Slice-and-bake cookies are just like your favourite butter cookies – except for one very important difference. The dough is stored in the fridge, ready for you to slice and bake whenever you feel like a warm cookie… Our slice and bake recipes are impossible to resist.
Recipe: Classic Slice-And-Bake Cookie Dough
To get the best results, make sure the butter has been softened out of the fridge for at least an hour (it should give when you prod it), but don’t get it too warm during the mixing process. Rolling the dough too much can make the cookies tough so, for the shortest biscuits, just pat it into shape before chilling. You can keep the dough in the fridge for up to 36 hours – in fact, some people argue that a long rest will improve the finished flavour.
You Will Need:
- 175g (6oz) plain flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- Fairly generous pinch of sea salt (or a scant pinch of table salt)
- 100g (4oz) unsalted butter
- 100g (4oz) caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Sift together the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the salt. Set aside. Weigh out the butter and sugar, and cream them together using an electric mixer or wooden spoon. When the butter and sugar mixture is light and fluffy, beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract until smooth and glossy.
Add the flour to the bowl and stir to make a soft dough. Put the dough onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and use it to form the dough into a roll, about 5cm in diameter. Cookie dough rolls tend to have air channels running through the middle, so flatten the roll and re-roll it tightly to avoid this.
Now you have some options. If you want to bake the cookies immediately, twist the ends of the paper, then chill for at least half an hour before slicing and baking. If you’re freezing the dough now, wrap it again in clingfilm and put carefully into the freezer (avoiding anything that might squish it). If you’d like to coat the roll with coarse sugar, put the dough roll into a sandwich bag and add sugar to coat before refrigerating or freezing.
To slice and bake: Half-fill a cup with boiling water and dip a sharp knife into it. Use it to slice 1cm cookies from the roll, giving the roll a quarter-turn and dipping and wiping the knife between each slice. Arrange on a lined baking tray and bake at 200 degrees C for 7-10 minutes.
Variations on the Classic Slice-and-Bake Cookie Recipe
Now you’ve mastered the basic recipe, you can tinker with it by adding flavours and sprinkles!
- Chocolate Slice and Bake Cookies: After weighing it, take out 3tbsp of plain flour and replace with 3tbsp of good-quality, organic cocoa powder (Green & Black’s is excellent – don’t use drinking chocolate).
- Demerara Pecan Slice and Bake Cookies: Instead of weighing out 100g caster sugar, use 50g each of soft brown sugar and caster sugar – this will give the finished cookies a more caramelly taste. Add 100g chopped pecans to the dough and coat the roll in Demerara sugar before slicing it.
- Chocolate Swirl Slice and Bake Cookies: Instead of forming the dough into a roll immediately, put it onto a lightly floured board and roll into a rectangle. Sprinkle with 200g finely chopped dark chocolate. Starting from the long edge closest to you, tightly roll the dough up. Wrap in paper and/or foil and refrigerate or freeze as above.