Cookies. Recipes. Go.
March 16, 2009 4:21 PM   Subscribe

Can you please help me plan a cookie menu?

[This is kind of a followup.]

I'm getting married in a little less than two weeks, and we're planning on an all-cookie reception. I have about that much time to make a bunch of cookie dough, and all day the day before to bake it.

I want a variety of cookie flavours and textures to provide something tasty for everybody, and I want them all to be as delicious as cookily possible.

There will be people there of all ages, levels of carnivorosity, number of teeth, etcetera. I try a lot of bizarre "maybe this will work" recipes on my own time, but for this exercise I want most of the cookies to be non-scary and square-friendly.

Please keep all suggestions to actual recipes/links to recipes with

--this is the important part--

A description of what makes your recipe exceptional.

Wyld Stallyns need not apply. Your results are already in.
posted by Acari to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
OMG, what an awesome idea! Cookies also freeze well, consider making them ASAP. My mom starts her Christmas cookie baking the day after Thanksgiving.

The cookies thaw on a plate in an hour or less. (I will admit to swiping some frozen ones...)
posted by JoanArkham at 4:32 PM on March 16, 2009

I sort of invented a maple bacon chip cookie recipe the other day. They are awesome and you should make them. (They taste like breakfast!)

Here's what I did:

-Cut 4 or 5 (your preference) slices of thick-cut bacon into 1-inch(ish) segments. Fry up with some brown sugar (like, a tablespoon) until cooked and candied.

-Beat 1 stick butter, 3/4 c. packed brown sugar, 2 tsp. maple flavoring. Beat in one egg.

-Gradually beat in 1 hefty cup of flour, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/2 tsp. salt.

-Fold in your candied bacon.

-Bake at 350 deg. for about 8 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen.
posted by phunniemee at 4:38 PM on March 16, 2009 [3 favorites]

You must have Mexican Wedding cookies! Of course! They are light and crunchy, and covered in powdered sugar.

I'd also like to nominate my family's Tea Cakes recipe (again, it's a cookie, not a cake). They are a bit like shortbread -- rich, and wonderful with coffee or tea, they taste fancy but are easy to make:

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and beat. Add dry ingredients. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees Farenheit until very lightly browned.
posted by Houstonian at 4:47 PM on March 16, 2009

Oh, my kind of reception! I really like these cinnamon cookies. They're sort of like snickerdoodles, but with a richer cinnamon-y flavor. They are delicious and have gotten A+ reviews at my office and various potlucks. They come together very quickly, the dough can sit in the fridge for a while, and you roll them in cinnamon-sugar before baking, which gives them a little extra pizazz. I bake them for just 8 or 9 minutes so they set up on the softer side.

Good luck with the baking and congratulations!
posted by messica at 4:49 PM on March 16, 2009

And oh my gosh, I just read your previous post -- how romantic! Congratulations!
posted by Houstonian at 4:53 PM on March 16, 2009

If you can get ahold of the Cook's Illustrated Blondies recipe you will throughly enjoy them. They are sweet and salty and oh so delicious. They are rich so a single batch can be cut up in small pieces which gives you a unit count. Also since they bake all at once, you don't have a lot of labor.
posted by mmascolino at 5:01 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, I made some really good cookies recently that went over well at work.

Cranberry Pistachio cookies:
Basically, you make the nestle tollhouse recipe but instead of chocolate chips, you add a mixture of crushed shelled pistachios and dried cranberries.
They feel a little healthier and a lot more gourmet than regular choc chip.
posted by rmless at 5:09 PM on March 16, 2009

From here, I believe is the Blondies recipe mmascolino recommends (Blondies, with chocolate, white chocolate, and coconut!):

1 c pecans, chopped
1 1/2 c shredded coconut
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 Tbs unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) melted and cooled
1 1/2 c light brown sugar
2 large eggs lightly beaten
4 tsp vanilla
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped

Set oven @ 350 Farenheit.

Grease 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish.

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt in bowl, set aside.

Whisk melted butter and brown sugar until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.

Fold in dry ingredients with spatula until just combined. Fold in chocolate, coconut and nuts and pour into prepared pan , smoothing top w spatula.

