No-Cook Cooking: Cookie cups can bring dessert back to weeknights | Food & Cooking

Sometimes, dessert is not optional. But the days when you need a sweet indulgence the most, however, often are the ones when you’re simply too busy, stressed or tired to make it happen.

That’s why No-Cook Cooking cooks like to make room in the grocery basket or online order for a roll or two of slice-and-bake cookies. You never know when you’re going to need them.

Cookie cups offer endless options for putting dessert on the table in a hurry. For this experiment, get one roll of sugar cookies and another in a favorite flavor, such as chocolate chip or peanut butter. While luscious, fresh summer fruits are everywhere these days, start with the sugar cookies.

Slice the roll of dough into rounds, but if you see some label directions that call for cutting the rounds into smaller pieces, skip that step this time. Instead of reaching for your trusty cookie sheet, pick out a muffin tin or two, and give them a light coating of cooking spray.

Flatten a round of cookie dough evenly into each muffin space in the tray. Then bake according to the package’s directions, but be sure to keep an eye on the tin, especially during the last few minutes, because you don’t want the cookie cups to burn.

When you pull the muffin tins out of the oven, here’s where the magic begins. The cookies will have plumped up during baking, so, while the cookies are still hot, just flatten them gently and evenly with a teaspoon until they take on the shape of the muffin tin’s cups. If you have a long-handled coffee scoop or a melon baller, either can be a useful tool for smoothing out the puffed-up cookies. The more space you have inside the cookie cup, the more deliciousness it will hold.