Easy bake cookies
November 20, 2011 8:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a cookie recipe that is easy to make and will transport well.

Because everyone wants more food around Thanksgiving, I'm looking for an easy, inexpensive cookie recipe that will satisfy a crowd of adults. Some kind of quick bread might also work, but I know that the host is already making a bunch of banana bread so that's out.

I love to bake and have a stand mixer, but I'm pretty short on time. I also don't have a lot of time to do a very elegant job of packing the cookies up. I'm hoping for something that is relatively easy to make and pack. I am a fairly OK baker, but would like a recipe that is pretty fool-proof.

I'd like to bring them on an airplane with me. I have limited space in my luggage and don't want to mess with packing things "just so" so that the cookies don't get crushed or ruined. I was thinking that jam bars or lemon bars would be perfect, but they're very crumbly and I think they would just fall apart when packed.

One of the people that will be there has a heart condition, so it would be nice if the recipe doesn't have too much fat in it. However, that's not a requirement -- if she can't eat them, I think that will be OK.

I also know that at least two of the people are huge chocolate fans, so if the recipe has chocolate in it that is a nice bonus as well.

Also! I need to make them tomorrow evening, start to finish, so I can't use any recipes that have you freeze the dough for hours. :( That leaves out my go-to oatmeal crispies, or, sadly, world peace cookies, which is what I had intended to make before I realized I was out of time.
posted by k8lin to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

Maybe you can make the lemon bars but wait to cut them up until you arrive at your destination.

Otherwise my suggestion is to make a batch of chocolate chip dough & bake it as a bar cookie instead. Swap some of the fat for applesauce, if that makes sense.
posted by dragonplayer at 8:33 PM on November 20, 2011

These chewy ginger cookies are easy, delicious, and seasonal. They're sturdy enough for travel without being super heavy.

Dragonplayer's suggestion of chocolate chip cookie dough baked in bar form is also a good idea.
posted by Meg_Murry at 8:44 PM on November 20, 2011

My favorite to make are Nutella swirled cookies. I use this standard sugar cookie recipe except substituting butter for margarine.

Roll out the cookie dough until it's about 9x12 then slather on as much Nutella as you want. Roll it back up then freeze it for about 30 minutes before cutting and baking.
posted by astapasta24 at 8:58 PM on November 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

This one is good and travels well: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Dianes-Six-Spice-Oatmeal-Raisin-Cookies-100764

You can also throw in some chocolate chips if you want to make the chocolate lovers happy.

The King Arthur Flour website has a number of recipes and are a reliable source. Take a look through their recipes to see if any look like a goof match for what you need.

Happy Thanksgiving!
posted by nalyd at 9:08 PM on November 20, 2011

These cookies are amazingly easy and delicious, and relatively wholesome as far as delicious cookies go. They contain neither flour nor butter. I've brought them into work and my coworkers all loved them, and they should hold up fine in your luggage if you have them in a hard plastic container. Also, they taste better the day after baking.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

1 cup all-natural chunky or creamy peanut butter (all-natural is a must for this recipe - I recommend the kind with salt added and no palm oil. And I've only made this with creamy peanut butter)
1 cup sugar (organic sugar works well here, or you can use 1/2 cup granulated and 1/2 cup brown sugar which is what the original recipe called for)
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a mixer, mix peanut butter and sugar until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg, baking soda, and salt, and mix for another 2 minutes. Roll into walnut sized balls and press down lightly with a fork. If you’d like, add a few chocolate pieces to the top of the cookies - I generally add 3-4 chocolate chips to the top of each cookie. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. If the chocolate doesn't melt in the oven, after letting the cookies cool for a couple minutes, gently spread the chocolate across the top of each cookie. You can put these in the fridge for a bit to get the chocolate to harden, but they shouldn't be stored in the fridge.

