As a working mom there a few notes that come home from school with my kid that have the potential to really screw with our well established routine:
- The "Lice has been reported in the classroom" letter
- The "Can you come in for a quick chat?" email
- The "Hey, we're having a bake sale to support (insert random charity here)" letter
Guess which one is my absolute least favourite? If you guessed bake sale then you are probably a working mom as well.
Even if I could find time to bake up some fabulous (which sometimes I can) then I still have to sort out how to get the magical baked treats to school! When my daughter was in primary grades she took a school bus from day care to class. Imagine how much fun it was to try and figure out how to package cupcakes/cookies/squares for her to transport? Now she walks or rides her bike to school, so different transportation method, but same issue BUT I have finally solved all the bake sale issues!
Here is a fast and simple recipe that gives you cookies that taste great AND are firm enough to withstand kid powered transportation (and as a fun bonus are super easy to add sprinkles to ensure quick sales!). Mix up a batch on the weekend and freeze for cookie emergencies.
Slice and Bake Vanilla Cookies
Here's what you need:
- 2 cups of flour (plus a bit extra for the kneading/rolling stage)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 salt
- 3/4 cup of softened butter (unsalted, or if you only have salted - use less salt above)
- 1 Cup white sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1.5 Vanilla extract
Here's what you do:
In a bowl mix all the flour, salt and baking power together, set aside.
Using a stand mixer (or super mom strength and a hand mixer or old school wooden spoon) cream the butter and sugar together, then add the egg and vanilla and mix until well blended.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mix and and blend together until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Using your hands, pull the dough together so that it is one big ball (before this step it will look like a large crumb type mixture.). Split the ball into two parts.
Use plastic wrap to help guide you as you roll each part into a log (using plastic wrap to help you roll the dough also means it is all wrapped up when you are done). I like to make mine about 30 cm long and the width of a twoonie (for Americans that's 12 inches long and roughly the width of a silver dollar). Refridgerate your dough for at least two hours before slicing and baking.
It will keep in the fridge for about a week so if you make the dough and then run out of time no problem, just keep it in the fridge until you do have some time.
To Bake the Cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper (to prevent sticking). Slice the cookies to what ever thickness you want, I like them to be about 5cm (1/4inch?). It kind of varies, when I make them...but I do try and sleep it consistent so that they all bake at the same rate.
Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes. Time will depend on thickness of your cuts, I find 11 minutes is usually the best length of time for me.
Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the tray before moving to a wire rack to finish cooling off. Package up and send to school - I like to stock up on holiday themed treat bags during seasonal clearances to have on hand for bake sale emergencies.
Want to be fancy? Experiment with flavours and switch the vanilla for your favourite - using lemon and adding some lemon zest to the dough would be lovely I think! You can also roll the dough in sprinkles before chilling to add some colour to the edges, or sprinkle some coloured sugar on prior to baking.
You can also freeze the dough for up to a month.
If this recipe looks familiar...it's because it probably is. When searching for slice and bake cookies I realized I had several versions from family and friends - you probably do too, it just took a while to realize that this standard Christmas/Sugar cookie can be rolled and stored to turn into slice and bake cookies!
These cookies are also terrific for co-workers! Having rough week at work? Be the super star and bring your crew some cookies!