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Once more, it’s time to start thinking of the making and baking of Christmas cookies. What fun you can have when you get the whole family involved! There’s always a job for everyone, no matter how small they are.

Pecan Crunch Cookies

1 cup sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter

1 cup oil

4 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

Pecans to taste

6 ounces of almond brittle baking bits

1 teaspoon almond extract

2 eggs

Sugar

In large mixer bowl, blend sugar, powdered sugar, butter and oil until mixed well. Gradually blend in flour, soda, salt and tartar. Stir in pecans and brickle bits. Roll large tablespoons of dough into balls. Roll in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets. Flatten in criss-cross pattern with fork. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool 1 minute before removing to wire rack to cool.

Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened

1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups chocolate chunks (8 ounces), semi-sweet or bittersweet

3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted nuts, your favorite flavor

Position racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a medium size bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of a heavy duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 2 minutes, scrape down sides of bowl. Beat the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl. Add to the butter mixture and blend well, scrape the bowl again. On low speed, add the flour mixture and beat until just mixed. Add the chocolate and nuts, and mix until incorporated into the dough. Drop rounded tablespoons of the dough onto the prepared sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Bake, switching the position of the sheets from top to bottom and front to back, halfway through baking until the cookies are golden brown, but the centers seem slightly underdone, about 13 minutes. Do not over bake or the cookies will be crisp throughout instead of chewy. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely. The cookies will crinkle as they cool Store at room temperature in airtight containers for up to 1 week.

White and Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 stick Crisco butter flavored solid vegetable shortening

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 cup each white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips and mint chocolate chips

2 cups chopped walnuts

Heat oven to 375°. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter, vegetable shortening, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed beat in flour mixture. By hand, stir in white and milk chocolate chips, mint chips and walnuts. Drop rounded tablespoon of dough onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, remove to wire racks to cool completely. These are the best pumpkin cookies, they make a big batch or you can half the recipe easily. I make a batch and split it in half and make two different kinds.

Pumpkin Cookies

4 cups flour

2 cups shortening (I use Butter flavored Crisco)

2 cups pumpkin

2 eggs

2 cups brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

Cream shortening and sugar together. Beat in eggs and pumpkin. Add sifted flour and spices. Add 2 cups chopped dates or 1 cup chopped pecans or a 12-ounce bag of mini chocolate chips. Bake at 375° for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and frost.

Frosting

3 tablespoons oleo

4 tablespoons milk

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup powdered sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla

Mix oleo, milk and brown sugar together. Boil for 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix well until smooth.

White Chocolate Cherry Cookies

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted

1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

3/4 cup dried cherries

Center rack in oven and preheat to 350°. In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on high until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add melted chocolate. With mixer on low, gradually add dry ingredients to chocolate mixture. Stir in white chocolate and cherries. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake cookies until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Two cookies are 270 calories, 14 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 36 grams carbohydrate.

Carrot Cake Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

2 cups finely grated carrots

2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat butter and brown sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until well combined. In a small bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined. Stir in oats and carrot. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until lightly browned, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cookies cool on pan for 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool completely. In a small bowl, combine confectioner’s sugar and sour cream, stirring well to combine. Drizzle on cookies. Let stand until dry approximately 1 hour.

Walnut Horn Cookies

1 cup plus 1 teaspoon butter, softened, divided

1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 cups ground walnuts

1 1/4 cups sugar, divided

1/2 cup 2% milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, beat 1 cup butter and the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour, beating until mixture forms a ball. Divide dough into four portions. Roll each into a 12-inch circle. Melt the remaining butter. In a large bowl, combine the walnuts and melted butter. Spread over circles. Cut each into 12 wedges. Roll up wedges, starting from the wide ends. Place, point side down, on greased baking sheets. Curve ends to form crescents. Bake at 325° for 35 to 40 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks. Place remaining sugar in a small shallow bowl. Roll warm cookies in sugar.

Triple Chip Cookies

1 pouch (1 pound, 1.5 ounces) Betty Crocker chocolate chip cookie mix

1/2 cup butter or oleo, softened

1 egg

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup white vanilla baking chips

Heat oven to 375°. In large bowl, stir all ingredients until soft dough forms. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minutes, remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

This will give you a few new and different cookies to try to get ready for the Christmas season. If you need to reach me, you can email me at judyd2313@frontier.com or drop a line to my attention to the BCR, P.O. Box 340, Princeton, IL 61356.

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