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Shortcut Cookies Cookbook Giveaway

by on October 12, 2009 · 299 comments

‘Tis the season for giveaways, and I have 3 copies of Camilla’s Saulsbury’s new book “Shortcut Cookies” to give to 3 of you. To win a copy of the book, just leave a comment with your favorite cooking or baking shortcut. I’ll pick 3 at random and email the winners between now and October 19. So you have a week to enter.

Shortcut Cookies 3.13.09.indd

With over 745 recipes for cookies starting with packaged doughs, mixes, and cereals, Shortcut Cookies is one of Camilla’s best books yet. And given her penchant for perfection, you can be sure anything Camilla’s tested will be delicious enough for the school functions, bake sales and friends.

Some stand-outs from the book include an Italian Cheesecake Bar made with refrigerated sugar cookie dough, ricotta cheese, and traditional Italian flavorings of orange, golden raisin and hazelnuts; Lemon Curled Swirled Cheesecake Bars made with a packaged lemon cake mix base; Mango Cream Bars, with a crust of crushed gingersnaps and cream cheese & fresh lime topping and a recipe called “Dad’s Double Peanut Butter Frosted Brownies” made up of a brown sugar doctored brownie mix and topped with Camilla’s homemade peanut butter frosting. My favorite chapter is always “Brownies” and Camilla has a bunch including Turkish Coffee Brownies, Whiskey Brownies and Aztec brownies which I will review very soon.

And finally, leave it to Camilla to take things to yet another level. Over on her blog Shortcut Cookies, she’s taking recipes from the book and making them with all-natural and gluten free mixes. And of course, she’s there to answer questions as well.

Now it’s time for you to win the book. As stated above, all you need to do is post your own cooking or baking related shortcut. I’ll be picking winners randomly.

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Published on October 12, 2009

{ 299 comments… read them below or add one }

Twisted Chicken October 13, 2009 at 11:24 am

My well-stocked pantry is my favorite shortcut. Because I have all the ingredients and supplies I need at all times, I am always ready to bake. I don’t ever have to put it off because I need to go to the market. I bake lots more often now. Just having everything on hand somehow makes baking faster and easier.

Karen October 13, 2009 at 11:26 am

My shortcut is at the beginning of the week, I do all my chopping of vegetables (onions, peppers, etc.) and baggie them until I need them.

Lisa October 13, 2009 at 11:33 am

My favorite shortcut is to use a boxed cake mix instead of making the cake from scratch.

beth October 13, 2009 at 11:38 am

When using a recipe that calls for shortening & eggs, I break my eggs in the measuring cup first and then the shortening will slide right out with no mess or shortening left behind.

Yosha October 13, 2009 at 11:41 am

I haven’t checked into the science behind this…it may all be in my head, but when baking cookies, I beat sugar and butter for a bit then add an egg, mix it a bit and let it sit. It seems that the egg “dissolve” the sugar quicker therefore less time needed for beating.

Kourtney October 13, 2009 at 11:52 am

Soda cake — take a box cake mix, and mix it with a can of Diet Coke/Pepsi for chocolate cake, or Diet 7-UP/Sprite for a yellow cake. In my experience, it makes the cake even more moist and delicious, plus it cuts the fat and calories down considerably!

Jenny October 13, 2009 at 11:54 am

When I bake a pie, I always follow a recipe for pie dough that yields 4 crusts, so that I can freeze two of the crusts and make another pie really fast on another day. This comes in particularly handy around the holidays with so many baking projects to do!

meghan October 13, 2009 at 11:54 am

When I roast winter squash, I just poke a couple of holes in it, then put the squash whole in the oven at 350 for an hour. There are no dishes to wash, no water baths to put it in, no struggling to cut a raw squash. It comes out very moist and lovely with almost no effort

Emily October 13, 2009 at 11:55 am

Does freezing cookie dough count? i love the convenience of homemade cookies in a flash!

Claire October 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm

For baking, I like just putting the flour on top of the creamed butter/sugar and mixing the dry ingredients on top of it. Saves a bowl and a little time. For pizza dough, I do a quick rise using the microwave…makes an all day process of homemade dough shorten to about 15minutes!

