Baking hacks: How to make 5 different cookies from 1 base recipe

This isn’t a recipe, it’s a set of instructions for magic! Whether you’re baking cookies for lunchboxes, to spoil colleagues, a special gift for a friend or just to ugly-eat on the couch on a Friday night, this is going to come in handy. Why have one type of cookie when you can have five, right? Enter the basic cookie mix! Although there’s nothing ‘basic’ or plain about these - they are seriously moreish. But add a few ingredients and you can take them to a whole other level. 

First, start by preparing the basic cookie mixture: 

Basic cookie recipe (makes 24 cookies)

Ingredients:

315g (2 1/4 cups) cake flour
1 tsp fine salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
250g salted butter or margarine, softened
50g (3/4 cup) white sugar
150g (3/4 cup) packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup oats

Method: 

Preheat the oven to 180°C (or 160°C fan-forced). In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda. Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy - about 8 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, mixing well in between each. Add the flour mixture and oats and mix well. Drop walnut-sized balls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving enough room to spread. Bake the cookies for 9-12 minutes until golden around the edges. 

Second, divide it up! Just before dropping them onto baking sheets, divide the dough into 5 equal bowls - if you’re wanting to be exact, you can weigh it out into 210g batches. 

cookie ingredients

Next, add the fancy bits! To each batch of cookie dough, add the following ingredients:

MILO CHOCOLATE CHIP

40g chopped dark chocolate
25g Milo (malted milk powder)

chocolate chip cookies

STICKY DATE AND WALNUT COOKIES 

40g fresh dates finely chopped
20g chopped and toasted walnuts

LEMON, COCONUT AND WHITE CHOCOLATE COOKIES

¼ cup desiccated coconut
Zest of 1 lemon
40g chopped white chocolate

SPICED GINGER COOKIES

½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 tbsp honey
¼ cup oats

SALTED PEANUT COOKIES

40g roasted chopped peanuts
25g smooth peanut butter

salted peanut cookies

Finally, bake ‘em baby!

TIP: If you have the patience, allow the cookie dough to rest overnight before baking - it improves the texture drastically. 

ALSO READ: 10 Things to do with that box of store-bought cake mix