You may be surprised to know that these cookies are less delicious if you stir the chocolate chips into the cookie. They're better with the chocolate on top. Though they might travel better if you do it that way, in case the airplane is hot.
posted by wondermouse at 9:26 PM on November 20, 2011

Forgive the possible non-answer, but it's not clear to me why you can't make the oatmeal crispies. The recipe says it can be chilled, frozen OR sliced into rounds and baked right away.
posted by Majorita at 9:56 PM on November 20, 2011

They're not chocolate and they're not exactly low-fat, but I always get compliments when I make Chewy Pecan Diamonds. They're deceptively easy, look impressive, and taste like little pecan pies. As a kind of dense bar-style cookie, they'll pack flat and not get squished in transit.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
4 cups coarsely chopped pecans (about 14 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

for crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, leaving 1-inch overhang on all sides. Butter foil. Blend flour, powdered sugar, cornstarch and salt in processor. Add butter and process until mixture begins to clump together. Press dough evenly onto bottom of foil-lined pan. Bake crust until set and light golden, about 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Let stand while preparing topping. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

for topping:
Stir brown sugar, corn syrup and butter in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils; boil 1 minute. Add pecans and cream; boil until mixture thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Pour hot topping over warm crust.

Bake nut-topped crust until caramel is darker and bubbles thickly, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to rack. Cool completely in pan (topping will harden).

Lift foil out of pan onto cutting board. Using heavy sharp knife, cut crust with nut topping into 1 1/2x1-inch diamonds. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Store between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature.)
posted by Weeping_angel at 10:56 PM on November 20, 2011 [4 favorites]

Ooo! Forgot to mention: I don't own a food processor, so I just make the shortbread part with a pastry cutter thing and it works fine.
posted by Weeping_angel at 10:59 PM on November 20, 2011

posted by Infernarl at 11:02 PM on November 20, 2011

Make these chocolate chip cookies and add 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ancho powder, and one teaspoon chipotle powder to the spice mixture. Take them out of the oven as soon as the edges brown and firm up, while the centers are still soft. I've never had leftovers after taking them to a party, and they're my new party-in-an-hour cookie recipe.
posted by asphericalcow at 12:42 AM on November 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

I don't have a cookie recipe for you, but my favorite quick bread of late is pumpkin chocolate chip. Make it just like banana bread, but use canned pumpkin and a little pumpkin pie spice instead of banana, then stir in chocolate chips. I make it as muffins sometimes too, and I have yet to serve them to anyone who doesn't love them.
posted by Dojie at 5:08 AM on November 21, 2011

these oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips instead of raisins. everyone always loves them, and they're so easy!
posted by sabh at 7:06 AM on November 21, 2011

I really like the oatmeal cookie recipe on the Quaker Oats container. They have one on their website too but it is a bit different, I'm afraid. I generally substitute chocolate chips for the raisins they suggest, and sometimes put in dried cherries. They are very quick to bake.
posted by mlle valentine at 8:30 AM on November 21, 2011

I make eight dozen of these every year to bring on a scout camping trip. It takes me one evening. The cookies are healthy (as these things go), sturdy, delicious, and seasonally perfect for Thanksgiving. They also happen to be vegan! If you don't view that as a plus, please know that they are in no way penitential hippie cookies, but look and taste as a holiday treat should. Here you go: Pumpkin Oat Cookies.
posted by apparently at 9:02 AM on November 21, 2011

I recently offered to make a batch of Tollhouse cookies (I'm a firm believer that the recipe on the back of the bag is tough to improve upon), for tv night at my friends' place, and someone asked me to "switch it up a bit." I used ⅓ dark-chocolate chips, ⅓ cinnamon chips, and ⅓ Heath toffee bits instead of just straight-up chocolate chips. They were devoured so quickly, I have to admit it grossed me out a little and caused me to think less of my friends. They were really effing good, though.
posted by heyho at 9:34 AM on November 21, 2011

I'd also like to add that if you're making drop cookies, use a cookie scoop to make the cookies uniform in size; this will also make them easier to pack.
posted by heyho at 9:52 AM on November 21, 2011

Thanks, all. I now have a whole arsenal of things to try. I'm going with the chocolate chip cookies with a swig of chipotle powder (I don't have ancho on hand) and cinnamon. I have high hopes for these cookies!

In case anyone is wondering the same thing as Majorita was about the Oatmeal Crispies: I've made them before without freezing the dough beforehand, and they didn't turn out well. I'm not sure why, but I don't want to chance that this time!
posted by k8lin at 2:30 PM on November 21, 2011

It's too late now, but for future reference, I just made these with a bit of extra grated fresh ginger, and they were easy and delicious and would definitely travel well.
posted by dizziest at 7:38 PM on November 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Well, they came out great, but weren't exactly stellar traveling cookies -- just regular old cookies.

The chipotle powder wasn't a huge hit, because the people aren't really foodies. However, the cookies had the perfect texture. I'll definitely make these again.
posted by k8lin at 3:38 PM on November 28, 2011

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