Endless Cookie Recipe Variations

Finding great cookie recipe variations always puts a smile on my face. If there’s one sweet treat I can’t say no too it’s a perfectly baked cookie.

In the quest to try new flavors I’ve found the best thing to do is change a few ingredients instead of trying to re-invent the wheel with a whole new recipe. Simple changes can make your old cookie recipe seem like sometime brand new.

The basic structure shouldn’t change but you can play around with different flavors. If your recipe called for equal parts white and brown sugar using only brown sugar will make the cookie much richer. Also using only white sugar will give a softer flavor.

Along with your classic vanilla extract you can add a few teaspoons of your favorite flavored extract or liquor. Almond extract is great for an everyday cookie, lemon gives a nice springtime flavor, brandy extract brings memories of Christmas and peppermint is always refreshing.

Some of my favorite cookie recipe variations begin with the endless varieties of chips available. Subsisting peanut butter, butterscotch or cinnamon chips can make for a whole new cookie experience. Even if you prefer chocolate there are milk, white, dark, semi sweet or mint chocolate chips to choose from.

M&M’s or other candy pieces also make a great twist. Think of crushed pieces of peppermint, toffee or your favorite candy and give it a try.

Sliced or chopped nuts add extra crunch along with their distinct flavors. Chopped or crushed almonds, pecans or macadamias nuts are classics for cookies.

Dipping your cookies in tempered chocolate or drizzling them can add another layer of flavor. If you’re not into working with chocolate you can make a frosting for your cookies instead.

Frost the bottom of your cookie and slap a second one on and you have a sandwich cookie. Fill two cookies with a scoop of softened ice cream and put them in a freezer for a bit and you have an ice cream sandwich.

Lemon Tuiles Cookie Recipe

The lemon Tuiles cookie recipe is another exquisite French creation. This delicate cookie is lemon flavored and resembles a thin curved potato chip in shape! These cookies are great for tea parties or a brunch!

Ingredients

3 egg whites

1/4 cup salted butter, melted

2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel

1/4 teaspoon lemon extract

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Hardware

Medium bowl

Small microwave safe bowl

Cookie sheet

Parchment paper

Rolling pin

Mixer

Step 1: In a medium bowl, let egg whites stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Step 2: In a small microwave safe bowl, melt butter on medium setting in microwave oven.

Step 3: Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Step 4: Add lemon peel and lemon extract to melted butter and combine; set aside.

Step 5: After egg whites have set for 30 minutes, beat them with an electric mixer set at medium speed until soft peaks form.

Step 6: Gradually add the sugar, beating on high until stiff peaks form.

Step 7: Fold in about half of the flour.

Step 8: Gently fold in the butter mixture.

Step 9: Fold in remaining flour until combined.

Step 10: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 11: For each cookie, drop a level tablespoon of batter onto the prepared cookie sheet (bake only 3-4 cookies at a time). Spread batter into 3 inch circles.

Step 12: When cookies are baking drape a piece of parchment paper over the top of a rolling pin.

Step 13: Bake for 5-7 minutes or until cookies are golden brown around edges. Using a wide spatula, immediately remove cookies and drape over the prepared rolling pin (place cookies with the side that was against the cookie sheet against the rolling pin). Cool cookies on rolling pin until cookies hold shape; carefully slide off rolling pin to a cooling surface.

The lemon Tuiles cookie recipe makes 24 wafers.

For more information on baking procedures and hardware used in this recipe see our Baking Tips section.

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Pumpkin Cookie and Mincemeat Cookie Recipes

Here are my mother’s pumpkin cookie recipe and mincemeat cookie recipe. She would bake these particular cookies during the holidays. She worked in the home. So, quite often when I would return from school in the afternoon, she would have a batch of cookies made. As I entered the house, it would smell so inviting.

I have chosen these two recipes because they bring back my memories of home and fall. I hope you enjoy them.

Pumpkin Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups unsifted flour
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 package butterscotch morsels

Mix all the ingredients in the order given. Then, drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes. You may substitute raisins, pecans or coconut for the butterscotch chips. This recipe makes 4 dozen cookies.

