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Cookie Party: Friends and One Basic Recipe-Dozens of Cookies

Contributed by: NAPSA

(NAPSA) - Imagine offering your holiday guests an assortment of rich, home-baked cookies with chocolate, nuts and more. Don't think you have time to create such sweet treats? That's what friends are for.

Organize a cookie baking party with two or three friends - the ones you've been promising to get together with for months.

Andrea MacAlpine, contributor to Food & Family magazine suggests this super easy, basic cookie recipe with four scrumptious variations to get you started:

Easy Mix Cookies

Basic Dough:

  • 2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cups flour

MIX butter and sugar until well blended. Stir in flour.

ROLL, shape or cut dough as desired into about 2-in. pieces. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

BAKE at 350 F for 10-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes. Remove cookies and cool on wire racks. Makes about 3 dozen cookies (recipe can be halved or doubled)

Flavor Variations

Jam Thumbprints:

SHAPE basic dough into 1-in. balls and flatten slightly. Indent centers and bake. Fill baked cookies with your favorite jam or jelly.

Almond Crescents:

STIR in a few spoonfuls of ground almonds. Form rounded tsp. of dough into 2-inch crescent shapes and bake. Cool. Dip one end of each crescent into melted Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate. Place on wax paper to dry.

Jell-O Flowers:

USE 2 packets (3 oz. each) of Jell-O Gelatin Dessert instead of sugar. For two different flavors, divide recipe in half and use 1 packet strawberry for half and 1 packet lime for the other half. Roll out dough and cut into flowers or other shapes.

Peanut Butter:

ADD 1/3 cup smooth peanut butter to butter and use brown sugar instead of sugar. Stir in a handful of chopped nuts. Pat dough into four 8-in. circles on cookie sheet and cut into 16 wedges. Leave wedges in the circle and bake for 15 min. To decorate, drizzle each wedge with melted Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate.

Party Tips

  • Mix up at least one batch of dough a day in advance to give the party a head start.

  • About 30 minutes before guests arrive, slip a DiGiorno Rising Crust pizza in the oven. While you're eating, read over recipes and decide how baking duties will be divided.

  • Play festive music to get everyone in the holiday spirit.

  • Plan on doing a little taste testing during the evening. Be ready with a pot of Maxwell House coffee ready to brew. For extra holiday spice, sprinkle cinnamon over the coffee in the filter before brewing.

  • Remember to have everyone bring cookie tins or freezer containers to take the sweets home. And give each guest a copy of the recipe.

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