Cookie Contest 2011

BiteClub Press Democrat Holiday Cookie Contest

Thanks to all who submitted your recipes.

WINNER:
Spiced Butternut Squash Cookies
These defied every judgement we wanted to put on them. They’re vegan, they’re made with squash..what’s to like? But a jaded room full of reporters ended up loving these soft, cakey cookies above the rest. One editor said, “They just embody the holidays.” A combination of great spices, flavors and textures make these — and yes, even we’re surprised — our 2011 winner.

Our other favorites of the Year
- Baked Apple Oatmeal Cookies
Another huge winner in our taste tests, these incorporate cinnamon-kissed sauteed apples and candied nuts for a hearty, yummy cookie.

- Tipsy Cranberry
After macerating the cranberries (accidentally) for a week, the brandy-soaked cookies were a hit at our holiday party.

- Cinnamon Logs
Okay, I’ve been told I’m not allowed to vote for another shortbread cookie (my weakness!) but these little cinnamon shortbread bites are perfection. A close second for me: Yes We P’Cans. With big props to the Walnut Slice Cookies as well. (Biteclub’s three personal faves).

- Chocolate Peanut Butter Creams
Eyeballs went wide at these over-the-top chocolate and peanut butter cookies that are reminiscent of a whoopie pie. Lots of thumbs up on these.

And the rest (all great as well!)

- Cayenne Chocolate Coffee Cookies
- Chocolate Kiss Snowballs
- Rosemary Cardamom Pinwheels
- Death By Chocolate Chip
- Gingerbread People
- Lenguas de Gato

- Coco-nutty Crunchy Cookies

- Cherry Surprise
- Eggless Gingery Fruit Nut Bars
- Sweet Potato Squares
- Vegan Almond Lemon Cookie Recipe
- Mostaccioli
- Persimmon Cookies
- Basil Orange Italian Cookies
- Cayenne Chocolate Coffee Cookies

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Hey, my cookie wasn’t included!
Because of the number of submissions, I just can’t always cook everything. I cull through the recipes and look for cookies that are unique, that offer some sort of interesting re-arrangement of a classic, or just happen to tickle me. Some recipes I don’t test because they’re too similar to previous submissions or have a number of submissions already (I usually pick the one I think looks the best). I’m not a huge fan of recipes that include “mixes”, margarine or Crisco (unless it really works and makes sense in the recipe). Sometimes I have trouble finding ingredients or tools (I don’t happen to have a cookie press, but am getting one for next year). Other times, I simply don’t get to things. I’m sorry if you didn’t get included this year, but please try again next year!

How did you decide?
This is the least scientific method ever, but it’s probably the most fair. I put all of the cookies on my desk throughout the cookie baking process. Folks from the newsroom come taste them. I have a few ringers (my closest co-worker, George and my boss, Greg, for example tasted most of the cookies). I also consult my family (who get lots of tastes) and friends.

We sort of decide which cookies really stood out in our minds. It’s usually a pretty challenging process, but this year, the squash cookies just took us all by storm. So there you go.

Author: biteclub

Food Dining and Restaurants in Sonoma County and beyond, BiteClubEats.com is Wine Country dining with Drive-Thru Sensibility.

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55 Comments

  1. This recipe is one that my mom received from her mom. I don’t know where it came from before that. This is a cookie that we make every year. It has become a fond family tradition. Everyone loves it so much, we get many requests from lots of family and friends to make it. We receive lots of grief from people when we run out. So we always triple the recipe – at least. The recipe is very simple but the assembly is a bit time consuming.

    SUGAR PLUM SURPRISES

    Preheat oven 375 degrees
    1 Cup soft unsalted butter
    1 8 oz package cream cheese
    2 Cups Flour
    1/4 t Salt
    Powdered Sugar
    1 jar seedless Raspberry Jam

    In a mixer, cream butter and cheese until light and fluffy. Sift together flour and salt. Add to fluffy mixture and mix well. Dough will be very soft, so flatten between wax paper and chill until firm.

    Roll dough to 1/8 inch thickness on board sprinkled with powdered sugar. Cut into triangle shapes about 2.5 inches across on the widest (bottom) side. Put a small amount of jam on widest side – not too close to bottom. Then fold each point over and seal sides closed. (You don’t want any jam to come out while its cooking.

    Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown on silpat on a baking sheet. Remove from baking sheet and sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm. Store in a container in fridge.

    These are a little slice of heaven in your mouth. Enjoy!

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  2. Mostaccioli Cookies
    (Chocolate Almond spice cookies that are flavored with cinnamon and lemon)

    In reading the history of this Italian cookie, I read that the original recipe for mostaccioli cookies dates back to 300 years before the birth of Jesus Christ! If that’s true then the mostaccioli recipe is one of the oldest cookie recipes on record. This was my revised recipe of one I found. My husband mother’s family was from Southern Italy where this cookie is a holiday favorite! I hope it might become one of your holiday favorite cookies to make.

    Makes 15 cookies

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup natural (not Dutched) cocoa powder
    2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup finely ground almonds
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tsp baking soda
    1/4 cup honey
    1/4 cup molasses
    1/4 cup dry red wine (or water)
    2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
    1 Meyer lemon, zest and juice

    Directions:
    Into the bowl of a Kitchenaid-type stand mixer fitted with the paddle beater, sift the cocoa powder. Add flour, sugar, almonds, cinnamon and baking soda. Mix lightly to combine. Add honey, molasses and wine (or water). Mix until a smooth, sticky dough forms. Allow to stand for 1 minute to absorb the liquid, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Preheat the oven to 325°F.

    Turn the dough onto a generously floured surface, and pat into a 6×10-inch rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Flour the dough lightly, and roll over it once or twice with a rolling pin to even it out. Using a ruler and a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the dough into 2-inch squares. With a dry pastry brush, wipe off any excess flour. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone liner, and transfer squares to the pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove pan from the oven and let sit for 1 minute. Then, lift the parchment (with the cookies on it) and place it on a cooling rack.

    While the cookies are still warm, combine confectioners’ sugar and the juice and zest of lemon in a small bowl, stir until smooth to make a glaze. Paint the surface of each cookie; the glaze will soak in. In a minute or two, paint on a second coat of glaze. Allow the cookies to cool completely; they will remain chewy on the inside.

    If you have any left over (and you won’t ;-) store in an airtight container.

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  3. This recipe is actually a new one that I developed just this year! But, it’s probably the best cookie I’ve ever come up with and I’ve already gotten requests to make more batches!

    Almond-crusted lemon cookies (vegan)
    Yields 20 small cookies

    Ingredients:

    1 cup all-purpose flour
    2 tbsp flaxmeal
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup canola oil
    2 tbsp applesauce
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 tbsp + 1 tsp lemon zest
    2 tsp lemon juice
    1/3 cup almonds, roughly chopped

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix flour, flax, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl. Add oil, applesauce, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice and stir until a dough forms.

    Form the dough into a log. Roll the log in almonds. Slice into 1/2 inch cookies and place on a parchment paper lined or greased baking sheet. Bake for 9 minutes or until they cookies are just barely done and the edges start to brown slightly. Remove immediately and cool on a wire rack.

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  4. KIGHT’S FUDGE NUT MOUNDS

    My mother-in-law, Ann Kight used to send us a box of these every Christmas. My boys loved them.

    2/3 C. butter
    1 C. cream cheese
    2 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 C. cocoa
    1/2 tsp.salt
    1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans
    1 2/3 C. sugar
    2 eggs
    2 3/4 C. flour
    2 tsp. baking powder
    1 c. chocolate chips

    Cream butter and sugar. Add cream cheese,eggs, and vanilla. Sift flour,salt, baking powder and cocoa. Add to butter mixture with the chocolate chips. Refrigerate until set. Form small balls and roll in sugar. I prefer raw washed sugar because the individual granules are larger, but granulated sugar is fine. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

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  5. In response to my wife’s favorite cookie recipe.. and even my mother, BESS, the COOKIE LADY, I have to give mine.. not as a baker but as an eager recipient, one of the twin sons, who grew up in the household that never had an empty cookie jar… We always said that she was the only mom who could bake enough cookies, fast enough, to stay ahead of the ” COOKIE MONSTER” Here is my favorite, that REALLY will melt in your mouth ( as they did in my mouth).. One or 3 were never enough !!!!