Bake 25-30 minutes. DO NOT overbake. Top will be shiny,cracked and golden brown. Cool to room temp on wire rack before cutting.
posted by Houstonian at 5:13 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

I have personally made, and can unqualifiedly recommend:

Award-winning Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies (the most reliable and best-textured chocolate chip cookies I've ever had; spice up the ordinariness of chocolate-chip by adding Heath Bar crunchies or peanut butter chips or chocolate pudding instead of vanilla. Bake ONLY until just brown at the edges, in order to maintain the chewiness.)

Cranberry Orange Cookies (these keep really well, and have a tarter, lighter flavor than your average cookie. You might consider chilling the dough a bit before baking, as they can spread if too warm).

Also, you have some help lined up for all this, right? Because stressing over cookie-baking is just about the last thing I'd have wanted to be doing the day before my wedding.
posted by Bardolph at 5:19 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

This sounds like the best wedding reception ever.

These are ugly, but if you like shortbread, they're really, really good: brown butter brown sugar shortbread. It's hard to describe but they are kind of sandy/crumbly, not too sweet, and the browned butter is just unusual enough that it's kind of a new/unexpected flavor for a cookie but in a ohhh kind of way. SmittenKitchen has tons of other cookie recipes that look great, but those are the only ones I've made so far.

This is a good recipe for the classic strawberry tart cookies, but it is really hard to make them look neat and not with bits of jam everywhere. They are cute and tasty and hard to stop eating.

These are supposed to be the most amazing chocolate chip cookies ever, but I haven't made them because who can wait 24 hours? I usually do Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything classic chocolate chip cookie recipe and those are really good. It's basically your standard recipe, but you add the vanilla last, with the chocolate chips, and that makes it stand out and it's more interesting. Slight underbaking is key.

I haven't made these thin mints either, but homemade thin mints? How can you go wrong?

I really like cookies.
posted by min at 6:04 PM on March 16, 2009

I was just going to recommend the brown butter brown sugar shortbread min linked above. I made them as part of my christmas cookie assortment this year, and up against a whole host of cookies and chocolate things from the various bakers in my family, they were still among the first to go. I think they'd do really well amongst other cookies because they're a little gourmet, but it's still basically just really caramelly. Also, it's a roll-up-and-slice type dough, so you can refrigerate or freeze until they're ready to bake.
posted by SoftRain at 6:15 PM on March 16, 2009

I made Lemon Cornmeal Cookies from Cooking Light this Christmas and they were so good. The cornmeal makes them different, crispier than you'd expect, but not weird.
posted by zinfandel at 6:45 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

You should add some shortbread, because shortbread is delicious. These are the best chocolate shortbread cookies I know, especially as they're covered with ganache and nuts. They're not sweet.

Here are some nice flourless peanut butter cookies. They're very rich. Again, they have chocolate ganache, because I like chocolate ganache.

I need to trawl my cookbooks for recipes which are not online.
posted by jeather at 6:48 PM on March 16, 2009

Ooh! I just spent a month baking cookies for my workplace, I have all kindsa insights:

I was thoroughly underwhelmed by the NYT "sit in your fridge for three days" chocolate chip cookies.

The thin mints that min links are delicious, but be warned if you just use regular semisweet chocolate, it will melt at room temperature and be messy. Perhaps some kind of confectioners chocolate coating would work, but plain chocolate-coated thin mints are best straight from the freezer.

Smitten Kitchen is indeed a treasure trove. I can personally vouch for:
Peanut butter (best peanut butter cookies I have ever had, with or without chocolate chips)
Homemade oreos (try mixing things into the frosting: crushed peppermint candy, peanut butter, nuts, cocoa, etc, though it is delicious and vanilla-y in itself. Be sure to use shortening in the frosting; all-butter frosting will melt. You can find non-hydrogenated Earth Balance shortening at health food stores.)
*Key lime meltaways (I love limes and I love shortbread, but never would have guessed they can be best friends)
*World peace cookies (fantastic texture, super chocolatey),
Lemon bars (intense lemon topping and amazingly flaky shortbread base),
and especially, especially
*Chocolate toffee cookies (though I would sub out the walnuts for almonds or hazelnuts or pecans if making them again)

The best unusual-but-crowdpleasing cookie recipe under my belt (literally ha ha), is this *Triple Ginger Cookie. It's very very gingery and complex and feels a little healthier than some of the standard fare.

