When it's time to buckle down and get serious about cookie production (and by that, I mean simply that December begins), I like to set myself up so that my cookie-making is as efficient as possible.
That means that I'll often make a huge batch of a cookie base, whether it's plain ol' sugar, chocolate chip, chocolate, or oatmeal cookie dough. From that, I can portion out and make several smaller batches with any number of mix-ins, from M&Ms to morsels to dried fruit to bacon bits.
Let your imagination run wild! Monster cookies are a hit with my family, but regular oatmeal scotchies are an all-time favorite for many, including me. Slipping in some porky, salty bacon might shock some palates, but I think everyone will come to appreciate its unique contribution to the mix. One of my best combinations to date has been dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and a bit of orange zest, but your mileage may vary. Regardless, have fun, and make cookies!
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Oatmeal Cookie Extravaganza
Makes nearly 4 dozen
- 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
- 1 (11-ounce) package butterscotch, cinnamon, or peanut butter morsels
- 1 (11-ounce) package dark, semi-sweet, or white chocolate morsels
- 1 (10-ounce) package cinnamon chips
- 1 (9.9-ounce) package crispy M&Ms
- 1 (9.9-ounce) package pretzel M&Ms
- 1 cup crumbled bacon
- 1-2 cups dried fruit
- 1-2 cups chopped nuts
Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in small bowl.
Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl.
Gradually beat in flour mixture.
Stir in oats and anywhere from 1-4 cups of add-ins. Chill at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 7 to 8 minutes for chewy cookies or 9 to 10 minutes for crisp cookies.
Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.