    PECAN FINGERS

    1 Cup butter
    1/2 Cup conf. sugar
    2 Cups ground pecans
    2 Cups flour.. sifted
    2 Tsp vanilla
    1/2 Tsp salt

    Cream butter and sugar well. Add all other ingredients and mix well. Form into rolls about 1 1/2 inches long.. about finger thickness. Bake on un-greased cookie sheets in 300 degree oven about 25 minutes. Cookies should be light in color. Roll in conf. sugar while warm.. and ENJOY !!!!!

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  6. My mother-in law, Bess Hoffman, known as “Wisconsin’s Cookie Lady”, having published 2 cookie cook books, always had cookie jars full for her children and grandchildren. Holiday times were particularly fun when the grandchildren helped.. never too complicated and never too perfect to intimidate them. Of all the THOUSANDS of cookies she baked.. this simple recipe she perfected … CINNAMON LOGS.. ( they melt in your mouth ) was her favorite and is mine, also… Have fun during the holiday season and share that fun with your family with LOTTSA COOKIES !!! …… HAPPY BAKING………. and don’t limit your cookie baking for the holidays only.. Never a better time to have freshly baked cookies, of any recipe, than during a hot summer day with a COLD glass of milk !!!

    CINNAMON LOGS

    1 Cup butter
    1 Tsp almond extract
    1 Tbs cinnamon
    3 Tbs sugar
    2 Cups all purpose flour

    Mix well in order of given until light and fluffy. Shape in rolls about 1/2 inch in diameter .
    Cut in little logs about 1 1/2 inches long. Bake on un-greased cookie sheet at 300 degrees
    for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Roll in sugar. Makes about 48 logs…

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  7. SHERRY KISSEE

    When my children were young, I baked enough cookies every Christmas to cover my kitchen table. These were not only for my children and family members, but for friends and neighbors. Each year I got great pleasure in finding new recipes and reworking or creating my own for the holidays. I discovered this recipe almost 40 years ago. They are especially enjoyed by grownups but older children also enjoy them and I make these cookies not only during the holidays, but also for other special times or get together during the year. ENJOY!

    CAPPUCCINO FLATS

    Ingredients:

    2 squares (2 ounces) of unsweetened chocolate
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup shortening
    1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup light-brown sugar
    1 tablespoon instant coffee crystals
    1 teaspoon water
    1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
    3 tablespoons shortening

    Directions:

    In a small, heavy saucepan heat and stir the unsweetened chocolate squares until melted. Remove from the heat and let it slightly cool. In the meantime, stir together flour, cinnamon and salt.

    In an electric mixer bowl using a paddle attachment (or a large mixing bowl using electric beater) beat together the 1/2 cups of shortening and butter until soft. Add both granulated and light-brown sugars and beat until fluffy. Dissolve the coffee crystals in the 1 teaspoon of water. Add the coffee mixture, melted chocolate, and egg to the butter mixture beating well.

    Add flour mixture and beat until well mixed. Cover bowl and chill in refrigerator for about 1 hour or until it is easy work with. Shape dough into two 7-inch long rolls. Wrap rolls and chill in refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

    Cut into 1/4-inch slices and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degree over on middle rack for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove cookie sheet and place on wire rack letting cookies cool completely.

    In a small saucepan heat and stir chocolate chips and the 3 tablespoons of shortening over low heat until melted. Dip one half of each cookie into the chocolate mixture and place on a sheet of waxed paper until the chocolate is set.

    Yields about 55 cookies.

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  8. These are my “staple” cookie. I like the fact that they are made with oil from a health standpoint. (Then, again, including the optional chocolate does bring up the fat content.)

    JOY’S MANDELBROT (almond bread) (makes about 2 ½ dozen)

    1. In electric mixer, beat oil and sugar well, scraping down sides of bowl as needed:
    1/3 cup oil (canola or safflower suggested)
    1/2 cup sugar

    2. Add and beat until thick and golden:
    1 egg (extra large suggested)
    1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

    3. In a medium bowl, whisk together until well blended:
    1 ½ to 1 2/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (can substitute up to ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour or 1/4 cup almond meal for same amount of all-purpose), total amount depending on egg size
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/8 tsp baking soda
    scant 1/4 tsp salt
    ½ tsp ground cinnamon, or to taste
    1-2 Tbsp orange zest, finely grated

    4. Add dry mixture, a half at a time, to mixture and beat until ingredients are well iincorporated; do not over-mix.

    5. Incorporate by hand:
    1/2 cup chopped or slivered nuts of choice (suggest toasted almond slivers and/or finely chopped walnuts or pecans).
    Optional: 1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini chips suggested), ½ cup dried cranberries or raisins (first plumped in heated sherry, drained, cooled and dusted with flour before adding), as desired. (Optional: After cookies are baked and cooled, you can melt 6-7 oz. bittersweet chocolate and dip bottoms, then chill on wax paper-covered baking sheet in fridge to harden.)

    6. Chill dough, covered with plastic wrap, a few hours or overnight. Divide dough in half and, on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, fashion into two logs, about 10” long, 1 1/4” wide, 3/4“ high. Bake in preheated oven at 350 F. for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and top beginning to crack. Remove from oven and let loaves cool completely before next step (you can refrigerate or even freeze loaves for easy slicing).

    7. Set oven to 325 F. Slice loaves on the diagonal with sharp knife, into 3/4” wide slices. Suggest placing the slices on a cooling rack set onto a rimmed jellyroll pan and returning them to bake at 325 for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown (heat circulates, bottoms don’t burn, and you don’t have to turn them from side to side.)

    8: Sprinkle slices, while still hot, with:
    cinnamon-sugar mixture and sanding sugar (optional).

    9. Remove cooling rack from hot baking sheet, set on heatproof counter. The slices will harden as they cool. They can be kept in air-tight container up to one week or frozen for longer storage. (They’re delicious right out of the freezer.) See chocolate dipping option under #5 above.

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  9. Rugelach (cream cheese horns of plenty) are a specialty for the holiday of Hannukah, any Jewish holiday really, less well known than potato latkes or jelly-filled doughnuts (sufganiyot), but a much more delectable sweet treat.

    RUGELACH

    Cream Cheese Dough:
    1 cup (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
    1 cup unsalted butter (8 oz), room temperature
    pinch salt
    1 2/3 to 1 ¾ cups unbleached flour, unsifted

    ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted, divided in half
    One recipe filling (detailed below)
    Egg wash (one large egg + 1 tsp of water), beaten, if desired

    1. In bowl of standing mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter and salt at medium low speed until mixture is uniform, about 2-3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour, mixing only until a soft, sticky dough is formed, about 2-3 minutes more. Form dough into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
    2. Place the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface and roll it out into a sheet about 16 x 10 inches. Carefully fold it into thirds, brushing away any excess flour. Scrape the work surface clean to remove any dough sticking to it and lightly reflour.
    3. Turn the dough upside down so the bottom is now facing up and rotate it 90 degrees. Repeat the previous step, rolling it into a 16 x 10 inch sheet, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking and folding it into thirds. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate overnight.

