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Apple/Peanut Butter Cookies


1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup grated peeled apple


In a large bowl, cream the shortening, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in apple.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks.

Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies

1/2 cup (115 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (110 g) packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (150 g) dark, full, or robust molasses (not "blackstrap")
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 cups (210 g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa
1 cup (200 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup (50 g) white granulated sugar, for rolling the cookies
1 Cream together the butter, brown sugar, and spices: Place the butter, brown sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream the ingredients together until they form a uniform colored paste that clings to the side of the bowl.
2 Make the cookie dough: Add the molasses and fresh grated ginger and beat to incorporate. Add the flour and cocoa, and beat until you see no more dry streaks of flour. Add the chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed in the dough.
3 Chill the dough: Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. The dough will be soft and sticky. Flatten the dough until it is about 1-inch thick then tightly wrap with the plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours or overnight.
4 Roll the chilled dough into balls: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon baking sheets. Place the white granulated sugar in a small bowl. Roll a piece of chilled dough into a 1 1/2-inch ball between your palms, then roll the ball in the sugar to coat. Transfer to the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough, spacing each ball slightly apart.
5 Chill the cookie dough balls: Place the baking sheets with the cookie dough balls in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. While the dough is chilling, heat the oven to 325F.

6 Bake the cookies: Bake the cookies for 11 to 13 minutes, or until the top of the cookies have started to crack slightly. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer a wire rack to cool completely.

These cookies will keep for about 5 to 7 days in a sealed container at room temperature.

Molasses Bars


1 1/2 cups of white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup and 2 tablespoons of margarine or butter
2 small eggs
1 1/2 cups of raisins
1/2 cup of molasses
3 1/4 cups of flour
2 tsp rounded baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of allspice


Kick the tires and light the fires to 375 °F.
Cream the sugars and the margarine together. Add in your two eggs and beat in completely.
Add in the molasses to the margarine/sugar mix and mix in thoroughly.
Whisk together the dry ingredients.
Combine the wet and dry and mix well.Then add in your raisins.
Divide the dough into two pieces, and from each half form three long rolls on a cookie sheet.
Build them up as high as you can and they fit across a baking sheet, width-wise. When you build them up, you get a thicker, chewier bar.
Bake them in the oven at 375 for 13-15 minutes, and do not over/under bake. This from my grandma's instructions. So they need to be baked until the edges are cooked and the middle slightly still underdone.
Slice them across into about 8-10 squares when they are fully cooled, needless to say, this recipe makes a large amount, you can end up with 40-60 of the little bars!

Caramel Apple Cookies

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup peeled and shredded Granny Smith apple (from about 2 small)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter , softened
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup (scant - just remove 1 Tbsp) frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed but still cold


1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 1/2 Tbsp apple juice concentrate
1/8 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans


For the cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg for 20 seconds, set aside. In a separate bowl, toss shredded apple with lemon juice, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter and brown sugar until creamy (if not using a paddle attachment that constantly scrapes bowl, then occasionally stop mixer throughout entire mixing process and scrape down sides and bottom of bowl). Mix in egg and vanilla extract. Mix in half of the flour mixture, then with mixer running on low speed, slowly add in apple juice concentrate, then mix in remaining half of the flour mixture. Fold in shredded apples (and the juices with apples). Scoop dough out with a medium 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop and drop onto Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheets spacing cookies 2-inches apart. Bake in preheated oven 11 - 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting:
In a small saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, apple juice concentrate and salt. Heat mixture over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread over cookies (I recommend a fairly thin layer as this frosting is very sweet), and immediately sprinkle with pecans and Maldon (if using. The frosting will set quickly so don't wait to add toppings). As frosting cools it will thicken, so add 1/2 tsp warm water at a time to thin as needed for a more spreadable consistency. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

Carrot-Cake Sandwich Cookies
packages (16 oz) Pillsbury™ Ready to Bake!™ refrigerated oatmeal raisin cookies (24 cookies)
cup all-purpose flour
cup shredded carrots
container (12 oz) cream cheese whipped ready-to-spread frosting
can (8 oz) crushed pineapple, well drained


Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F.
In large bowl, mix cookie dough, flour and carrots until well blended. Shape dough into 24 balls; place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake 13 to 17 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
In medium bowl, mix filling ingredients until well blended. To make each sandwich cookie, spread about 2 tablespoons filling on bottom of 1 cookie. Top with another cookie, bottom side down. Store between sheets of waxed paper in tightly covered container.

Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Bars


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
1 package 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
With a stand or electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Add pumpkin puree and mix well. The mixture will look somewhat curdled. Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake bars for 35-40 minutes or until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached.
Cool bars completely in pan. Cut into squares and serve.

Soft Gingersnap Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 large eggs
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chunks
1 cup granulated sugar-for coating cookie dough balls


1. Preheat oven to Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment papers or with a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
3. Beat in the molasses, canola oil, vanilla, baking soda, salt, and spices. Mix until well combined.
4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until smooth. Slowly add in the flour. Next, stir in the white chocolate chunks.
5. Scoop the dough into balls and roll in granulated sugar. Place on lined baking sheets, about two inches apart. Bake for 10 minutes, the cookies will still be soft. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

Maple Walnut Blondies

11 tablespoons (5 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, half melted
1 cup (7 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided (see note)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups (about 7 ounces) walnuts, chopped, divided



Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9- by 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper or foil, allowing edges to hang over the sides like a sling. Grease pan.

Stir butter with brown sugar and salt in large bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup maple syrup and egg until combined. Add flour and baking soda to bowl and stir until completely combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups walnuts.

Spread into prepared pan and smooth the top. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup over top and swirl into batter. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup walnuts.

Bake until golden and just set in center (but is still jiggly), about 25 minutes. Avoid over baking. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool, about an hour. Grab sling and lift blondies out of pan to cut.

Butterscotch Toffee Cookies

2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup canola oil
1 package butter pecan cake mix (regular size)
1 package (10 to 11 ounces) butterscotch chips
1 package (8 ounces) milk chocolate English toffee bits


Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, beat eggs and oil until blended; gradually add cake mix and mix well. Fold in chips and toffee bits.
Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake until golden brown, 10-12 minutes. Cool 1 minute before removing to wire racks.

Coconut Clouds

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1/3 cup butter, cubed
3 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted


Preheat oven to 375°. Cream butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy; beat in eggs and extracts. Stir in sour cream. In another bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda; gradually beat into creamed mixture. Stir in coconut.
Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. Bake until set, 8-10 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.
In a small heavy saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until golden brown, 5-7 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer to a small bowl; gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar, milk and extracts. Spread over cookies. Dip in coconut; let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.

Editor's Note
To toast coconut, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

Pumpkin Brownies

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter melted
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a separate bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Using a spoon, mix in eggs one at a time. Gradually stir in your flour mixture, and divide the batter evenly amung two separate bowls.

Stir in cocoa powder and chocolate chips to one batter. In the second bowl of batter, stir in the pumpkin puree, walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.

Spread 1/2 of the chocolate batter into the bottom of a greased 8x8 baking pan. Spread 1/2 of the pumpkin batter on top of that.

Add dollops of each of the remaining batters into the baking pan (this will make it easier to swirl). Then, drag a kitchen knife gently through the dollops of chocolate and pumpkin batter to create a swirled top.

Bake at 350 for 45-48 minutes. Enjoy!

Soft Caramel Snickerdoodles


3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (230g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (135g) packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 soft caramels, cut in half


1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and light in color. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract on high speed. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be thick. Cover dough tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour* and up to 3 days.
Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. If the cookie dough chilled longer than 3-4 hours, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes. This makes the cookie dough easier to scoop and roll.
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. (Always recommended for cookies.) Set aside.
Combine the topping ingredients. Set aside.
Scoop a scant 2 Tablespoons of cookie dough. Break in half. Make a thumbprint into the bottom of one half and press a caramel half inside, as shown above. Place the other cookie dough half on top and roll the dough between your hands to make a smooth ball. Make sure the caramels are completely wrapped inside. Roll into cinnamon-sugar topping and place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookies.
Bake the cookies in batches for 11-13 minutes, or until very lightly browned and crisp looking on the edges. My oven has hot spots and yours may too- so be sure to rotate the pan once during bake time. The baked cookies will look extremely soft in the centers when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.


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