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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 }

Kerstin October 13, 2009 at 6:44 pm

What a fun giveaway, Camilla’s recipes are always fabulous! My tip is to use your down time in the kitchen while you’re cooking to wash dishes, so you have a much smaller mess to deal with when you’re done! I keep telling this tip to my hubby but he hasn’t listened so far… lol :)

Annette October 13, 2009 at 7:16 pm

I don’t really have any innovative baking shortcuts other than using mx for some of my recipes and Pam for baking.

Randi October 13, 2009 at 7:20 pm

When I have lots of baking to do for a catering job, I mix up all the dry ingredients and stick them in ziplock bags. At the job, I can the proceed!!

Sara'Ann October 13, 2009 at 7:34 pm

I love the simplicity of rice krispie treats. When I’m just making them for us, I pour them out on buttered waxed paper instead of in a pan and press it together using a second sheet. Less clean up! Also, for holidays I add food coloring to the melted marshmellow and press them into buttered shaped cake pans (ex. I use green food coloring and a tree shaped pan). I never have left overs at pot-lucks!

Angelica Macklin October 13, 2009 at 7:45 pm

My favorite shortcut is doubling up on recipes, shaping, and then freezing the dough for later use. It’s great to have something on hand when the kids, hubby, or me have a hankering for something quick and homemade.

Tina October 13, 2009 at 7:51 pm

my baking/cooking shortcut..I like to use cake mixes to create easy/fast cookies.
thanks for the opportunity to enter the drawing! would love to win as I have a young son who would like to become a chef/anything like this is right up his alley.

holly October 13, 2009 at 8:03 pm

during the busy holidy baking season i freeze cookie dough! i wouldn’t make it through the season without it!

Delita October 13, 2009 at 8:04 pm

I love making bars and one of my favorite shortcuts is using a cake mix for the base of the bars. It’s very flavorful and can add a new twist to your favorite bars.

Dragana October 13, 2009 at 8:54 pm

I speed up the butter softening process by cutting it up in pieces and I use parchment on the cookie sheet to help with cleanup!

Melody_NC October 13, 2009 at 8:56 pm

I love using silpat baking sheets for cookies. I have a small oven and can only cook one pan of cookies at a time. I alternate silpat sheets so as soon as one is done, I slide it off my cookie sheet to cool and then put the next sheet of dough on to the cookie sheet and into the oven.

Easy peasy.

jennifer t October 13, 2009 at 9:01 pm

I prechop all veggies when I bring them home from the Farmer” Market and place in ziploc baggies and containers, which I stack in the fridge. This makes cooking super fast during the week, since I don’t have to chop…just dump the vegetables in the pan ;)
I also do this with apples and bananas that are about to expire. I use these in baking. They freeze very well and are so easy to pop into the mixer when needed! Same goes for lemon, lime, or oj in ice cube trays… perfect storage and amount.

Nicole October 13, 2009 at 9:11 pm

i see this has already been mentioned, but the only shortcut i can think of is using the butter wrapper to grease the pan. sounds like a great cookbook!

Alli October 13, 2009 at 9:12 pm

In late November, my family and I bake up multiple (up to 20) different cookie/candy recipes. Everything goes in the freezer when they are done. With each separate holiday party, or even just when I want to bring something sweet to work, I can easily go into the deep freeze and make a beautiful platter of lots of different sweets! It does get tedious baking for a couple weekends in a row, but definitely worth it in the end!

Olivia October 13, 2009 at 9:15 pm

i use cake mix for many things as well!

Gayle October 13, 2009 at 9:16 pm

This is fun, reading everyone’s shortcuts. They’re great. I agree with a previous commenter, one of my favorite shortcuts is coming to the Cookie Madness site and reading all the yummy recipes. Thank you for all you do, Anna.

Pam October 13, 2009 at 9:26 pm

I use a roll of sugar cookie dough as the base for my Lemon Bars — nice timesaver and it tastes great!