    Directions for Cookies:
    1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and gently knead it until it is pliable. Place it on a lightly floured work surface and roll it into an 18 x 8 rectangle, 1/8 to ¼ inch thick. Dust with flour as necessary to prevent sticking.
    2. Brush the dough with half the melted butter (1/8 cup). Spread the filling (below) evenly. Use the rolling pin to press the filling gently into the dough.
    3. Uisng a sharp knife or pizza cutter, divide the dough lengthwise into two strips about 4 inches wide and make a series of diagonal cuts to form two rows of triangles about 3 inches wide at the base.
    Well, you get the idea! (Make the triangles even all along the strips.)
    4. Starting at the short end, roll the roll each triangle jelly-roll style so that you have a tapered cookie with a point in the middle. Place them point side down on parchment-lined sheet pans about 1 inch apart.
    5. Wash with egg wash, if desired, and bake for 15-20 minutes, until rugelach are golden brown. Arrange on a rack, brush with the remaining melted butter (1/8 cup) and let cool. You can sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar if desired.

    Cinnamon-sugar filling:
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    2 tsp ground cinnamon-sugar
    ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans on top
    Optional: ½ cup shaved or grated bittersweet chocolate

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  10. I developed this recipe with my friend Diane. We both love hot pepper jelly, but we always used it the same way, served over cream cheese with crackers. Combining the hot jelly with chocolate seemed like a natural, because we both love mole and we have both tried and liked chocolates with chili. We experimented with several variations. We asked friends, family and co-workers to sample them, and this one was the clear winner.

    JAGUAR PAWS

    1 3 oz. package slivered almonds
    1 19.5 oz. box chocolate brownie mix
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
    2 teaspoons instant coffee (powder, not freeze dried)
    1 teaspoon orange zest
    1/2 cup unsalted butter
    1 4 oz. bar 70% cocoa chocolate bar
    1 large egg
    1 cup unsweetened cocoa
    red hot pepper jelly

    In a food processor, grind the almonds into a coarse meal. Stir together the ground almonds, brownie mix, cinnamon and instant coffee powder.

    In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter in the micorwave on high for 30 second intervals until just melted, about 60 seconds (microwave ovens will vary). Set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, break the chocolate bar into approximately 1/2 inch pieces and place in another microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave oven on high for 30 second intervals until half the chocolate is melted, about 90 seconds. Stir the chocolate until evenly melted.

    Beat the egg slightly tocombine the yolk and white, then stir in the orange zest. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients along with the melted butter and stir to combine. Chill the dough for at least an hour, or overnight. If chilled overnight, take the dough out an hour before proceeding to the next step.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls. Roll the balls in the cocoa powder to coat lightly. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet spacing two inches apart. Flatten the balls slightly. With your thumb or the handle of a wooden spoon, make a shallow depression in the center of each ball. Fill the depressions with red hot pepper jelly (about 1/2 teaspoon).

    Bake cookies 7 – 8 minutes, turning the cookie sheet halfway through baking. Cookies are done when the edges are set and the centers still look soft. Do not overbake – the cookies set a lot as they cool. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for ten minutes or until fully set. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Enjoy!

    Makes about four dozen.

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  11. One evening I had served mashed sweet potatoes as a side with dinner. My husband said “You know what would be good? Sweet potatoe squares. They would be like lemon bars, only with sweet potatoes.” I thought that was a great idea, and developed this recipe. I really like the note of savory that the rosemary adds to the topping, but if you don’t care for savory notes in desserts, just leave it out.

    Sweet Potato Squares

    Crust
    ¾ cup all purpose flour
    ¾ cup whole wheat flour
    ¾ cup unsalted butter (softened)
    3/8 cup powered sugar

    Topping
    2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 ¼ pounds)
    ½ stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
    ¾ cup sugar
    3 large eggs
    1 7.5 oz containerFraiche
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon very finely chopped fresh rosemary (optional)
    1 tablespoon dark rum
    1 tablespoon all purpose flour

    Preheat the oven to 350F. Mix all crust ingredients and press over the bottom and up sides of a 9” x 13” baking pan. Bake until just set, about 20 minutes. Cool the crust while you prepare the topping.

    Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork and roast them on a shallow pan in the middle of the oven until very tender, about 1 ¼ hours. Cool to room temperature. (You can do this up to one day ahead.)

    Raise the oven temperature to 400F.

    Scoop the flesh from the sweet potatoes into a bowl and discard the skins. Mash the sweet potatoes with a fork until smooth. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar. Add the melted butter mixture to the sweet potatoes with the creme fraiche and the eggs and beat with a whisk until smooth. Whisk in the remaining ingredients (the topping will be quite liquid). Pour the filling over the crust and spread evenly. Bake in the middle of the oven until the filling is just set, about 40 minutes. Cool and cut into squares to serve.

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  12. Almond-Raspberry Shortbread Thumbprints

    Ingredients
    1 cup butter, softened (please no substitutions)
    2/3 cup white sugar
    1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

    1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
    3/4 teaspoon almond extract
    1 teaspoon milk
    Sliced almonds for garnish, optional

    Directions
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
    2. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and white sugar until smooth. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon almond extract. Mix in flour until dough comes together. Roll dough into 1 1/2 inch balls, and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Make a small hole in the center of each ball, using your thumb and finger, and fill the hole with preserves.
    3. Bake for 14 to 18 minutes in preheated oven, or until lightly browned. Let cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet.
    4. In a medium bowl, mix together the confectioners’ sugar, 3/4 teaspoon almond extract, and milk until smooth. Drizzle lightly over warm cookies. Garnish with sliced almonds over the preserves, if desired.

    I am addicted to baking and love how these tiny cookies melt in your mouth. They are perfect around the holidays and are a refreshing change from chocolate (not that chocolate is a bad thing!). They go wonderfully with hot chocolate or warm cider!

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  13. I developed these one day because I LOVE Baskin Robbins Golden Oreo Gold Rush ice cream. They combine lemon custard ice cream with golden oreos. I just had to try that in a cookie, and this is what I got: they even glaze themselves!

    Lemon Drop Cookies
    Makies about 51/2 dozen

    1 box butter golden cake mix
    1 egg
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temprature
    1 6 oz bag of slivered, blanched almonds
    1 111/2 oz bag of white chocolate chips.
    1 teaspoon lemon extract
    Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
    Juice of 1 lemon

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    1. In a food processor, place almonds, white chocolate chips and lemon peel. Process until the white
    chocolate chips and and almonds are minced, (pieces should be very small like fine gravel).
    2. In a mixing bowl, dump the cake mix, butter and egg. Add the contents of the food processor and the
    lemon juice.
    3. Beat for 2 minutes. Mixture will be very stiff.
    4. Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheets.
    5. Bake for 15 minutes, or until bottoms are slightly browned.
    6. Let cool on sheets for 2 minutes, then remove to wire racks and cool completely. Lemon flavor
    intesifies as cookies stand. When cool, cookies will have a glazed appearance. Store in an air-tight
    container.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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  14. Chili Chocolate Cookies

    Ingredients

    1/3 cup dried cranberries
    1/3 cup dried cherries
    1/3 cup raisins
    4 T. coffee liquor
    8 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. black pepper
    1/8 – 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)
    2 large eggs at room temperature
    3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 T. pure vanilla extract

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
    In a small saucepan, combine dried fruit, raisins and coffee liquor. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and remove from heat immediately.
    Heat chopped chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl in 20-second increments, stirring between each, until almost melted; do not overheat. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne.
    In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low; beat in melted chocolate. Mix in flour mixture until just combined. Stir in fruit and coffee liquor mixture.
    Drop heaping tablespoons of dough 2 to 3 inches apart onto baking sheets. Bake until cookies are shiny and crackly yet soft in the center, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    Recipe yields about 24 cookies.

    Notes:
    You can use any variation of dried fruit to equal a cup. Don’t worry if the batter seems thin, it should look more like a brownie batter than a cookie dough. Use 1/8 tsp. cayenne to leave a slight heat on the back of the palate, use 1/4 tsp. for more of a kick!

    These are great cookies to bring to holiday parties! They seem like such an unassuming little cookie at first. I have people ask me for the recipe constantly!