Mincemeat Drop Cookies

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 well-beaten eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 9-oz. package dry mincemeat
  • Grated rind of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1 cup nuts

First you cream shortening and sugar together. Then add the eggs and beat well. Next, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and add the finely crumbled mincemeat, lemon rind and water. Stir this mixture until blended. Finally, add the nuts and remaining flour mixture and mix well. Drop the dough from a teaspoon onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees to 10 to 15 minutes. You may use one cup of canned mincemeat instead of the dry mincemeat. This recipe makes 4 dozen cookies.

Healthy Cookie Recipes – Vegan and Gluten Free

Vegan cookies, gluten-free cookies, wheat-free cookies…healthy cookie recipes are easy to make if you are willing to experiment with a few alternative quality ingredients. Agave nectar is the perfect sweetener for such baked treats. Not only because of its superiority to refined sugars, but also for its moisture-retaining qualities.

Healthy Cookie Recipes Can Be Made Without Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Or Milk!

Let’s start with a solid base of ground nuts. We can use whatever fits best our personal preferences and budget. Pecans tend to be a bit more expensive than almonds and hazelnuts (filberts), walnuts are often on sale or available at a less expensive regular price. Always buy bulk, and halves and pieces are just fine. No need to get whole nuts since we ground them up anyway.

A good cookie recipe should include some fat. As we want to keep this healthy, nutritious, and acceptable for vegans, let’s forget about the butter and choose instead almond, cashew, or peanut butter, or a combination thereof. If you don’t like the flavor or price of nut butters, substitute with organic canola oil.

Great, but what about the flour if we want to make gluten-free cookies? The answer is: organic brown rice flour! Works like a charm and is much healthier than white flour.

Next up: which sweetener? As stated above, agave nectar is a great sweetener for baked goods. Similar to honey, it helps retain the moisture in cookies and cakes. It also blends quickly and easily with all other ingredients for a well-mixed batter.

To add flavor to this basic healthy cookie mix, use some vanilla or almond extract, ground cinnamon, crushed anise seeds, and a pinch of salt, of course.

And to add even more nutritional value, consider lightly toasted rolled oats, raisins, sesame seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds. My goodness…what to do with all that energy?

Why This Is An Easy Healthy Cookie Recipe For Vegan Cookies And Gluten-Free Cookies

We don’t really need a recipe for these incredible power morsels of nutrition. It all depends on what we have on hand, or what we like to eat, or what we want to buy. Here is a simple recipe template utilizing the ingredients discussed above:

  • 4 cups ground nuts
  • 1 cup nut butter or 1/2 cup organic canola oil
  • 1 cup organic brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cups agave nectar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon crushed anise seeds, cardamom, or other spices
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: 1/2 cup each raisins or toasted oats or seeds

The individual ingredient quantities don’t really matter that much. The template is just a general guide line. Our goal is to mix a batter that holds its shape when divided into cookie-size balls. We might have to add a little water if the mix is too dry and crumbly. Or, we might have to add more brown rice flour to a wet and sloppy batter.

This is the best part: As we are not using raw eggs, we can taste our cookie batter before we bake it off! Add more agave nectar if you like it sweeter, more spices or seeds, until you are happy!

Important points for the baking process!

  • Place 2-inch balls on a parchment-lined cookie pan and flatten lightly with a fork (similar to making peanut butter cookies, dip the fork in cold water before pressing it on the cookie portions)
  • Use a fairly low oven temperature: 8-10 minutes at 300-325 degrees; agave nectar browns a little faster than sugar, so keep an eye on your cookies and don’t let them get too dark on the bottom!
  • Remember, there are no raw eggs in our batter; we won’t have to bake it completely through. A lightly “under-baked” interior is wonderful!

So, be adventurous and experiment with a variety of nuts, seeds, dried fruits, spices, and whatever you love in your gourmet vegan cookie. As long as you don’t burn them black, they will always be good eating. And because they are so healthy and nutritious, they’ll be good for you, too!