Old-Fashioned Date Drop Cookies

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine (softened)
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup quick-cooking oats or old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 oz chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350º. Grease cookie sheet. Beat brown sugar, butter, orange peel, vanilla and eggs in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Stir in dates and pecans. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls about 2″ apart onto cookie sheet. Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until light brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

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Maple-Nut Refrigerator Cookies

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine (softened)
1/4 teaspoon maple extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans

Beat brown sugar, butter and maple extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in pecans. Shape into roll, 12 inches long. Wrap and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm. Heat oven to 375º. Cut roll into 1/4″ slices. Place 2″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 – 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

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Frosted Pumpkin-Pecan Cookies

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine (softened)
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups chopped pecans
Spiced Frosting (recipe below)

Spiced Frosting Ingredients:

3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine (softened)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3-4 tablespoons milk

Heat oven to 350º. Beat brown sugar, butter and shortening in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in pumpkin and egg. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in pecans. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet; flatten slightly. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched lightly in center. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost with Spiced Frosting.

Spiced Frosting Directions:

Mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable.

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Fig-Filled Whole Wheat Cookies

Fig Filling (recipe below)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Fig Filling Ingredients:

1 1/3 cups dried figs (finely chopped)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup nuts (finely chopped)
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon grated orange peel

Prepare Fig Filling. Heat oven to 375º. Beat brown sugar, shortening, vanilla and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour and salt. Divide dough into thirds. Pat each third into rectangle, 12×4 inches, on waxed paper. Spoon one third of the filling lengthwise down center of each rectangle in 1 1/2 inch wide strip. Fold sides of dough over filling, using waxed paper to help lift and overlapping edges slightly. Press lightly to seal. Cut into 1-inch bars. Place seam sides down about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12-14 minutes or until light brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Fig Filling Directions:

Heat all ingredients over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until thickened.

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Double Apple Bars

3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup apple (chopped, unpeeled)
Powdered sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 350º. Mix brown sugar, applesauce, oil and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir in apple. Spread batter in ungreased square pan, 9 H 9 H 2 inches. Bake 25 to 30minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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Date-Nut Pinwheels

3/4 pound pitted dates (finely chopped)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup butter (softened)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Cook dates, granulated sugar and water in 2 quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened; remove from heat. Stir in nuts; cool. Beat brown sugar, shortening, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour and salt. Roll half of dough at a time on waxed paper into rectangle, 11 H 7 inches. Spread half of the date-nut filling over each rectangle to within 1/4 inch of 11-inch sides. Roll up tightly, beginning at 11-inch side, using waxed paper to help lift. Pinch edge of dough to seal. Wrap and refrigerate about 4 hours or until firm. Heat oven to 400º. Cut rolls into 1/4 inch slices. Place about 1″ apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

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Date-Filled Spritz

The Ultimate Spritz — (see recipe)
1 1/4 cups pitted dates
1 cup walnut pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon orange peel (grated)
2 tablespoons orange juice

Heat oven to 375º. Prepare dough for The Ultimate Spritz, using vanilla. Place remaining ingredients in food processor. Cover and process about 20 seconds, using quick on-and-off motions, until mixture is ground and resembles thick paste. Place dough in cookie press with ribbon tip. Form 10 inch ribbons about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Spoon date mixture down center of each ribbon to form 1/2 inch wide strip. Top with another ribbon of dough. Gently press edges with fork to seal. Bake 12-15 minutes or until light brown. Immediately cut ribbons into 2 inch lengths. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

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Cranberry Orange Cookies

1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 c. butter (room temperature)
1 tsp orange peel (grated)
2 tbsp orange juice
1 egg
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups frozen or fresh cranberries (coarsely chopped)
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
Orange Frosting (recipe follows)

Orange Frosting Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp orange peel (grated)
3 tbs orange juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat first six ingredients in large bowl at medium speed or mix by hand with spoon. Add next three ingredients. Blend in cranberries and chopped nuts. By rounded tablespoons, place dough 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 13 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Orange Frosting Directions:

Combine all ingredients until smooth.

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Carrot and Molasses Cookie

1 pkg. cake mix (carrot cake flavor)
1/4 c. butter (softened)
2 tbsps molasses
2 eggs
1/2 cup nuts (chopped)
1 standard size tub cream cheese
Jar of ready-to-spread frosting (optional)

Beat half of cake mix with the softened butter, eggs and molasses in mixing bowl at a medium speed, mix until smooth. Add the remaining mix and chopped nuts. Chill for several hours in refrigerator. When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Drop the cookie dough by rounded teaspoons about 2″ apart onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or til the edges are set and firm. Centers will be soft. Remove cookies from baking sheet to wire racks to cool. Frost with the ready to spread frosting.

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Caramel-Pecan Cookies

1/2 c. brown sugar (firmly packed)
1/2 c. butter or margarine (room temperature)
2 tbs water
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
8 vanilla caramels
2 1/4 c. pecan halves
Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows)

Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:

1 oz. baking chocolate (unsweetened)
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla flavoring
2 – 4 tsp. water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together first four ingredients in large bowl on medium speed or stir by hand. Add flour and salt. With sharp knife cut each caramel into four pieces. For each cookie, group 5 pecan halves on ungreased baking sheet. Form 1 tsp dough around each piece of caramel forming a ball. Press firmly the ball onto center of each group of pecans. Bake approximately 13 minutes or until set but not browned. Remove immediately from baking sheet and place on wire rack. Cool completely. Drizzle tops of cookies with Chocolate Glaze.

Chocolate Glaze Directions:

Melt chocolate in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently. Add in confectioners sugar, vanilla flavoring and water until smooth.

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