Cookie Montage_400x270

From the basic dough, you can make just about any cookie you can imagine.

As a solo mum, it’s not unusual to find my ‘cup runneth over’ when contemplating things to remember and tackle on any given day, so I’m a fan of any recipe that uses as little spare brain power as possible while also having that mouth-wateringly nommy factor.

While wading through a culinary mine-field of failed dinners and flopped treats over the last twelve months, I discovered that some recipes lend themselves to ‘messing around with’ more than others. These days, my favourite recipes to add to my go-to recipe folder are ones that can be adapted to create new variations, flavours and twists with little effort, meaning that from one humble recipe, I effectively gain perhaps 5 or 10 or even 20 recipes, stored and ready for whatever I have in my pantry on any given day.

Cookies are one of these recipes, and after much trying and testing, I’ve developed a Never Ending Cookie recipe, so called because you can add almost anything to the basic dough, and it will turn out fabulously delish. It really is only limited by your imagination, and your pantry…

The Never Ending Cookie recipe

Ingredients and method:

Set your oven to 160 degrees. Cream 125 grams of butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar, add one egg, stir in 1 & 1/2 cups of self-raising flour, and then comes the fun part… you add your mix in.

This is where you throw open your pantry and grab whatever you have on-hand to transform your basic dough from boring old baked good to culinary sweet treat. Once your mix-in is combined with the rest of the dough, simply roll into balls and bake on a lined baking tray for 8-12 minutes. The mixture makes about 20 cookies (depending on how much dough you eat in the mixing process).

Here are a few of my favourite mix-ins:

For choc-chip cookies…
– Add 1 cup choc-chips

For choc-peanut cookies…
– Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

For peanut butter and cinnamon cookies…
– Add 1/2 cup of peanut butter and 1 tsp of cinnamon

For jaffa cookies…
– Add 1 cup choc-chips (milk or dark) plus the juice and finely grated rind of one orange

For sticky date cookies…
– Heat 1 cup dates and ¼ cup of butter in a saucepan for a couple of minutes on a medium heat until they soften, then mix into you cookie dough. If the dough is looking a little wet, add a 1/4 cup of extra flour

For peppermint choc-chip cookies…
– Add 1/4 cup cocoa, 1 tsp peppermint extract and 1 cup dark chocolate chips

 For black forest cookies…
– Add 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup dark choc-chips and 1/2 cup glacé cherries. Dust with icing sugar once cooled if you’re feeling fancy

For Snickerdoodles…
– Add 2 tsp cinnamon to the dough, then roll each cookie dough ball in sugar and cinnamon mix (equal parts of each) before baking

For pecan pie cookies…
– Add 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup of chopped jersey caramels

For candied walnut cookies…
– Heat 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1/2 cup maple syrup (or the cheaper maple flavoured syrup works well too) in a saucepan for 3 minutes until the walnuts are sticky and coated in the syrup, then pop in the freezer for five minutes before adding to your dough.

For a fresh twist try zesty lemon and sultana cookies…
– Add the juice and finely grated rind of one lemon plus 1 cup of sultanas

And for my newest invention, that I’m calling my ‘winter-fest’ cookie because it reminds me of a European Christmas…
– Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts and 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Oh, and if you’re running low on supplies before your next grocery shop…
– Add 1 cup of Cornflakes with 1 tbs of honey

My personal favourite, despite being a hard-core chocolate fiend, is the zesty lemon and sultana cookie… Well, that’s this week. Perhaps I’ll find a new favourite next week.

If you’ve discovered a nom-a-licious mix-in for your cookies, please share with us in the comments below or join us on our Facebook page,



** A couple of cookie making notes….

– Brown sugar makes your cookie chewier, which I love, but if you don’t have any brown sugar you can just use white.

– If you don’t have self-raising flour, you can use plain flour plus 1 tsp of baking powder. I prefer not to do this as I find the flavour of the baking powder comes through too strongly in the finished cookie, but other people seem to prefer it, as then they always know the rising agent is fresh.

– If you’re really short of time, you can melt the butter in the microwave and stir in the sugar instead of creaming them together.


Naomi is the editor of Lift e-Magazine and single mum to 19 month old Jim. For the last 12 months she’s documented her journey of single motherhood in her award winning daily blog ‘365 Days, a Diary of a Newly Single Mum’. When she’s not experimenting with new cookie recipes or planning her next trekking, climbing or snowboarding adventure, you can find her at her desk in the picturesque city of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, weaving together solo mum stories… whether it be handy tips, triumphs, tragedies, exotic tales of travel or other tidbits to publish here. And before you ask, no, she doesn’t mind the freezing cold Tasmanian winters and yes, she had her second head removed years ago in an unfortunate accident involving a curtain rod and a drunk moose (and no, she’s not interested in hearing from anyone who doesn’t believe that drunk mooses exist in Tasmania… or those who may suppose that ‘mooses’ is not really a word).



  1. Kristine Giampietro
    July 10, 2016 at 9:00 pm (4 years ago)

    Hello from Australia. I am big on freezing my cookie dough into logs and freezing when I need. Do you think the majority of these cookie variations will handle being frozen and baked like this. Thank you for your recipes xx

      July 12, 2016 at 3:37 pm (4 years ago)

      Hi Kristine, I’ve frozen all my cookie variations into logs… they do cook slightly different in that they melt before they’re baked, so instead of being cookie shapes, they’re a little squishier and flatter… but I don’t mind that. Good luck 🙂


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