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  15. My Dad’s Banana bread. My granddaughter said that we devour it, her father is going blind and has learned his way thru the kitchen
    Preheat oven 350 degrees F
    1 3/4 cups unsifted flour 1 TSP baking powder 1/2 tsp salt mix thoroughly in bowel,
    in another bowel 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup shortening 2 eggs mix together until lightly fluffy
    then add 3 cups rotten bananas together
    then add dry ingredients until smooth , pour into prepared grease 9×5 pan 50-60 minutes cool on rack remove from pan afther 10 mins

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  16. ANGEL’S SUGAR COOKIES

    Ingreients-

    1c. granulated sugar
    1c.powdered sugar
    1c.butter
    1c.oil
    2 beaten eggs
    2 tsp.vanilla
    4 1/2c. flour
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1tsp. cream of tartar
    1tsp. salt

    Cream together sugars and butter. Add oil,eggs and vanilla. Sift flour,salt,creme of tartar and salt together. Combine with creamed mixture, Chill well. Roll into balls then roll in sugar and place on cookie sheet sprayed with Pam. Flatten with glass dipped in sugar.
    Bake at 350-375 degrees for 8-10 mins.

    These are my son-in-laws favorite cookies and he’ll send a note from his dog “Angel” to remind me it’s been too long between batches.

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  17. 1 Cup of Butter plus 2 tbs.

    1.5 Cups of Brown Sugar

    1/2 Cup Baker sugar

    2 Eggs

    2 Tsp Vanilla

    1.5 cups of apples-sautéed in ½ cup of apple cider, ¼ tsp. cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and the zest of 1orange

    2 cup toasted oats

    2 cups of flour

    1 tsp baking powder

    1 tsp baking soda

    Dash of salt

    1 cup of caramelized pecans

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    2. Toast oats until golden brown-cool

    3. 1.5 cups of apples peeled and cubed

    4. Sauté in apple cider, cinnamon, clove, orange zest, and nutmeg-cool

    5. Sauté pecans in butter and brown sugar until caramelized-cool

    6. In Mixer beat together Butter, Brown Sugar, Bakers Sugar

    7. Add Eggs

    8. Sift together Flour, Baking Soda and Salt.

    9. Fold flour and oats into butter mixture and mix well.

    10. Last, gentle fold in apples and pecans

    11. Bake in Pre-Heated Oven for 12 to 15 minutes.

    12. Cool or heat warm with Vanilla Bean ice cream

    Post a Reply
    • they sound great, but are they to be put on a tray, i,e, spoon?, scoop?

      Post a Reply
  18. Grandmas Holiday Bursts
    1 cup salted butter
    1 cup dark brown sugar
    1/2 cup of granulated sugar
    2 eggs
    2 teaspoons pure vanilla
    1 1/2 cups of unbleached flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3 cups original oats
    1 cup dried sour cherries
    1 cup dark 60% cocoa chocolate chips
    1 cup walnuts
    1/2 cup of toffee bits

    Cream butter, sugars and vanilla until very creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, until very creamy. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Then add flour mixture to butter mixture and stir. Then add oats, cherries, chocolate chips, walnuts and toffee bits. Form into balls and flatten slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes or until slighly brown on edges. Do not over bake. Cool on wire racks. My mom would only make oatmeal chocolate chip cookies because they were better for you. She would make them everytime a one of her children or grandchildren came to visit. I have added my daughter Danielle’s favorite chocolate chips, my daughter Bella’s favorite toffee bits and the sour cherries to remind us that with the sweet, there is always a bit of sour. All together we make mom’s cookies with a bigger burst of flavor.

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  19. Macademia Nut Squares

    1 cup flour
    1/2 cup butter
    2 eggs, slightly beaten
    1/2 cup grated coconut
    2 tbl flour
    11/2 cups brown sugar
    1/4 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp vanilla 1 cup chopped macademia nuts

    Frosting:
    2 tbl soft butter
    11/2 cups powdered sugar
    3 tbl orange juice
    1 tsp lemon juice
    1/2 cup chopped macademia nuts

    Mix flour and butter to fine crumbs; pat into bottom of buttered 9″ square pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with mixture of eggs, coconut, 2 tbl flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, vanilla and chopped nuts. Continue baking for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. When cool, spread with a mixtue of 2tbl butter, powered sugar and juices. Sprinkle chopped nuts over top and cut into squares.

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  20. Have been making these Gingery Fruit-Nut Bars for a couple of decades or longer and cannot recall where the original inspiration came from… I’m constantly adapting cookie recipes to be egg free since my family doesn’t eat eggs or baked goods made with eggs. Usually improvise (ie. improve) the recipe as I go.

    This recipe is really easy to put together. The dried fruit & nut prep and dicing the candied ginger being the only involved prep, which can be done while watching a good NetFlix movie or having a conversation. Dried fruits and nuts may be varied to your taste or made from what you have in the pantry. Tart fruits are best as they contrast with the molasses and complement the ginger.

    These are not fancy-looking cookie bars, but they WILL catch your fancy and that of most anyone who enjoys (brownie-texture) chewy molasses-y gingery fruited confections. Guaranteed to please! And they’re a yummy change from all the chocolate recipes we see every Christmas season.

    Gingery Fruit-Nut Bars
    Egg-free Cookie Recipe © Cynthe Brush

    INGREDIENTS:
    2 cups all-purpose flour or light whole wheat flour (King Arthur’s is great)
    2/3 tsp baking soda
    1/3 tsp salt (an odd amount due to adapting the recipe fit a large Pyrex pan)
    1.5 tsp each, ground Ginger & Allspice (freshly purchased & organic is best)

    2/3 cup Butter, softened
    1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
    2/3 cup light Molasses or half Honey (use a mild local Sonoma county honey)
    1/3 cup buttermilk (replaces 1 egg)

    1/2 cup diced Candied Ginger
    1-1/3 cups chopped Walnuts
    1-1/3 cups diced tart dried fruits (apricots, orange-flavored cranberries…leave whole, nectarines, plums, etc.)

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Sift the first 5 ingredients together, set aside. Cream the butter and brown sugar together until fluffy.
    Add molasses and buttermilk, beat until well blended. Add sifted dry ingredients to creamed mixture, mix well. Add the ginger, walnuts, and dried fruits, mix completely.

    Spread batter in a greased 10” x 15” x 2” Pyrex baking pan. Bake in a preheated 350F oven 25-30 minutes, until springy to the touch. Place on wire rack to cool completely. Cut with a sharp knife. Store in airtight containers.

    Yield: 5-6 dozen wonderfully chewy *addictive* bars!

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  21. Cherry Almond Cookies

    This has been a family tradtion and is everyones favorite cookie.

    1 Cup Butter
    1 Cup Light Brown sugar
    1/2 Cup Chopped Candied Cherries
    1/2 Cup Chopped Slivered Almonds

    Cream butter and sugar. Add chopped cherries and almonds. Roll into a log, wrap with wax paper. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours. Slice and bake 325 for 10-15 minutes.

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    • Yummy! I think that I will try these!

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  22. I have been making these cookies as a holiday tradition since I was a newlywed. 50 years later, I now make them with my grandchildren. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them!

    Mimi’s Pecan Melt-Aways!

    1/2 c. confectionery sugar
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1 c. butter
    1 tbs. vanilla extract
    2 1/4 c. all-purpose flower
    1 c. very finely ground pecans (almost paste like)
    additional confectionery sugar

    Beat butter until fluffy. Add sugar, salt and vanilla. Gradually add flower and work in pecans. Form dough into small balls. Place balls on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1 in. apart. Bake at 400 deg. for 8-10 minutes. While still warm, roll balls in additional confectionery sugar. After balls have cooled, roll one more time in confectionery sugar. Store in airtight container. Makes about 5 dozen. Enjoy!

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  23. My family teases me because I like to watch Chopped. So they challenged me to make something with tangerines, sweet basil and bittersweet chocolate chips. Makes about 5 dozen. They taste better the next day.