Erin October 13, 2009 at 9:33 pm

An obvious shortcut: make sure the butter is at room temperature. And, when making muffins, use wax paper to line the cups–saves cleaning time and makes the muffins quite portable.

Chaya October 13, 2009 at 9:35 pm

I save time by doubling recipes and saving either the baked cookies or the dough. I also make mixes like cinnamon and sugar and keep them stored, ready to use, so I don’t have to make them, each time, I need them.

Samantha October 13, 2009 at 9:48 pm

I chop up extra vegetables whenever I have time and store them in plastic containers. Then, I can pull them out of the fridge whenever I want for stir-fries, soups, salads, etc.

Aly October 13, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Cooking huge batches of sauces, spice rubs etc. and storing or freezing. It’s not exciting but it does save time. I also love lining pans with parchment or foil to cut down on clean-up. I hate doing dishes!

Katrina October 13, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Baking shortcuts? Hmm? I haven’t always done this, but DO find it VERY helpful when I get all the ingredients and measuring things out ahead of time. I’ve started trying to do that everytime I bake now and it really helps.
One of my favorite “shortcuts” for all the ice cream I’ve been making this summer is when a recipe says to chill the mixture for hours and hours, I always put the bowl in an ice bath with a bigger bowl and stir it now and then, after about 30 minutes, the ice cream mixture is pretty chilled and ready to churn.

melanie October 14, 2009 at 12:01 am

I like to wash and chop up fresh herbs the day I bring them home and store them in an air-tight container or ziplock bag wrapped in a paper towel. That way I have no excuse not to throw them into a dish and reduce my chances of throwing out half of them by not using them in time.
Keep up the great tips!

Felice October 14, 2009 at 2:48 am

Looks like a great book. I always make sure that I read the whole recipe through before I start baking. Sometimes there is a little twist or turn in the recipe and you don’t want to find out about it half way through. Another thing I always do is to write the date of purchase on my spices, baking powder, baking soda, etc with a permanent marker so I can always tell how fresh they are.

Laurel October 14, 2009 at 4:24 am

As others have noted, I usually double batches, roll them seperately and freeze them, so that I can take as many or as few as I would like…

Kathie October 14, 2009 at 5:45 am

to save time cleaning up after baking muffins, I use an ice cream scoop to put the batter into the tin…less mess than using a spoon thus a faster clean up

Kathy Casserly October 14, 2009 at 7:04 am

When making cookies, I make a double batch. I then scoop out the extra cookies, and freeze them. When I’m in the mood for fresh baked cookies, and don’t have the time, I just pop some out of the freezer and into the oven. No mess…just yummy cookies.

Karina October 14, 2009 at 7:56 am

I use the tube sugar cookie dough as crust to fruit pizza, and premade chopped cooked chicken in stir fry.

Melanie October 14, 2009 at 8:43 am

Oh man, I’ve never actually thought about it! I guess my best tip would be to line the bottom of a cake pan with wax paper and then spray the whole thing with Pam Baking Spray. The wax paper on the bottom helps you get all the edges of the cake cleanly out of the pan. Since I started doing this, my cakes come out perfectly every time!

DMR October 14, 2009 at 8:58 am

I love making mini cheesecakes. They bake up in just 15 min and you can mix up a variety of toppings and make 2 dzn so fast! Cupcake pans work well with liners if you don’t own the mini pan.Book looks wonderful!

Lanan Adams October 14, 2009 at 9:09 am

Everyone begs for me to bring the pies at holidays or birthdays! I use Pillsbury piecrusts and canned apples, add in some apple pie spice, sugar, and butter. Super quick and easy and everyone thinks I slaved for hours!

Mary October 14, 2009 at 10:01 am

The best cooking shortcut I can think of that I use is the pressure cooker. Cuts cooking time way down,and food is still delicious!

Sasha October 14, 2009 at 10:23 am

I always freezer the cookie dough from my cookies. It is great when you have people coming over at the last minute and don’t have time to make something in advance.

Jennifer October 14, 2009 at 10:48 am

When rushed I prefer to make bars. Less time in the kitchen.

