Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Blank (and sweet!) Canvas

Today, I'm sharing two tested cookie bases--wonderful venues for creativity! Add whatever mix-ins you enjoy: chocolate chips, heath, raisins, nuts, peanut butter, etc. If you can't think of any ideas, the little ones will obligingly give their two bits, ahem, two chips. (Note: The oatmeal cookie base makes A LOT of cookies. 162 to be exact.)
Oatmeal Cookie Base
 2 cups butter, softened
3/4 cup butter-flavored shortening
3-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1-1/4 cups sugar
5 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
6 cups quick-cooking oats
5-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
 In a very large bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Combine the oats, flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Yield: about 13-1/2 dozen.

Plain Cookie Base
 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
 Heat oven to 375° F. With an electric mixer on medium-high, beat the butter, brown and granulated sugars, corn syrup, and vanilla for 3 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Add ingredients for a variation of your choice; form the dough into tablespoon-size mounds. Place on greased baking sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake until lightly browned at the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to wire racks. Cool completely. Yield: 40 cookies.

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