Kristie October 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm

My absolutely favorite shortcut is for speeding up the time it takes to bring butter to room temperature. Just cut it up into little cubes. The more surface area that is exposed, the faster it warms up.

Rachel October 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm

This time of year, my favorite cooking shortcut is bottled chili sauce. My older daughter loves chili, so I make a big batch then freeze individual portions for future meals, and it goes a lot faster with the store-bought stuff. I also admit that my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie will have a pre-made crust. I love to bake just about anything, but pie crusts are not on that list!

Carrie October 13, 2009 at 12:18 pm

For baking drop cookies, I like to melt and cool the butter. This makes creaming the sugar easier (and I don’t need my mixer). It helps give the cookies a chewy texture and gives me an excuse to make them.

melissa October 13, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I have just bought a silicone cookie pan it makes small square cookies. I am using it for my fudge makes the perfect size of fudge. Wonderful shortcut.

Robin October 13, 2009 at 1:20 pm

I love my convection oven when I’m in a hurry. I don’t necessarily use it all the time as I have mixed feelings about the baking outcome with different recipes but it’s a time saver over all in a pinch.

Nicole October 13, 2009 at 1:23 pm

I love to freeze cookie dough and make a pan at a time. Makes the house smell great and everyone gets a few cookies.

Betty October 13, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I like to sift my dry ingredients onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Then I can just pick up the sheet of paper and pour the dry ingredients into the creamed sugar/butter combo. Saves washing a bowl and you have the parchment paper ready for baking.

Christi October 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm

I freeze cookie dough in little balls, and then bake when the mood strikes. Does this count?

JoanS October 13, 2009 at 1:39 pm

I am learning to use the microwave more and more in cooking – melt chcolate and butter and a small amunt of water or broth, etc. But I still think my best shortcut is calling for reservations!!

katherine October 13, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Mixing dry ingredients on a sheet of waxed paper instead of using a bowl. No need to dirty another bowl and it’s a cinch to gradually add your dry ingredients into the mixer.

Suzy October 13, 2009 at 2:20 pm

My favorite shortcut is to go to the bakery. . . . well, okay, how about using the inside of your butter wrapper to grease the pan. I always liked that trick.

Elizabeth October 13, 2009 at 2:50 pm

If I am low on ingredients or feeling really lazy, I will use a box cake mix as a base for cookie dough. It turns out really well- just add in a bit of water, oil and 2 eggs (I can’t recall the exact measurements right now), then stir by hand.

Betsey October 13, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Thanks for this great giveaway!! I love to take shortcuts in the kitchen! I always line my baking sheet with non-stick foil or parchment paper when baking cookies…less clean up and I never have to use non-stick yucky tasting spray.

Kathy - Cooking On the Side October 13, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I was recently introduced to Pam for Baking (i.e., cooking spray with flour) – it saves so much time in greasing pans and it gets into the little corners of the pans better than I ever could manually.

Anita October 13, 2009 at 3:00 pm

My cooking shortcut is to keep the kosher salt that I use in cooking and baking in a small glass bowl by the side of the stove with a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon. When I need to measure out salt for baking or cooking, the recipes usually call for 1/2 or 1 teaspoon increments of salt.

Baking and Mistaking October 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Lining every pan I use with foil so I never have to scrub them!

Amy October 13, 2009 at 3:11 pm

I don’t have much time to cook, so I always double recipes when possible so I have something to freeze.

beth October 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm

As a working mom, the weekend is my favorite time to bake. It’s always helpful to pre -measure, and clean up the dry ingredients on Friday night. When Saturday morning arrives baking is a snap.

Lennie October 13, 2009 at 3:15 pm

My favourite shortcut is to measure dry ingredients into my mixing bowl the night before I plan to bake. The next day I have no flour canisters etc to haul out of the cupboard and it makes the process so much smoother and quicker. It’s especially helpful if what you’re making is for breakfast (like pancakes)!

julie October 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Boxed brownie mix. I have a cupboard full of it.

