'Tis the season for cookies; Recipes to satisfy your holiday sweet tooth.

Position:LIVING - Recipe
 
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Byline: Barbara M. Houle

The cookie countdown has begun!

If you're an experienced baker or belong to a cookie swap, you probably already have started rolling out holiday favorites. If you're a novice, you may need a little help in your search for recipes.

To celebrate the cookie season, we pulled together a jolly collection of new recipes that will make wonderful additions to a holiday cookie tray. Better yet, you can wrap the cookies for gift-giving.

First, a few cookie tips from Jill Snider, author of "Cookies: More than 200 recipes" (Robert Rose, $22.95):

Place cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet to allow for spreading. If the dough is one that doesn't spread too much, such as shortbread, 1 inch apart is usually enough.

When making rolled and cutout cookies, dip the cutter in flour to keep it from sticking to the dough. Cut the cookies as close together as you can. You can re-roll the scraps, but the less you handle the dough, the more tender your cookies will be.

If you choose to grease your cookie sheets rather than use parchment paper, use cooking spray or a light coating of shortening. Over-greasing causes cookies to spread excessively and brown too quickly around the edges. It isn't necessary to re-grease sheets between batches. Follow the instructions in your recipe as to whether or not the sheet should be left ungreased.

From "Cookies: More than 200 recipes" is a recipe for Black Forest Cookies, which have all the flavors of Black Forest cake, but in bite-size form.

BLACK FOREST COOKIES

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats

1-1/4 cups white chocolate chips

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup slivered almonds

On a sheet of waxed paper or in a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown and granulated sugars until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. On low speed, gradually add flour mixture, beating until blended. With a wooden spoon, stir in oats, white and semi-sweet chocolate chips, cherries and almonds. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 9 to 12 minutes...

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