Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Brown Sugar Christmas Cookies

This is a nice recipe for VERY Christmasy cookies, and they're also simple - a good cookie for people who don't normally make cookies.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening (I know - nasty. But cookies hold their shape much better when part of the fat is shortening. Use Crisco vegetable shortening.)
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup red, green and white Christmas M&Ms (or Christmas Smarties, if you want to avoid nut products. M&Ms bake better.)
(1 cup chopped pecans. Add them if you like - I always skip nuts because I hate them.)

Preheat your oven to 375.
In a large mixing bowl beat butter and shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat until combined, scraping sides of the bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with mixer. Stir in any remaining flour, the chocolate bits and the pecans with the wooden spoon.

Drop dough by teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookies sheet. If desired, you can flatten them slightly with fingers. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack (or you can do like my mom and transfer them to a clean dish towel on the kitchen table, which is easier and they don't fall through) and let cool. This recipe makes 60 cookies. I've never tried doubling it, but it shouldn't be a problem. Store them in an airtight container, with the layers separated by waxed paper.

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