Dolce October 13, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Gosh, I don’t think I really use a shortcut… except for tempering chocolate – I hate to use a double boiler so I will use my microwave in very small increments. Otherwise, the “mise en place” actually saves time… especially if you cut the butter / shortening first. By the time you are done, it might be at room temperature…

Another one: when baking bread, I always put the yeast with lukewarm water in the bowl of my kitchenaid. By the time I have prepared and measured the ingredients, it has started foaming and I can dump the flour & other stuff right in the bowl while the machine is stirring!
(not really a shortcut either though… Maybe I need help… and the book :))

Michele C October 13, 2009 at 3:18 pm

I always use ready made icing to frost my cookies. I use to make homemade but this way is quicker.

Heather B October 13, 2009 at 3:23 pm

When making cookies i often make a double batch and freeze one batch for easy cookies anytime without all the fuss! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!

Pamela October 13, 2009 at 3:25 pm

Parchment paper! I love baking, hate cleaning up afterward. Parchment paper ensures evenly baked foods (no burned cookie bottoms) and makes clean-up a snap.

swimmy333 October 13, 2009 at 3:25 pm

I like to freeze dough so I always have it on hand, ready to go! This book loos GREAT!

Mindy October 13, 2009 at 3:45 pm

I like to make homemade cookie dough and freeze it into “balls” so i can bake as many or few cookies at a time that I want. this way we can have fresh hot cookies anytime!

Dorothy October 13, 2009 at 4:00 pm

When I unwrap a stick of butter to use it in a recipe, I rub the buttery wrapper on my baking dish to grease it. Better than spray!

Sarah October 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Sugar cookie mix!

Janetta October 13, 2009 at 4:52 pm

For an easy but gourmet breakfast, I like to prepare a dry muffin mix (usually something plain and versatile) or pancake mix and write down the wet ingredients needed to actually make the batter. It makes it so easy to make fresh pancakes or muffins in the morning! Just add eggs, milk, oil, berries or chocolate and you’re ready to go.

(Pre-line your muffin pan the night before!)

The best thing about this is, there are no preservatives and for those with wheat, dairy, or other allergies, you can control what goes in your food and what doesn’t. Your family will thank you!

Kathy October 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Prepping the night before, non-stick foil and brownie mix!

carolyn October 13, 2009 at 5:10 pm

rolling out sugar cookie dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. I don’t have to put flour all over the pin and surface and mess with the dough sticking and lifting. And it’s easier to clean up.

Missy October 13, 2009 at 5:21 pm

I use a melon baller to scoop out my cake mix into cupcake liners, less mess and much quicker. My cooking short cut is I take my green peppers from my garden and chop up/thinly slice and freeze so I can use my garden grown peppers in the winter.

Sherry October 13, 2009 at 5:24 pm

Always pop lemons into the microwave for 15-30 seconds befiore jucing — you’ll get lots more juice!

Iz October 13, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Hello. I don’t really have many shortcuts other than rolling out dough between two sheets of cling film, to avoid getting my counter dirty and flour on every surface. It saves a lot of time and bother. Other than that I am not big on shortcuts, but would love to learn more about them!

Kim October 13, 2009 at 5:37 pm

I use the make a mix recipes that are usually for giving in gift jars. Mix them up in zip loc bags and leave for my teen kids to bake when they want a snack.

Jenni October 13, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I love using a boxed cake mix as my shortcut – from gussying it up into a super fancy cake, to cookies, to all kinds of things – it makes baking so easy! And tasty!

AT October 13, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I always bake pancakes and freeze them for quick, toaster breakfasts.

Jodie Dutka October 13, 2009 at 6:05 pm

My favorite cookie shortcut is to put all the dry ingredients in a ziplock baggy or plastic container and label it for storage. Then when you’re in the mood for making a batch of cookies all you have to do is add the fresh ingredients, cutting down on your time in the kitchen. : )

Cheryl October 13, 2009 at 6:06 pm

My favorite low cal short cut is to add a can of diet soda to a box of cake mix and bake as directed. It’s low fat and you can experiment with flavors. Chocolate w/cola. Vanilla mix with orange soda, etc.

Diana October 13, 2009 at 6:41 pm

I usually make a bigger batch of anything I bake to freeze for another day. That way I have baked goodness whenever I want!

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