One of my favorite tips for preparing a variety of items for a bake sale is to utilize a master recipe and prepare it in various ways. My Drop Cookie Master Recipe is by far my favorite for this application because it is easy to double, triple, or even quadruple the base dough recipe and then split it up to use in multiple ways.
Once the base dough is made you can use it to make classic chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, cranberry white chocolate and orange cookies, or even press it into a pan to make cookie bars or a cookie cake. The possibilities are really endless and it’s a great way to simplify the process of producing a large number of baked goods!
~Kristin “Baker Bettie” Hoffman
Drop Cookie Master Recipe
Recipe from Baker Bettie’s Better Baking Book
This base recipe for drop cookies can be used for a standard chocolate chip cookie, or for a wide variety of variations. Use the list of flavorings and mix-ins to get creative and make your favorite flavor! The recipe as written creates a cookie that isn’t too thick or thin, with slightly crispy edges and a soft and chewy middle. See the note section about how to change the texture.
Yield: About 16 2-inch (5 cm) cookies
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes
- 50 grams (¼ cup) granulated sugar
- 100 grams (½ cup) brown sugar, light or dark
- 113 grams (½ cup, 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 135 grams (1 cup + 2 tablespoons) all-purpose flour
- Mix-ins of choice (see variations and chart following the recipe for ideas)
- At least 30 minutes before making your cookies, set out the butter and egg to come to room temperature.
- Position two oven racks on the top third and the bottom third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.
- Measure out the rest of the ingredients. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
To Make the Cookies:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, cream the butter with the granulated sugar and brown sugar on medium/high speed. Cream for about 2 minutes, until light and fluffy, scraping down the bowl periodically.
- Add the vanilla, the egg, and any other extracts or zests if using, and mix on medium speed until combined.
- Whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and any spices if using, in a separate mixing bowl.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on medium/low speed until just incorporated, scraping the bowl as needed.
- Fold in the solid mix-ins until just combined.
- Scoop rounded mounds of dough about 2 tablespoons each onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. It is best to only scoop about 8 cookies per sheet to allow enough room for spreading. A tip for making picture-perfect cookies: top each mound of dough with a few of the solid add-ins you choose so that they are visible after baked.
- Bake two cookie sheets at a time at 375°F/190°C for 7-10 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom halfway through. Remove the cookies from the oven when the edges are lightly browned and the cookies look slightly underbaked in the center. They will continue cooking after they are removed from the oven.
- Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before moving them to cooling racks to cool completely.
- Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature. Alternatively, you can freeze the cookies for up to 3 months.
Flavoring Your Drop Cookies
Use this chart of flavoring options as a guide for flavoring your dough if desired. Mix and match as you like.
Extracts & Zests
(use up to 2 extracts and/or zests if desired)
- ½ teaspoon anise extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon orange, lemon, or lime zest
(use up to 1 ½ teaspoons total spices if desired)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon cardamom
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
(use up to 2 ½ cups total solid mix-ins. You can use as many as you like within this volume. Recommended to only use up to 1 cup of any individual mix-in)
- chips or chunks (semi-sweet, milk chocolate, bittersweet, dark chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter)
- M&M’s (regular or mini)
- nuts (pecans, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, macadamia nuts)
- dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, raisins, currants)
- oats (quick-cooking or rolled oats) note: Oats will add a chewier texture to the cookies and the cookies won’t spread as much.
Flavor Variation Ideas
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies: Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the dry ingredients, and add 150 grams (1 cup) raisins and 100 grams (1 cup) rolled oats to the dough. Sprinkle with flaky salt when they come out of the oven.
Chewy Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies: Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly, but not until solidified. Use The One Bowl Method to mix your dough. Add 150 grams (1 cup) bittersweet or dark chocolate chips (my favorite are Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chips), and 75 grams (¾ cup) toasted (page ), chopped pecans to your dough. Sprinkle with flaky salt when they come out of the oven.