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26 holiday cookie recipes

Orange Citrus Bars

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, divided

½ cup confectioners' sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

Zest of 1 orange

1/3 cup orange juice

½ teaspoon baking powder

Confectioners' sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour and confectioners' sugar. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into bottom of a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan. Bake 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, orange zest and orange juice until well blended. Combine ¼ cup flour and baking powder; add to sugar mixture, stirring to combine. Pour onto hot baked crust and bake 25 more minutes, or until set. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

Makes 20 to 25.

Submitted by Sandy Millspaugh, Belleair

Crunchy Fudge Bars

1 cup butterscotch chips

½ cup peanut butter

4 cups Rice Krispies cereal

1 tablespoon water

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup sifted confectioners' sugar

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

Melt butterscotch morsels with peanut butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until well blended. Remove from heat and add Rice Krispies cereal. Stir until cereal is well coated. Press half of cereal mixture into buttered 8- by 8- by 2-inch pan. Chill in refrigerator. Set aside remaining cereal mixture.

Combine water, chocolate chips, sugar and margarine in a double boiler or small saucepan set over hot water until chocolate melts. Spread over chilled cereal crust, then spread remaining cereal mixture evenly on top and press in gently. Chill.

Remove from refrigerator about 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Makes 2 dozen.

Submitted by Sandy Gatewood, Tampa

Pistachio and Cherry Mexican Wedding Cakes

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup confectioners' sugar, plus more for coating

2 tablespoons vanilla

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup shelled, unsalted natural pistachios, coarsely chopped

1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)

3 1/3 cups sifted cake flour

1 2/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease large baking sheet, or line with parchment paper.

Beat butter and confectioners' sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and salt, then pistachios and cherries. Using spatula, mix in both flours; do not overmix. Shape dough by generous tablespoons into football-shaped ovals. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Bake cookies until bottoms just begin to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

Pour generous amount of confectioners' sugar into a bowl. Add a few warm cookies at a time and gently turn to coat thickly. Transfer to cooling rack or waxed paper. Repeat to coat cookies with sugar again. Cool completely.

Makes 5 dozen.

Submitted by Kathy Hocker, Spring Hill

Tropical White Chocolate Cookies

¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs

3 teaspoons grated lime peel

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 (12-ounce) package white chocolate chips

1 ½ cups sweetened flaked coconut

½ cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat first four ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, beating until blended. Add lime peel and lime juice.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating well. Stir in white chocolate chips, coconut and macadamia nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly brown. Cool on wire racks.

Makes about 4 dozen.

Submitted by Mary-Ann Janssen, Dunedin

Dipped Gingersnaps

2 cups sugar

1 ½ cups vegetable oil

2 eggs

½ cup molasses

4 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon ground ginger

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon salt

Additional sugar for rolling

2 (12-ounce) packages vanilla baking chips or 24 ounces white chocolate almond bark

¼ cup shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in molasses. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Shape into ¾-inch balls and roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet to cool.

Melt chips or bark and shortening in microwavable bowl. Dip cookies halfway and place on waxed paper to harden.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

Submitted by Janet Starr, St. Petersburg

Triple Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti

2 cups chopped white chocolate

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

½ cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup skinned, toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

1 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line one baking sheet with parchment and set aside. Set a steel bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the chopped white chocolate to the bowl and turn off the heat. Stir occasionally.

In large bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter with brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla.

In another bowl, combine with a whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. With the mixer at low speed, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Mix until just incorporated, then stop the mixer. Pour in the hazelnuts and chocolate chips. Turn the mixer back on to medium, and let the paddle go only about six or seven revolutions.

Divide the dough in half. Create two long, flattened logs, slightly squared on the sides (about 12 inches long) on the sheet pan. (Squaring the sides prevents the edges of the biscotti from breaking off during slicing.) Bake the logs about 40 minutes on the baking sheet. Cool long enough to handle, about 12 minutes.

Slice the biscotti with a serrated knife on a cutting board into ¾-inch slices and arrange, cut-side down, on the baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven for about 10 minutes. Turn them to crisp the other side and bake another 5 minutes. Let the biscotti cool completely.

Using a spoon, drizzle biscotti with the melted white chocolate. Let the chocolate set before serving.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

Times testing note: Coat hands lightly with oil or spritz with nonstick spray before handling dough to keep it from sticking to you. To drizzle white chocolate, we put it in a sealable plastic bag and snipped a corner. This controls the drizzle better.

