Everyone and their grandmother has a cookie dough recipe that they rely on whether they're feeling nostalgic or when they feel the urge to give into that unrelenting sweet tooth. We're no different. We keep a double chocolate chunk recipe on hand for those special (or overly-ordinary) occasions. But when we're feeling adventurous, we'll turn to a very easy, very well-known cookie dough recipe that's as easy as 1-2-3. Literally.

Almost every baker knows of the 1-2-3 cookie dough. What does it mean and how can you use it to ascend to cookie stardom? It refers to the ratio of flour to fat to sugar. Baking is truly a science, but even scientists experiment once and a while to discover the next big thing. Without a little experimentation, how would we know that coffee and chocolate go together like a glass of lemonade on a sunny day?

Let's just say you lost Grandma Claire's pecan butter shortbread cookie recipe (gasp!). Well, you can attempt to replicate it with a little manipulation of the 1-2-3 cookie dough.

1-2-3 Cookie Dough:

4 oz. sugar

8 oz. butter

12 oz. flour

That's essentially your bread and butter (pun intended). Now, you mess with the amount of pecans, any additional items (vanilla extract, baking soda, salt, etc) until you come up with the recipe that you're happy with. You might even find that your new concoction was even better than Grandma's, just don't tell her that.

If you love thin crunchy cookies, you'll want to dial back on the flour (it stabilizes the cookie) and baking soda or powder (which gives the cookies their fluff). Love your cookies puffier than a cloud? You'll want to play with the inclusion of baking powder or soda and the addition of egg(s).

So get out there and experiment: dig into that bag of flour and crack open a carton of eggs. You might be adding a few new recipes to those tried and true family pastry traditions to be passed down for generations to come.