Cinnamon-Sugar CookiesEasy Slice & Bake CookiesPeanut Butter CookiesChocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies

With a roll of this cookie dough in the freezer, you're just 10 minutes away from a low-calorie, natural homemade treat.

To me, cookies aren't just for special occasions; I can find a reason for a cookie (or two) anytime. Before I had children, my cookie jar was always stocked with a fresh, homemade batch. Fast-forward 10 years: my time is limited and my cookie jar often bare. Some might resort to packaged cookies or store-bought dough, but being a baker and health-conscious mom, I try to steer clear of processed treats in favor of homemade.

That's why I love this speedy, vanilla-infused cookie dough that can be rolled into a log, stashed in the freezer and pulled out whenever I want to bake cookies. Plus, with this recipe, you're not limited to just sugar cookies: Stir in chocolate and mini chocolate chips. Or add peanut butter and chopped peanuts for a slimmed-down version of traditional peanut butter cookies-ours have just 58 calories compared to 288 in a classic peanut butter cookie. My cookie jar will never be empty again.

By Stacy Fraser, March/April 2012

Next: 1. Make the Dough »

Pictured Recipes: | | | |

Watch: See how to make healthier cookies

1. Make the Dough

It's quick and easy to mix together these Easy Slice & Bake Cookies whenever you need something sweet. The recipe makes enough dough so you can bake half and put the other half in the freezer-ready to pull out and bake up a few fresh cookies anytime. Get our recipe for Easy Slice & Bake Cookies here.

Next: 2. Choose Your Favorite Flavor »

2. Choose Your Favorite Flavor

Use the Easy Slice & Bake Cookies recipe as is or try one of these other flavors:

Next: 3. Roll Dough Into a Log »

3. Roll Dough Into a Log

Pat the dough into a log, then freeze it for about 45 minutes. Remove from the freezer and reroll it-the cold dough is easier to form into a neat cylinder.

Next: 4. Slice the Dough »

4. Slice the Dough

Remove the dough from the freezer only about 5 minutes before you slice. Rotate the log a quarter turn after each slice to keep it round.

Next: 5. Reshape Cookies on a Baking Sheet »

5. Reshape Cookies on a Baking Sheet

If cookies aren't round after slicing, you can reshape them on the baking sheet using your fingertips.

Next: 6. Decorate the Cookies »

6. Decorate the Cookies

Slice-and-bake cookie dough isn't very sticky. Gently press any decorations into the dough before baking to help them adhere.