Submitted by Louise "Chiffonade" Brescia, Clearwater

Creme de Menthe Chocolate Squares

Brownies:

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup

Creme de menthe layer:

2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons creme de menthe liqueur

½ cup melted butter

Chocolate glaze layer:

6 ounces semisweet mini chocolate chips

6 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Add beaten eggs and blend well. Add flour and salt; mix well. Blend in vanilla and chocolate syrup. Pour batter into a greased 9- by 13- by 2-inch baking pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan.

For creme de menthe layer, mix confectioners' sugar, creme de menthe and butter, then pour over cooled brownies.

For chocolate glaze layer, melt chocolate chips and butter together until smooth. Cool mixture for 3 minutes, then spread over mint layer. Chill until ready to serve, then cut into small squares.

Makes 20 to 25.

Submitted by Sue E. Conrad, South Pasadena, and Margie Sambets, Dunedin

Cranberry-Orange Cookies

1 ½ cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

2 ¼ cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

1 cup chopped orange-slice candies

Glaze:

¾ cup confectioners' sugar

2 to 3 teaspoons orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, combine brown sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs and blend well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in oats, cranberries and chopped candies. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool 15 minutes or until completely cooled.

In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients, adding enough orange juice for desired drizzling consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled cookies.

Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Submitted by Gayle E. Hackbarth, Summerfield

Pecan Caramel Thumbprints

1 ¼ cups pecans, divided

1/2 cup brown sugar

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 eggs

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

48 Kraft caramels

Confectioners' sugar for decoration

Take ¾ cup pecans, chop coarsely and set aside. Take remaining ½ cup pecans and chop finely. Mix the finely chopped pecans and brown sugar together. Add butter and eggs; mix until smooth. Add flour, baking powder and salt, and mix until blended.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll in chopped nuts to coat. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press a caramel in the center of each ball.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are very lightly browned. Move to wire racks to cool. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar if desired.

Makes 4 dozen.

Submitted by Janet Starr, St. Petersburg

New Orleans Praline Cookies

S cup margarine or unsalted butter

½ cup sugar

¼ cup molasses

1 egg

^ cup flour

¼ teaspoon baking soda

[ teaspoon salt

1 cup chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts)

More nuts for garnish

Melt margarine in a microwavable mixing bowl and let cool. Add sugar and molasses, then egg, and beat well. Sift dry ingredients together and add to mixture. Stir in nuts. Drop by scant teaspoons on greased baking sheet, 2 inches apart. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from pan immediately.

Makes 5 dozen.

Times testing note: The flavor of this cookie is delicious, but it looks a little plain. We pressed a half pecan into each of the cookies when they came out of the oven.

Submitted by Patricia Kucera, Seminole, and William C. Henry, Largo

Mom's Fresh Apple Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed

1 large egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup cored, peeled and finely chopped Granny Smith apples

1 cup golden raisins

Glaze:

1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons milk

Dash salt

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon margarine or unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To make cookies, cream butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer. Add egg, beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in separate bowl or onto wax paper.

Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Stir in walnuts, apples and raisins until well incorporated. Add remaining flour mixture and mix well.

To make glaze, mix together all ingredients. Set aside while cookies are baking.

To bake cookies, drop by teaspoons on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 9 to 12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on wire rack. Glaze while warm.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

Submitted by Jeanne Mansfield, St. Petersburg

Coconut Chocolate Clusters

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 cup milk

1 stick butter

2 cups oatmeal

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup flaked coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix first 4 ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper to chill.

Makes 3 dozen.

Submitted by Helen West, Largo

Caramel Bars

Base:

1 cup oatmeal (not instant)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup stick margarine or unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup brown sugar

Filling:

1 cup chocolate chips

1 jar (12.15 ounces) caramel topping

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all base ingredients together in a large bowl. Save half of the mixture for the top of bars. Press the other half of the mixture into an 8- by 8-inch pan that has been lightly coated with a nonstick spray. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine filling ingredients. Spread mixture over baked base and top with remaining unbaked mixture. Bake an additional 30 minutes.

Makes 14 to 20 bars.

