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Member recipe

Basic Adaptable Cookie Dough

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(9 ratings)

Member recipe by


Serves 1 - 20 Cookies

A cookie dough you can adapt to suit your needs -- add fruit, flavourings, and other favourite ingredients.

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  • For the plain dough
  • 225g (8oz) soft butter or margarine
  • 140g (5oz) caster sugar
  • 280g (10oz) plain flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • pinch of salt
  • 2tsp vanilla extract, or the juice and rind of 1 lemon
  • Optional extras -- be creative!
  • (Add about 50g of extra ingredients)
  • chopped mixed peel
  • finely chopped dried fruit
  • chocolate chips or grated chocolate
  • sugar cake decorations, eg hundreds and thousands
  • chopped or ground nuts
  • tiny "mini-mini" marshmallows


    1. Cream the butter and sugar together until they're light and fluffy.
    2. Add the egg yolk and mix well. Then add the flour and salt, and vanilla extract or lemon.
    3. Now comes the fun part! Add about 50g of whatever other ingredients you like! Good combinations to try are dark chocolate and orange, white chocolate and lemon, and date and pecan. Hundreds and thousands mixed into the dough are really colourful and great for kids!
    4. Mix the flour and your added extras until it all comes together to form a sticky cookie dough.
    5. Put the dough onto a floured work surface, and roll into a thick sausage shape. The size of the sausage depends how big you want your cookies: make it long and thin to get the most out, but they'll be smaller.
    6. Wrap the sausage of cookie dough in clingfilm and leave in the freezer for at least 1 hour. While it's in there, preheat the oven to 190C (375F/Gas mark 6).
    7. Take the sausage of cookie dough out of the freezer: it should be firmer and easier to cut. Use a sharp knife to slice it, as thick as you like, and put the cookie slices onto a baking sheet, spaced quite far apart. If you need to bake them in more than one batch, wrap the excess dough and put it back into the freezer so it doesn't go soft.
    8. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, then leave to cool. They're great plain, but you can spread each one with a teaspoon of coloured or flavoured icing.

Comments, questions and tips

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28th May, 2019
My kids love this recipe! And they taste beautifully buttery.
hi's picture
24th May, 2018
Really good. I slightly didn't have enough flour. Replaced with coco powder. Also didn't rest at all. It was still a great recipe. NOTE they become slightly harder or mine did after you take them
Jan Waugh's picture
Jan Waugh
24th Apr, 2018
This is a great basic recipe I sandwiched the cookies together with jam icing on top and had great empire biscuits which tastes delicious
Jan Waugh's picture
Jan Waugh
28th Mar, 2018
Have just made some dough and can say they turned out great- recipe wasn't that much of an effert to bring it together - only thing was they stuck to my baking tray but managed to get them unstuck in the end- taste delicious- will be using this recipe over and over!
29th Oct, 2017
Loved this recipe, I made lemon, lime and coconut ones......yummy
6th Apr, 2015
Well I really liked making the cookie dough basically I thought it would make one big cookie dough but it makes little ones. What I did was I just put it all in one baking tray and made it like that. Right now it is in the freezer I hope it comes out nice fingers crossed :)
24th Jan, 2015
Great recipe and tip about cling film and freezer, makes nice deep cookies rather than really flat ones.
9th Feb, 2014
This was just what I was looking for! and the cookies turned out great - the only thing I will try differently next time would be to put the roll in the fridge instead of the freezer as it was very hard to cut from the freezer and I had to allow it to thaw for a while before I tried again.
Dawn Callister's picture
Dawn Callister
8th Feb, 2020
Is this ok made before you need it and frozen?
Jan Waugh's picture
Jan Waugh
17th Jun, 2018
How many does this dough make for round biscuits I've forgot
14th Aug, 2016
Surely an ingredient (s) is missing from this recipe. I have tried twice to make it work and the "cookies" have turned out like shortcake. I want cookies with a crunch with a soft inside any suggestion for a different "general purpose" cookie recipe that works? Help PG
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