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Cookie Party: friends and one basic recipe-dozens of cookies

Posted: Monday, November 25, 2002

(NAPSI)-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 350F for 10-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on cookie sheet 5 minutes. Remove cookies and cool on wire racks.

Yield: 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.

For more holiday entertaining ideas, see the current issue of food&family magazine. To receive a free copy of food&family magazine, visit kraftfoods.com/magazine.



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