Dorie Greenspan's Do-Almost-Anything Vanilla Cookie Dough Recipe on Food52 (2024)


by: Dorie Greenspan



7 Ratings

  • Makes about 80 cookies

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Author Notes

From Dorie's Cookies.

While I'll know you'll find bunches of ways to use this dough—its full vanilla flavor and mix of crisp and sandy texture are chameleon-like in their capacity to welcome other flavors and shapes—there are four recipes in this collection to start your imagination spinning: White Chocolate and Poppyseed Cookies, Double Ginger Crumb Cookies, Vanilla Polka Dots, and Christmas Spice Cookies. —Dorie Greenspan

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

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Dorie Greenspan's Do-Almost-Anything Vanilla CookieDough

  • 1 pound(454 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups(262 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoonfine sea salt
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoonpure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups(544 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling (optional)
  1. Working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and salt together on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and blend in the egg whites, followed by the vanilla. The dough might curdle, but it will smooth out with mixing and the addition of the flour.
  2. Still working on low speed, add the flour in 3 to 4 additions, beating only until it is almost incorporated each time before adding more; scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl a couple of times as you work and then continue to mix until the flour has disappeared into the dough.
  3. The dough is ready to be divided (if needed) and scooped or rolled. See my book for suggestions.
  4. Or if you'd like to make plain cookies, divide the dough into quarters and shape each piece into a disk. Working with one disk at a time, place the dough between pieces of parchment paper and roll it to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Slide the dough, still between the paper, onto a baking sheet—you can stack the slabs—and freeze for at least 1 hour, or refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  5. To bake, position the oven racks to divide the oven into thirds, and heat to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silicone mats.
  6. Working with one disc at a time, peel away the paper on both sides of the dough and return the dough to one piece of paper. Use a 2-inch-diameter cookie cutter (change the size, knowing that the yield will change with it) to cut out as many cookies as you can and place them on the lined baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Gather the scraps together, then combine with scraps from the other piece of dough, re-roll, and chill before cutting and baking. If you'd like to sprinkle the cut-outs with sanding sugar, now's the time.
  7. Bake the cookies for 19 to 21 minutes, rotating the sheets from front to back and top to bottom at the 10-minute mark, until they are golden brown around the edges and on the bottom. Cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring them to racks to cool completely. If you'd like to ice the cookies, do it when they're completely cool.


  • Cookie
  • American
  • Vanilla
  • Bake
  • Christmas
  • Dessert

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Keisha Rigby

  • Melissa S

  • Sarah Marx

  • Emily Clark

Recipe by: Dorie Greenspan

With the publication her 14th book, Baking with Dorie, New York Times bestselling author Dorie Greenspan marks her thirtieth anniversary as a cookbook author. She has won five James Beard Awards for her cookbooks and journalism and was inducted into the Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. A columnist for the New York Times Magazine and the author of the xoxoDorie newsletter on Bulletin, Dorie was recently awarded an Order of Agricultural Merit from the French government for her outstanding writing on the foods of that country. She lives in New York City, Westbrook, Connecticut, and Paris. You can find Dorie on Instagram, Facebook, Bulletin and her website,

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9 Reviews

Keisha R. December 19, 2022

My grandmother and father loved these! Said it reminded them of the cookies my great-grandmother use to make -- that's the highest compliment! I've been on a mission to recreate her classic recipes (we've been unable to track down her recipe book) and this one is another checked off my list.... Roll as thin as you can, but I only needed to bake for able 15-18 mins for 2 1/4 inch cookie cutter. And I brushed with egg wash before sprinkling with sanding sugar for a gorgeous glossy finish.

Melissa S. May 12, 2020

I adore these cookies. I make them every Christmas, and they are perfect! Roll them thin, and they get crispy in the oven. Roll them thicker, and they stay soft and rich. I roll the dough between sheets of parchment then put them in the freezer for at least half an hour. I find the dough does best to cut out cookies if it's allowed to warm up for 3-5 minutes after coming out the freezer, depending on the thickness.

Kathryn December 20, 2018

I wanted something that was closer to a soft chewy vanilla sugar cookie. These are more like hard crisp shortbread cookies. A better baker than me could probably easily tell that from the ingredient list. Overall I thought the raw dough was 10/10 and the baked cookies were maybe 6/10. The flavor is there, the texture isn't my personal preference.

ellen March 5, 2017

These look fantastic- you can't go wrong w Dorie! I saw a great tip recently about retaining perfect shapes for cut-out cookies. Once you transfer the rolled dough between parchment to your baking sheet & chill it, remove the top parchment & cut out your 12 shapes spaced evenly- then peel off the scrap dough (it will be a lot) leaving your cookies undisturbed on the bottom parchment ready to bake!

Sarah M. December 25, 2016

These were delicious - buttery, crunchy and simple. Just a note on the cooking time: my cookies were overcooked in just 15 minutes (maybe I rolled them too thin?). Just beware, and start checking around the 12-15 minute mark

Beth100 December 22, 2016

I used this dough to make the vanilla polkadots with Swedish pearl sugar, and they were just delicious! Be sure to use the best butter you can lay your hands on, the flavor really shines through.

