Cooks' Exchange: Just desserts! Sweet treats for the holidays

2023-01-06 16:59:22 By : Ms. Fang Fang Meng

With our weekly newsletter packed with the latest in everything food.

Considering the many last-minute things needing attention before a Merry Christmas arrives this Sunday, it’s only natural to assume there’s still time to make it even merrier by adding one more thing to your list for some favorite cookies to make, share and enjoy with others. Rather than spending too much time thinking it over, grab an apron and clear the kitchen counter for all the ingredients needed to create an even merrier Merry Christmas worthy of celebrating. Health Care Powder


These holiday cookies are known by many different names and always seem to be a favorite of men.

In a large bowl, cream butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Sift flour and salt; stir until well mixed. Mix in nuts and refrigerate 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookies sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set but not brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks. While still warm, roll cookies in powdered sugar. Roll in powdered sugar again.

Variation: Substitute 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips for the nuts.

This is a delicious, chewy version of the classic macaroon cookie that is easy to prepare. 2 egg whites, room temperature

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Heavily grease cookie sheets. In a large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Fold in powdered sugar, coconut, corn flakes cereal, salt and vanilla extract. Drop by small teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets, about 2 inches apart. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

Great for Christmas cookie exchanges.

In a small bowl, combine nuts and coconut; set aside. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add butter, sugar, eggs and dates: cook 7 minutes. Add Rice Krispies cereal; stirring to blend. Remove from heat and roll dough mixture into 1-inch balls; roll in nuts and coconut. Place onto wax paper to cool.

These have been popular with children for generations, an excellent recipe that makes the cookies snap. ¾ cup vegetable shortening

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

In a large bowl, cream vegetable shortening, brown sugar, egg and molasses until light and fluffy. Gradually add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt; stir until well blended. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls; dip tops in sugar. Place dough, sugared side up, 3 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire racks.

½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch square pan. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and graham cracker crumbs; stir until well blended. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Sprinkle with marshmallows, chocolate chips and walnuts. Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars and remove from pan.

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour butter onto bottom of a 9-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter. Place butterscotch chips and chocolate chips over the top and cover with coconut. Slowly pour unsweetened condensed milk over the top of the coconut, covering all ingredients. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into small squares.

1 cup coarsely chopped Diamond walnuts

Cream shortening, sugar, egg and lemon peel together. Resift flour with salt, soda and mace. Stir lemon juice into milk. Blend dry mixture with creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in walnuts and fruits. Chill dough about ½ hour. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets, allowing room for spreading. Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, just until edges are browned. Cool on wire racks. Spread cooled cookies with a swirl of lemon frosting, if desired. Makes 2 ½ dozen large cookies.

Lemon Frosting: Blend together the butter, sugar, lemon juice and grated peel. Add a few drops warm water, if needed to make spreading easier.

This is the full version of a partial recipe for Guerilla cookies originally printed in the Wednesday, Dec. 14 edition of the State Journal.

Here is today’s version of Ted Odell’s recipe, and that of Carl Korz, today’s dining services director for UW’s Wisconsin Union that comes close to what UW alums crave shared by Glen Chism:

½ cup vegetable oil or melted unsalted butter

¼ cup unsalted toasted sunflower seeds

1/3 cup dry milk powder or whey powder

1/3 cup, plus up to ½ cup more, whole wheat flour

Combine first 10 ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse on and off for a minute until you’ve chopped the raisins, nuts, seeds and oatmeal a bit. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and combine with the previous ingredients. Mix next seven ingredients; add to the first 10 you’ve just combined with the eggs.

Stir in whole wheat flour to produce a wettish cookie dough. (You may add more whole wheat flour if the dough is too wet.) Refrigerate the dough for 1 to 2 hours to firm it up well.

Preheat oven to 375. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop portions of dough a little smaller than a golf ball. Place balls on the parchment-lined pan, press each down to flatten it a bit. Bake 17-18 minutes.

Recipe results will vary depending on which of the “or” options you choose. Using sorghum instead of molasses makes a sweeter, slightly less pliable cookie. The variety of honey you choose changes the flavor. Adding extra flour to make the dough easier to work with yields a cakier/drier cookie. Using vegetable oil instead of melted butter alters the flavor and texture a bit and using whey protein instead of dry milk will too. Good Luck!

Contact the Cooks’ Exchange in care of the Wisconsin State Journal, P.O. Box 8058, Madison, WI 53708 or by email at

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