There are so many reasons to love this recipe for slice and bake cookies! With just two doughs, you can make 4 different flavors: dark chocolate cherry, chia spiced cinnamon sugar, chocolate hazelnut, and dark chocolate peppermint. This recipe is also SO easy to make but is perfect to share as a gift. Each flavor makes a dozen cookies and they stay fresh even when shipped. So if you’re looking to spread some holiday cheer with cookies this year, this recipe is for you.
Tips of making slice and bake cookie dough
Each dough contains a very simple list of ingredients, and an even simpler list of steps. But along the way, there are a couple important tips to keep in mind to ensure your cookies don’t turn out dry and crumbly:
- Measuring flour – I say this in every post, and for good reason. It’s the number one reason why most recipes fail, especially for cookies. If there’s too much flour, the shortbread cookies will turn out dry and crumbly. If you can, measure the flour with a food scale. Otherwise, to ensure you use the exact amount needed, gently spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level if off with a flat edge. If you scoop directly into the flour container, it packs it down into the cup which could leave you with 1/4 cup or more of added flour.
- Room temperature butter – It’s very important that the butter is at the right temperature. If it’s too cold, the dough will be too crumbly. If it’s too soft, the dough will be too sticky. To prevent this from happening, allow the butter to sit out at room temperature for about an hour before starting. But if you’re in a rush, you can also place the butter in the stand mixer and mix the butter on medium-high speed until it softens and smooths out. It may take about 10 minutes.
Chilling shortbread cookie dough
After the dough has come together, the next step is to form and wrap the dough in order to prep it for chilling. It’s very important that the dough is firm and chilled solid before baking.
What this does is allows the butter to fully solidify, giving you a tender but crisp cookie. It also gives the flour a chance to fully absorb. If we skip the step, the cookies will completely spread and melt in the oven.
To chill, form the dough into an 8-9 inch log in length. The dough shouldn’t be sticky, so if it is you may need to add it back to your mixing bowl and mix in a few extra tablespoons of flour. Once formed, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least two hours or overnight. You know it’s ready when the dough is rock hard.
How to coat slice and bake cookies
My favorite part about slice and bake cookies is the crust. Once the logs have chilled, they can then be rolled in any crunchy topping like raw sugar or nuts. This not only signals what’s inside the cookie, but also adds a bit of added texture and flavor.
This is done through a process of rolling the logs in the coating, with each of these doughs having different coatings. The dark chocolate cherry cookies are rolled in raw sugar, the chai spiced cookies are rolled in a cinnamon sugar mixture, and the chocolate hazelnut cookies are rolled in finely chopped hazelnuts.
Each coating is spread out on a plate or a tray the same width as the log. Then you can simply roll and press the log into the coating. When it’s firm and chilled, it may have trouble sticking. This is why I rotate between rolling and pressing the coating in with my hands.
If it’s really not sticking, you can opt to brush the exterior of the cookie dough logs in an egg wash (1 egg beat with 1 tbsp water). This will help the coating to stick.
The best technique to slice the cookie dough
Most of these cookies are loaded with chunky bits. This makes the cookies look and taste amazing, but it also makes the slicing process a bit more challenging.
I find that I get the best results when I work with a large and sharp knife, cutting in a very swift and quick motion. Don’t saw the knife back and forth or try to slowly drag it into the dough. Simply place the knife where you need to slice, and press down fast and firm.
If you don’t have a super sharp knife, you can also roll the log away from you as you cut. This requires a slower cutting motion, but rolling it as you cut prevents the entire weight of the cookie from smashing down on itself.
Can the dough chill overnight?
Yes, you can choose to chill the dough for 2 hours or you can leave them overnight. They can also keep for up to 2 days before slicing and baking.
Can I freeze the dough?
Yes, you can either freeze the logs or the sliced cookies. But before freezing, allow the dough to chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours to harden. Then make sure you wrap the logs in plastic wrap and then foil for freezing. If freezing sliced cookie dough, place in an air tight container. They should keep for up to 1 month.
How to package and ship these cookies
If you like to ship out cookies to your friends and family every holiday, these cookies will hold up really well. They’re firm and don’t dry out easily, so they’ll taste just as good days after they’re baked.
To ship, wrap about 3 of the same flavor in plastic wrap. To ensure freshness, I recommend double wrapping them. Then place in a small cookie box inside a well filled shipping container. As for the chocolate peppermint cookies, I recommend wrapping them twice in plastic wrap and then a layer of foil. The peppermint flavor tends to absorb into the other cookies so the foil will prevent this from happening.
Additional cookie flavor options
I just have 4 flavor options in this recipe, but the possibilities are endless! Here are a few other combinations you could do to create a completely custom set of cookies:
- Add 2oz chopped white chocolate to the chai spiced cookies for some extra richness.
- Make a cranberry pistachio cookie and add 1/2 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup pistachios to one half of the vanilla cookie dough.
- Make a toffee pecan cookie by adding 1/4 cup toffee bits and 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans to one half of the vanilla cookie dough. You can also dunk each cookie in melted chocolate for some extra flavor.
- Make a Mexican hot chocolate cookie by adding 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp chile powder, and 2 oz chopped dark chocolate to one half of the chocolate dough.
- Make chocolate orange cookies and add the zest of one orange to one half of the chocolate dough. Then drunk in melted dark chocolate and top with extra orange zest.
For more holiday cookie recipes, check out my:
- Perfect Cut Out Sugar Cookies
- Soft Molasses Cookies
- Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Soft & Chewy Sugar Cookies
- Brown Butter Maple Pumpkin Cookies
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram and comment below if you make these Slice and Bake Cookies. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print