Emily C. December 13, 2016


Angela December 9, 2016

I have collected 3 or 4 egg whites (from large eggs) because I needed the yolks for another recipe last week (vanillekipferl from Classic German Baking!). Any ideas on how to measure out 2 egg whites from storage? Weight?

jlbriggs December 15, 2016

Hi. The weight of one large egg white is 35 grams or 1 1/4 oz. according to the King Arthur ingredient weight chart

Dorie Greenspan's Do-Almost-Anything Vanilla Cookie Dough  Recipe on Food52 (2024)


What is a cookie type for which the dough is refrigerated before it is shaped? ›

Also known as “icebox cookies” or slice-and-bake cookies, this quick-to-make variety is the plan-ahead baker's dream. The dough is typically shaped into a long cylinder, chilled in the refrigerator, then sliced into uniform discs or formed into rectangles or triangles.

Which type of cookie is made from a soft dough baked in a shallow pan and cut into oblong or square shapes ›

Bar cookies are made from a soft dough that is spread evenly in a pan and baked. You may cut them into any shape (square, rectangle or triangle) after they are baked. Brownies are probably the most popular bar cookies. Rolled cookies are made from a stiff dough that has been rolled into a thin sheet.

How to improve Pillsbury cookies? ›

Baking powder or flour in excess will cause cookies to rise more, making them more fluffy and cakey. Increased sugar will make them caramelize more and increased fat will make the dough heavier and richer, all increasing retention of water in the dough- these all add up to chewier cookies.

Does freezing cookie dough make it taste better? ›

Cool down your dough for a tastier, chewier cookie.

As little as 30 minutes in your fridge or freezer can help your cookie brown better, spread less, and develop a richer chewy texture.

How do you make raw cookie dough taste better? ›

No one will even suspect they're store-bought (and we won't tell anyone!).
  1. Add brown sugar. ...
  2. Experiment with extracts. ...
  3. Mix in different candies and snacks. ...
  4. Add espresso or coffee grounds. ...
  5. Deepen the flavors by refrigerating the dough. ...
  6. Salt before baking the cookies. ...
  7. Reduce baking time for extra soft cookies.

What ingredient contributes most to the texture of a crisp cookie? ›

Fat is a very important ingredient in cookies – it tenderizes, crisps and browns, adds color and a wonderful flavor that is impossible to duplicate. Butter, our fat of choice, ensures good baking results and adds the most desirable taste, texture and appearance.

What decreases the spread of a cookie? ›

Cookies spread because the fat in the cookie dough melts in the oven. If there isn't enough flour to hold that melted fat, the cookies will over-spread. Spoon and level that flour or, better yet, weigh your flour. If your cookies are still spreading, add an extra 2 Tablespoons of flour to the cookie dough.

What makes a cookie crisp? ›

Using more white sugar in your cookies will result in a crispier end product. To achieve a crispy cookie, skip the rest in the fridge. Baking your cookies right after making the dough will encourage them to spread in the oven, resulting in an extra-crispy cookie.

What hardens cookie dough? ›

Chilling your dough beforehand – Chilling cookie dough keeps it sturdy as it bakes into delicious cookies. This practice also heightens the flavor profile of your cookies and gives your ingredients time to meld.

What cookie is made from a dough that is pushed from a spoon onto a cookie sheet? ›

A soft dough is used to make drop cookies. Drop or push the dough from a spoon onto cookie sheets. Leave about 2 inches of space between cookies. Drop cookies will spread more than rolled cookies.

What are the 4 cookie types? ›

Here are the 4 main types of cookies:
  • Session cookies. These are temporary web cookies that are only present as long as your web browser stays open or your session is active. ...
  • Persistent cookies. ...
  • Third-party cookies. ...
  • First-party cookies. ...
  • User experience. ...
  • Advertising and marketing. ...
  • Analytics and web optimization.
May 22, 2023

How do you make Pillsbury cookie dough taste better? ›

Some premade cookie dough can have a processed, almost chemical-like aftertaste, but you can mask it by adding extra flavor extracts to your dough. You can use a splash of vanilla extract or try other variations, like almond extract or mint extract, to change up the flavors of your cookies.

What happened to Pillsbury cookie dough? ›

It's the same cookie dough you've always loved, but now we've refined our process and ingredients so it's safe to eat the dough before baking. The dough will still bake up the same as our classic cookie dough, so now you can enjoy our cookie dough products before and after baking!

Which cookies are better Toll House or Pillsbury? ›

The Nestle Toll House cookies stayed chewier for longer while I found that the Pillsbury cookies hardened and got crunchy throughout more quickly. If you prefer a crunchier cookie that's got some texture on the surface and chocolate chips that are still intact, I think the Pillsbury ready-to-bake dough is for you.

What does aging dough do? ›

We age ours by way of fermentation for at least three days (but no more than five) because we found that it gives us the flavor profile we like and it gives the dough the best texture and workability for our chefs.

What happens if you use old cookie dough? ›

The fact is, no matter how divine and delicious cookie dough is, it is a raw product that contains eggs and butter. Over time, it'll become rancid, on top of the lurking danger of salmonella and E. coli.

Does pizza dough get better with age? ›

While yeast activity slows down in the fridge, other reactions continue. Enzymes still break starches into their component sugars and bacteria (what there may be) still produce complex flavors. The flavor does improve. The extensibility of the dough also improves.

Why use old dough? ›

Traditionally, bakers add a piece of old dough to their next batch of dough to add depth of flavor. But you can also use old dough as a substitute for sourdough starter. Feed the old dough with water and flour, just as you would a starter. Then use it in a recipe.

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