Submitted by Carolyn Smiley, St. Petersburg

Orange Creamsicle Drops

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 package (.15 ounce) unsweetened orange drink mix, such as Kool-Aid

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 1/4 cups white baking chips

Combine flour, drink mix, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.

Cream together softened butter and sugar. Add eggs and orange extract and beat until blended.

Add flour mixture all at once and mix on low speed until just blended.

Stir in white baking chips by hand.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough on lightly greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Cookies should be slightly underbaked. Do not wait for edges to brown. Immediately remove to rack to cool.

Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Submitted by Nancy Cruz, Palm Harbor

Raisin-Nut Filled Cookies

Filling:

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup boiling water

1 cup raisins

1 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Dough:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup shortening

3 eggs

5 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

To make filling, combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook until thickened. Let cool.

To make dough, combine granulated and brown sugar with butter and shortening; cream well; add eggs and blend. In a separate bowl, sift flour with baking powder, salt, nutmeg and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture along with buttermilk and vanilla.

Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on floured board and cut with cookie cutter. Place 1 tablespoon of filling on a cookie; place another cookie on top, press edges together. Seal with a fork. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Reader note: I use a glass that I have had for over 20 years as my "cutter." This glass is round and 3 ¼ inches across. These cookies can be made omitting the nuts.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

Times testing note. We chilled dough for about 30 minutes before rolling. We also divided it into four pieces before rolling. That made it easier to handle. Also, an egg wash before baking gives them a lovely finish.

Submitted by Connie LeSeur, New Port Richey

Macadamia-Oat Snowballs

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

½ cup sifted confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked

1 (3 ½-ounce) jar macadamia nuts, chopped

Confectioners' sugar

Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until soft and creamy; gradually add ½ cup confectioners' sugar, beating well. Add vanilla and flour, mixing well. Stir in oats and chopped nuts. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Remove from pan. Roll balls in confectioners' sugar and cool on wire racks.

Makes 4 dozen.

Submitted by Pat Arend, Safety Harbor

White Christmas Shortbread

2 cups (4 sticks) butter, room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 ½ cups sifted flour

Brown butter icing:

6 tablespoons butter

3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons milk

Colored sugar for sprinkling

Cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla extract and mix. Mix in flour until just incorporated. Turn out dough onto floured work surface. Knead for 5 minutes. Dough should be smooth and just barely sticky. Roll dough into two logs (about 12 inches long and 2 inches around) and wrap with cling wrap. Chill for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Working quickly so the dough doesn't get soft, slice dough into S- to ½-inch discs. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and prick discs with fork three times. Bake for 20 minutes. Watch the cookies carefully and take them out when the edges are just starting to turn golden. Do not overbake. Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to wire racks.

Prepare icing. In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter until it turns light brown (a golden tan color). Pour brown butter over confectioners' sugar and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add vanilla extract; then add milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach the right consistency. Ice cookies immediately and sprinkle with colored sugar.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

Times testing note: This recipe originally called for seeds from a vanilla bean, but we find the extract a more economical ingredient. Also, this is a wet dough. Do not be alarmed as it will firm nicely in the refrigerator.

Submitted by Heather Greenway, Seminole



Santa's Special Squares

24 graham cracker squares

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange graham crackers on lightly greased 10- by 15-inch jelly-roll pan. Combine butter and sugar in medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Stir in nuts. Spread mixture over graham crackers. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from pan while still warm. Cut each square in half.

Makes 2 dozen.

Submitted by Gail Sloan, Tampa, Sue E. Conrad, South Pasadena, and Beverly B. Millar, Seffner

Molasses Cookie Cut-Outs

2 cups sifted regular all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1½ teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

½ cup soft shortening

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup light molasses

1 egg yolk

Ornamental frosting (optional):

1 ¼ cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 egg white

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour with salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Mix shortening, sugar and molasses until creamy. Add egg yolk; beat well. Blend in flour mixture. On lightly floured surface, roll out dough [ inch to ¼ inch thick. With floured cutters, cut out gingerbread men or desired shapes. Place them ½ inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until done. Cool.

For frosting, sift confectioners' sugar and cream of tartar into bowl. Add egg white and vanilla. With egg beater or electric mixer, beat until frosting holds its shape.

Using paper cone or cake decorator, decorate cookies in your own way. If desired, trim with colored sugar, candies, nuts, chocolate sprinkles, silver dragees or raisins. While you decorate, keep bowl of frosting covered with a damp cloth.

