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Get Festive

It’s beginning to look—and smell—a lot like cookie season.

by Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio

This is a favorite time of year for folks to bake goodies. There are people who don’t usually bake but will during the Christmas season. There’s just something special about this time of year that makes us want to bake or create holiday favorites!

In this column I’m sharing festive, tried-and-true recipes that you can make with the children or special people in your life, all while having fun making cherished memories, sharing laughs and conversation. I hope you enjoy the season with loved ones. Happy baking to all and to all a blessed and Merry Christmas!

In honor of my husband James and our 30th wedding anniversary this month (seventh), I’m sharing one of our favorite cookie recipes (my great-aunt Mary’s recipe) that was served at our wedding.

Cranberry Orange Sauce
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cup raw or granulated sugar
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp. anise flavoring
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
5 tsp. non-aluminum baking powder
1 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp. anise flavoring
1 tsp. of water at a time

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Beat in one egg at a time. Add milk and anise to the mixture. Stir in the flour and baking powder. Mix just until dough comes together. Use a spoon or cookie dough scoop to drop batter two inches apart onto a cookie sheet greased with non-stick cooking spray or lined with parchment paper. Bake until cookies are light brown in color (12 to 15 minutes.) Cool cookies on racks.

After completely cooled, use last three ingredients to make glaze: In a small bowl mix together sugar and anise, add water a little at a time to form a smooth, but not too thin glaze. Spread glaze onto cooled cookies and decorate with colored sugar, jimmies, small decorative or holiday themed candies. Let glaze set for an hour or more before storing in airtight containers.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup raw or granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 (12 oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375° F. In a bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl beat butter, raw sugar, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; gradually stir flour mixture into wet ingredients. Stir in chocolate chips and drop dough by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased or parchment paper lined baking sheets. Bake cookies for nine to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for two minutes, then remove cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Lisa Ann Panzino DiNunzio is author of Seasoned With Love, Treasured Recipes, Lisa Ann’s Seasoned With Love II, and children’s books Snicker Learns An Important Lesson and Readers’ Favorite 5-Star rated Little Twinkle Learns Her Purpose.

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