I love to bake, and these cookies are not only some of my favorite cookies to eat, but they are so easy to make.  I literally made batches of all four in a little over two hours!

Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies

I will never understand why (1) people use any other chocolate chip recipe besides the original and the best that is RIGHT THERE on the back of the Toll House Semi-Sweet Morsels bag and (2) burn chocolate chip cookies and expect them to taste good.  Throw them away!!! Please!  I'm not even going to retype the recipe here.  This is all you need to see, then go the the store and buy a bag.

Just follow the basic principles of cookie baking and you can't fail:

1. Measure your ingredients accurately, leveling off your dry ingredients (except when brown sugar specifies that it must be packed).  If possible, weigh your dry ingredients instead of measuring.

2.  Make sure your eggs and butter are room temperature

3. First, always cream the butter (or fats) and sugar together.  Add eggs one at a time. Then add the rest of the wet ingredients.

4. Combine all dry ingredients in a separate bowl (sift if possible) and add to the wet mixture in increments, not all at once.

5. Set timer initially for the lower of the suggested baking time, and check before adding more time.  This way you won't burn your cookies!  Also invest in an oven thermometer to make sure you're baking at the desired temperature.

Pretty simple right?  And you get these yummy, gorgeous cookies as a result!
Peanut Butter Kisses

If there are two things that belong together, it's peanut butter and chocolate!

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
3 Tbsp sugar
48 unwrapped Hershey Kisses

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine butter, peanut butter, and sugar (white and brown).  Cream in mixer.  Add egg to butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and mix with wet mixture.  Add combined dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  When completely mixed together, shape dough into approximately 48 - 1" balls.  Put 3 tablespoons of sugar into a bowl and roll each dough ball in the sugar.  Place 2" apart on a parchment (or silpat) lined cookie sheet.  Bake 10 minutes (balls may have a light browning).  Take cookies out of the oven and place a Hershey Kiss on top of the ball, lightly pressing down.  I like to only push the kiss half way, let it melt a little, and then come back and finish pushing it down.  The melted chocolate helps the kiss adhere to the cookie better.  Let cool completely before packing, waiting until the kisses are hard again or they will smoosh and lose their shape.
Snickerdoodles

Who doesn't like butter cookies covered in cinnamon and sugar??

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp sugar mixed with 3 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs one at a time and the vanilla.  Add dry ingredients, a little at a time ensuring they get combined with the wet mixture evenly.  Shape dough into 1" balls.  Roll in the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Place 2" apart on parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake 10 minutes.
Spritz Cookies with Sprinkles

My mom made these cookies every Christmas growing up.  They didn't turn out the exact way that I wanted them because I had some cookie press issues, then I overcooked them by probably 1 minute.  Oh well!  The recipe is still good.  I think I was just tired because this was cookie #4 of the night.

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar, add egg and vanilla, then dry ingredients.  Force through a cookie press into shapes.  The way my mom traditionally did it was using a single small star template for the press, then making a long squiggle worm, which was cut into cookie sized portions and with the squiggle pushed together tightly to make a solid cookie shape.  I had to use a clover leaf cookie plate because my star one was missing.  When all cookies have been pressed, shake rainbow sprinkles on evenly.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.



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