    Italian Chocolate Chip Cookies

    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup light brown sugar
    3 eggs
    2 tsp tangerine juice
    4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1 tbsp finely grated zest (colored part only) of tangerine
    ½ cup fresh sweet basil, washed and dried and finely shredded
    1 12oz bag of Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

    Preheat oven to 375º.
    1. Cream softened butter with basil, tangetine zest and the sugars until light and fluffy.
    2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    3. Add tangerine juice, beating well.
    4. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
    5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Beat for 2 minutes.
    6. Add chocolate chips.
    7. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes at room temperature.
    8. Use cookie scoop to scoop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you don’t have a cookie scoop, use a tablespoon and spoon rounded spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet.
    9. Bake 9-11 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven.
    10. Let rest on cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to cooling rack and allow to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container. These taste better the next day when the flavors have had a chance to marry.

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  24. After watching Chopped one evening, my family challenged me to make a cookie with the following ingridients: tangerines, fresh sweet basil, bittersweet chocolate chips. I came up with these and they were a hit both at home and at work!

    Italian Chocolate Chip Cookies

    1 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup light brown sugar
    3 eggs
    2 tsp tangerine juice
    4 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    1 tbsp finely grated zest (colored part only) of tangerine
    ½ cup fresh sweet basil, washed and dried and finely shredded
    1 12oz bag of Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

    Preheat oven to 375º.
    1. Cream softened butter with basil, tangetine zest and the sugars until light and fluffy.
    2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
    3. Add tangerine juice, beating well.
    4. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
    5. Add flour mixture to butter mixture. Beat for 2 minutes.
    6. Add chocolate chips.
    7. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes at room temperature.
    8. Use cookie scoop to scoop dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. If you don’t have a cookie
    scoop, use a tablespoon and spoon rounded spoonfuls of dough onto cookie sheet.
    9. Bake 9-11 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Remove from oven.
    10. Let rest on cookie sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to cooling rack and allow to cool
    completely before storing in an air-tight container. These taste better the next day when the
    flavors have had a chance to marry.
    11. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

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  25. GRANDMA’S NO BAKE CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

    This cookie recipe came from my husband’s grandmother. He has fond memories of making these cookies when he was a boy, and brags that he could make them all by himself even when he was little! Now, my daughter and I make them every year as a part of our holiday baking. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them!! A word of CAUTION, though! They are addicting!! I usually make a double batch to be sure there are enough to share! Enjoy!

    In a heavy saucepan, mix:

    1/2 cup evaporated milk
    1 stick unsalted butter
    2c. sugar
    1/2 cup of good quality unsweetened cocoa

    Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once mixture comes to a boil, cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.

    After 3 minutes, remove pan from heat and mix in:

    1/2 cup natural chunky peanut butter
    2 1/2 cups quick oats
    1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract

    Using a 1 oz. ice cream scoop, or a spoon, scoop cookies onto parchment paper, working quickly. Allow cookies to cool, and enjoy!

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  26. PERSIMMON COOKIES

    This is My Grandmothers recipe and we make several batches at Christmas every year
    to give to all our friends.

    2 Cups Persimmons 2 Tsp Cinnamon
    2 Tsp Baking Soda 1 Tsp Cloves
    2 Cups Sugar 1 Tsp Nutmeg
    1 Cup Crisco 1 Tsp Salt
    2 Eggs beaten 2 Cups Walnuts
    4 Cups Flour 1 Cup Golden Raisions
    1 Cup Cranberry Raisions

    Soak Raisons in Juice or Wine for 20 Mins.
    Peel and deseed Persimmons and Puree

    Beat Persimmons, Soda, Sugar, and Crisco untill creamy
    Add Eggs, Flour, and Spices and mix well
    Add drained Raisions and Nuts and mix
    Drop by spoon on greased cookie sheet
    Bake at 375 degrees for 12 to 15 mins

    Cool and ENJOY

    Makes about 8 dozen + or – depending on size of spoon drop

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  27. My mother was from Virginia, Minnesota, a small town in the Iron Ore range of Northern Minnesota. After one of her visits to Virginia, she brought this recipe back from her childhood girlfriend, Ann Foster. Mom and I prepared them on her return, and I’ve been making them ever since. They are somewhat like biscotti but not as firm.

    Norwegian Toast

    Makes 3 Dozen

    Preheat the oven to 350 F.

    1 cup salted butter
    1 1/2 cups sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. almond extract
    1 cup sour cream
    3 3/4 cups flour
    1 tsp. soda

    Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well. Blend in the almond extract and sour cream. Combine the flour and soda thoroughly.

    Spoon 3 rows of dough onto a cookie sheet, allowing space between rows. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and with a sharp knife, cut 1-inch slices, turn on side, return to oven and bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes. Cool on a rack.

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  28. Every year my family does a cookie bake day in December. This tradition began over 25 years ago when I was a small child. My grandmother would have my brother, my cousin and I over to roll out and bake gingerbread men and women. As a child I remember playing with the rolling pin, not being very successful as a 5 year old rolling out the dough without help of my grandma, and dusting the dough with flour as to keep it from sticking. One of my favorite smells of the holidays is still the warm spices of gingerbread baking in the oven on the cold winter day. After we baked the men and women, we would get to frost and adorn our creations with all sorts of candy that passed our taste testing. To this day we all still get together, young and old, to decorate cookies. The only addition, besides more family members over the years, is now my husband and I create a gingerbread house each year for my grandmother as a token of appreciation for her love and creativity when I was a child.

    Gingerbread men and women

    1 cup sugar
    1 cup molasses
    2 eggs beaten
    1 tsp soda
    1 tsp ginger
    1 cup butter
    3 tbl vinegar
    6 cups flour
    2 tbl cinnamon
    1 tsp nutmeg
    ½ tsp salt.

    Add butter, sugar, vinegar and molasses into a pot and bring to a boil.
    Let cool.
    When cool, add eggs and flour with all other spices.
    Mix well, dough will be stiff, and then set in fridge for 2 hours.
    Roll into ¼ inch sheet, cut and bake at 375 for 15 min.
    When cool decorate with all sorts of frosting, candy and love.

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  29. My grandmother has made these cookies every year since I was a child for our traditional get together on Christmas Eve. Last year she gave me the recipe for her delicious melt in your mouth cookies. She is my inspiration for baking and truly an amazing lady. I have received many recipes from her over the years but this is one of my favorites and here it is to share with you.

    Lorena’s Pecan Balls

    1 cup salted butter at room temp
    1/2 cup powdered sugar sifted
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1/2 tsp maple flavor
    2 cups sifted flour
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    1 1/2 cup chopped pecans

    1 cup powdered sugar to roll cookies in.

    On medium speed cream/mix the butter, powdered sugar, maple and vanilla till smooth.

    In another bowl mix flour, baking powder together.

    Add the butter mixture into the flour bowl and mix on low. Fold in pecans.

    Roll into 1 inch balls and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment.

    Bake at 300 for 20 min, they will look a very pale brown.

    Roll the cookies in powdered sugar when still warm so the sugar sticks.

    Place on a cooling rack.

    Serve when cool

    Enjoy

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  30. One of my favorite Christmas memories comes from a gift my great-aunt Rena would give us each year: a Rosenberg & Bush box (remember those?) lined with foil and filled with an assortment of home-baked cookies. Obviously at the age of 51 this Christmas memory still lingers–I am a baker at heart and feel close to my great aunt this time of year. These Lemon Lassies were one of my favorites although her Oatmeal Scotcheroos were pretty tasty as well.

    Lemon Lassies
    2 eggs, slightly beaten
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1 T lemon zest
    1 T butter
    1/8 t salt
    In a small saucepan, cook these ingredients over low heat stirring constantly, until thick. Remove from heat and add 1 cup grated sweetened coconut and set aside to cool.

    Sift together 2 1/4 cups sifted all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a stand up mixer, cream 1/2 cup butter and gradually add 1 cup of sugar, creaming well. Blend in 1 egg and 1/4 molasses. Add the flour mixture and slowly mix together thoroughly. Chill for 1 or 2 hours (this will make the dough easier to handle).

