Easy (after) dinner recipes: It's Friday! Celebrate with cookies

It's Friday. You've made it. So celebrate! These tempting cookies are sure to start any weekend off right.

Chocolate chip cookies: Crisp on the edges yet soft and chewy in the center, these gigantic chocolate chip-studded cookies are large enough to share. But why should you? 

Oatmeal currant cookies: These generous oatmeal cookies are big on both size and flavor, sweetened with brown sugar. It may seem like there's a lot of cinnamon, but it balances nicely with the vanilla and fruit. And don't be deceived: Though they are generously sized, after one bite you may realize one cookie's not enough. Plan to have an extra handy just in case.


Pistachio madeleines: These madeleines are light in texture and delicately flavored, the subtle nuttiness of the pistachios perfectly balanced by the clarified butter.

You can find the recipes below.

And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at


Total time: 20 minutes, plus baking time

Servings: Makes about 10 quarter-pound cookies

3/4 cup (1½ sticks) butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 heaping cups (11¾ ounces) unbleached flour

2 cups chocolate chips

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, add the butter. With the mixer running, slowly beat in the sugars a little at a time until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla.

3. With the mixer running, beat in the egg until fully incorporated, then beat in the egg yolk. Beat in the salt and baking soda, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is evenly incorporated.

4. Slowly beat in the flour, mixing just to incorporate. Be careful not to overmix, or the cookies will toughen. Gently mix or fold in the chocolate chips by hand.

5. Scoop about half-cup portions of the dough onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets. This should make about 10 cookies; you can make smaller ones if you prefer. Space the cookies evenly on the sheets (only 3 cookies will fit on each sheet if making the larger, quarter-pound cookies). Press the cookies slightly to flatten once they are on the sheet.

6. Bake the cookies, 1 sheet at a time, until set and lightly golden, 20 to 22 minutes for the quarter-pound cookies; smaller cookies will bake in less time. Rotate the cookies halfway through baking for even coloring.

EACH OF 10 COOKIES: Calories 544; Protein 6 grams; Carbohydrates 79 grams; Fiber 3 grams; Fat 25 grams; Saturated fat 15 grams; Cholesterol 74 mg; Sugar 50 grams; Sodium 200 mg


Total time: 30 minutes, plus baking time

Servings: About 4 dozen cookies

Note: Adapted from Corner Bakery Cafe

3 1/2 cups (1 pound) pastry flour

4 teaspoons baking soda

3 tablespoons cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3/4 pound (3 sticks) butter

1 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar

2 1/3 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

Scant 4 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup currants or raisins

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

3. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, until fully incorporated, then beat in the vanilla.

4. Beat in the flour mixture, a spoonful at a time, just until incorporated, then gently fold in the oats and currants.

5. Scoop a generous 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Flatten the ball slightly and repeat, spacing the balls about 3 inches apart (you should be able to fit 6 cookies on a standard-size sheet). Bake the sheets until the cookies are golden and set, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through for even baking. Remove and cool the cookies on the baking sheet for crunchier cookies; for softer cookies, remove the cookies from the sheet, and cool (still on the parchment) on a rack.

Each cookie: 214 calories; 4 grams protein; 36 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 7 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 24 mg. cholesterol; 18 grams sugar; 185 mg. sodium.


Total time: 45 minutes

Servings: Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies

Note: Adapted from Keswick Hall in Virginia. To make the clarified butter, heat 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter in a small saucepan over low heat; allow the butter to melt and separate, then spoon off any foam on the top and remove the pan from the heat. Gently ladle out the clear (clarified) butter, leaving the milky residue in the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate the butter until it is firm but not hard, about 2 hours.

1 1/4 cups clarified butter (the butter should be firm but not hard), plus more for greasing

1 1/3 cups sugar

4 eggs

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped pistachios

2 cups flour

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer running, add the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the vanilla and salt, then fold in the pistachios and flour just until fully incorporated.

2. Pipe or spoon the batter into greased madeleine molds. Bake until set and light brown, about 10 minutes. Cool the cookies in the trays 10 minutes before removing from the molds.

Each cookie: 115 calories; 2 grams protein; 11 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 7 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 36 mg. cholesterol; 14 mg. sodium.