These easy soft and chewy sugar cookies are anything but plain. Perfectly crisp on the outside, chewy in the centers with the sweet flavor of vanilla throughout and a crunchy sugar topping, I dare you to eat just one.

chewy sugar cookies on a cooling rack

Happy Valentine’s Day! Are you team yay or nay when it comes to this holiday? For me, I really just like using it as an excuse for a date night in, to be honest. That, and having dessert, like one or five of these chewy sugar cookies — not that I need any excuse to do that.

Friends, if you like cookies (which, if you do not we need to talk), you will LOVE these cookies. They might seem like plain sugar cookies, but that couldn’t be farther from reality. The fact is, well, can I let you in on a secret? These might just be my new favorite cookies of all time.

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Ridiculously Soft Gingerbread Crinkle Cookies -- homemade gingerbread cookies coated in powdered sugar and soft in the centers. Perfect for holiday parties and cookie exchanges! #girlversusdough #cookierecipe #Christmascookie

Friends, how do we feel about our Christmas shopping? Have we had presents purchased for everyone on our lists since Halloween? Or do we not even think about it until December 23? Usually, I’m firmly planted in between every year — after Thanksgiving, I go into a little bit of a panic mode and then I buy everything for everyone in an anxious flurry. Then, it’s December 1 and I’m done (though wrapping presents never, ever happens until it’s the night before Christmas and I forget and frantically wrap everything together with Mom’s extra wrapping paper, THANKS MOM).

This year, I’ve been much more relaxed on the shopping situation, pacing myself on all fronts in hopes that this new approach keeps me more calm and collected. Though I still haven’t wrapped anything. Should probably get on that.

ANYWAY, if you’re scrambling to come up with gift ideas, I say bake a batch of these ridiculously (no, really, ridiculously) soft gingerbread crinkle cookies and give them to friends and family. Or, if you’re all set on shopping, bake a batch of these cookies for yourself and enjoy them on the couch while watching Hallmark Christmas movies (I hear A Christmas Prince is worth a watch, FYI).

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Blueberry Lime Cream Cheese Cookies | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough #blueberry #lime #creamcheese #cookies #baking #dessert

Blueberries. Limes. Cream Cheese.

Somehow they all come together to make a really, really, ridiculously delicious cookie.

As a self-confessed dessert lover/snob, it’s hard for me to go more than a few days without a homemade dessert in the house. At those times, I become desperate. I try to find solace in a mini Blizzard from Dairy Queen. Or in a square or two of dark chocolate. Or in a Girl Scout cookie I find lurking in the back of the freezer. I’m not proud of that moment in particular. But none are quite as satisfying to me as a homemade treat.

Such was the case last week when my inner dessert snob turned into a cookie monster and all I could think about were COOKIES. Not to say this isn’t fairly normal behavior for me, but I’m usually able to resist the call for a day or two (or a few hours… or a few minutes, it really depends). This time it was different, though — not only did I crave cookies, but I wanted cookies with a bright fruity, citrusy flavor. Preferably a cakey cookie, with a glaze. But not just any glaze — cream cheese glaze. YES. YESSSSS.

And then I went all mad scientist in the kitchen and came out with these blueberry lime cream cheese cookies. And my cravings were cured.

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Ombré Peppermint Slice and Bake Cookies | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

Today is the day! The day of ALL THE COOKIES.

It’s the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and these peppermint slice and bake cookies of an ombré nature are my contribution. It’s classic meets newfangled (is ombré even newfangled anymore? Do people even say “newfangled” anymore? My age is showing). It’s Christmas meets cookie meets get in my belly meets YUM.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from the cover of the December issue of Bon Appétit, which literally made me gasp with glee when I first saw it. The recipe in that issue for those particular cookies sounds pretty fantastic, but I needed a cookie that would hold up well being shipped cross-country, ergo the peppermint slice and bake route. I assure you, though, nothing was compromised in that decision.

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Brownie Monster Cookies -- Deliciously soft and fudgy homemade cookies with classic Monster cookie flavors, like peanut butter, M&Ms and oats! @girlversusdough #girlversusdough #browniecookies #easycookierecipe #dessertrecipe

Have you ever been at the crossroads of wanting a brownie and a Monster cookie at the same time, and you’re not sure what to do about it? Me too, friend, me too. That is why I present to you these brownie Monster cookies, which combine the soft, fudgy, chocolatey-ness of brownies with the classic flavors of Monster cookies — M&Ms, chocolate chips, oats and creamy peanut butter. No longer must we live in a world where we have to choose a brownie over a cookie or vice versa — with this easy and delicious brownie Monster cookie recipe, we can have both.

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mini banana cream cookie pies.

I’ve got something to say about these mini banana cream cookie pies (are you surprised?).

