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December 23, 2010

Healthy Cooking's Cookie Exchange Party-Lots of great cookie recipes!

It was time for the annual Healthy Cooking Group's annual cookie exchange the other night hosted by two members of the group, Danielle and Alice.  With a group of about 11, we all had plenty of treats to take home with us.....some healthy, some not!

The party started right, as it always does, with cocktails and appetizers.

The Festive Cranberry Relish made an appearance with some pita crackers, actually this appetizer is so popular, two of them made an appearance.  I can never get tired of this recipe.....













Danielle also served some some jumbo shrimp and some wrapped asparagus........













Can't have a party without cheese, right?!













And then, we got around to the sweets....

Alice's Coconut Macaroons {recipe below}.  Oh my gosh!  These were so good!  If you're a coconut lover like I am, you need this recipe.













My Cowboy Cookies {on the white platter} came to the table, along with Danielle's Devil's Food Chocolate Cookies.













Charlotte brought some Speculaas {spice cookies, recipe below}.  These were also fabulous.




Debby's Mirages with cherries and chocolate, that I hope to get the recipe to.













Leslie's platter of Granpa's Cookies {recipe below}.  Which looked similar to my Cowboy Cookies, except hers included applesauce and banana, I believe.













Then there was the fudge Jeri brought.  Nothing healthy about this platter, but OH.  SO.  GOOD!













Before we dug in, we talked about our recipe and what was included in it. 
I can't say no to sweets.  And now I have a platter of them to go along with the toffee Bryce bought at the FFA cake auction, sitting on the counter at home, just waiting to be eaten.  Yikes!

Coconut Macaroons:
4 large egg whites
1.5 tsp vanilla
2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
3.5 c. coconut

Using a mixer, beat whites until frothy. Beat in vanilla, sugar, and flour. Then stir in coconut.

Plop spoonfuls onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper ( or grease a cookie sheet). Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until golden. (I baked at 300 on convection for about 15 minutes).


Speculaas: {Spice Cookies}

4 cup flour (pastry whole wheat)
1 tsp baking powder
2 sticks softened butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp almond extract ( I used vanilla)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup ground almonds (I used hazelnuts)

Whisk together flour and baking powder
In the electric mixer, beat butter until creamy, and add brown sugar
Add lemon zest, spices and almond extract
Add one egg at a time
Add 1/3 of flour mix
Gradually add remaining flour until just blended, and add a little milk if necessary.
The dough should be pliable and smooth, not sticky
Add almonds / nuts
Refrigerate for about 1 hour

Preheat oven to 350F
Roll out the dough and use cookie cutters
Place on lined baking sheets
Cook about 20 min at 350F, depending on thickness
Let cool
Sprinkle powdered sugar for decoration



Grandpa's Cookies


1 C apple sauce
1 C brown sugar
1 stick of butter
1 ripe banana
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 C kodiak pancake mix (you can get it at safeway)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnimon
1/2 tsp salt
6 C oats
1 pkg chocolate chips
2 c raisins (optional, I prefer the cookies without)

Beat together butter, sugar, bananas, and applesauce until creamy.
Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
Combine pancake mix, salt, baking soda, and cinnimon, and add to to above mixture.
Stir in oats and chocolate chips
Drop round scoops onto cookie sheet and bake about 12-15 min or until done at 350 degrees


Saltine Toffee

2 sticks of butter

1 cup of packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Saltine crackers
1 (12 onz) bag of chocolate chips
1/2 cup of nuts (optional)

Preheat oven at 375. Arrange the saltine crackers on a cookie sheet lined with foil paper and sprayed with Pam. Melt the butter, add brown sugar and bring to boil under medium heat. Let it boil for ONE MINUTE ONLY. Remove from the heat, add baking soda and mix briskly, pour over crackers, spread over the crackers evenly and bake for 10 MINUTES ONLY. Take the pan out of the oven and sprinkle the chips, wait until they are soft and spread with a spatula. Sprinkle the nuts and let us cool. Once cooled break into pieces and enjoy



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