December 23, 2015

This cookie dough is extremely versatile, transforming into 4 different flavors: Vanilla, Cranberry-Orange, Spiced Molasses, and Chocolate-Espresso. Did we mention how convenient they are for the busy holiday season? You can store logs of dough in the freezer, wrapping them in an extra layer of plastic wrap, and freezing up to 1 month. Thaw in refrigerator before slicing and baking.

Vanilla Slice-and-Bake CookiesHands-on time: 21 min. Total time: 2 hr. 45 min.

Ingredients• 9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder• 1/4 teaspoon salt• 3/4 cup butter• 2/3 cup sugar• 1 large egg• 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

Directions1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat butter and sugar with a mixer at high until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla bean paste, beating until well blended. Add flour mixture, beating at low just until combined.

2. Divide dough in half; shape each half into a 4 1/2 x 2–inch log. Wrap logs in plastic wrap, and chill at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

3. Preheat oven to 350°. Cut each log into 18 (1/4-inch-thick) slices. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Serves 36 (serving size: 1 cookie)CALORIES 84; FAT 4g (sat 2.5g, mono 1.1g, poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 1g; CARB 11g; FIBER 0g; CHOL 15mg; IRON 0mg; SODIUM 58mg; CALC 8mg

Three Variations To Spice It Up

Cranberry-Orange CookiesPrepare dough, adding 1 teaspoon grated orange rind with vanilla. Stir in 2/3 cup chopped sweetened dried cranberries before rolling into 2 (5 x 2–inch) logs; cut each into 20 (1/4-inch-thick) slices.

Serves 40 (serving size: 1 cookie)CALORIES 75; FAT 3.7g (sat 2.2g); SODIUM 53mg

Spiced Molasses CookiesPrepare dough, increasing flour to 11.25 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups). Stir 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves into flour mixture. Add 1/4 cup molasses with vanilla. Roll dough into 2 (5 x 2–inch) logs; cut each into 20 (1/4-inch-thick) slices.

Serves 40 (serving size: 1 cookie)CALORIES 81; FAT 3.7g (sat 2.2g); SODIUM 53mg

Chocolate-Espresso CookiesPrepare dough, reducing flour to 7.85 ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) and adding 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa and 1 teaspoon espresso powder to flour mixture. Increase sugar to 1 cup. Stir in 3 ounces chopped chocolate before rolling dough into 2 (6 x 2–inch) logs; cut each into 22 (1/4-inch-thick) slices.

Serves 44 (serving size: 1 cookie)CALORIES 87; FAT 4.4g (sat 2.6g); SODIUM 53mg

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