When Baking is Easier Than Buying

As soon as I agreed to make the cookies, I entered the event on my calendar: "Make Cookies for Teacher Treat Day." Several times in the two weeks that preceded the big day, I thought to myself, sometimes out loud even, "Is today the day I make the cookies?" I always knew the answer and was sure I would remember. And I did remember, at 11:30pm, when my husband and I were in the middle of catching up on The Bachelor, the night before I was supposed to send the cookies to school with my son.

For a moment, I considered sneaking to Whole Foods at the crack of dawn and buying the most homemade-looking cookies to repackage in my own container. But cookies just aren't that difficult, are they? I knew I could make them in the time it would take me to change out of my pajamas, rush to the store, and rush back home to disguise them as my own. This was not my first time at the rodeo. I had been the last rider to leave the gate many times before.

My easiest cookie recipe has two ingredients — refrigerator sugar cookie dough and lavender salt. And three steps: Cut dough into bite-size pieces, sprinkle with lavender salt, and bake according to instructions on the package. Bonus points for buying the fancy pre-packaged dough, without extra additives or trans fats. The cheater cookies embarrassed me, just a little, until one of my favorite chefs came to a party at our house and called me the next day begging for my secret lavender shortbread recipe.

If I have a little more time, I almost always have the ingredients for peanut butter cookies. Recently, I had the time but, alas, only one cup of flour. I did what anyone would do, searched the internet for "1 cup all-purpose flour" and "peanut butter cookies." Martha Stewart, always cool under pressure, had my back. (See her peanut butter cookies here.) And since I didn't have to rush out to the grocery store in the morning, I made sure to set a few cookies aside to enjoy with my coffee.

Do you have any dishes in your last-minute repertoire? Or have you ever passed off anything storebought as your own? (Come on — make me feel better!) What's always in your pantry?

Related: Easy, Yummy and Fun! 10 Kid-Friendly Cookie Recipes

(Image: Anne Postic)

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Anne Postic writes about cooking for her family on The Kitchn. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina with her husband and three very handsome sons. She loves talking cooking, travel, parenting and art, though not necessarily in that order.