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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Christmas cookies? Get the dough rolling early



Cookies This is about the time I start making the dough for my Christmas cookies and freezing it to save me time in those harried last weeks before the big holiday.

You can roll the dough into logs and then wrap it in foil or wax paper and put them into one-gallon freezer bags. Then you have your very own slice and bake cookies! The other method you can use is to put spoonfuls of cookie dough onto a sheet or plate and put them in the freezer for about a half hour to harden up and then put the dough balls in a bag in the freezer.

CookiemonsterYou only need to add a couple of minutes of cooking time to bake frozen dough. By doing this early, all I have to do is bake them the day before I give them out. And in a year when money is tight, it's not a bad idea to give a personal gift that doesn't cost as much. I can also confess that in years past, when I made cookies for neighbors, for gifts and for parties, I left out one important group: my family! Why have I been denying our family all these years?! With dough at the ready in the freezer, there's no reason I can't put a pan of cookies in the oven all through the season. **Slapping forehead**

If you are looking for some great recipes, check out St. Petersburg Times food editor Janet Keeler's annual roundup of kitchen tested cookie recipes submitted by readers.

Now I will share one of our favorites, which comes from my friend Charlotte. This is simply the oatmeal cookie recipe on the side of a box of Quaker Oats, but instead of plain old raisins, you add a cup of dried cranberries and a cup of white chocolate chips to turn them into holiday cookies.

Holiday Oatmeal Cookies

2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups quick or old fashioned oats, uncooked)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats, craisins, white chocolate chips and nuts; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Servings: ABOUT 4 DOZEN

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:58am]


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