This Easy Slice and Bake Cookies recipe is the perfect way to make delicious, buttery cookies without a lot of fuss. Make the dough, refrigerate, then slice and bake!
With the holidays twinkling on the horizon, it’s time to talk about something that’s as essential to the festive season as jingle bells and mistletoe – cookies! But not just any ol’ cookies… these super easy slice and bake cookies.
These little rounds of joy are not just scrumptious, but they’re also your secret weapon for stress-free holiday baking. I mean, the holidays are stressful enough, let’s not make it worse by adding complicated cookie recipes to the mix.
Why are slice and bake cookies a holiday favorite?
- Pre-Made Dough: The key feature of slice and bake cookies is their pre-made dough, which you can prepare well in advance. You mix up your cookie dough just like any other, but instead of baking it right away, you shape it into logs.
- Chilling Out: After shaping, the dough logs take a little chill pill in the fridge or freezer. This not only helps the flavors to develop and get happy together, but it also makes the dough firmer and easier to slice.
When the Craving Strikes:
- Slice and Surprise: When you’re ready to bake, you just take the dough out, slice it into rounds, and pop them in the oven. It’s like magic – one minute you have a dough log, the next you have cookies!
- Easy Peasy: This method is perfect for when you need cookies in a snap or want to bake in small batches. It’s also a great way to involve the kids in baking without the mess of rolling and cutting out shapes.
The Flavor Festival:
- Endless Varieties: From classic chocolate chip and sugar cookies to more adventurous flavors like cranberry-orange or pistachio-chocolate, the possibilities are endless. You can mix in sprinkles, nuts, dried fruits, spices, or whatever tickles your fancy. You can also dip baked cookies in chocolate or frost the tops with a delectable frosting, icing, or glaze!
- Customizable Shapes and Sizes: Although traditionally round, you can get creative with shapes and sizes. Flatten them for thinner, crispier cookies, or keep them chunky for a soft, chewy center.
The Convenience Factor:
- Always on Standby: Having slice and bake cookie dough in the fridge or freezer is like having a secret weapon. Unexpected guests? No problem. Late-night cookie cravings? Covered. It’s like having a 24/7 cookie store in your own kitchen.
How long can I keep slice and bake cookie dough in the fridge or freezer?
You might be wondering, “How long can I keep my slice and bake cookie dough in the fridge or freezer?”
- In the Fridge: If you’re playing the waiting game, your slice and bake dough can hang out in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- In the Freezer: For a longer break, the freezer is your dough’s best friend. Wrapped snuggly in plastic wrap and then placed in a zip-top bag (because we don’t want it catching a cold), your dough can chill in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When you’re ready to bake, just remember to let the dough from the freezer thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours.
How do I keep my cookies to stay round?
Ever baked a batch of slice and bake cookies and ended up with some that looked more like the map of Texas than a perfect circle? Or maybe it’s Mississippi with the flat bottom. No worries, we’ve all been there.
- Roll with Love (and a Little Trick): After you’ve prepared your dough, roll it into a log. But here’s the twist – don’t just use your hands! Lay out a double layer of plastic wrap, place your dough log on it, and roll it up in the plastic wrap like a cozy burrito. Then, use a ruler or a long, straight object to gently press and roll the dough into a more uniform shape. This is like giving your cookie dough a little spa treatment, ensuring it’s well-shaped and relaxed. But keep in mind, this dough is pretty soft and it’s not going to be easy for it to hold its shape. But we’ll fix it after the chill time.
- Shape After the Chill: Once your dough is nicely chilled, it will be a little easier to shape. While it’s still wrapped in the plastic, simply roll the dough log on the counter, giving it a little pressure, to get it back into that round shape. You can even give them a little shaping once they’ve been sliced and make it onto the baking sheet.
- Just Go with It: Even if they don’t shape out like you want, they’re still going to taste amazing!
How can I jazz up my slice and bake cookies?
As I mentioned before, you can add sprinkles, nuts, dried fruits, spices, or whatever tickles your fancy to the dough before forming it.
The other option, and what we do in this version, is to coat the outside of the logs with sprinkles before slicing and baking. But they don’t have to always be holiday sprinkles! This recipe is perfect year-round, as you can use any host of colored sprinkles to celebrate any holiday – or any Tuesday, for that matter!
With these tips, you’re all set to make slice and bake cookies that are not just delicious but also round enough to make a geometry teacher proud. Imagine the aroma of freshly baked cookies wafting through your home, bringing smiles to faces, and adding that extra sprinkle of joy to your holiday festivities.
So, grab your apron, rally the family, and let’s get baking! After all, what’s the holiday season without a little magic from the oven? Happy baking, folks!
Easy Slice and Bake Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or flavoring
- 1 teaspoon almond extract or flavoring
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- Use a mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond and mix well. Add the salt and flour and beat until fully combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again.
- Roughly divide the dough in half. Place each half on a large double layer of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to form the dough into a log shape that's about 2 1/2 inches wide. The dough is soft and this can be a little challenging, but don't stress too much over it. We'll fix it later.
- Wrap tightly in the plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. Allow the dough to chill for at least 4 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Take one of the cookie dough logs out of the fridge and roll it on the counter (still in the plastic wrap) to better define the round shape.
- If desired, coat the outside of the log with sprinkles or nonpareils. Pour the sprinkles into a shallow tray or plate. Remove the plastic wrap and roll the dough in the sprinkles to get the outside coated.
- Slice the dough into 1/4-inch slices and place on the prepared baking sheet. You can also gently adjust the shape with your fingers at this point, too, if they aren't round to your liking.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are just barely starting to turn a light golden brown. (The longer you bake them, the crispier they get. I like them right at 10 minutes.)
- Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store baked cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks or tightly wrapped in the freezer for up to 12 months.
* If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. The values do not include optional ingredients or when ingredients are added to taste. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.