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double-drizzle-pecan-cookies

Double-Drizzle Pecan Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups chopped pecans

CARAMEL DRIZZLE:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

CHOCOLATE DRIZZLE:
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon butter

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

Shape dough into 1-in. balls; roll in pecans. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets; flatten slightly. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

In a small saucepan, bring brown sugar and cream to a boil. Remove from heat; whisk in confectioners’ sugar. Immediately drizzle over cookies.

In a microwave, melt chocolate and butter; stir until smooth. Drizzle over cookies. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: about 3-1/2 dozen.

Recipe found here: Double-Drizzle Pecan Cookies

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Macadamia Nut Cookies

Macadamia Nut Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 jars (3-1/2 ounces each) macadamia nuts, chopped
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (6 ounces) white baking chips

Directions
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture and beat for 2 minutes. Stir in nuts and chips. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on pans for 1 minute before removing to wire racks; cool completely. Yield: about 6 dozen.

Editor’s Note: 2 cups of chopped almonds may be substituted for the macadamia nuts.

Recipe found here: Macadamia Nut Cookies

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Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookies

Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookies

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

FROSTING:
1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
Food coloring, optional
Colored sugar

Directions
In a bowl, combine sugar and butter; beat until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Stir together dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture until completely blended. Chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with holiday cutters dipped in flour. Using a floured spatula, transfer cookies to ungreased baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

For frosting, combine sugar, butter, vanilla and milk; beat until creamy. Thin with additional milk to desired spreading consistency if necessary. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Spread frosting over cookies and decorate with colored sugar.

Freeze option: Freeze undecorated cookies, layered between waxed paper, in freezer containers. To use, thaw and decorate as desired. Yield: 7 dozen (2-1/2-in. cookies).

Recipe found here: Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookies

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Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup peanut butter
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups biscuit/baking mix
3/4 to 1 pound milk chocolate candy coating, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon shortening

Directions
In a large bowl, combine the peanut butter, milk, egg and vanilla; bea
t until smooth. Gradually stir in biscuit mix and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Shape into 1-in. balls and place 1 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten each ball with the bottom of a glass. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.

In a microwave, melt candy coating and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip each cookie halfway into chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets; let stand until set. Yield: about 5 dozen.

Editor’s Note: Milk chocolate confectionery coating is found in the baking section of most grocery stores. It is sometimes labeled “candy coating” and is often sold in bulk packages of 1 to 1-1/2 pounds.

Recipe found here: Dipped Peanut Butter Cookies

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Swedish Gingerbread Cookies

Swedish Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg
3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon baking soda

FROSTING:
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 to 5 tablespoons water
Red Hots, optional

Directions
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in molasses and egg. In another bowl, whisk flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to roll.

Preheat oven to 350°. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough to 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 3-1/2-in. gingerbread man cookie cutter. Place 1 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, in a bowl, beat confectioners’ sugar, shortening, vanilla and enough water to reach spreading consistency. Decorate cookies with frosting and, if desired, Red Hots.

Freeze option: Transfer wrapped disks to a resealable plastic freezer bag; freeze. To use, thaw dough in refrigerator overnight or until soft enough to roll. Prepare, bake and decorate cookies as directed. Yield: about 3 dozen.

Recipe found here: Swedish Gingerbread Cookies

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French Macarons

French Macarons

Ingredients
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup almond flour
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup superfine sugar
2 to 3 drops gel food coloring (see below)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, almond or mint extract
Assorted fillings (see below)
Special Equipment:
Oven with convection setting
4 baking sheets
3 silicone baking mats
Fine-mesh sieve
Pastry bag with 1/4-inch round tip

Directions
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F using the convection setting. Line 3 baking sheets with silicone mats. Measure the confectioners’ sugar and almond flour by spooning them into measuring cups and leveling with a knife. Transfer to a bowl; whisk to combine.

Sift the sugar-almond flour mixture, a little at a time, through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, pressing with a rubber spatula to pass through as much as possible. It will take a while, and up to 2 tablespoons of coarse almond flour may be left; just toss it.

Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with a mixer on medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually add the superfine sugar and beat until stiff and shiny, about 5 more minutes.

Transfer the beaten egg whites to the bowl with the almond flour mixture. Draw a rubber spatula halfway through the mixture and fold until incorporated, giving the bowl a quarter turn with each fold.

Add the food coloring and extract (see below). Continue folding and turning, scraping down the bowl, until the batter is smooth and falls off the spatula in a thin flat ribbon, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Holding the bag vertically and close to the baking sheet, pipe 1 1/4-inch circles (24 per sheet). Firmly tap the baking sheets twice against the counter to release any air bubbles.

Let the cookies sit at room temperature until the tops are no longer sticky to the touch, 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the humidity. Slip another baking sheet under the first batch (a double baking sheet protects the cookies from the heat).

Bake the first batch until the cookies are shiny and rise 1/8 inch to form a “foot,” about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat, using a double sheet for each batch. Peel the cookies off the mats and sandwich with a thin layer of filling (see below).

Almond-Raspberry:
Tint the batter with 2 drops neon pink gel food coloring; flavor with almond extract. Fill with seedless raspberry jam (you’ll need about 3/4 cup).

Mint-White Chocolate:
Tint the batter with 2 drops mint green gel food coloring; flavor with mint extract. For the filling, microwave 3 ounces chopped white chocolate, 2 tablespoons heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter in 30-second intervals, stirring, until smooth. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon mint extract and 1 drop mint green gel food coloring.

Blueberry Cheesecake:
Tint the batter with 3 drops royal blue gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 4 ounces softened cream cheese and 3 tablespoons blueberry jam.

Lavendar-Honey:
Tint the batter with 2 drops violet gel food coloring; flavor with almond or vanilla extract. For the filling, mix 3/4 cup mascarpone cheese, 2 tablespoons honey and 1 teaspoon ground dried lavender.

Pineapple:
Tint the batter with 2 drops lemon yellow gel food coloring; flavor with vanilla extract. For the filling, press 3/4 cup pineapple jam through a sieve, discarding any large pieces.

Recipe found here: French Macrons

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Soft Raisin Cookies

Soft Raisin Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup water
2 cups raisins
1 cup shortening
1-3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Combine water and raisins in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook for 3 minutes; remove from the heat and let cool (do not drain).

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in nuts and raisins.

Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Yield: 6 dozen.

Soft Raisin Cookies

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