    Divide dough into four parts. Shape each into a 15-inch roll on a lightly sugared surface. Flatten to a 15 x 2 x 2 1/2 inchstrip. Spread 1/4 of filling down center of each strip. Fold in half and seal edges. Cut into 1 1/2 inch bars. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool one minute and remove to rack. Store in airtight container.

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  31. The Sunday before Christmas my mom, two sisters & I would bake cookies. This cookie was a favorite of ours. My mom icing and tinted half green and half red to put in the center of the cookie. dad would be in the living room watching football. When he smelled the cookies baking he would come into the kitchen. He would look at the cookies we took from the oven, reach down and take one or two. He said, “Oh look I found a broken one. I guess I’ll have to try it. Can’t serve broken cookies to our company”.

    Swedish Butter Cookies

    1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
    2 hard cooked egg yolks
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup all purpose flour
    1/2 tsp lemon extract

    Cream butter. Add egg yolks, pressed through a sieve. Cream in sugar. Add sifted flour & flavoring. Mix ingredients together. Place dough in cookie press and press through onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 minutes in 375 degree oven. Cool before removing from sheet. Can be decorated with candied cherries, nuts, colored icing, colored sugar, etc.

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  32. Roxie’s Dollies

    Since I was a child, my Grandma Roxie would bake many sweets for the holidays, but my favorites were her “Dollies”. When I grew up and went to college, she would mail them to me every Christmas, making me the most popular guy in the dorm until they were all gone. Now, that she has passed away, I look forward to making them for my friends at Christmas, which always ends up with everyone asking for the recipe. What I like also is the variety of cookies you can make with what you have on hand.

    Roxie’s Dollies

    1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) – melted
    1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
    1 cup of baking chips (choose from milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, or butterscotch)
    1 cup of pecan chips
    1 cup of sweetened coconut
    1 can of condensed sweetened milk

    Preheat oven to 350
    In an 8×8 baking pan add
    butter and graham cracker crumbs to form a crust in the bottom of the pan
    On top of crust pour the baking chips topped with
    the pecan chips.
    On the very top add the coconut and pour the condensed milk over the entire dish..

    Bake for one hour, cool completely, and cut into 16 squares and serve.

    These days, when I bake for my friends, I usually do so in a new baking pan that they keep as part of the gift or use a disposable baking pan. I have leaned to go ahead and include the recipe with them as I know I am going to be asked!

    Happy baking,

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  33. I remember as a child eating Grandma Zetta’s Filled Cookies that my mom would make. My job was to pinch down the sides. Now I make these cookies every year. I sit down with a cup of coffee with theses amazing cookies and remember all of the warm Christmas memories.

    Filled Cookies
    Grandma Baker and Grandma Zetta
    Dough:
    2 cups brown sugar
    1 cup Crisco
    4 cups flour
    ½ teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon soda
    3 eggs
    Vanilla

    Filling:
    1 cup white sugar
    2 tablespoons flour

    Mix:
    1 cup boiling water
    1 cup chopped dates
    ¾ cup raisins
    1 cup chopped nuts
    (I mix my flour and sugar and add to dates, raisins and nuts. Then I add hot water and cook until thickened)

    Cream sugar and Crisco; add eggs one at a time, cream well.
    Sift and measure flour; sift flour soda and salt together. Add to creamed sugar. This makes stiff dough. With a spoon turn dough onto a well floured board; kneed in enough flour to keep from sticking to fingers. Work dough into on large ball. Divide ball of dough into 3 parts. Roll each part to 1/3 thickness. Cut with 2” cookie cutter. Test if enough flour by trying to remove a cut cookie from board with a spatula. Put 1 -2tablespoon of cooked filing on cut cookie. Place another over. Press edges together with fingers. With spatula place 1 inch apart on lightly greased cookie sheet.

    Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes until light brown.
    Makes 3 dozen

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  34. My mom’s cousin Dolly and I have been getting together every Christmas to bake cookies for our friends and family. We start in late November and get together at least 2 more times in December to bake. Every year we try a new cookie or technique to keep it interesting! My mom had always been our official “cookie tester” but this August she lost her battle with breast cancer. So I merged two of her favorite cookies into one to create this cookie in her memory! The rosemary isn’t a something that’s usually used in cookies and the cardamom has such a wonderful aroma. These do take a little extra work but are so so worth it!

    Rosemary Cardamom Pinwheels
    Makes approx 5 dozen cookies

    Dough:
    2 ½ cups of flour
    2 TBS granulated sugar
    2/8 tsp salt
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter cut into chunks
    8oz cold cream cheese cut into chunks

    In a stand mixer combine flour, sugar and salt. Stir a couple of times to mix together. Add chunks of butter until crumbly then add the cream cheese and mix until just combined.
    Refrigerate for about an hour.

    “Rolling out” sugar:
    ½ cup of granulated sugar
    1 tsp ground cardamom

    Filling:
    ½ cup of granulated sugar
    1 tsp of very finely chopped fresh rosemary

    Preheat the oven to 375
    Cut the refrigerated dough in half and roll each half into a rectangle (aprox 18” x 10”) using the “rolling out” sugar to prevent it from sticking to the board or rolling pin. Put a thin layer of the filling over the dough and roll. Refrigerate another ½ hour then cut into ¼ slices. Sprinkle the rolling out sugar on top of the cookies. Bake for 8 minutes then flip over, re-sugar and bake for another 3 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!

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  35. LENGUAS DE GATO

    Lenguas de Gato are thin cookies that resembles the shape of a cat’s tongue. This is my favorite holiday treat when I lived at the Islands. Delicious when paired with your favorite cup of coffee or tea.

    Beware! this is so addicting!!! This should be called magic cookies. The contents of the jar are all gone without knowing it.

    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
    1/2 cup superfine white sugar
    Whites from 3 eggs
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

    Cooking procedure:
    Preheat oven to 375 deg.F. Line baking tray lined with parchment paper. Get the piping bag ready with a standard number 12 round tip.

    Cream the butter using an electric mixer then gradually add the sugar until mixed for 2 minutes. Stir-in the egg whites and mix for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt and vanilla extract. Slowly stir-in the flour. Continue to mix for about 3 minutes or until the mixture is thoroughly incorporated. Get a piping bag and install the round tip. Place the mixture in the piping bag. Begin piping each piece to 21/2 to 3 inches in length.

    Bake for 8 to 9 minutes. Remove from the oven until the temperature cools down. Then place in a small plate for serving, or an air tight container to keep for a week or two. Serve with your favorite hot beverage.

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  36. Scrumptious Frosted Fudgy Brownies
    I have been making these brownies for many, many years, I got the brownie recipe from my grandma, and decided to add a creamy frosting to them. They are sooooo rich and chocolaty, I never use all the frosting on the brownies, I save some for myself. I add some in my coffee, spread it on Ritz crackers (I know wierd), and I eat it by the spoonful :) If you like dark chocolate, you’ll love these!

    Brownie:
    8 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
    1 cup butter
    5 eggs
    3 cups white sugar
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 cups toasted walnuts, chopped( I love to use macadamia nuts instead of walnuts also)
    1 1/4 cups white sugar

    Frosting:
    1 cup heavy cream
    5 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
    1/2 cup butter, softened
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Directions:
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    Grease a 9X13-inch baking pan (the 9X13 pan makes a very thick brownie, if you want a thinner brownie use a sheet pan and check them at 18 minutes).
    Place 8 ounces of baking chocolate with 1 cup of butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High until the chocolate is soft and the butter has melted, about 2 minutes. Stir to mix and set aside.
    Place the eggs, 3 cups of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer on high speed for 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and beat in the melted butter-chocolate mixture. Beat in the flour until just combined (do not overmix), and stir in the chopped walnuts. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
    Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with fudgy crumbs, about 35 minutes. Cool in the pan before frosting.