Fantastic idea, have fun!

*indicates a recipe that lends itself especially well to making the dough ahead of time.
posted by doift at 7:08 PM on March 16, 2009 [2 favorites]

Thirding/fourthing the Smitten Kitchen recipes: I've been baking cookies once a week for work since January, and every one of hers has worked beautifully. (The Brown Butter Brown Sugar ones are easier than they look, and really scrumptious, though I emphasise her 'do not overbake' warning.)

The one I don't think anyone's mentioned is the Slice and Bake cookie palette - really simple, freezes, would be easy to make ahead. They're not the prettiest cookies ever, but you can (if you don't freeze the dough) roll them and cut them with a cookie cutter.

The ones that everyone at work adored (me, I was more "they're good but not the best I've done" but I just bake the things) were the Slice and Bake palette cookies with a 1/4 cup of good quality cocoa powder replacing an equal part of flour, and about 2 TBS of ground coffee beans, and doubled vanilla. Once the cookies were baked, I dipped them half melted dark chocolate, which makes them look nicer. (Plus, um. Chocolate never bad.)

The ones *I* think were my best were chocolate dipped lavender cookies - the lavender is really a lovely flavor that many people aren't familiar with, but is gloriously aromatic, and a good semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate really balances it nicely. (I think I did 60% last time, and I want to try it with something even more on the dark side of the chocolate spectrum.)
posted by modernhypatia at 7:58 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

I strongly recommend Martha Stewart's Lime Meltaways. They're very simple and very tasty, just the right combination of sweet and tangy. If you aren't a fan of limes (my boyfriend is not, but even he likes these), they're easy to modify for other citrus flavors like lemon, maybe even grapefruit. I made some tangerine ones that I dipped in dark chocolate rather than dusting with powdered sugar - so good.
posted by illenion at 8:44 PM on March 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best chocolate chip cookies of all time.

From Jacques Torres via New York Times.

I made these for a cookie making party and mine were da bomb!

Here you go.

uly 9, 2008
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Jacques Torres

Time: 45 minutes (for 1 6-cookie batch), plus at least 24 hours’ chilling

2 cups minus 2 tablespoons

(8 1/2 ounces) cake flour

1 2/3 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt

2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) light brown sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (8 ounces) granulated sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract

1 1/4 pounds bittersweet chocolate disks or fèves, at least 60 percent cacao content (see note)

Sea salt.

1. Sift flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars together until very light, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce speed to low, add dry ingredients and mix until just combined, 5 to 10 seconds. Drop chocolate pieces in and incorporate them without breaking them. Press plastic wrap against dough and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours. Dough may be used in batches, and can be refrigerated for up to 72 hours.

3. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.

4. Scoop 6 3 1/2-ounce mounds of dough (the size of generous golf balls) onto baking sheet, making sure to turn horizontally any chocolate pieces that are poking up; it will make for a more attractive cookie. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and bake until golden brown but still soft, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then slip cookies onto another rack to cool a bit more. Repeat with remaining dough, or reserve dough, refrigerated, for baking remaining batches the next day. Eat warm, with a big napkin.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen 5-inch cookies.

Note: Disks are sold at Jacques Torres Chocolate; Valrhona fèves, oval-shaped chocolate pieces, are at Whole Foods.
posted by davidamann at 9:11 PM on March 16, 2009

These are easy to make, forgiving if you leave them in a little too long (or take them out a little too soon) and I've never seen a person eat just one of them. They're crisp, sweet, and look pretty in a drop-cookie kind of way. They're from Peg Bracken's "I Hate To Cook Book" so you know they've been around a looong time.


