1 Cookie Dough, 5 Recipes

 

Kelsey Nixon shows how one basic sugar cookie dough can be transformed into five iconic holiday cookie recipes.

 

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Wheel of Cookies

The best part of attending a holiday cookie swap? You walk away with two dozen cookies –– without having spent two dozen hours slaving away in the kitchen. But what if you could prepare several batches of cookies using the same basic set of ingredients? Kelsey shows how you can turn basic sugar cookie dough into five classic holiday cookies in one-fifth the time.

A Sweet Start

The ingredients list for the holiday sugar cookies comes straight from your pantry: flour, baking powder, butter, sugars, salt, vanilla extract and eggs.

Get the Recipe: Holiday Sugar Cookies

Chock-a-Block

Whether you make letter-embossed treats or simple round cookies, a basic sugar cookie always has its place at the holiday table. (They're perfect for decorating and are universally liked.)

Get the Recipe: Holiday Sugar Cookies

Sugar Canes

A dash of peppermint extract in both the cookies and the icing imbues sugar cookies with candy cane-inspired flavor.

Get the Recipe: Peppermint Twist Candy Cookies

Stripes + Solids

Set aside some of the icing and tint it red; paint the stripes on top of the solid white icing layer to prevent the red color from bleeding into the cookie. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes once the icing has dried completely.

Get the Recipe: Peppermint Twist Candy Cookies

Snow-White Icing

A pinch of nutmeg and a couple teaspoons of cinnamon can transform very vanilla cookies into sweetly spiced snickerdoodles.

Get the Recipe: Snickerdoodle Snowflakes

No Two Flakes

Get creative with your snickerdoodle snowflakes by mixing and matching different-shaped and -sized cutters with patterns drawn on using royal icing.

Get the Recipe: Snickerdoodle Snowflakes

The Sweetest Gift

Kelsey combines classic holiday flavors — maple and pecan — in this maple extract-tinted sugar cookie. To give the cookie a touch of penuche's fudgy texture, she adds milk, butter and sugar to the icing.

Get the Recipe: Maple Pecan Present Cookies with Penuche Icing

Put a Bow on It

Reuse the red royal icing from the candy canes to paint dainty little bows on these petite presents. A cluster of crushed pecans adds the illusion of a patterned gift-wrap.

Get the Recipe: Maple Pecan Present Cookies with Penuche Icing

Crazy for Cocoa

Dutch process cocoa powder makes these sweet stockings distinctly chocolate. They're perfect for decorating a mini mantel or for stuffing into stockings.

Get the Recipe: Salted Caramel Chocolate Stockings

Caramel Color

Resist the urge to color contrast with a white icing; a drizzle of salted caramel works wonderfully with the chocolate cookie. Embed some crushed sea salt in the stocking's cuff for some tongue-tingling crunch.

Get the Recipe: Salted Caramel Chocolate Stockings