Today Jane has a real treat in store for us… okay lots of treats. All variations of one sugar cookie recipe. What could be easier … or more delicious. Just be warned – it involves butter and sugar. But many of the renditions include fruit. That’s enough for me! … And just in time to get us thinking about the holidays that are right around the corner. 

How much fun to consider getting the kids baking – then graciously sharing their creation with neighbors, the mailman, grocery clerk… the list goes on. We just might make this a key part of our “Service Month” in December. Will keep you posted. Until then…

Thanks, Jane!

… and thanks for walking the road with me.


Design Your Own—Cookies

By Jane Jarrell

My Mom, Dallas, resident, Sarah Cabaniss, was an award-winning elementary school teacher when I was growing up, but, she never skimped on anytime to celebrate with something sweet whatever the season. In fact, year round, most meals ended with some sort of dessert. When the holidays drew near the sweets seemed to pick up speed from her warm and flavor-filled kitchen. One of her best fuss-free baking regulars was the sugar cookie. One batch did it all. You added your own design to meet your taste requirements. One recipe equaled seven flavor sensations. Start with basic simple sugar cookie dough, and then let your imagination soar.

Mix and Match Sugar Sensations

1 1/2 cups butter, softened

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place cookies 1-inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Makes 5 dozen

Satisfying Seven

Ginger Fig Filled

Ginger fig filled—On a lightly floured surface roll the dough to 1-inch thickness. Cut into squares with a knife.  Using the bottom of a butter knife make an indention in the center of the cookie and fill with desired filling. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. (I used (12. 5 ounce) Stonewall Kitchen Fig and Ginger Jam)

Pecan Pineapple

Pecan Pineapple—Add 1 cup, chopped pecans and ½ cup dried pineapple, diced to the dough and stir to combine. Bake for 10 to12 minutes or until golden brown.

Crystalized Ginger

Crystallized Ginger—Add 1 teaspoon ginger and ½ cup, chopped, crystallized ginger to the flour and stir to combine. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Cherry Pistachio

Cherry Pistachio—Roll dough out on floured surface ½-inch thick. Cut into small circles, in a small bowl mix ½ cup each dried cherries, and pistachios, chopped. Cover the surface of the cookie and press into the dough before baking. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Orange Clove

Orange Clove—Add one tablespoon fresh orange rind, and ½ teaspoon cloves to the dough. Form into balls and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Spice Kids

Spice Kids—Open a tea bag of spiced chai tea and add 1 teaspoon of the loose tea and 1 teaspoon of the pumpkin pie spice to flour. Prepare recipe as mentioned above, roll dough out on a floured surface ½-inch thickness. Using the smaller gingerbread man cutters cut the spice kids cookies into shapes. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Cranberry Lime

Cranberry Lime— Add 1 tablespoon finely grated lime rind to the flour mixture, form into balls and roll surface of cookie into 2 cups, chopped, dried cranberries. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes.

Jane JarrellMother, wife, accomplished speaker and author on hospitality and parenting, Jane Jarrell uses wit, charm, and stories from her own life to teach women practical ideas and creative solutions for life. Jane loves sharing simple solutions for families with a humorous approach to life.

A former emcee for Southern Living Magazines Cooking shows, Jane has also written fourteen books and co-authored over 20 others, whose topics range from managing mid-life mommy-hood to ways to introduce simple hospitality to your home. As the founder and president of High Heels & Home Life, Jane loves sharing simple solutions for families with a humorous approach to life. She is a sought after speaker at national and regional conferences and within organizations and corporations across Texas.

In addition to her time with Southern Living, she has also worked for Neiman Marcus in advertising, and currently works as a food stylist and special contributor to the Dallas Morning News. Jane and her husband, Mark, have two children, Sarah and Luke, and reside in Texas.  For more information, please visit

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