Any thoughts on how to make my store-bought, slice-and-bake cookies more “gourmet?”
-Angela in Austin, Texas
There are two approaches: the before-baking list and the after-baking list.
Before baking do jam gems: Spread cookies with different jams and top with sweetened coconut. Christmas window cookies are topped with crushed sour ball candy (easy to do in the food processor). They melt in baking to look like stained glass. All sorts of patterns and colors are possible. For Mexican bites toss together chocolate morsels, crushed salted almonds, a little cinnamon and a generous dash of powdered ancho chili (optional). Top cookies halfway through baking.
After baking make half moons by dipping cookie rounds halfway in dark chocolate. Buttery s'mores are two cookies sandwiched with a marshmallow and heated in the oven long enough to soften. Once cooled you could dip them in chocolate too. Create Vienna wheels by sandwiching apricot jam (spiked with lemon zest) between cookies, then roll the sticky edges in green sugar sparkles.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.