See, in case you haven’t heard me blather on about my seriously unfortunate banana allergy, allow me to bring you up to speed. I’m allergic to bananas. There you go. But what’s worse is that I am therefore allergic to bananas foster, banana bread, banana splits and banana cream pies — all of which my brothers like to tell me are The Most Amazing Foods In The World. Seeing as I have no idea, and they all sound extra delicious because I can’t have them, I’m forced to believe they’re right. Harrumph.

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lentil cookies

I’m taking some time off the next few weeks to spend with my family and our new bundle of joy. In the meantime, I’ve set up a few posts ahead of time to share. These cookies are one sweet treat I plan on baking again and again.

Hand me a cookie baked with lentils and you’re my new BFF.

And here is where I’m guessing you think I’ve lost my marbles.

I know this because I, too, once thought a lentil cookie was kind of a crazy thing when I first discovered it in Nick Evans’ new cookbook, “Love Your Leftovers” (he’s the brilliant blogger behind Macheesmo, by the by). I mean, there are plenty of other yummy sounding recipes in the book — like creamy chicken pesto pasta, or spicy beef wontons, or crunchy black bean tacos. But no, no — I went straight for the lentil cookies because I just had. to. know. And boy oh boyyyyy are my taste buds glad I did.

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cookies + creme dessert pizza

Please tell me I’m not the only one who grew up going to those Pizza Hut buffets and would always get the dessert pizza.

Let me take you on a walk down memory lane — er, buffet table. There was this huge, long table (or at least it felt that way for wee Stephanie) with a bazillion pizzas on it, and at the end was a dessert pizza. It had a cookie crust, and it was topped with some congealed fruit topping, a microwave sugar glaze and some streusel. In hindsight, it was probably the most disgusting thing ever, but at the time it was allIwantedever because it was dessert. Some things haven’t changed.

I have fond memories of those dessert pizza-eating days, and yet since the buffet location shut near my hometown it’s been a few and far day that I’ve indulged in a sweet cookie pizza. So when Hershey’s and Betty Crocker teamed up to create a new line of frostings and mixes and asked a few bloggers to create new recipes with them, I didn’t skip a beat before deciding that a dessert pizza was in order — and not one with congealed fruit topping on it, thankyouverymuch.

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Caramel Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

I know. I KNOW. I tell you about healthier ambitions and breakfasts of the eggs benedict variety and then I tease you just days later with cookies.

BUT COOKIES, you guys: these, specifically, what with their caramel-y, chocolate-y, toasted coconut-y and sea salty yumminess. I just can’t not share them (though when I baked them, I considered hoarding them all to myself in my sock drawer. Just sayin’).

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pink champagne cookies

Please don’t hate me for shoving another cookie recipe in your face after what may have been the most sugar coma-inducing week of the year.

And I’m not really shoving these cookies in your face, anyway, as I’m more just highly, highly suggesting that you make room for them in your tummy for New Year’s Eve. Pretty please.

I’m not really one to get all googly-eyed over pretty foods (I’m more of the, “Oh, that mound of brown goop tastes just like chocolate ganache? LET ME AT IT” type), but I couldn’t get over how cute and fanciful these cookies looked in the recipe photo and so, I had to make them. And, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I’m so glad I did.

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sweet + salty sesame cookies

I made you a salty cookie.

I made you a cookie with sugar and sea salt inside. And butter: lots and lots of butter. I made you a cookie with egg wash and black and white sesame seeds on top. I made you a cookie you can eat with coffee or a cocktail, with olives or ice cream.

I made you a very confusing cookie. But a delicious cookie, too.

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orange almond meringues

This gal… oh, this gal. In case you don’t know Stephie of Eat Your Heart Out, get thee over to her blog, stat. She is one of the funniest, most talented and sweetest (she sent me a birthday card — with a kitten wearing a party hat. I MEAN…) bloggers I know. Not only do we have the same name, we also share a confusion over how many shallots is one shallot, a borderline creepsville obsession with Adam Levine and a serious love of our cats. Basically, she’s my soul twin. Oh, and she made you all cookies for a guest post while I’m gone, so… yeah. Cue your applause now.

Hello, Girl Versus Dough readers! I am so thrilled to be posting for Steph today. I love everything about her site and her recipes, but even more than that, I adore her! Sometimes I think that we were twins separated at birth –- we are both reality TV-loving, carb and cheese-addicted, Adam Levine-obsessed cat ladies who believe that pants are totally optional at home. Not to mention that we share a name.

Basically, we are the coolest people ever.

I was raised in a home where, when someone was sick or recovering from surgery or going through a death in the family, food was the answer. It was not unusual for my momma, upon hearing that a friend was going through a hard time, to immediately head to the kitchen and pull together a big pan of mostaccioli, some salad, and a dessert to take over to the family.

