Thursday, December 16, 2010

Frugal Food Thursday: One cookie dough three ways

Welcome to Frugal Food Thursday!  If you have a great frugal recipe, please link up below! 

On Tuesday night, I had that feeling.  The feeling that there was something that I had forgotten to do, but I couldn't figure out what.

Then it hit me: teacher gifts!  I had completely forgotten to get teacher gifts!

In previous years, I've made some pretty creative gifts for my children's teachers, aides, and bus drivers. One year I made brownie mixes in a jar.  Another year, for an end-of-year gift, I picked mangoes from my tree and made jars of mango jam and mango salsa.  Other times, I've bought expensive comfort foods (on sale, with coupons, of course!) and presented them in gift baskets.

No time this year... what to do?

So I made cookies Wednesday afternoon.  And to make things go faster, I used the same cookie dough, but ended up with three different kinds of cookies: chocolate chip, chocolate with M&Ms, and cinnamon-sugar.  I used chocolate chips from a Publix shopping trip in November, M&Ms from my CVS trip the day before, and red cinnamon-sugar sprinkles bought at 95% off from the Albertsons closing sale earlier in the year.

To present them, I found some aluminum foil pans in the back of my pantry, filled them with the cookies, covered them with shrink-wrap paper (available at the craft store or at Walmart), and used my blow dryer to shrink-wrap.  I added bows from ribbon left over from the bat mitzvah, and a sticker with a thank-you note.  And, the gifts were done!

Here's the cookie recipe:


6 sticks butter or margarine, softened to room temperature
2 cups white sugar
2 cups light brown sugar
6 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
6 cups flour
1/2 tbsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix butter and sugar together until well combined.  Add eggs and vanilla extract and mix again.  In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture a small amount at a time, mixing thoroughly each time, until all the flour is moistened.  Split dough into three parts, puting each part in a separate bowl.

Part 1: Chocolate Chip Cookies
Add 1/4 more flour to the batter and mix well.  Add 8 oz chocolate chips and mix until the chocolate chips are distributed throughout the batter.  Drop by heaping teaspoons onto a cookie sheet.

Part 2: Chocolate Cookies with M&Ms
Add 1/2 cup powdered cocoa to the batter and mix well.  Add 8 oz M&Ms and mix until the M&Ms are distributed throughout the batter.  Drop by heaping teaspoons onto a cookie sheet.

Part 3: Cinnamon-Sugar Cookies
Add 1 cup flour to the batter and mix well; batter should be more firm than the previous two.  Take a heaping teaspoon of batter into your hands and roll it into a ball, then flatten the ball slightly.  Dip the top of the cookie into a bowl with 2 tbsp red cinnamon-sugar sprinkles.  (Or, you can substitute a different kind of sprinkles, or make cinnamon sugar from 2 tsp cinnamon and 4 tsp white sugar.)  Place the flattened balls onto a cookie sheet, sprinkle side up.

Baking directions for all:  Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes.  Remove pans from oven and allow cookies to sit on cookie sheet for 1 more minute. Then remove cookies and cool on wire racks.

Makes 9 dozen cookies.

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Bloggy Blog Designz December 16, 2010 at 10:46 AM  

I am stopping by from Things I love Thursdays at Diaper Diaries. Those cookies look amazing! What a great way to stretch a buck. I will definitely be back for more! I am your newest follower and would love a follow back on my blog!

Joanna December 17, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

I love versatile recipes like this. They are such a lifesaver during holiday madness! I added your button to my sidebar!

Wendy December 21, 2010 at 12:17 PM  

I just love it when you can do more than one thing with a recipe.

Thanks for linking u to Tip Day Thursday.

Around My Family Table

Unknown December 24, 2010 at 6:59 PM  

what a wonderful and clever gift! those teachers must have been grateful you did their baking for them! thank you for sharing this fabulous and useful cookie recipe with tuesday night supper club. wishing you a very merry christmas!

PERMANENT POSIES January 4, 2011 at 12:14 AM  

Well, the holidays sort of consumed my ability to check out blogs. I am just now seeing this recipe and it is time for another Tuesday's Tasty Tidbits. Hopefully, I can do better this week. This recipe looks awesome. Wish I had seen it last week.

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