The holidays snuck up on me again this year. Three weeks ago, I was feeling great, having gotten a head start on my planning, and now here I am still not done yet. Christmas is ten days away, there are rumblings at work of a last minute Secret Santa, and one irritating friend has already caught me off guard by giving me a gift before I was ready.
If this sounds like you, fear not! I can't help you with the fact that the Amazon shipping window has closed, but I can remind you that dessert is always a great gift. Whether you've got a office party or cookie swap obligation, or just a family member that's hard to shop for, something hand-made and thoughtful is never a bad way to go. Cookies also make a fantastic last-minute gift for someone you didn't plan on seeing, or item to bring to a party you forgot about.
Last week I posted some of my favorite fancy pants cookie recipes, but it you feel that the time for getting all that has passed, you can still wow your love ones/hated ones/tolerated ones with some seriously good cookies they've ever had without even making a trip to the store.
Every year, the last batch of cookies I make is to use up the orphan ingredients. This works at any season of the year to clean out your cupboard of items you don't know what to do with, and it's equally useful for whipping up a hasty holiday treat.
|No two batches are alike.|
- Preheat oven to 350.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon salt. Variation: Use up to 50% nut-based flour without changing the recipe.
- In a large bowl, beat 2 sticks butter, 3/4 cups granulated sugar, 3/4 cup brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until creamy. Variation: Sub coconut oil for butter, almond extract for vanilla, and feel free to cut back on the sugar. In the photo above I COMPLETELY FORGOT the brown sugar, and they ended up tasting a little more like a short bread cookie, but still good.
- Beat in eggs one at a time (or about 1/4 of a very ripe avocado to make it vegan)
- Stir in flour mixture until well blended.
- Stir in about half a cup each of chocolate chips, oatmeal, chopped nuts, dried fruit, whatever you've got in the cupboard. Get creative.
- Back 9 to 11 minutes, until golden brown. If you're using nut flours, they will spread out a little, so take that into account when you're spacing them out on the cookie sheet.