I also use a food scale. For me it’s way easier to weigh the dry ingredients, than to get out measuring cups for all the ingredients.

Leigh Ann October 14, 2009 at 11:21 am

I always whisk instead of sift… saves me money not having to buy a sifter! (although I’m sure I will cave eventually, it’s just one of those things I think would take up more space than it would be worth right now)

Deanie October 14, 2009 at 12:00 pm

It’s always worth making a double cookie recipe and freezing individual balls to bake whenever you feel like cookies!

Heather October 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm

My tip is to make a big batch of cookies and them drop them by spoonfulls on a silpat and freeze for later use. Makes baking a couple of cookies a breeze.

Jessica October 14, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I know this sounds so lazy.. but my shortcut when I use brownie mix is to mix everything in the pan, that way there’s no clean up afterwards!

Patricia October 14, 2009 at 1:36 pm

When splitting cake layers, there’s no need to bother with toothpicks and knives. Just wrap a piece of heavy thread (or unflavored dental floss) aroung the cake where you want to cut. Cross the ends and pull both ends. Perfectly cut, and no sawing necessary.

Karen October 14, 2009 at 1:41 pm

My short cut in baking cakes is using bakers joy. I just love the stuff!

sonnie October 14, 2009 at 3:39 pm

My favorite shortcut cookie recipe so far is the Caramelicious Turtle Brownies. :)

zay October 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm

I like Camilla’s shortcut tip on using cake mixes for some of her cookie recipes.

Georgette October 14, 2009 at 4:39 pm

My favorite baking shortcut is allow my finance to do the baking while I do the cooking. He is a much better baker than me. Another shortcut I use in cooking is to pre-cut, the day before, all the vegetables that I will use for the dish and store them in the fridge so that the prep-work is done when I am ready to cook.

~~Rhonda October 14, 2009 at 5:20 pm

My mom always said, “Every recipe starts with a sink full of hot soapy water.” Wash as you go and when you’re done, there’s little cleanup left to do. Thanks, Mom! ~~Rhonda

Coley October 14, 2009 at 5:22 pm

My shortcut is lining my countertop with tin foil before I lay down my cooling racks. When i put cookies away and wash the cooling racks, I don’t have any clean up, just crumple up the foil, and toss!

Emma October 14, 2009 at 5:34 pm

For pies, it’s helpful to freeze fruit when it’s in season and then you have it ready to go year round!

shannon October 14, 2009 at 6:05 pm

Most recipes that call for nuts, call for toasting them first (and I also prefer the flavor of toasted nuts anyway). So when I buy a bag of nuts, I toast the whole bag of nuts in the oven and usually chop them too. Then I store the toasted, chopped nuts in a ziploc bag so they’re ready to go when I’m baking. It saves some time so you don’t have to toast nuts every time you need them.

mimi buraczynski October 14, 2009 at 8:19 pm

When I make soft pretzel dough i put half of it in the freezer in a ziplock bag. my sisters always beg for me to make them these soft pretzels so when they want them, i just simply take the bag out of the freezer, defrost the dough, and then reshape and bake and its as if i just made the dough that morning. they dont really know the difference!

Carla Wells October 14, 2009 at 8:20 pm

I think my favorite baking trick is for rolling out cookie dough for cut out cookies. Instead of chilling the dough in a disk and then using lots and lots of elbow grease to roll out the dough while it’s cold, I roll the dough out between two sheets of waxed paper right after I mix it up, while it’s still soft and easy to roll. Then, refrigerate the ‘sheets’ of dough (Still between the waxed paper) until firm. Cut out your shapes, save the scraps and go again!

keke October 14, 2009 at 10:04 pm

I like to make a basic sugar cookie dough and then add different spices, etc. to make a variety of cookies from one basic dough.

Pam October 14, 2009 at 10:45 pm

I never grease and flour cake pans anymore. Instead I simply spray with regular cooking oil spray and the cake comes out of the pan perfectly every time. This is especially handy for Bundt cakes.

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