All we want for Christmas is to spend the season baking and eating with the Barefoot Contessa. And while that's never going to happen (we can dream), our queen in chambray did just give us the next best thing. Behold, Ina Garten’s five-ingredient cookie recipe, which can be made into five different treats.
Garten made a special appearance on an episode of the Today Show earlier this month to share a few genius tips for holiday cookie baking. As part of the show’s “All-Star Cookie Bracket,” the Modern Comfort Food author submitted her recipe for Linzer cookies to the competition. (She’ll win. She has to.)
“For Christmas, everyone wants to make lots of different cookies, but I don’t want to make a lot of different doughs,” she explains. “What I do is take shortbread dough and make lots of different cookies out of it.” In a separate Instagram post, Garten said, “Made Christmas cookies on the @todayshow this morning! One recipe of shortbread became five different cookies! How easy is that??” It’s so easy, Ina.
Here’s how she does it: She makes a batch (or two) of her simple shortbread dough—which requires five ingredients (flour, sugar, butter, vanilla extract and salt)—then decorates them in various festive ways. That includes sprinkle-coated stars, iced wreaths, chocolate-dipped hearts, pecan cookies and Linzer cookies—yum. She also says you can make the dough ahead of time, roll it out, cut shapes, freeze them and then bake as many as you need whenever you want. And what about mailing cookie boxes? Well, Garten has plenty of experience from sending her boo Jeffrey treats in college. She recommends placing the cookies in paper muffin liners, then packing them in paper takeout-style boxes with crinkled parchment paper to keep things from shifting around.
And if Jeffrey were going to choose a cookie, Garten says he would choose chocolate hearts, “because his heart is so good.” OMG, Ina. We’re crying.