Sweet Treats: Christmas Cookies with Fruit, Cream, and Spice

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At Christmastime, cookie exchanges and recipe-swap parties are everywhere; if you’ve got one (or several) coming up, try a few of these crowd-pleasing alternative Christmas cookies that go way beyond gingerbread, as featured at Better Homes & Gardens (bhg.com). Are there lemon lovers in the house? Make a Lemony Star Sandwich cookie with lemon curd and mascarpone cheese for a crunchy outside and chewy citrus inside. You can choose 7-layer bars for a little taste of sweet, tart, and crunchy on an orange-graham cracker crust, or make a basic cookie dough recipe that can be turned into Roly-Poly Santas or lots of other fun shapes. Love mint chocolate chip ice cream? Try Mint Meringue Kisses, with their “core” of melted chocolate, for that taste in a handy bite-sized cookie.

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If you know someone who “swoons” for macaroons, they’ll put you on Santa’s “nice” list if you present a neat almond-and-cherry version with buttercream filling! The mellow flavor of Dulce de Leche highlights a dark chocolate/cinnamon sandwich cookie; star anise-and-vanilla crescent cookies, sprinkled with powdered sugar, are sure to win some smiles. And for those of you who can’t get enough biscotti (and you know who you are), a cranberry-pistachio version gives you red and green coloring in a soft, chewy cookie that’s eminently “dunkable” — and giftable. Finally, look for a touch of decadence in the center of Cherry Surprise Crinkles — we won’t tell if you don’t! Cookies are one of the best ways to share good wishes from your kitchen…bake some of these and enjoy the kudos!

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).

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