Adding a little extra touch to cookies seems appropriate around the holidays, especially if you're giving them away as gifts. This is also the time of year, however, when a thousand other things are vying for your attention.
Here are five easy ways you can turn ordinary sugar cookie dough, even the store-bought kind, into jazzed-up cookies that make them even more giftable and unique!
1. Make a fancy thumbprint cookie.
Form sugar cookie dough into balls, roll in regular sugar, place on a baking sheet, and make a shallow indentation in the center of each one with your thumb. After the cookies are baked, press a miniature chocolate candy cup (my favorite is peanut butter) into the center and let cool completely. Yes, it's cookies and candy all rolled into one!
2. Turn them into sandwich cookies.
The grocery store offers a wide variety of ready-made fillings that can turn baked sugar cookies into delicious sandwich cookies. Try marshmallow fluff flavored with a few drops of peppermint extract, nut butter, jams, or a caramel sauce like dulce de leche. Dust the outside with powdered sugar and you're all set!
3. Decorate with melted chocolate.
Don't have time to make icing? Just melt chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and use that to decorate with instead. Besides being beautiful, you'll add a nice layer of chocolate flavor too.
4. Try different flavorings in the sugar cookie dough.
If you're making your own sugar cookie dough, try a different extract — like almond, peppermint, or citrus — instead of vanilla for a flavor change. You can even add finely grated fresh citrus zest for flecks of beautiful color and a nice pop of flavor.
5. Roll cookie dough logs in sparkly sugar.
If you like slice-and-bake cookies, just roll the logs in a coarsely textured, colored or sparkly sugar before slicing and baking. This will give each cookie a nice rim of crunchy sugar and festive sparkle to boot.