Sugar Cookies (3 ways)

This cookie recipe is so versatile you’ll want to keep several packages of the basic mix in the pantry for quick and easy cookies that will taste like you spent hours baking.

It starts with my family recipe for the perfect sugar cookies. These are the kind of sugar cookies that are plump and soft, not the kind you roll out and use cookie cutters with. Just scoop the dough, bake and eat! Trust me, they are simply delicious!

And then there are the variations!

  • White Chocolate Macadamia
  • Ginger Cranberry
  • Peppermint Candy

I share my tips for making these variations below along with using the variation ideas for gifting.

MAKE IT A MIX

Using quart sized zip lock bags, package up the dry ingredients to stock your pantry with several (or a bunch!) of mixes that you can grab on a busy day. When ready for fresh baked cookies, grab the mix add a few fresh or liquid ingredients and cookies can be ready quickly!

This mix recipe comes with several suggestions for additional dry ingredients to turn the basic recipe into a new flavor offering. Each of these can be made up into their own dry mixes, or, make several basic dry mixes and add the variation ingredients at the time of baking as desired.

GOT KIDS? Bring them into the kitchen to help make up a batch of these homemade mixes.

  • Set it up like an assembly line, assigning 1 person to each ingredient and pass the bags around the table, OR…
  • Set it up as a round table process. Line up all of the ingredients with their measuring utensils, place a stack of bags at the front of the ingredient line and let each person go down the line to make a full mix.

MAKE IT A GIFT

HOME BAKED GIFTING: Bake up several batches of the basic cookie recipe and any or all of the variation recipes and then bag the cookies for gifting. Be sure to bag the variations separately so flavors don’t blend together in the cookies.

Some of my favorite ways to gift cookies include*:

HOMEMADE MIXES: Bag up any number and variety of the different mix variations and place in a gift bag, gift box or basket with a printed copy of the recipe. A variation on this idea is to give several bags of just the basic sugar cookie mix and package up the variation ingredients individually in small baggies. Add a note that they can choose what variations they want to make when baking the cookies – just toss in the additional ingredients of choice!

MAKE IT SPECIAL: wrap the mixes up with a unique cookie plate or cookie jar!

THE VARIATIONS

It’s so easy to take this simply delicious sugar cookie recipe, add a few more ingredients, and bake up some amazing variations.

WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA: just add 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips to the dry ingredients.

GINGER CRANBERRY: just add 1-2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger and 3/4 cups dried cranberries to the dry ingredients.

PEPPERMINT CANDY: just add 1/3 – 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy to the dry ingredients. [TIP: toss peppermint hard candies into a gallon zip top bag, lay the bag flat on a hard surface, place a kitchen towel over the top of the bag and pound with a kitchen mallet or meat tenderizer until the candies are crushed]

MAKE AHEAD TIP:

I love to keep pre-made balls of cookie dough in the freezer. It makes it so easy to be ready for a quick treat for guests, a simple dessert for a dinner party and especially a fast solution for home baked goods for kids and family. I may also find them very handy when I just want 1 or 2 fresh baked cookies for myself!

GOT KIDS? This is a great way to bring them into the kitchen with you. Let them help you make up the dough balls for freezing and then let them grab the frozen balls for baking when they want the cookies. They can proclaim, “I made these myself!”

THE HOW TO:

  • Follow the directions for making the cookie dough.
  • Fill a baking sheet covered with parchment or wax paper with 1 tablespoon sized balls of dough [the dough balls can be placed close together].
  • Cover this with plastic wrap and place the baking sheet into the freezer long enough to freeze each of the dough balls, making them firm. [NOTE: if your freezer will not hold a full sized baking sheet, just follow these steps using any plate or dish that will fit]
  • Remove the frozen dough balls from the baking sheet and fill gallon sized freezer bags, placing the dough balls in a single flat layer.
  • Label the bag with the cookie type and baking instructions.
    • The baking instructions are exactly the same as if making from scratch. You may or may not need to add an extra minute or few to the baking time.
  • The bags of frozen dough balls can be stacked on top of each other in the freezer and kept up to 6 months.

To make it easy for you, here are some printable recipe cards with all of the ‘make a mix’ tips and variation suggestions.

Enjoy!

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