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Peanut butter mice carry off top prize

Rebecca Wintz took first place in the recent Cookie Cook-off at Tampa Palms Elementary School. Her recipe for "Peanut Butter Mice Cookies" was selected as the best from the 102 cookies submitted.

Rebecca, 10, is a fourth-grader and is the daughter of Phyllis and Robin Wintz.

{ cup butter or margarine at room temperature

1 cup creamy peanut butter

{ cup light brown sugar, packed

{ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

{ teaspoon baking soda

1{ cup all-purpose flour

Decoration: peanut halves, chopped green sprinkles, red licorice laces _ 3 inches in length.

Beat butter and peanut butter in a large bowl with an electric beater. Add sugar and beat until fluffy.

Beat in vanilla and baking soda until well blended. On low speed, beat in flour just until blended. Cover and chill for about one hour until firm enough to handle.

Heat oven to 350 degrees, and shape tablespoons of dough into 1-inch balls. Taper each ball at one end into a teardrop shape.

Press one side flat and place, flat side down, 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press sides of mouse to make back. Use two peanut halves for the ears and two pieces of candy for the eyes.

Bake 10 minutes until firm, remove to rack, insert licorice tails and cool.

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