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Classic Sugar Cookies
Turtle Shortbread Cookies
Double Chocolate and Caramel Bars
Holiday Lime Cooler Cookies

(Family Features) - As we enter the heart of the holiday season, consider adding a new tradition to your holiday revelry by hosting a cookie exchange! A festive event that can be enjoyed with family, friends or even co-workers, a cookie exchange can help get you in the spirit of giving, while also providing loved ones with a delightful array of holiday treats that can last throughout the season.

Gold Medal flour and the makers of Glad Press'n Seal wrap have teamed up to provide everything you need to host your very own cookie exchange, while bringing a convenient new twist to the age-old tradition of scratch baking. Below, you'll find a few favorite holiday recipes and tips to get you started. For a complete step-by-step approach to hosting a cookie exchange, including additional recipes, tips, sample invitations and more, visit www.goldmedalflour.com and click on Cookie Exchange.

Sweet Tips

  • Counter Intelligence: Keep your counter clean when decorating cookies by using Press'n Seal wrap as a place mat. To clean up, simply toss the sheet.
     
  • Chill Out: Keep cookies on hand all season long by freezing in Press'n Seal wrap. The tight seal helps prevent freezer burn.

  • Sticky Situation: Prevent dough from sticking when using cookie cutters by dipping the cutters in flour first.

  • Safe Travels: Use Press'n Seal wrap to transport plates of cookies. The wrap seals to paper plates, glass platters -- even wooden trays.

  • It's a Wrap: Save any leftover dough for later baking by wrapping it in Press'n Seal wrap and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Classic Sugar Cookies

Ingredients
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • Decorator's Glaze (recipe below)
  • Betty Crocker decorating gel (0.68-ounce tube), colored sugar and/or sprinkles
  • Betty Crocker decorating icing (4.25-ounce tube), if desired
  • Flaked coconut, if desired

Preparation
    1. In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and eggs on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover in Press'n Seal wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
    2. Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet. Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface, roll each half 1/8-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with 3-inch cookie cutters. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
    3. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Decorate with Decorator's Glaze and other decorations as desired.
    4. Decorator's Glaze: In large bowl, beat together 4 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup light corn syrup and 1 teaspoon almond extract on low speed until smooth. Divide among several small bowls. Stir desired food colors, one drop at a time, into each bowl until desired color reached.

Preparation Time
1 hour

Chill Time
2 hours

Bake Time
7 minutes/batch

Cool Time
30 minutes

Serves
Makes about 8 dozen 3-inch cookies

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
High Altitude (3500 to 6500 feet): Bake 6 to 7 minutes.

Turtle Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or stick margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 4 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 24 caramels
  • 1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons shortening
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 6 dozen pecan halves

Preparation
    1. Heat oven to 350°F.
    2. In large bowl, mix butter, sugar and almond extract.
    3. Stir in flour and salt. (If dough is crumbly, mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons additional butter or stick margarine, softened.) Divide dough into 12 equal parts. Roll each part into 1/4- inch-thick circle. (If dough is sticky, chill about 15 minutes.) Cut each circle into 6 wedges. Place wedges 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
    4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat caramels over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until melted. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on High 1 to 3 minutes, stirring halfway through heating time, until melted and thin enough to drizzle.
    5. Dip 2 long edges of each cookie into melted caramel, then into chopped pecans. Place on Press'n Seal wrap for easy clean up in step 5.
    6. Place a dot of melted chocolate on top of each cookie, and a pecan half on chocolate. Drizzle remaining chocolate on tops of cookies.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Bake Time
10 minutes/batch

Cool Time
30 minutes

Serves
Makes about 6 dozen cookies

Double Chocolate and Caramel Bars

Ingredients
  • 3 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) firm butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 48 caramels
  • 2 cans (14 ounces each) sweetened condensed milk
  • Chocolate Glaze (recipe below)

Preparation
    1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 15- x 10- x 1-inch pan.
    2. In large bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, cocoa and egg; cut in 1 1/4 cups of the butter until crumbly. Stir in walnuts; reserve 3 cups of crumb mixture. Press remaining mixture firmly in bottom of pan; sprinkle with chocolate chips.
    3. Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in heavy 2-quart saucepan, melt caramels with sweetened condensed milk and remaining 1/4 cup butter over low heat, stirring constantly. Pour over crust. Top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake about 20 minutes or until bubbly. Cool completely, about 2 hours. Drizzle with Chocolate Glaze. For bars, cut into 11 rows by 7 rows.
    4. Chocolate Glaze: In microwavable bowl, microwave 1 package (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon shortening or vegetable oil uncovered on High 1 to 3 minutes, stirring halfway through heating time, until melted and thin enough to drizzle.

Preparation Time
30 minutes

Bake Time
35 minutes

Cool Time
2 hours

Serves
Makes 77 bars

Holiday Lime Cooler Cookies

Ingredients
  • 2 cups (4 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 1/2 cups Gold Medal all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons grated lime peel
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lime Glaze (recipe below)
  • 2 tubes (0.68 ounce each) Betty Crocker green decorating gel, if desired

Preparation
    1. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and powdered sugar on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, cornstarch, lime peel and vanilla until well blended.
    2. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press bottom of glass into dough to grease, then dip into granulated sugar; press on dough balls until 1/4-inch thick.
    3. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
    4. Spread Lime Glaze over cookies. Squeeze drops of decorating gel on glazed cookies; drag toothpick through gel for marbled design.
    5. Lime Glaze - Stir together 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons Key lime or regular lime juice. Stir in additional juice if necessary.

Preparation Time
15 minutes

Bake Time
11 minutes/batch

Cool Time
30 minutes

Serves
Makes about 6 dozen cookies

SOURCE: Glad
Gold Medal Flour



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