The stockings are hung, the plums are sugared, and you're well on your way to getting all those gifts wrapped. Now it's time for the real fun to begin, and by "real fun," I mean...cookies.
Of course, "Cookie recipes are just about infinite, because almost anything can be shaped into a circle and baked... But the basic cookie contains three key ingredients: butter, flour and sugar. That combination has not been bettered, and it can be varied in so many ways that, really, it’s the only recipe you need."Minimalist Mark Bittman provides a basic dough recipe, and four solid ways to turn it into something amazing, but you could really go anywhere with this guy as a starting point. "Flavor this dough (it can be doubled, tripled, etc., and refrigerated up to two days in advance or frozen for longer), then spoon it out and fill it for thumbprints, chill and roll it and frost it, turn it into “sandwiches” or press and spread it into bars. Master those options, and you can create pretty much any cookie you can dream of. Unless you’re not open to those with butter, sugar and flour."
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