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FOURTH ANNUAL HOLIDAY COOKIE EXCHANGE

Apple Hermits
This is a good cookie recipe if you like spice things. It doesn't make a pretty cookie, but they taste good. I have played with the recipe and left out the cloves and nuts for a friend that had allergies, but they still tasted good. Happy Holidays, Shanna
Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped apples
1 cup raisins
2/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon milk

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until light and fluffy. Mix in sugar and egg. Stir in flour mixture, and mix thoroughly. Fold in nuts, apples, and raisins.
3. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto prepared cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. Cool on wire rack.
4. In a small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar with milk to make a thin glaze. Drizzle over cooled cookies.


The following recipe was submitted by reader Courtney.
Cheesecake Cookies
Ingredients

18 vanilla wafers
1/2 cup. honey
2 (8 oz.) light cream cheese.
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
18 (2 1/2 inch) baking cups

Topping:
1 c. strawberries, sliced
1 tbsp. honey
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla

Directions

Beat until creamy all ingredients except vanilla wafers and topping ingredients. Place 1 vanilla wafer into the bottom of each baking cup and place in muffin tins. Fill each cup 3/4 full and bake for 15 minutes at 375. Cool. Add small amount of strawberries to each, and refrigerate.


This recipe was submitted by reader Ann.
Mincemeat Biscuits
Ingredients

100g butter
150g caster sugar
2 small free range eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
75g chopped walnuts
200g sweet mincemeat

Directions

Preheat oven to 180 °C and line two baking trays with parchment paper.
Cream the butter, sugar and eggs together, then beat in the vanilla.
Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda together, and add to butter mixture.
Mix until well blended.
Stir in the nuts and mincemeat, mix well.

Drop 20g of the biscuit mix onto the prepared baking trays. Use a fork dipped in plain flour to press the biscuits down to even thickness. Please make sure you leave enough of a gap between the biscuits as they do spread.

Bake the biscuits for 8 to 10 minutes until light but golden brown for a soft eat, if you prefer a crispy crunchy biscuit bake them for 12 - 15 minutes, dust them with icing sugar and leave them to cool on a cooling rack.

Makes about 35 - 40 biscuits.


The following recipes were submitted by our Food Editor Maria and her friends and family.
Italian amaretti cookies
Ingredients

1 cup whole blanched or unblanched almonds
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 egg whites
1 tablespoon amaretto or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Whole blanched or unblanched almonds
Coarse or regular granulated sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line large cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil. Lightly grease foil, if using. In a food processor combine 1 cup almonds and the powdered sugar. Cover and process until finely ground. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the egg whites, amaretto, and cream of tartar with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually beat in 1/2 cup granulated sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Fold half of the almond mixture into the egg egg white mixture. Fold in remaining almond mixture.

Spoon almond mixture into 1-inch diameter mounds, 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Place a whole almond atop each cookie. Sprinkle lightly with coarse sugar.

Bake in a preheated oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until tops are set and lightly browned. Cool completely on cookie sheets on wire racks. Peel cookies off parchment paper or foil when cool. Makes about 48 cookies.

Butter Pecan Cookies

Ingredients

1-3/4 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups whole pecan halves
1 cup butter (no substitutes)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups milk chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine flour and 1 cup brown sugar and mix with fingers. Stir in 1/2 cup melted butter until the mixture looks like cornmeal. Pat evenly into a 13" x 9" baking pan.

Sprinkle pecans over crust. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup butter and 3/4 cup brown sugar.

Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils for 1 minute, combines, and looks syrupy. Drizzle evenly over the pecans. Bake bars 17-22 minutes until bubbly over entire surface. Remove from oven.

Sprinkle immediately with milk chocolate chips and cover with foil to trap heat. Let the chocolate melt for a few minutes, then remove foil and swirl a knife through some of the chips to marble.

Don't try to spread the chips over the whole pan. 36 bars


Caramel Cream Cookies
Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup butter
2-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3-5 Tbsp. cream

Directions

In large bowl, cream 1 cup butter with 1/2 cup brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg yolk and mix well. Then add flour until dough forms. Chill for 2-8 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll dough into 3/4" balls and place on cookie sheet. Flatten to 1/8" thickness by pressing fork tines, in crosswise pattern, into the balls to flatten, or by pressing with the bottom of a sugared drinking glass.

Bake at 325 degrees F for 8-11 minutes until cookies just begin to turn very light brown around edges. Remove from cookie sheets immediately and cool on wire rack.

In saucepan, melt 1/4 cup butter (NOT margarine). Cook over low heat until butter just begins to brown, watching carefully, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and blend in powdered sugar, vanilla, and cream until desired
spreading consistency.

Frost the top of the cookies with a swirl of frosting. If frosting hardens as you work, beat in a bit more cream. You can also sandwich two cookies together with the frosting. Spread frosting on the fat side so the side with the fork marks faces out. Makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies, or 4-5 dozen frosted cookies.


Peanut Bites
Ingredients

1 10-ounce frozen pound cake, thawed
1 19-ounce container vanilla frosting
3/4 cup chopped salted peanuts
Whole peanuts

Directions

Cut pound cake into 1-inch cubes. In a small saucepan, melt vanilla frosting over low heat. Dip cake cubes into frosting; roll sides of cubes in 3/4 cup chopped salted peanuts. Top each with whole peanuts. Let stand until set.


Toffee Bars
Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/3 cup chocolate-covered toffee pieces

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl. Beat in flour and salt until combined.

2. Spread dough evenly in an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake for about 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown and surface is dry. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Let stand about 2 minutes or until chocolate is softened; spread evenly. Sprinkle with nuts and toffee pieces. Let cool in pan on wire rack 30 minutes. Cut into bars. Makes 36 bars.


The following recipe I made for my mothers birthday party but it's yummy anytime. [Sue - Managing Editor]
Scones
Ingredients

2 cups self rising flour
1/2 stick (55g) cold butter
1 level tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
150 ml milk
1 egg beaten with a little milk

Directions

Heat oven to 400F.

Grease and flour a baking sheet (or use parchment paper).

Sieve the flour into a roomy baking bowl then add the butter, baking powder and salt. Quickly rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the center and using a dinner knife, stir in enough milk to make a soft, pliable dough.

Turn the mixture onto a floured board and knead very lightly until just smooth then lightly rol out to 3/4" thick.

Cut rounds with a 3" cutter or cut into triangle with a sharp knife.

Place on the baking tray and brush with the beaten egg and milk mixture. Bake near the top of the hot oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.

Cool on a wire rack before eating.

For Cheese Scones - add 1/2 cup grated cheese and 1/2 tsp dry mustard to the mixture after rubbing in the butter and flour and continue with the basic recipe. Sprinkle the scones with 1/2 cup more grated cheese before baking in the oven.

For Fruit Scones - Add 1/4 cup sultanas or chopped dates to the dry ingredients in the basic recipe. Serve with strawberry jam and whipped cream (the real stuff not squirted out of a can).


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