Cream together: 1 C butter; 1 C white sugar; 1/2 C brown sugar

Add: 1 egg

Stir in: 1-1/2 C flour; 1 t baking soda; 1 t cinnamon

Add: 1-1/2 C rolled oats; 1 t vanilla

Chill for an hour. Form into balls and flatten with the bottom of a buttered, sugared glass. Bake at 350 for 8 -10 minutes. (These freeze well.)
posted by kestralwing at 4:00 AM on March 17, 2009

Response by poster: Dear Metafilter:


posted by Acari at 8:08 AM on March 17, 2009

I'll check my cookbooks back home later -- I have a KILLER peanut butter cookie recipe, and also a very tasty sugar cookie one that makes awesome mini snickerdoodles.

But you might also want to make sure that there are things for all kinds of dietary restrictions -- namely, something vegan and something gluten-free, just in case. I don't have a great vegan cookie recipe, but meringues are surprisingly easy with any kind of electric mixer and are tasty and have no flour.

Basic meringues:
Preheat your oven to its lowest setting.
Separate a few (3+ works best) egg whites as perfectly as you can manage -- they won't whip up right if you get fat (egg yolk) in there. You might want to separate each egg one by one, so that there's less waste/frustration if one doesn't work.
Use that electric mixer. Crank it up to the highest setting. Watch the pretty patterns form. Once the egg whites get big and white and thick, turn off the mixer for a moment and pull it up. Do little peaks stay in the egg whites? then you're good.
Add sugar and mix, bit by bit, with the electric mabob again until the whole mixture is shiny. It should still be forming soft peaks at this point. (Honestly, I throw salmonella caution to the winds and taste test at this point to make sure the sugar balance is right.)
Nonstick-ify a cookie sheet or two -- parchment paper, or a silpat, or baking spray, or grease, or...up to you.
Use a spatula or something to put the whole mess (well, the "batter") in a piping bag or a biggish ziplock. Cut a corner off the ziplock. Pipe little piles -- little imperfect piles are more awesome than little perfect piles -- onto the cookie sheets, plop 'em in the oven for a few hours. Poke it after an hour and a half or so -- if it's not crunchy-seeming, it's not yet done. If the cookies start turning brown, though, take 'em out. They're done.

Possible additions/flavorings:
some vanilla extract when you put in the sugar.
some almond extract when you put in the sugar.
mini-chocolate chips folded in GENTLY at the end.
cocoa powder added with the sugar.
some food dye (and a flavoring, probably) added with the sugar.
Basically, anything you want that isn't fat-based. Oils will make your meringue fail.

Sorry I'm kind of rambly. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. :)
posted by mismatched at 10:40 AM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

You might run out of time or get sick of baking them all in one day. Consider baking and freezing batches over the next two weeks. Also, if for some reason you burn a batch or they don't turn out right, you have enough time to make more dough and try again. You want to remember how fun it was to do this, not how miserable you were the day before the wedding when you ran out of time, cookie sheets, places to cool the cookies, containers to carry them in, or burn cream. Plan ahead and give yourself room for error.
posted by CoralAmber at 10:40 AM on March 17, 2009

If you can find it, Bob's Red Mill Whole Wheat Pastry Flour is freakin' awesome. I use it in every pastry-type thing I bake. I always get comments - people asking "what's the secret?" and nobody seems to believe me when I say I just used the standard recipe, except with better flour and fair-trade raw sugar. Also, if you aren't already using real butter, go get some.
posted by caution live frogs at 11:36 AM on March 17, 2009

Spicy Lithuanian "Mushroom" Cookies (mushroom-shaped, contains no actual mushroom!) are a honey-sweetened spice cookie redolent of cardamom, cloves, lemon and orange rind. Totally unique and delicious. They're also adorable-looking - their tops are dipped in a powdered-sugar icing and sprinkled with poppy seeds. My absolute favorite cookie.
posted by jocelmeow at 12:57 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Palmiers are easy to make and delicious. I usually make mine with plain granulated sugar and a tiny sprinkle of nutmeg for interest. Also good with some cocoa powder.

Please do the lavender cookies modernhypatia suggested. I am going to make those for a party this weekend, but they seem so perfect for a wedding.
posted by purpletangerine at 8:43 PM on March 17, 2009

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