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More holiday cookie recipes

Apple-Orange Spice Drops

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 egg

Zest of 1 orange

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups chopped dried apple

3/4 cup toasted slivered almonds (optional)

For the glaze:

1 tablespoon orange juice

2/3 cup powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with kitchen parchment.

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, brown sugar, almond extract, vanilla extract, baking powder, salt, cloves, allspice and nutmeg until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Stir in the orange zest and orange juice, then the flour. Stir in the apples and the almonds, if using.

Working in batches, scoop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between cookies. Bake for 10 minutes, or until just pale golden brown on the bottoms. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a rack to cool completely. Allow the baking sheet to cool slightly between batches.

To make the glaze, whisk together the orange juice and powdered sugar. Use a spoon to drizzle the glaze over each cookie. Once the glaze sets, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Mango Marshmallow Bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups chopped dried mango, chopped

1 cup plus 6 tablespoons water, divided

3/4 cup heavy cream

11 1/2 -ounce bag milk chocolate chips

1/4 -ounce envelope gelatin

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup corn syrup

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Colored sugar or sprinkles

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and flour. Stir in the melted butter until thoroughly combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and press to form an even layer. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until toasty and browned. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the chopped mango and 1 cup of the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Once the crust and mango have cooled, pour off and discard any excess liquid from the mango. Transfer the mango to a bowl, then wipe the saucepan clean.

Return the pan to medium heat. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, then add the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in half of the mango, then pour the mixture over the crust and spread in an even layer. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

Meanwhile, make the marshmallow layer. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the gelatin with 3 tablespoons of the remaining water. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons water with the granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer.

Pour the mixture into the mixer with the gelatin. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high (be careful not to splash the hot syrup) until cool, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and the remaining half of the mango. Spread the marshmallow mixture evenly over the cooled chocolate layer, then sprinkle with colored sugar or sprinkles. Allow to fully set up, about 2 hours, before cutting into 24 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes 24 bars.

No-Bake Cranberry Coconut Bites

14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

4 cups shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Pinch salt

1 cup chopped dried cranberries

1 cup toasted shredded coconut, finely chopped nuts or colored sugar

In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the sweetened condensed milk, 4 cups of shredded coconut, the water, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until it forms a thick paste, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, then set aside off the heat and allow to cool completely.

Once the mixture has cooled, set out a bowl of toasted coconut, finely chopped nuts or colored sugar. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls, then roll each ball in the coating of your choice. The cookies should be stored in an airtight container between layers of kitchen parchment or waxed paper. Makes 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Strawberry Pistachio Icebox Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 egg yolks

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup crushed freeze-dried strawberries

1 cup chopped shelled pistachios

Sanding (coarse decorating) sugar

In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla, baking powder and salt. Add the egg yolks and beat to combine. Stir in the flour until a dough just comes together. Stir in the strawberries and pistachios until evenly distributed.

Divide the dough in half. Using a sheet of waxed paper to help you work with the dough, shape each half into a log 1 1/2 inches around and 12 inches long. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the sanding sugar in a dinner plate. Unwrap one of the logs and roll it in the sugar to coat the sides. Using a paring knife, slice the log into about 30 rounds. To prevent the log from losing its shape, turn the log a little with each slice. Working in batches, arrange the slices on a baking sheet, leaving 1 inch between them.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining log.

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

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