    To make frosting, combine 1 1/4 cup of sugar with the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and let the mixture simmer for 7 minutes without stirring.
    Remove the cream mixture from the heat, and stir in 5 ounces of baking chocolate and 1/2 cup butter, stirring to melt and blend the chocolate. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla extract; whisk until smooth. Place the frosting in the refrigerator and stir often until the frosting is chilled and thick, about 30 minutes. Frost the cooled brownies, and cut into small squares.

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  37. In Occidental there’s a community luncheon held once a week.
    This mostly senior and volunteer group throw an annual holiday party attended by a highly cookie- appreciative crowd. This event is a great testing lab for the home baker.
    I combined my favorite glazed nut recipe with a rich cookie recipe, added orange zest and these were a big hit.

    Sorry, couldn’t help the pun-title. When I say couldn’t help-didn’t actually try.

    Yes We P’Can Tarts

    Cookie Dough

    1 cup butter
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup dark corn syrup
    2 egg yolks (save whites to glaze cookies if desired)
    1 Tbs. orange zest
    2 1/2 cup flour

    Cream the butter with the sugar. Add the corn syrup, egg yolks and orange zest, beat to mix. Fold in the flour.
    Form the dough into a log and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for two hours or more.

    Meanwhile make the glazed nuts.

    Glazed Nuts

    21/2 Tbs. Honey
    2Tbs Maple Syrup
    2 cups pecans
    1 Tbs. butter
    1 tsp vanilla
    1/4 tsp kosher or sea salt
    1 Tbs. orange zest

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    Combine the honey and maple syrup in a large bowl.
    Toss in the nuts and stir to coat.

    Place on parchment -lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with oil or use a Silpat baking sheet.

    Bake for 15 minutes, stirring twice.
    While the nuts are roasting, put the butter in a n ovenproof dish and place in the oven just a minutes to soften. Remove and stir in the vanilla and orange zest.

    When the nuts are done, remove them from the pan and stir them into the butter mixture. Sprinkle with the salt. Place on a parchment paper to cool.

    To Bake:
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees

    Form cookie dough into medium sized balls. Bit larger than a walnut, more like a mutant walnut.
    (glaze with slightly beaten egg whites if desired)

    Bake for 7 minutes. Remove from oven, gently press 2 -3 pecans on end into the center, return to oven and bake 10 minutes more or until golden brown.

    There may be nuts -glaze goo leakage. It should harden up.

    Remove to wire rack to cool.

    Declare cocktail hour and eat any leftover nuts with a, let’s see…Whiskey Sour perhaps..If needs mentioning.

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  38. INTERNATIONAL HOLIDAY COOKIES

    Oven 350

    24 wonton wrappers
    1 large banana, diced
    5 T chocolate chips, 60% or greater
    2 T chopped pecans
    Powdered sugar

    Spray oil on cookie sheet

    Mix together banana, chocolate chips and pecans. Divide equally among wrappers. Wet edges with fingers. Fold into triangles.
    Bake 12 minutes. Cookies should be light brown and crisp. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

    Options:
    Strawberry & kiwi for a red & green cookie
    Chocolate & coconut for a melted snow cookie
    Chocolate & chuncky peanut butter
    other ingredients of your choosing.

    Santa perfers banana & chocolate
    Vixen like peanut butter & chocolate
    .
    In order to continue to fit in suit, Santa is limited to 4 treats a day.

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    • I made the International Holiday Cookies for a cookie exchange I went to last weekend and they were amazing! I won a prize for most creative cookie and they were surprisingly delicious! Very rich, though, and I can see why Santa shouldn’t eat more than four a day! Thank you!

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  39. My Mom makes these with yellow cake mix and peanut butter…I like these better, (sorry, Mom!).

    GERMAN CHOCOLATE COOKIES

    1 box chocolate cake mix, any variety
    2 cups shredded coconut
    1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    1/4 cup butter, softened
    2 eggs

    Preheat oven to 350*
    Mix everything together in a medium bowl, (dough will be very sticky)
    Roll into walnut sized balls and place on non-stick baking sheet
    Bake for 10-12 minutes
    Makes about 3 dozen cookies

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    • Oops! I forgot 1/4 cup of 1/2 & 1/2 goes in the German Chocolate Cookies…sorry!

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  40. I’ve been making these cookies at Christmas time for over 35 years. I got the recipe from my sister in-law.
    They are really pretty when you use the red and green holiday M&M’s.

    Calico Meringues

    2 Egg Whites
    Pinch Cream of tartar
    1/2 C. White sugar
    3/4 C. (Plain) M&M’s
    Beat eggs till foamy with cream of tartar, beat in sugar till mixture forms peaks. Fold in M&M’s.
    Grease and flour a cookie sheet. Drop by spoon-full onto prepared cookie sheet and bake at 250′ for 30 minutes. Yield about 2 dozen.

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  41. SPICED BUTTERNUT SQUASH COOKIES

    2 cups flour (I use half whole wheat, half white)
    1 t baking soda
    ¾ t salt (I use sea salt)
    1 t cinnamon (can be generous)
    ½ t nutmeg
    1 2/3 cups sugar (I cut this back a lot, to one cup)
    2/3 cup oil (I use coconut, but canola will do)
    2 T molasses (yummm)
    1 cup cooked mashed butternut squash or other ominous squash such as pumpkin, acorn, etc
    1 t vanilla

    Optional: oats, chopped walnuts, raisins, coconut shreds to your desired quantity

    Preheat oven to 350.

    Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices in a bowl. In a separate, larger bowl mix together, oil, molasses, squash and vanilla until well combined. Add dry to wet, folding to combine. Add optional ingredients after combined.

    Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheets. Press into shape. Bake for 16 minutes at 350. If using 2 levels of your oven, rotate sheets halfway for even baking. Remove from oven and set cookies onto a wire rack to cool. For best flavor, let them cool and set a bit.

    Enjoy!! These cookies are a great way to use up those pesky squash that have a tendency to hang around. Careful though, one large squash yields about three batches of cookies. Don’t worry though you’ll be cookie rich and everyone will love you. If you’re not up for the love and would like to hoard your stash these cookies freeze beautifully. These cookies are vegan, and if you cut back on the sugar and use whole wheat they are also sort of good for you!! Only sort of though…..

    Cheers,

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  42. Are we all certain that this isn’t a scam (4th annual) so that Heather doesn’t have to bake for the holidays ?????

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    • The scam is on me because I test most of the recipes myself! It’s a ton of work but my co workers love it!

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  43. Aunt Lou’s Date Bars

    2 Eggs
    3/4 cup Sugar
    1 cup Flour
    1 tsp Baking Powder
    1/2 tsp Salt
    1 cup Chopped Dates
    1 cup Coarsely Chopped Walnuts
    1/4 tsp Baking Soda (Dissolved in 2 TBL boiling water

    Beat eggs together and add sugar. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the egg and sugar mixture. Add dates, nuts and soda (boiling water mixture). Spread in a thin layer in 13X9 greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until light golden brown. While warm ( not hot) cut and roll in powdered sugar. I will usually roll each cookie in the powdered sugar twice.

    Aunt Lou made these cookies each Christmas. SOOO GOOD! I acquired the recipe from her as a wedding gift along with the new Hamilton Beach Mixmaster over fifty years ago. I wore out the mixmaster in ten years, probably making cookies for my children. I lost the recipe fifteen years ago and have recently been in touch with my cousin and she me sent the recipe. Enjoy!!!.

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  44. This is a recipe I have been fooling around with for years, always trying to make it just a little bit better which is hard because it was such a great recipe to begin with. But last year I think I perfected it when my family told me it was the one thing that always had to be at Christmas Eve dessert. always.