Makes 2 to 3 dozen.

Submitted by Selina Madden, New Port Richey

Pumpkin Cookies

½ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

1 ½ cups pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

Cream cheese frosting:

3 ounces cream cheese

¼ cup softened margarine

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ¼ to 2 ½ cups confectioners' sugar (add more as needed for desired consistency)

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add pumpkin and vanilla. In separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Add to creamed mixture and beat. Roll into balls and bake at 375 degrees on greased cookie sheet for 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool.

To prepare frosting, beat together cream cheese, margarine and vanilla until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar, mix together and frost cooled cookies.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

Submitted by Lori Gagen, St. Petersburg

Polka Dot Cookies

1 (21.2-ounce) package fudge brownie mix

½ cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1 cup white chocolate morsels or vanilla-milk chocolate morsels

Combine first three ingredients, stirring well. Stir in morsels. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonful about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool cookies in pan 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 4 dozen.

Submitted by Florence Tirabassi, Kenneth City

Pignoli (Pine Nut) Cookies

1 can almond paste

2 medium or large egg whites (not jumbo)

¼ cup flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 extra egg white, slightly beaten, for dipping

2 cups pine nuts

Break almond paste into small pieces. Add egg whites and blend until smooth. Sift flour, sugar and salt together, and add to almond paste. Beat until smooth. Form into small balls. Dip into slightly beaten egg white, then roll in pine nuts and press down on nuts. Place on greased baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen.

Submitted by Marie Morales, Spring Hill

Gumdrop Gems

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 ½ cups sifted confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup small gumdrops, sliced

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla together; beat in egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Stir into creamed mixture till blended. Shape dough into two 1- by 12-inch rolls and wrap in wax paper. Chill several hours or overnight. Cut into ¼-inch slices, keeping unsliced portion of roll chilled until needed. Place slices on ungreased cookie sheet and top with gumdrop slices. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from sheet.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Submitted by Heidi Boria, St. Petersburg

Peanut Butter and Jam Bars

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup margarine

½ cup peanut butter

1 egg

¼ cup flour

¾ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ cup raspberry jam

Glaze:

2 tablespoons margarine

1 cup confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 to 2 tablespoons hot water

Mix sugars, margarine, peanut butter and egg. Stir in flour, baking soda and baking powder, and mix well. Reserve 1 cup dough. Press remaining dough into ungreased 13- by 9-inch pan. Spread with jam, then crumble reserved dough and sprinkle over jam. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown (approximately 20 minutes). Cool while preparing glaze.

To make the glaze, heat margarine over low heat. Mix in confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat in hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, till smooth. Drizzle glaze over top and cut into 2- by 1 ½-inch bars.

Makes 3 dozen.

Submitted by Dolores A. Haase, Clearwater

Merry Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Crust:

1/3 cup cold butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 cup flour

Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

¼ cup sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ cup chopped green candied cherries

¼ cup chopped red candied cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For crust, in a 1-quart mixing bowl, cut butter in chunks, add brown sugar and flour and mix at low speed, then medium speed, scraping sides of bowl until well mixed and formed into crumbs (about 1 minute). Remove ½ cup of mixture and set aside; press remaining crumb mixture into 8-inch square pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

For filling, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and lemon juice at medium speed until fluffy (1 to 2 minutes). Stir in cherries. Spread filling over slightly cooled crust and sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Continue baking 18 to 20 minutes or until filling is set and top is lightly browned. Cool. Store in refrigerator.

Submitted by Ann Ezrow, Clearwater, and Donna Nelson, Madeira Beach

Christmas Marshmallow Bars

4 squares unsweetened chocolate

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup evaporated milk

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 pound miniature marshmallows

1 cup nuts

28 graham crackers, crushed

Heat chocolate, butter, milk and sugar slowly until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Cool. In a bowl, combine marshmallows, nuts and graham crackers. Pour cooled mixture over dry ingredients; mix well. Place mixture in well-greased 13- by 9- by 2-inch pan. Let set. Cut into bars and refrigerate.

Makes 2 dozen.

Submitted by John J. Pacheco, St. Petersburg

26 holiday cookie recipes 12/02/08 [Last modified: Friday, December 5, 2008 5:02pm]

    

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