Baking with the kids is a time-honored holiday tradition. Though it can be messy and sometimes comical, your kids will cherish the memories of baking with Mom and Dad at the holidays. To make it easier, we asked Chef Rochelle Boucher, former private chef for George Lucas and current Chief Culinary Expert at Standards of Excellence, to share her ideas for an easy cookie recipe.
Chef Rachelle's recipe is easy to follow and can be customized any way you like. To speed up holiday baking, follow Chef Rachelle’s recipes for plain Sugar Cookie and five variations for Chocolate Hazelnut Filled Cookies, Cinnamon Pinwheels, Thumbprint Cookies, Orange Glazed Cookies and Macaroon Cookies, baked in a convection oven such as a KitchenAid®.
With a hand-held or stand mixer beat together ½ cup of room temperature butter, ½ cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of sugar, ½ teaspoon of baking powder, 1 large egg and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Scrape the bowl and beat until light and aerated. Turn the mixer to low and add flour in 3 parts, mixing until just blended. Chill until needed or freeze and thaw as needed.
Scoop 1 tablespoon of chilled dough and roll into a ball. Place onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, press a thumb-sized well and fill with jam (about 1/3 cup total). Bake at 325 degrees for about 15 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon of orange zest to the dough and form it into a log or rectangle, sliced, baked and dipped into a glaze made of 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 teaspoons zest, mixed with 2 tablespoons orange juice.
Roll dough into ¼ inch thick log on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the dough with a mixture of ¼ cup sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, roll into a log, chill, slice and bake.
Chocolate Hazelnut Filled Cookies
Roll dough into ¼ inch thick log on a lightly floured surface. Cut and bake, cool and fill with 1 ½ cups of jarred chocolate hazelnut spread.
Roll dough into ¼ inch thick log on a lightly floured surface. Cut, chill, and top with a mixture of 1 whisked egg white, 2 cups of shredded, sweetened coconut and ¼ cup of powdered sugar, and bake until golden.