We all have those go-to recipes filed away in the back of our minds or possibly a binder on our cookbook shelf. We love them because they're easy to make and we usually have the ingredients on hand. They might not always be the dressiest girl at the party however and when you need a showy dessert on the fly, it's not time to test something new, just dress up an old trusted favorite!
1. Frosting or a Drizzle: The kid in us all comes out when you eat something with icing. It's pure magic. Try a light lemon or sugar drizzle to give any cookie or cake a little bit more pizazz.
2. Change Up Your Mix-Ins: Does your chocolate chip cookie recipe need a little fun? Add in nuts, dried fruits, small pieces of store-bought candy — even things like chips, pretzels or crumbled cookie chunks.
3. Citrus Oil and Zest or Flavoring: Citrus can make anything extra bright and special. You can buy bottles of oil at the store to accent your goods, but you can also try freezing zest to use throughout the year.
4. Sugar Crust: Look for large-grained sugar at your local grocer. Sure you can buy it in specialty baking shops for big money (for a small amount), but try checking the ethnic baking sections at your grocer instead. You can usually find large granule sugar for very little and a little sprinkle on top of breads, cookies and more gives everything a shiny, delicious crinkled top and crunch!
5. Present Them Pretty: Serving cookie bars? Cut them into squares and place each one on a piece of parchment or tie it with twine. Individual attention makes anything more special, even if it's the same old recipe.
What do you do this time of year to dress up your classic cookies and other treats?
Related: Recipe: Spiced Bundt Cake with Whiskey-Coffee Glaze
(Images: Faith Durand; Emma Christensen)