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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Easy drop cookie recipes for the holidays



Christmas cookies are part of the fun of the holidays. Even if you don't bake on a regular basis any other time of the year, it seems we all get the urge during the holidays to at least find time to bake a few childhood favorites.

Pictured above are two of our classics: Chocolate chip and Snickerdoodles

The chocolate chip recipe is one of those "back of the box" recipes that was cut out and saved years ago. It is called The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie from the back of the Crisco shortening can. You can take the basic recipe and use any of the variety of chips available such as milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, mint chocolate, peanut butter, cinnamon, white chocolate, M & M's, or butterscotch. This picture is the Mint Chocolate Chip version.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

In a large bowl cream together the following four ingredients by hand or with an electric mixer until well blended.

1 1/2 cups Butter Flavor Crisco or any type vegetable shortening
2 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Add 2 eggs one at a time and blend well

In another bowl combine these next three ingredients and sift thoroughly.

3 1/2 cups unbleached or bleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 baking soda

Add dry mixture to shortening mixture a portion at a time and combine until just blended.

Stir in:
2 cups of desired chips
2 cups walnuts or pecans (optional)

Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls or tablespoon (depending on how large you want your cookies) onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake at 375 degrees for 9 - 10 minutes for chewy cookies and 11 - 12 minutes for crisp cookies.
Let cool a few minutes on the pan so they don't fall apart and then remove to wire rack to cool. Don't leave on pans too long because they will continue to bake on the hot sheets and could stick.

Makes about 4 - 5 dozen cookies depending on their size


SNICKERDOODLES

Snickerdoodles were a favorite of Dutch Colonists and no one knows for sure where they got their unusual name. If you like cinnamon you'll like Snickerdoodles. Cinnamon is one of those spices that can help you stay healthy during cold and flu season. The health benefits of cinnamon can be attributed to its antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, astringent and anti clotting properties.

In a large bowl mix together the following ingredients with a wooden spoon or mixer.

1 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

Add 2 eggs one at a time and blend

In another bowl combine these four ingredients and sift thoroughly.

2 3/4 cups unbleached or bleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp. cream of tarter
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt

Add dry mixture to shortening mixture.
Shape into 1 inch balls.
Roll in a mixture of:
2 Tbsp. sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon

Place cookie balls 2 inched apart onto ungreased cookie sheets
Bake at 400 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes

Cool a few minutes and remove to a wire rack

Both of these recipes freeze well and hold their shape.
Enjoy!