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Campus Cookies for the Holidays

December 18, 2006

The holidays are upon us and you know what that means: time to let your inner cookie monster on the loose. Here are three cookie recipes that should help you do just that. We collected them at a recent office cookie party in External Relations.

Lemon Snowflakes

Lemon Snowflakes (Photo / Brook Williamson)

(Provided by Jo Ann Manuccia)

1 package (18 3/4 ounces) lemon cake mix with pudding
2-1/4 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 egg
Confectioner's sugar
*Dash lemon juice (1 squeeze from ½ lemon)

In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix, whipped topping and egg. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Batter will be very sticky. Drop by teaspoonful into confectioner's sugar; roll lightly to coat. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown. Makes three to four dozen cookies depending on size.

*optional

Almond Bars

(Provided by Sara Benignus)

Almond Bars (Photo / Brook Williamson)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Crust
Mix and pat into a 9 by 13 inch baking pan:
1 cup cold butter (cut into tiny cubes)
2 cups flour
½ cup powdered sugar

Bake 20 minutes.

Filling
Beat until smooth:
8 oz  cream cheese at room temperature
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp almond extract

Spread over the warm crust, return pan to oven and bake 15 to 20 minutes until filling is firm. Remove pan from oven and cool on wire rack.

Frosting
Beat the following until smooth:
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 ¼ cups butter, room temperature (I used only ½ cup)
1 ½ tsp milk
1 tsp almond extract

Spread evenly over the filling.
Cut into 30 bars.

Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Crackles

(From Real Butter via Union Tribune Nov.29)

Dark Chocolate Candy Cane Crackles (Photo / Brook Williamson)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces candy canes or hard peppermint candies, finely crushed
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chip-size bits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or lightly butter the baking sheet. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine.

Combine butter and sugars in a medium bowl and cream together until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of bowl. Add egg and vanilla, and beat to combine.
With mixer on low, spoon in dry ingredients; mix to combine. Add crushed candy and chocolate bits; mix until evenly incorporated.

Shape dough into one-inch balls. Place three inches apart on baking sheet and flatten slightly. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and immediately use a metal spatula to neaten any edges where a piece of candy may have melted out. Let cookies cool for about five minutes on sheet. Transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.   Makes about four dozen cookies.

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