon Dough: Reduce the vanilla paste or extract to 1 tsp. Add 1-1/2 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest with the egg.
Mint Dough: Reduce the vanilla paste or extract to 1 tsp. Add 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract with the egg.
Orange Dough: Reduce the vanilla paste or extract to 1 tsp. Add 2 Tbs. finely grated orange zest with the egg.
Spice Dough: Add 1-3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon, 3/4 tsp. ground ginger, 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg, and a pinch of finely ground black pepper to the flour mixture. Use vanilla as directed.
For flavor variations, the vanilla amount may vary
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Delicious-- this dough strikes the perfect balance of buttery richness and crisp, non-greasy texture. Also, the slice-and-bake format is very easy and the recipe is quite versatile. To give it a bit of a Polish spin, I added lemon and poppy seeds.
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