July 9, 2012

A trip to Goa and {Recipe} Basic Vanilla Cookie Dough + Cut-Out (Star) Cookies

Would you believe if I said we hardly vacationed anywhere since past few months. Blame it on work, health, or simply lack of opportunity and when we did get one to tag along with my sister & her husband, we just jumped on it. Hence this quick 2-day trip to Goa.

If you are a sun-soaking-beach-loving person or hate monsoons, then July/August is not the time to visit Goa. But if you are in for some sporadic rainfall, lush greenery and lovely breeze all around, then this is the right place at the right time. The experience would be completely different during summer season when the beaches, malls, flea markets are buzzing (read as crowded) with tourists. Now, Goa is a hidden gem - serene and quaint.

Here are some pictures from our trip.

a quaint corner of a cafe where we had our lunch

lush greenery all around --> That's Goa in monsoons.

the very famous Mangueshi Temple, Goa

enjoying the monsoons..
Once back home, the baking bug caught me during the weekend and quickly baked some cookies using Martha Stewart's Basic Vanilla Cookie Dough recipe which I bookmarked a very long time ago. This recipe is so versatile and can be used as base for countless varieties of cookies. Just a make a batch and then refrigerate or freeze. Cut a piece of cookie dough when you want to crave some and save the rest. How cool is that.

Today I made some Cut-Out cookies using the dough. Just roll, cut, sprinkle, bake and eat! :-)

Cut-Out (Star) Cookies. Any pretext to make these today is a valid excuse! :P

Butter + Sugar --> Creamed until pale & fluffy

Cookie Dough versatile enough to make various kinds of cookies. I will share a few in coming posts.

It's time to get creative and use this master dough to make any shape or colour of cookies, perfect for any occasion

Just out of the oven..

{Recipe}  Basic Vanilla Cookie Dough 

Adapted from Martha Stewart

~ Makes around 60 star cookies


3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar (or 1 3/4 cup of powdered sugar)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Note: If using salted butter, omit salt from the ingredients list. But, I personally prefer unsalted butter as the salted version has an after taste which is not-so-pleasant to the taste buds.


1. On a wax paper or in a bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Keep aside.

2. Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. If using a whisk to cream then use powdered sugar for easy, smoother dough. Scrap with a spatula as you go. Beat in egg and vanilla on a low speed. Add flour 1/2 cup each time and beat until combined. If the dough is dry, then add few tablespoons of milk.

3. Divide into two portions and wrap each of the cookie dough ball in plastic wrap or wax paper and refrigerate for atleast an hour. The dough will stay good for 3 days when refrigerated. When kept frozen, the dough is good for 1-2 months. Cut out the needed amount of dough and thaw in the refrigerator overnight in case of frozen dough.

Making of Cut-Out (Star) Cookies

1. Preheat oven to 190 C or 375 F.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into a disc of 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut out cookies into desired shapes and line them up on a parchment or wax paper. Refrigerate the cookies (before baking) for 15-20 mins until firm.

3. Sprinkle some chocolate strands on the top and bake for 8-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Keep an eye on the cookies after then 8-minute mark. Cool them on a wire wrack.

Serve and save the rest in an air tight container which will stay fresh for at least a week.


Since its the first recipe with this dough, I have kept it simple using chocolate strands as the topping.


Who said food can't look good in monochrome? :-). Sending the below picture as an entry to Black and White Wednesdays 40 guested hosted by Anusha, original concept by Susan.

until next time,


  1. goa during monsoons looks so much like kerala!

    1. So true Nags. Goa rains are very sporadic though. lasts for only few minutes. :-)

  2. Cookies look cute.and yes I just needed this excuse to bake....baking Siri's cookies later today!

  3. Hey Siri.. first time on your blog and like your space.. my cookie dough is also very similar :)
    Goa is such a lovely place and can be enjoyed in all seasons!
    Do drop a visit to my blog!

  4. cookies look so good and yumm..maybe I will just add some cocoa powder too and make star chocolate cookies..i think my son will love it..

  5. These cookies look very nice and love 2 visit GOa anytime..I love the place in any monsoon..

  6. I have been wanting to go to Goa during monsoon for a long time now. We were pretty close to booking a place this time but got too busy to plan.

  7. :) u look so good re.. :) u remind me of the goa days... how i want to go back!!!

  8. simple and an easy recipe for cookie dough, can really experiment and play around with this recipe, thanks will move onto other recipes too!

  9. Thanks Siri :) I referred this today to make my cookies


'Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it' ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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