I love to bake, but I do it so rarely these days that I've sorta lost my touch. So instead of going from scratch, I... well, I cheat, is what I do. But I cheat with STYLE! :-) Here are a few things you can do with that refrigerated sugar-cookie dough you get at the store...
1. Soak some dried currants or golden raisins in orange juice and/or rum to plump them up, then drain them well. Let your sugar-cookie dough reach room temperature, then plop it on a lightly-floured board and knead the currants or raisins into it. Roll into little golfballs and bake. Dust with powdered sugar if you like. (You can do the same with miniature chocolate chips, too, or pecan bits!)
2. Split your room-temperature dough into two parts and knead some red food coloring into half of it to make a nice deep pink, OR knead in some sweetened cocoa powder to make the dough chocolate. Combine the two doughs in interesting ways:
- roll both parts out thin, lay one on top of the other, roll them up tightly, refrigerate for a couple of hours, and slice to make pinwheels.
- form two blocks of each type of dough, square in cross-section, pat them together, refrigerate, and slice to make little four-check checkerboards.
- roll out both parts and cut tree-shapes out of one; decorate the trees with little circles cut from the other color of dough.
3. Simplest of all: roll walnut-sized balls of plain sugar-cookie dough and make a depression in the middle of each with your thumb. Dab some strawberry or raspberry or (my favorite) red plum preserves in the little well and bake.
By the way... when you're baking a lot of cookies at once, parchment paper is WONDERFUL. Worth every penny!