    Tipsy Cranberry White Chocolate and Almond Cookies

    Ingredients:
    • 1 cup of brandy (to soak the cranberries in, reserving 1 1/4 teaspoons of it for the dough)
    • 1 cup of dried cranberries
    • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
    • 3/4 cup of lightly packed brown sugar
    • 2 eggs, room temperature
    • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon of salt
    • 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup of white chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

    Directions:
    1. Put the cranberries in a wide and shallow bowl. Pour in enough brandy to just cover the cranberries. Cover and place in the fridge for one to four hours. When done soaking, place a colander over a bowl and pour the cranberries and brandy through. Set aside both the cranberries and the reserved brandy.
    2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again until light, fluffy and well incorporated.
    3. Add the eggs, vanilla extract, and add 1 1/4 teaspoons of the brandy that the cranberries soaked in. Beat well until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure even mixing.
    4. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt, then add to the mixture a cup at a time, beating until just mixed. Fold in the brandy soaked cranberries, white chocolate chips and almonds. Let chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.
    5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place rounded spoonfuls down on the sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a minute, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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  45. Almond-Toffee Cookies

    1 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup confectioner sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    1 tsp almond extract
    4 ½ cup flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp cream of tartar
    2 cups chopped almonds
    1 package toffee bits

    Cream butter & sugars. Add oil, eggs, and extract; mix well. Combine flour, soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in almonds and toffee bits. Shape into 1 inch balls; roll in sugar. Place on ungresed cookie sheet and flatten with a fork. Bake at 350° for 12-14 min or until lightly browned. Delicate cookies! Carefully remove. Makes 11-12 dozen

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  46. LAURIE FIGONE
    Chocolate Peanut Butter Creams

    1 cup butter, room temp.
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 egg, room temp.
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
    1/2 cup cocoa powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    2/3 cup toasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
    3/4 cup peanut butter, creamy style
    4 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
    2 cups powdered sugar
    2 tbsp. 1/2 & 1/2
    1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

    1. Preheat oven to 375’. In mixing bowl, cream together butter, granulated
    sugar and brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla, beat well. In separate bowl,
    mix together flour, cocoa and baking soda. Stir flour mixture into butter
    mixture. Stir in peanuts.

    2. Shape into 1 in. balls and place evenly on baking sheet. Flatten slightly.
    Bake for about 6 minutes, until done. Place on rack and cool.

    3. Make peanut butter filling. Cream together peanut butter, cream cheese
    and powdered sugar. Add 1/2 & 1/2 just to make a creamy, spreadable
    filling. Place a heaping tbsp. of filling on bottom of half of the cooled
    cookies. Top with bottom of other half of cooled cookies. Press mini-
    chocolate chips around the outer edge of the filling.

    4. Enjoy!

    Submitted by:

    Laurie Figone

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  47. LAURIE FIGONE
    Coco-Nutty Crunchy Cookies

    1 cup butter, room temp.
    3/4 cup dark brown sugar
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    1 egg, room temp.
    1 tsp. vanilla
    2 cups all purpose flour
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1 cup toasted coconut
    1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
    2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 cup (approx.) English Toffee Bits

    1. Pre-heat oven to 375’. In mixing bowl cream together butter and sugars.
    Add egg and vanilla and beat well. Stir in flour and baking soda. Then stir
    in coconut, walnuts and chocolate chips.

    2. Form dough into 1 1/2 in. balls. Press one side into English Toffee Bits,
    flattening slightly. Evenly space onto baking sheet, do not over-crowd,
    they will spread as they cool. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes, until
    nicely browned. Remove to cooling rack and let cool.

    3. Bet you can’t eat just one…these cookies have a wonderful crunch from
    the toffee bits, chewiness from the coconut, another crunch from the nuts,
    add the chocolate to all of that…Let me know if you stopped at one!!!

    Submitted by:

    Laurie Figone

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  48. DEATH BY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE
    Make about 4 to 6 dozen cookies, depending on how large you make them.

    This detailed recipe is my own, a result of watching our Granny get mixed up as to what cookie got what ingredient, one of those fortunate accidents that turned out better than the original. The secrets – the extra egg and butter, and the addition of a spice not normally used in chocolate chip cookies – cinnamon. It pairs well with the bittersweet chocolate, so much so, that if you don’t tell folks there’s cinnamon in the cookie, they likely won’t detect it; they will just think it’s the best chocolate chip cookie they ever had!

    INGREDIENTS:
    COOKIE DOUGH:
    1 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup sugar
    3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    2 eggs
    2-1/4 cups unsifted all purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (or more if you wish up to 1/2 tsp.)
    2 cups (12 ounce) package best quality bittersweet chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli’s)
    1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

    TOPPING:
    1/3 to 1/2 cup very finely chopped toasted walnuts
    4 to 8 oz.very high quality bittersweet chocolate chips

    COOKIE DOUGH:
    METHOD:
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    1. Toast the walnuts lightly in a saute pan and set aside to cool. While nuts are cooling, gather your ingredients, mixer and kitchen tools, then measure out your ingredients.
    2. Chop the 1 cup cooled walnuts for the cookie dough and set aside, then mince up the rest of the walnuts for the topping and set aside.
    3. Cream butter , sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy.
    4. Add eggs, beat well.
    5. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt until combined.
    6. Gradually beat the dry mixture into creamed mixture. Remove bowl from mixer.
    7. Stir in 2 cups chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped walnuts.
    8. Drop onto ungreased cookie sheet using a portion scoop or by spoon-full.
    9. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
    10. Cool slightly on baking sheet, then remove from cookie sheet and cool on rack.

    TOPPING: To finish, you’re going to dip the cookies in bittersweet chocolate and sprinkle the chocolate dipped side with some of the very finely chopped walnuts.
    METHOD:
    Before beginning the dipping process, place a sheet of foil or parchment paper on the counter under the bowl of chocolate to catch the drips. Place another parchment sheet on the counter to put the finished dunked cookie on. Place the finely chopped walnuts next to the parchment the dipped cookies will go on.
    1. To melt the chocolate, I recommend you melt it over a hot water bath (low heat) until the chocolate is melted and smooth. OPTIONAL: Add melted butter a teaspoon at a time if you wish the chocolate more melt-y. NOTE: If you prefer to use the microwave, place 1/2 to 1 cup of the bittersweet chips in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 50% power in 10 second bursts, stirring after each. CAUTION: Take care using the microwave. Not only will the bowl become very hot, if the chocolate gets hot too fast, it becomes grainy, so if it does, you can add some unsalted butter (a teaspoon at a time) to the chocolate, stir until butter melts, return bowl to microwave and continue to add a little butter at a time to the chocolate until it’s smooth and can be used to dip the cookies into.
    2. Pick up a cookie by one side and dunk the other side in the bowl of melted chocolate, so that the cookie is at least half-covered with chocolate, use the bowl edge to scrape excess chocolate off the bottom of the cookie, then place on the parchment paper.
    3. As soon as the cookie is placed on the parchment paper, before the chocolate solidifies, sprinkle a pinch or two of the very finely chopped walnuts on top of the chocolate. Then wait for the chocolate to cool completely onto the cookie. .
    4. Store in cool, dry area, in an airtight container for up to a week.

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  49. CHOCOLATE FILLED SNOWBALLS

    1 stick soft butter (1/2 c.)
    1/2 c. butter-flavored Crisco
    1/2 c. sugar
    1 t. vanilla
    2 c. flour
    1 c. fine walnuts (very fine, like coarse flour)

    1 pkg. Hersey’s chocolate kisses

    Directions:
    Chill dough. Roll about 1 t. of dough completely around a kiss. The right amount of dough is the least it takes to get the kiss covered. It’s okay if the dough is very thin on the edges of the kiss.

    Places spheres on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 minutes at 375 degrees.
    Cookies are baked when set and should get hardly no color.

    When cool roll in sifted confectioners sugar.

    My notes show that I once got 10 dozen cookies from 1 1/2 batches, but with all the chocolate eating that happens when the kisses are being unwrapped, it’s hard to say how many cookies this recipe really makes.

    We’ve had this recipe in our family for over 50 years!

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