Cookies Part 1: Give the Gift of Homemade Cookie Dough

Nicole Straight

Who doesn't appreciate a tin of cookies around the holidays? Well we've got some great tried and true recipes for cookies of all shapes and flavors. But before you pop these Coconut-lime Snowballs, Chocolate, Pecan and Orange Biscotti, Dark Chocolate Chewy Cherry Cookies, Lemon Snickerdoodles, or Chewy Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies in the oven....why not gift without the heat? A gift of uncooked cookie dough allows the recipient the freedom to enjoy his or her cookies whenever desired. Plus YOUR gift won't go stale while your mail carrier or teacher attempts to consume the other 10 tins they received.

Just wrap your dough in parchment, wax paper, or plastic wrap, and let your giftee know that it might be a good idea to get this parcel into the fridge as soon as possible. (Cooking instructions are helpful as well). For those of you who just want to bake up some delicious cookies, here are the recipes mentioned above.


Coconut-Lime Snowballs

1 1/4 cups sweetened flaked coconut 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sifted powdered sugar (sifted, then measured)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons grated lime peel

juice from 1 lime

2 tbs. water
1/2 teaspoon salt 


Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake coconut on rimmed baking sheet until light golden, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. 

Using electric mixer, beat butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and extract in bowl to blend well. Beat in flour, lime peel, lime juice, water and salt. Stir in coconut. Cover and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Soften dough slightly before shaping. 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Using 1 level tablespoon of dough for each cookie, roll dough between palms of hands into balls. Place on prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake until golden on bottom but pale on top, about18 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks; cool 5 minutes. Place remaining 1 cup powdered sugar in bowl. Roll hot cookies in powdered sugar, covering completely.


Chocolate, Pecan and Orange Biscotti

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons orange extract
grated orange peel from 2 oranges
1 cup pecans, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped

1 C. mini chocolate chips


Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat mat. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl to blend. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then add orange extract and orange peel. Add flour mixture and beat until blended. Stir in pecans and chocolate. Gather dough together; divide in half.  

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Using floured hands, form each dough piece into 14-inch-long, 2 1/2-inch-wide log. Transfer logs to prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Transfer parchment with logs to cooling rack. Cool 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. 

Using serrated knife, cut each log on diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Stand slices upright on baking sheet and cook for another 20 minutes until cookies are firm. Bake biscotti until dry to touch and pale golden, about 30 minutes. Cool completely on rack.  


Dark Chocolate Chewy Cherry Cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

6 oz.  dark chocolate, chunks

1 cup dried cherries


Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.

Beat together butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, then add eggs 1 at a time, beating until combined well. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Add chocolate chunks and cherries and mix until just incorporated.

Drop 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie about 2 inches apart onto 2 ungreased large baking sheets. 

Bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until puffed and set, 7-8 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.


Lemon Snickerdoodles

1/2 C. unsalted butter

1 C. firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

zest of one lemon 

2 Tbs. lemon juice

1 1/2 C. flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

pinch of salt

2 Tbs. of sugar


Cream butter & brown sugar until fluffy.

Add egg, lemon zest, lemon juice & beat well.  Add flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, ginger and salt.

Roll dough into one inch balls.

Roll balls in sugar and bake on a Silpat lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart at 350 degrees for 10 minutes .


Chewy Kitchen Sink Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 C. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

2/3 C. brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 C. all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 tsp. pumpkin or apple pie spice

1/4 tsp. salt 

1 1/2 C. rolled oats


¼ C. toasted nuts- pecans, walnuts, pine nuts, pistachios

½ C. white or dark chocolate chips

¼ C. dried cherries, cranberries or diced apricots


Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, apple pie spice and salt together. Stir this into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the oats and other optional ingredients, if using them.

Bake on a Silpat lined cookie sheet for 10 minutes taking them out when golden at the edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. 

Remove from cookie sheet and store in a Ziplock bag while still slightly warm to keep soft.