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Christmas is on its way… and Paprika wanted to share some of her favorite cookie recipes with you for the Holidays.  Make sure to have Mom or Dad help with all the measuring and baking though… and tell them you will be in charge of the eating.


Basic Gingerbread Cookies


Makes about 16 large cookies


6  cups sifted all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon baking soda

1/2  teaspoon baking powder

1  cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1  cup dark-brown sugar, packed

4  teaspoons ground ginger

4  teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2  teaspoons ground cloves

1  teaspoon finely ground black pepper

1 1/2  teaspoons salt

2   large eggs

1  cup unsulfured molasses


1.  In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.


2.  In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Add flour mixture; combine on low speed. Divide dough in thirds; wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour.


3.  Heat oven to 350°. On a floured work surface, roll dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Bake until crisp but not darkened, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cookies cool on wire racks, then decorate as desired.



Brown Sugar Chocolate Chip Cookies


Makes 50 four-inch cookies

Unlike traditional, moist chewy cookies, this recipe produces very flat and crisp chocolate chip cookies. They will spread a great deal on the pan while baking. If cookies harden before you have a chance to remove them from the baking sheet, return the sheet to the oven for a few seconds to soften the dough for easier removal.


1  pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for baking sheets

3  cups packed light-brown sugar

1  cup granulated sugar

4   large eggs

2  teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 1/2  cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2  teaspoons salt

2  teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2  cups best-quality chocolate chips


1.  Preheat oven to 375°. Grease two baking sheets with butter, and line with Silpat baking mats or parchment; set aside. Cream butter until smooth; add sugars, and beat until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Into a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Slowly beat dry ingredients into wet mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.


2.  Drop 2 to 3 tablespoons dough per cookie onto prepared baking sheets; space dough at least 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. Bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cookies from baking sheets, and allow to cool on baking racks.



Peanut Butter Cookies


Makes 2 dozen

These cookies can also be made with chunky peanut butter.


8  tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter

3/4  cup smooth peanut butter

1/2  cup granulated sugar

1/2  cup packed dark-brown sugar

1   large egg

1/2  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1  cup all-purpose flour

3/4  teaspoon baking soda

Dry-roasted, salted peanuts, for sprinkling (optional)


1.  Heat oven to 350°. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.


2.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, peanut butter, and both sugars together until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and mix on medium speed until well combined.


3.  In a medium mixing bowl, sift flour and baking soda together. Add to the butter mixture, and beat just to combine.


4.  Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough, shape into a ball, and place on one of the prepared baking sheets. Repeat with remaining dough, placing scoops 3 inches apart. Dip the tines of a fork in warm water; press the dough balls lightly with the back of the fork to flatten them slightly (dip the fork back in the water for each dough ball, to prevent sticking). Sprinkle with a few peanuts, if desired.


5.  Transfer to the oven, and bake until golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes, rotating the baking sheets between the oven shelves halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.



Sugar Cookies


Makes about 16 large cookies


4  cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/2  teaspoon salt

1  teaspoon baking powder

1  cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

2  cups sugar

2   large eggs

2  teaspoons pure vanilla extractor 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and zest of 2 lemons


1.  In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.


2.  Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs.


3.  Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla or lemon juice and zest. Wrap dough in plastic; chill for about 30 minutes.


4.  Heat oven to 325°. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Bake until edges just start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks; decorate as desired.


Royal Icing


Makes about 2 1/2 cups

To make an egg-free royal icing, substitute 5 tablespoons of meringue powder mixed with 3/4 cup water for the egg whites.


2   large egg whites, or more to thin icing

4  cups sifted confectioners' sugar, or more to thicken icing

Juice of 1 lemon


1.  Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar and lemon juice; beat for 1 minute more. If icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it is too thin, add more sugar. The icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.





Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars


Makes about 3 dozen


1  cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan

3  cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

1 1/2  cups sugar

2   large eggs

2 1/2  cups smooth peanut butter

1 1/2  teaspoons salt

1  teaspoon baking powder

1  teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2  cups strawberry jam, or other flavor

2/3  cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped


1.  Heat oven to 350°. Grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with butter, and line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease the parchment, and coat inside of pan with flour; set aside. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. On medium speed, add eggs and peanut butter; beat until combined, about 2 minutes.


2.  Whisk together salt, baking powder, and flour. Add to bowl of mixer on low speed; combine. Add vanilla. Transfer two-thirds of mixture to prepared pan; spread evenly with offset spatula. Using offset spatula, spread jam on top of peanut-butter mixture. Dollop remaining third of peanut-butter mixture on top of jam. Sprinkle with peanuts.


3.  Bake until golden, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool; cut into about thirty-six 1 1/2-by-2-inch pieces.






Corn Dogs

Hot dogs on wooden skewers

1 cup of biscuit mix

1/3 cup of cornmeal

1 egg

2 tablespoons of sugar


Combine biscuit mix, cornmeal, egg and sugar.

Add enough milk to make it batter consistency.

Coat hot dogs well in batter and fry in 2 inches hot oil.



Patriotic Pastries
           Parents: Have your child help you make these delicious red, white, and blue treats,

and celebrate Presidents' Day, Memorial Day or The 4th of July.
What You Need:

1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 can cherry or strawberry pie filling
1 can blueberry pie filling
confectioners' sugar
whipped topping
measuring cups
baking sheet spatula


1. Parents: Open the puff pastry package, and let it thaw on the countertop for about 15 minutes.

2. Parents: Cut a long strip of dough about 1/4 inch wide all the way down one side, and set the strip aside. Cut the remaining pastry sheet into four 4-inch squares.

3. Parents: Invite your child to help you place about 1/2 cup of pie filling in the center of each square. (Fill some with cherry or strawberry filling and some with blueberry filling.)

4. Parents: Once all the squares are filled, help your child bring the pastry corners together, and carefully twist and turn the corners so they stay in place. Place each pastry on the baking sheet.

5. Parents: Help your child cut off a section of the strip of dough, and make a little star from it. Pinch the star into the top of one of the pastries. Do the same for the other three.

6. Parents: Bake the pastries in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown. Remove them from the oven. Let them cool for 10 minutes.

7. Parents: Sprinkle the top of each pastry with whipped topping and confectioners' sugar, and you are ready to serve your patriotic treat.