How to Judge a Cookie Recipe Based on Ingredients and Ease of Use

The name is the first thing I notice on a new cookie recipe. Descriptive flavors entice me, especially if it is unusual. Flavors like coffee or rosemary interest me more than a sugar cookie. Not to say that you can’t have a lot of fun flavoring up a plain sugar cookie with some interesting spices.

I like to read through the list of ingredients. If the recipe asks for something that I don’t have on hand, I ask myself whether it is worth getting. I do try to see if I can make a substitution. I’ve been known to exchange cottage cheese for sour cream to cut back on the fat. I also like to make spice or extract substitutions. With cookies involving fruit I’ll use one berry for another or use figs instead of dates to avoid running to the store. You can create a lot of happy accidents with well-placed substitutions.

If I don’t understand the ingredient, I immediately dislike the recipe. For example, a recipe calling for caster sugar, could just as easily say very fine sugar or instruct you to grind up some regular sugar in your food processor. I think of these recipes as a bit snobby. (Caster sugar is used because it dissolves faster and more thoroughly.)

On the other hand, a recipe that asks for corn syrup or a box of cake mix or a can of frosting isn’t likely to make the grade either. One reason I bake is to avoid man-made chemicals and overly sweet recipes. If there is a gooey icing involved, then I know they are selling sugar over any real flavor.

Ingredients aren’t the only reason to select a cookie or bar recipe. I also like to read how long it takes to bake. Cookies that take longer than 20 minutes or bars that take longer than 35 minutes usually don’t make the grade. I don’t like using up a lot of electricity for a single recipe, nor do I like to spend a lot of time on just one item.

If the instructions are several pages long, I know I’m in trouble. A cookie most often involves creaming some form of sugar with some form of fat and then adding flour, flavoring and nuts or fruit. I used to avoid cookies that said, “chill overnight.” Now I understand that chilling allows the flavorings to spread throughout the dough and solidify it for better baking results. I often make several recipes at once (since the ingredients are so similar) and bake them the next day. Or I will make larger quantities and freeze some of the batter for later use.

Like with anything, there are exceptions. I make cutout cookies at Christmas and over the years I’ve collected more do-dads for decorating than I’ll ever use up. Decorating takes time and some of that sugary icing, but it’s just once a year and it looks so festive. Finding a good cutout cookie can be challenging.

So the next time you go rummaging around in your cookbook or go browsing online for a good cookie recipe, ask yourself these questions. Do the ingredients include flavors (other than sugar) that you like? Is it worth going to the store to get special ingredients? Are you truly baking from scratch or just adding more ingredients to a cake mix? Are the instructions easy? How long does it need to bake? And does it require any special pans or tools you may not have? The answers will help you focus on flavor, healthier choices and convenience.

Ultimately, it is the taste of the cookie that determines whether the recipe is a keeper. Don’t forget to jot down those that you like, not only for their flavor, but for their ease of use.

Read About Christmas Cookie Recipes

Christmas is the best time of the year for celebrating, making others happy, feasting and having fun with family and friends. People make goodies to celebrate the festive season. Christmas cookies are the most important of them all. There are such varieties of cookies that people make in their homes to celebrate the Christmas season in a meaningful way.

A whole lot of Christmas cookie recipes are available on the internet today making it so simple for home makers to have access to online recipes instead of looking up old recipe books. With one click of the mouse you can get the cookie recipes of your choice.

Here are a few ideas when planning on cookies this Christmas.

To begin with you can consider making sugar cookies which are the most wanted cookies during Christmas time. They surely will pep up the spirits of your guests and your family too. One precaution is to stick to a regular variety so they would look real attractive when arranged on the platter.

Chocolate cookies are the most attractive cookies for young and old alike. There could be nothing more interesting to enjoy at the Christmas time than some choco-chip or chocolate dipped cookies. This year you can give the peppermint filled choco-chip Christmas cookies for your favorite guests to feast on.

Usually Christmas time reminds one of the famous Christmas fruit cake. However, today most people find this a boring delicacy. For such lovers of fruit and not fruit cake, the fruit cookies will be the right lip smacking treat. Dress up your Santa Claus dressing tray with some delicious and attractive fruit cookies with a mixture of dried can berries, raisins, orange zest and a few nuts of your choice to make up this mouth watering Christmas cookies.

To crown it all, you can make your family members and friends go nuts while choosing the best nut cookie recipes from the internet. No doubt nuts do have a role to play in increasing your cholesterol levels. However, a few of these crunchy chocolate nut cookies would surely be the best Christmas cookies choice for Christmas this year.

Without a doubt your favorite gingerbread cookies are a must to help you digest all the stuff you keep throwing into your mouth over the Christmas season. Making colorful gingerbread shapes is the joy of Christmas for the entire family, especially children who love to be creative in their attempts. Dress them up and they make the best Christmas cookies you could ever have asked for this Christmas time.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Here’s a delicious Pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe that is easy to make and receives rave reviews.

First for the ingredients for your Pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe.


1 c. pumpkin
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. oil
1 egg
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. milk
1 c. chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla
Nuts (optional)

Here’s how you will prepare your Pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe


Dissolve baking soda in milk; set aside. In large bowl add pumpkin, sugar, oil, and egg; stir. Add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda mixture. Mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla. Serve on top of cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 10 to 12 minutes or until done.

Alternative Pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe:

For a change you can have a try at this delicious recipe here, and am sure it will create impression on everyone. Here’s the ingredients you will need for this Pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe.


* 1/2 cup shortening

* 1 1/2 cups white sugar

* 1 egg

* 1 cup canned pumpkin

* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

* 1 teaspoon baking powder

* 1 teaspoon baking soda

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

As for the directions to the alternative Pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, and then stir in the pumpkin and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon; gradually mix into the creamed mixture. Stir in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until light brown. Cool on wire racks.

Enjoy this delicious and easy to make Pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe! Both recipes are popular which is why we wanted to give you both of the pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipes.

Pumpkin Cookie and Mincemeat Cookie Recipes

Here are my mother’s pumpkin cookie recipe and mincemeat cookie recipe. She would bake these particular cookies during the holidays. She worked in the home. So, quite often when I would return from school in the afternoon, she would have a batch of cookies made. As I entered the house, it would smell so inviting.

I have chosen these two recipes because they bring back my memories of home and fall. I hope you enjoy them.

Pumpkin Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups unsifted flour
  • 1 tsp. soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 package butterscotch morsels

Mix all the ingredients in the order given. Then, drop by spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes. You may substitute raisins, pecans or coconut for the butterscotch chips. This recipe makes 4 dozen cookies.

Mincemeat Drop Cookies

  • 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 well-beaten eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 9-oz. package dry mincemeat
  • Grated rind of one lemon
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 1 cup nuts

First you cream shortening and sugar together. Then add the eggs and beat well. Next, sift together the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Add half of the sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and add the finely crumbled mincemeat, lemon rind and water. Stir this mixture until blended. Finally, add the nuts and remaining flour mixture and mix well. Drop the dough from a teaspoon onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees to 10 to 15 minutes. You may use one cup of canned mincemeat instead of the dry mincemeat. This recipe makes 4 dozen cookies.