There are few things as universal as a neighborly gesture…like the casserole delivered when someone is sick or just had a baby; the winter treat dropped off just to say “Happy Holidays;” and, for anytime at all,there’s the plate of cookies, still warm from the oven, to say, “You were on my mind.” Take an hour this weekend and make life on your block so much sweeter by doing a simple, kind act for the elderly couple down the street or the single mom next door that you know could use some quiet time. You’ll be amazed how this simple task can drastically improve your life by making your neighbors happy to be living near you and perhaps willing to return the favor on occasion just because. It’s never a bad time to do something nice, and it’s never a bad time to become the neighbor everyone loves. To make it simple for you and still yummy for your friends, we’ve compiled a list of the very best delicious and easy cookie recipes you’ll be able to whip together quickly with the classic ingredients you already have stocked in the cupboard.
Classic Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 ¼ cup light brown sugar (packed)
½ cup white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. While that heats, grease 2 cookie sheets with baking spray or line with parchment paper.
In a medium size bowl, use a sifter to combine flour, baking soda and salt. Then in a large bowl, use a hand mixer to cream together brown sugar, white sugar and the softened butter. Add the eggs and vanilla, then cream together again until the mixture is light and smooth. Add in the bowl of dry ingredients and combine all together. The final step for the batter is to add chocolate chips and gently combine one more time.
To distribute the dough, use a small ice cream scoop or two tablespoons to create 1/4 cup portions. Place onto cookie sheets with approximately 3 inches between each portion.
Bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the cookies are golden with lightly toasted edges. Once removed from the oven, allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for an additional 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks.
*This cookie recipe is courtesy of Tessa Arias at Handle the Heat
1 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
½ cup unsalted butter (cold, diced into ½” pieces)
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. Use a mixer to blend unsalted butter for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Add salt and ¾ cup sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, and cream ingredients together until just incorporated. In a separate bowl, whisk together baking soda, flour and cream of tartar. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, and blend together until you have a combined dough that pinches together at the touch. Set the dough in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes until it is slightly more set for rolling into balls.
Mix together the remaining sugar and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon in a small bowl. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator once finished chilling. To portion the cookies, take ½ inch portions of dough and roll them lightly and quickly into balls. Take each ball of dough and lightly roll them individually in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place each ball onto greased cookie sheets allowing 2 inches between each cookie for spreading during baking.
Bake cookies in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. For even baking, turn each cookie sheet 180 degrees halfway through the allotted time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes after removing them from the oven, before transferring the cookies to wire racks for cooling entirely.
Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies
1 box yellow cake mix
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup peanut butter (creamy)
¼ cup shortening
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. In large bowl combine brown sugar, water, peanut butter, shortening and eggs. Slowly add in the yellow cake mix while continuing to combine until mixture is completely smooth. Dough should be thick and slightly sticky.
Shape the dough into 1 inch balls, roll in granulated sugar and place on greased cookie sheets. Allow 2 inches of space between each cookie. With a fork, flatten each cookie in a criss-cross pattern to create a classic peanut butter cookie aesthetic, ideal for even baking with this sticky dough. Bake the cookies 10 to 12 minutes. Cool for 1 minute on the baking sheets before removing cookies and finishing cooling on wire racks. Store in airtight containers to retain freshness.