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Eating Well: Nothing better than hot out-of-the-oven cookies

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Nothing smells better than a batch of homemade cookies baking. Cookie making has become kind of a lost art at my house recently, for no other reason than time. If I want cookies, I've been picking them up at the store, but let's face it, the store-bought version pale in comparison to the delicious homemade goodies.

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A good friend prompted me to reignite my cookie baking skills after tempting me with a wonderful little chocolate concoction made from a cake mix and a few other ingredients.

Since then I've made a couple of different batches and have done a little experimenting, using a variety of different flavored cake mixes and adding extra ingredients. I started out with a German Chocolate cake mix (with the pudding in the mix), and dumped in a handful of coconut and when cool topped them with store-bought Pecan-Coconut frosting. They are great unfrosted, but adding the frosting made them even more decadent and dessert-like. I've also tried a lemon cake mix for the cookies and then topped them with a simple glaze, made with powdered sugar and a little milk. Also fantastic.

So I guess what I'm saying here is use your imagination with these cookies. With the variety of cake mixes out there, the possibilities are endless. My friend made a spice cake mix and added raisins. She said they were great, but next time will frost with a cream cheese icing to make them even more delicious.

One cake mix makes a nice sized batch. I believe I ended up with three dozen cookies each time.

They also freeze remarkably well, if there are any left to make it to the freezer.

The other cookie recipes I'm including are also ones that I've tested and enjoyed through the years, taken from a variety of cookbooks in my personal collection. The No Bake and Rock cookies are from my late mother's recipe box and a favorite treat we enjoyed often as kids.

Until next time, from my kitchen to yours, happy cooking!

Cream Cheese Cake Mix Cookies

1 box cake mix, any flavor

1 8 oz. package cream cheese

1 stick butter

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

Soften cream cheese and butter. Mix all the ingredients together well in a bowl. Cover and place in refrigerator for a couple of hours to chill, as dough will be sticky. Roll pieces of dough into about one-inch size balls and coat with powdered sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake approximately 12 minutes at 350 degrees, or until tops are firm to the touch. (Frost if desired).

No-Bake Cookies

4 cups oatmeal

1 cup coconut

½ cup chopped walnuts

4 Tbsp. cocoa

2 cups white sugar

½ cup milk

½ cup butter

1 tsp. vanilla

Mix together oatmeal, coconut, walnuts and two tablespoons cocoa. Boil the remaining two tablespoons cocoa, sugar, milk, butter and vanilla until sugar is dissolved (about 1 ½ minutes). Mix together and drop by spoons full onto wax paper and chill.

Oatmeal Sugar Cookies

¾ cup butter

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. salt

1 ½ cups flour

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

½ cup raisins

3 cups oatmeal

Cream first six ingredients. Then add remaining and mix well. Roll into balls, dip in sugar. Flatten and bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter

2 eggs

¾ cup peanut butter

1 tsp. soda

2 ½ cups flour

Cream sugar, butter, eggs and peanut butter together well. Add flour and soda and mix again. Roll into one inch balls and bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Rocks

1 ½ cups brown sugar

1 cup butter

3 eggs

1 ½ tsp. soda dissolved in ½ cup hot water

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

2 ½ cups flour

1 cup raisins

1 cup nuts

Cream sugar, butter and eggs. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet and bake approximately ten minutes or until done to the touch at 350 degrees.

Kailyn's Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 ¼ cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 cup butter, softened

¾ cup white sugar

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

2 cups (12 oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix the flour, baking soda, and salt in small bowl. Beat the butter, white and brown sugar and vanilla well in large mixing bowl. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each. Stir in the flour mixture well and add chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto greased cookie sheets. Bake until golden brown (about eight to ten minutes or until done to the touch).

khuber@westfargopioneer.com

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