Here's a make ahead cookie dough recipe that you can use for a variety of holiday cookies. Recipes are provided courtesy of Taste of Home magazine. http://www.tasteofhome.com/
2 cups butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon Spice Island® Pure Vanilla Extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Sprinkles, jimmies or colored sugar, optional
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in milk and vanilla. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
Divide dough into five 1-cup portions; shape each into a 10-in.-long roll. Wrap individually in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle, or freeze for up to 3 months. Yield: 5 portions (1 cup each).
To use refrigerated cookie dough: Cut roll into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Decorate with sprinkles, jimmies or colored sugar if desired. Bake at 350° for 7-9 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks.
Or, bake according to individual directions for Jolly Santas, Lemon Rope Trees, Magic Stars, Reindeer Bites and Strawberry Tea Cookies (recipes also in Recipe Finder).
To use frozen cookie dough: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Bake according to recipe directions. Yield: 200 slice-and-bake cookies.
Other recipes you can make with this base are:
Jolly Santas: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Jolly-Santas
Lemon Rope Trees: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Lemon-Rope-Trees
Reindeer Bites: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Reindeer-Bites
Strawberry Tea Cookies: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Strawberry-Tea-Cookies
Magic Stars: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/Magic-Stars
Nutrition Facts: 1 cookie equals 76 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 13 mg cholesterol, 51 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 1 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 fat, 1/2 starch.
Holiday Cookie Dough published in Simple & Delicious November/December 2007, p53