If you're going to bake up a few batches of holiday cookies or if you just love indulging in cookies of every sort, you'll want to know about the different kinds of cookies that are out there.
The group called cookies, in all their glorious yumminess, include a wide variety of small tasty cakes that are classified into different types.
So before you turn on the oven, brush up on your cookie classifications!
Flickr Photo Credit Nina Matthews Photography
The most popular type is the drop cookie. This is the soft dough that kids and adults alike love to spoon onto cookie sheets (and into their mouths). This type of dough is easy to mix and easy to bake. While in the oven, this type of cookie will spread out so when you drop them onto your cookie sheet, you'll want to leave space between them.
Types of cookies in the drop category include the American classic chocolate chip, oatmeal and more.
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, shortening and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the egg and water. Beat in cake mix until well blended, then stir in the oats and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
The molded cookie is made with dough that forms a stiff ball and is then rolled into a shape.
This would include the ever popular peanut butter Hershey's kiss cookies which are rolled in the hand into a ball, rolled in sugar and then allowed to bake. When they are just about done, you add the kiss. It will soften and settle into the cookie, but not melt.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Combine sugar, peanut butter, and egg.
3. Shape into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. NOTE: If dough is too sticky, refrigerate 1/2 hour or until easy to handle.
4. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove cookies from oven. Press a chocolate kiss into the center of each warm cookie.
The rolled cookie is another classic. Just about everyone has helped mom or grandma roll out a batch of sugar cookies or gingerbread. Rolled cookies are fun to decorate and make great cookie party favors.
This batter must be mixed with an electric mixer for best results and then cooled in the refrigerator for an hour or more before rolling. This allows the fats to stiffen and makes for an easier to handle dough. These cookies are then cut out with cookie cutters.
1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
Refrigerator cookies are very popular especially around the holidays. Black and white checkerboard cookies are made this way. The biscotti is another example of the refrigerator cookie and is actually cut once and then baked twice. Hence the name "biscotti" which means twice baked.
This type of dough is formed into a long log and then chilled to set up. Then, individual cookies are sliced off the roll and baked on a cookie sheet.
1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Divide dough equally into three small bowls. Add almond extract and red food coloring to one portion; stir until thoroughly mixed. Mix chocolate into second bowl, and walnuts into the third bowl.
2. Line a 9x5 inch loaf pan with waxed paper, and spread almond dough evenly in the bottom of the pan. Spread the walnut dough evenly over the almond layer, and top with chocolate dough layer. Cover layered dough with waxed paper, and place in the refrigerator until firm, about 4 hours.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Turn out chilled dough by inverting pan; peel off waxed paper. With sharp knife, cut dough lengthwise in half. Slice each half of dough crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. Place slices on cookie sheet one inch apart.
4. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until light brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.
Pressed cookies are found in more old school home kitchens. Maybe mom had a cookie press when you were growing up? Often, many Christmas Cookie selections included pressed cookies of some sort.
This type of dough is soft and is squeezed through a press to form various shapes. Christmas trees, squiggles and angels can all be formed by changing out the discs. They are called Spritzgebock, or Spritz cookies for short.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In bowl, combine flour and baking powder. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, vanilla and almond extract; mix well. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture; beat until combined. Do not chill. Fill cookie press with dough and with desired disks, press cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheet on cooling rack. Remove from sheet; cool completely.
Bar cookies are a version many people can remember baking from an early age. The chocolate chip cookie can be transformed into a bar cookie when the batter is pressed into a square or rectangular pan. Layers of nuts or dried fruit can be added as well.
It's an easy cookie to make since you don't have to continually place cookies on a sheet. The classic brownie and the Rice Krispy treat are also different versions of bar cookies.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Melt butter over low heat.
3. Pour butter into 13 x 9 inch pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter.
4. Pour condensed milk over crumbs. Sprinkle chocolate and peanut butter chips over milk mixture and press down firmly.
5. Bake 25 to 30 minutes.
Two cookie halves pressed together make sandwich cookies. These can be filled with ice cream, jelly, peanut butter, fluff or frosting. Sandwich cookies, as evidenced by the popularity of the Oreo, are a classic favorite. They are not only easy to eat but also easy to and fun to bake.
The filling of a sandwich cookie can be altered to match the holiday you are making them from. Chocolate dipped Oreo cookies are a decadent treat! In the chocolate sandwich cookies below, you can add some green or red food coloring to the filling then add crushed up candy canes for a great Holiday treat!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
2. Blend the above ingredients together with a pastry blender until mixed.
3. Roll in balls about the size of a quarter and place on ungreased baking sheets. Make an even number of balls.
4. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cookies stand on cookie sheet for 5-6 minutes before removing them to cooling rack. After cookies have cooled, put your choice of frosting or filling between two cookies, putting bottom sides together.