I have a secret.
I’m a lazy creator.
Before attempting any project, no matter how big or small, I will, without a doubt, spend time researching how to make the task easier and faster.
I’m a mom of 4 and there are only a certain number (too few, IMHO) of hours in the day!
So that’s why:
I love hacks.
If there is a hack for a project, I will find it, if I can’t find it, I will make one up. I’m…. mostly successful.
When my aunt, who in her pre-retirement life was a red seal chef and baker, showed me this cookie hack, well, I was literally giddy.
She’s taught me many things in the kitchen(and life), but this is one of my favorites! Thanks, Auntie Flo! XOX
So what qualifies this as a cookie hack?
By using a base recipe and slightly altering some of the ingredients, not only can you make more than one type of cookie at a time; you have an incredibly tasty cookie base that, with a bit of imagination, can become a custom recipe to wow your family and friends!
These cookies are the kind dreams are made of, soft and chewy in the middle with a light crunch on the outside. They taste like the kind you would buy in an upscale bakery. They aren’t dry and crumbly or hard as a puck. Basically, they are the best cookie ever. But I don’t want to oversell it.
(they are the best)
In order to make the different varieties, you simply decrease one ingredient and add another.
With this Cookie Recipe hack you will be able to bake:
- Chocolate chip
- Double chocolate chip
- Peanut butter
- Oatmeal raisin
- White chocolate macadamia nut
- Whatever you can dream up!
Even if this recipe isn’t low fat, it can at least be chemical free and be made with as many organic ingredients as you wish.
This is definitely a ‘treat yo’ self’ recipe
This recipe makes a large batch of cookies. I, lover of variety, tend to split this recipe into 2 different batters, altering both to make 2 completely different cookies. If you do this, remember to half the alternate ingredients found under the base cookie recipe.
This recipe is easy to split, but because I like you so much, to make life easier, I included an infographic at the bottom of this post with this recipe split in half! Again, a reminder if you half the base recipe remember to do the same for the alternate ingredients.
TIP- sometimes if I’m making a couple of large batches, I prepare it all at once and roll the cookie balls out. Half the cookies I bake, and the other half I put in the freezer so I have almost-instant cookies on short notice. If you do this, layer cookie balls between wax paper before freezing. You can bake from frozen, just set the oven temperature to 325 and cook until done. It will take a bit longer to bake so you should keep an eye on them. See *Tip below to learn how to tell when cookies are actually done baking.
6 in 1 cookie recipe:
(scroll all the way down to see the recipe alterations for the different kinds of cookies)
1. In one bowl combine:
- 1 lb of room temperature butter (I don’t recommend using margarine or shortening as they are full of chemicals and are most likely hydrogenated)
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 2 cups of brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 4 tsp of vanilla
2. Mix with beaters until completely blended.
3. In a separate bowl mix:
- 5 cups of flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp salt
4. Blend all dry ingredients and add desired featured items(chocolate chips, raisins, etc).
5. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix until all ingredients resembles cookie dough.
6. To chill or not to chill?
There is a debate as to whether it is imperative to chill your dough before cooking. I’ve done it both ways (baked immediately, or chilled then baked) and haven’t noticed a huge difference. Here is a very informative and amusing post I read on the “chill vs. don’t chill” debate by Mel, over at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe!
7. Roll into balls (if batter was chilled) or scoop onto baking pan ( if batter wasn’t chilled) and using your fingers or spatula, slightly flatten on a cookie sheet
8. Bake at 350 on a greased cookie sheet for approximately 8-12 minutes.
At the 8 minute mark, you are going to want to start testing your cookies to see if they are done. In my oven it take exactly 9 minutes to cook them exactly the way I like!
Most people overcook their cookies and they tend to be dry and hard. It’s true- nothing against those who like them that way, but IMO, the best cookies are slightly crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. You see, there is this thing called “residual cooking” that we have to consider. This means your food continues to cook even after it’s been removed from the oven. That’s why if you wait until the cookie starts browning before you take them out, they will keep cooking even while on the counter, drying out the cookie.
My aunt taught me:
If you can take your spatula and ever so slightly push the cookie on the cookie sheet, and it slides easily, it is essentially done cooking.
If you try to push the cookie and it resists or sticks to the pan, then it needs more time. When you take the cookies out of the oven, let them cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
This tip has worked EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I have used it! My cookies are never undercooked or overcooked. Try it out and let me know in the comments if it works for you!
NOW here is the HACK!
Using the same recipe above I will tell you how to slightly alter it to produce over 6 different kinds of recipes
Really, only your imagination is your limit in how many different varieties you could dream up!
2 cups of chocolate chips(you could use butterscotch chips, smarties, or resses pieces, etc.)
Double Chocolate Chip
1 cup of flour
1 cup of cocoa powder to the dry ingredient mixture
1 cup of chocolate chips(or whatever feature ingredient you wish)
1 cup of flour
2 cups of oats to the dry ingredient mixture
1 cup of raisins (you could use any dehydrated fruit, or chocolate chips, etc)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cream of tartar to the dry ingredient mixture
– Roll balls in cinnamon sugar before baking
1 cup of butter
1 cup of peanut butter in the wet ingredient mixture.
– Flatten with fork
White chocolate macadamia nut
1 cup of chopped macadamia nuts
1 cup white chocolate chips to dry ingredients mixture
Some of the other combinations I have come up with are:
- Strawberry Lime Oatmeal. I used the Oatmeal Cookie alteration and added dehydrated strawberries that were reconstituted with limeade and added 1/4 tsp of shredded lime rind.
- Chocolate peanut butter. I used the Double Chocolate alteration and substituted 1/2 cup peanut butter for butter and mixed in Reese’s Pieces.
- Halloween surprise. I used the main Cookie Dough base. I chopped up chocolate bars left over from Halloween and layered it between 2 thin disks of cookie dough and pinched the edged closed and baked. The kids love this one! Who am I kidding! They love all of them, but this one is special because it’s a surprise center!
Try it out and let me know some of the different combinations you come with!
Excuse me while I go eat 4 cookies and wash it down with some 3% milk.
Treat yo’ self.