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the great wedding cookie adventure.

There are times in life when you find yourself in expected situations. Situations that, based on your passions, life experiences and/or obligations, you had a feeling would happen at some point down the road. Maybe you’re married — you have kids. Maybe you’re an actor — you get cast in a play. Maybe you’re a writer — you get published.

For me, this was not one of those times.

Sure, I love baking, and I can craft a decoration or two if I set my mind to it. But never in a million years did I expect myself to be the baker of 11 dozen cookies for a family friend’s wedding. Fire truck cookies, to be exact. Decorated fire truck cookies, to be exactly exact. But there I was last week, hunched over a long table of fresh-baked sugar cookies, hands covered in red food coloring and royal icing as I painstakingly outlined and flooded, wrote “I Do” and frosted on more than 130 yellow ladders on a bunch of cookies that would soon become wedding favors for a bride and her groom, a fireman. Pounds of dough and icing and 48 hours later, they were done, packaged, sent off and soon-to-be devoured.

This is that story. (DUN DUN) (I’m such a nerd.)

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Day of the Dead Cookies | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough #Halloween #candy #cinnamon #chocolate

In high school, I was fluent in Spanish. I had taken Spanish classes since the seventh grade and by the time I was 17, I could write full essays in the language. I even dreamt in Spanish a few times.

And then, time passed. And I forgot most of it. These days, I can barely understand a quarter of what they’re saying on Telemundo (which I don’t actually watch, for the record, but sometimes stumble upon in random bouts of channel surfing, JUST FYI).

What I do remember, however, was everything there is to know about Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Why that, of all things? Because of the sugar skulls, obviously.

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christmas cookie cheer.

Wake up, people! It’s November and we’ve already snoozed for an extra hour and we’re about to pick a president. We’ve recovered from our Halloween candy hangovers and we’re ready to talk turkey. There’s frost on the ground and I’m busting out my winter collection of scarves and mittens. The times they are a-changin’.

Oh, and I’ve already got Christmas on the brain. In the form of cookies. #figures

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salted dark chocolate honey biscotti

Hi hello, friends!

Popping in for a bonus post this lovely Friday to let you know that I’m guest posting these oh-so-delicious salted dark chocolate honey biscotti over at the wonderful Stefanie’s blog, Sarcastic Cooking, while she rests and relaxes with her new baby boy. Can you say “YUM” a million billion times? Because I’m pretty sure I did when I tried one of these biscotti. I’m also pretty sure I heard a choir of angels singing as I made them. No big deal.

Head on over to Stefanie’s site to grab the recipe! And happy weekend. I hope it’s filled with cookies.

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Carrot Cake Thumbprint Cookies | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

When life gives you the choice between cookies and cake, it’s just not fair to have to choose.

Thankfully, these carrot cake thumbprint cookies don’t make you have to decide. They’re so nice like that. And they happen to be delicious, too.

Because I mean, when you combine the flavors of carrot cake into a cookie and then fill it with a tangy, jam-swirled frosting, how could they not be?

Cake, meet cookie. Cookie, meet face. Repeat as needed. That’s how my Thursday is going to go. How about yours?

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Matcha Mint Cookies & Cream Ice Cream | girlversusdough.com @girlversusdough

↑ THAT IS VEGAN. ↑

Sorry, don’t mean to shout. Except that I do. Because totally vegan yet totally delicious matcha mint cookies and cream ice cream is worth shouting about. There is no other way to convey its tastiness except for maybe sharing the fact that I’ve been eating it every day by the scoopful (more accurately, scoops-ful).

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Four-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

These cookies are my love letter to peanut butter and chocolate.

When you have cookies that are made with four ingredients, two of those ingredients being peanut butter and chocolate — a.k.a., The Ultimate Flavor Combination, the one for which I have an undying love, the one that will always make me weak in the knees in any and all forms from cakes to ice cream to oatmeal (yes, really.) to these cookies — you know you’re in for greatness.

Should we all take a moment to write our love letters to peanut butter and chocolate? No? Just move on to the cookies? OK. Cool.

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Cherry, Coconut and Pistachio Biscotti Gift Jars | girlversusdough.com @stephmwise

There’s something extra special-like about homemade gifts, don’t you agree? Because you know the person who is giving you the homemade gift really took the time to think about what you like, and make it just for you. Even if it is, say, a lime green crocheted scarf for your cat.

One of my favorite gifts to give are baking mixes in jars — because if you can’t actually bake the cookies/bread/pancakes/snack mix for the person, you can certainly hand her a jarful of the goodies to make herself. And this season, I’ll be giving the gift of cherry, coconut and pistachio biscotti in jar form. It’s gonna be grand.

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