There's just something about a freshly baked cookie that always feels so comforting — and that's something pretty much everyone could benefit from in these difficult times. But with many restaurants and bakeries on hiatus or limiting their availability, you might have to take matters into your own hands. Not an expert baker? No problem. With a few simple cookie recipes it's easier than you think to whip up a batch that you can enjoy — or drop off to a loved one who you can't be with in person.
Many people have been taking up baking as a hobby (or even a form of therapy) now that staying at home means more quality time to spend in the kitchen. But admittedly, baking is a different animal than cooking, as it's more precise by nature. Whereas you can get more experimental tossing ingredients together to create salads or pastas, cookie leaves a little less wiggle room. That said, it's best to work with a tried-and-true recipe.
Don't have any handy? Borrow some from top chefs and culinary experts who turn to a few favorite recipes for a comforting treat that's surprisingly easy to make. Ahead find five to tackle ASAP, then turn on a feel-good show or a reliable rom-com, and enjoy your moment of zen.
Cookie Recipe To Try: Ovis Mollis (Italian Cookie) With Jam
Rosewood Miramar Beach Executive Chef Massimo Falsini, serves these ovis mollis, or Italian shortbread biscuits, at Caruso’s as mignardise (a bite-sized dessert at the end of the meal). To make it, you'll need 600 grams butter, 300 grams powdered sugar, 300 grams hard boiled egg yolks, 600 grams sifted cake flour, and 300 grams potato starch.
Leave the butter out until it's reached room temperature and mix until creamy. Add the sugar and sieved yolks and mix well. Lastly add the flour and potato starch and chill wrapped dough for 30 minutes. When you're ready to bake, create the shape you like (you can use shaped cookie cutters like they do at Caruso's) and bake at 300 degrees until golden brown. Once cooled, sandwich cookies together with a bit of jam or fruit preserves.
Cookie Recipe To Try: Vegan Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
At Café Gratitude (as well as in its Love is Served cookbook) this cookie goes by the name "I Am Affectionate," and like everything served at the celebrity-favorite healthy eatery, it's completely plant-based. To make it, you'll need 3⁄4 cup gluten-Free all-purpose bakery flour blend, 3⁄4 cup vegan semisweet chocolate chips, 1⁄2 cup raw walnuts, chopped 1⁄2 cup rolled oats, 1⁄2 cup cane sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 3⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1⁄2 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt, 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda, 1⁄3 cup coconut milk, 1⁄3 cup maple syrup, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1⁄4 cup coconut oil, and 1⁄2 cup softened almond butter.
Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. While you wait, combine the flour blend, chocolate chips, walnuts, oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda gently. Separately mix the coconut milk, maple syrup, and chia seeds in a blender until the chia is fully dissolved. Next combine both mixtures along with the coconut oil and almond butter and mix well to form a soft dough.
Scoop the dough onto the baking sheets, leaving about five inches between cookies and flatten each slightly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and allow to coo before serving.
Cookie Recipe To Try: Chocolate Shortbread Cookies
"These chocolate shortbread cookies are delicious in the morning with coffee or for a snack with milk," says Chef Edoardo Baldi of e. baldi and edo. To make them, you'll need 200 grams cold, unsalted butter, 133 grams sugar, 3 grams salt, 2 eggs, 300 grams all-purpose flour, 33 grams cocoa powder, and 3 grams double-acting baking powder.
Start by creaming butter and sugar together until creamy, then add salt and beat again for a few seconds. Add one egg and one additional yolk until incorporated. In a separate bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder together and add slowly to the butter mixture. Very carefully incorporate the flour mixture and be careful not to over mix — the dough should just barely hold together.
Remove dough from the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. When you're ready to bake, flatten the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness cut into the shape cookie you prefer. Bake at 390 degrees for nine to 12 minutes.
Cookie Recipe To Try: Lemon Rosemary Shortbread
Not a big chocolate lover? Try this alternate shortbread recipe from Little Dom’s Pastry Chef Ann Kirk. "The addition of bright Meyer lemon and earthy rosemary to this recipe elevates these cookies even further by incorporating unexpected flavors that are perfect for warmer weather," she says. To make these, you'll need 1/2 cups butter (cubed), 3/4 cup sugar, 1 finely zested Meyer lemon (or regular lemons if you can't get Meyers), 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 scant cups all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup cornstarch, 1 tablespoon rosemary (finely chopped), and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees and prep your baking tray by spraying with vegetable oil and placing a sheet of parchment paper down on top. In a mixer, combine cubed butter, sugar, and Meyer lemon zest using a medium-low speed until ingredients are creamed together. Add the vanilla extract and combine on a low setting. Separately, sift flour and cornstarch together and add the rosemary and salt. Then combine both wet and dry mixtures on low speed until smooth.
Spread the dough evenly on your pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top of the shortbread is light golden. Cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into your desired shapes (it's easier to cut while still just slightly warm).
Cookie Recipe To Try: Honey Oatmeal Cookies
Elizabeth Stein, CEO/Founder of Purely Elizabeth, calls this nutritious cookie "the perfect treat," explaining that the oats and coconut flakes help to give it a nutter flavor and nice texture. It also happens to be gluten-free. To make it you'll need 1 cup oats (such as Purely Elizabeth Original Superfood Oats), 2/3 cups almond flour, 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons coconut flakes, a pinch of salt, 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 5 tablespoons honey.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Mix all your dry ingredients and in a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, vanilla extract, and honey. Next combine both mixtures and chill for 30 minutes. Drop scoops of the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, flatten with a fork, and bake for about 12 minutes.