How can you make 16 different cookies in the span six days, in a single kitchen? Being crazy helps. Maintaining a battle plan works too. I fell for recipes from all different places, then placed them in 11 different categories: balls, logs to chill then slice, dough to chill then shape, chips, cookie press, drop and bake, meringues, roll and cut, sandwich, thumbprints, and raw/vegan. Exasperating? Yes. But once my stand mixer (with paddle attachment!) and I started creaming butter and sugar, cracking eggs, and mixing flour, I got into the groove of the baker’s high. It was thrilling and I couldn’t get enough.

Coconut Snowballs; Raw Vegan Cookie DoughLet’s start with the weird, raw cookies. I made these first, because I could freeze them until I wanted them. The “Coconut Snowballs,” from theKitchn, were made of a pasty mix of coconut, coconut oil, maple syrup, and coconut milk. A food processor and a freezer. That’s it.

The same with the “No-Bake Cookie Dough Balls,” from This Rawsome Vegan Life, which involved oats, Medjool dates, nut butters (I mixed walnut and cashew and almond), vanilla bean paste, and raw chocolate chunks in the food processor. Done. See how easy this is so far?

Chocolate-Peppermint CookiesNext was a cookie that asked for a cookie press, but I do not have one. Instead, I scooped my dough into a piping bag, then squeezed blobs onto my baking tray. The “Chocolate-Peppermint Cookies,” from the Kuhn Rikon archives, were in danger of looking like little turds on my tray. I made sure to sprinkle them liberally with white sprinkles, to avert that problem. Peppermint extract seals the deal, here.

We’re up to day number three, already, where I made three diffferent cookies that each required time to chill in the fridge. Take a deep breath…

Nutmeg Maple Butter CookiesThe “Nutmeg Maple Butter Cookies,” from Smitten Kitchen, turned out adorable. I cut them into maple leaf shapes and even decorated them with maple leaf sprinkles! My cooking isn’t typically “cute,” but my ten-year-old noticed these and smiled. It felt good.

Orange-Hazelnut Olive Oil Cookies

 

 

 

 

I made the “Orange-Hazelnut Olive Oil Cookies,” from the December 2008/January 2009 issue of Fine Cooking, because they seemed so mature and civilized, described as “not-too-sweet” and a “perfect dipper” for coffee. Olive oil? I couldn’t resist the temptation. The recipe asks for quite an amount of orange zest: I found some organic tangerines with the most beautiful skin. I squeezed my roll of dough into an empty paper-towel roll, to refrigerate until firm. This is the best technique to then slice and bake your cookies.

Rosemary Butter CookiesAnd the “Rosemary Butter Cookies,” from Smells Like Home. Bringing a savory herb into your cookie does magical things, I say. This dough let me use the same paper-towel roll method (see above cookie). But this dough log got painted with egg white, then rolled in coarse turbinado sugar, before slicing and baking. Oooh. A sugar rim elicits certain positive responses, for sure.

More cookies tomorrow. Stay tuned.