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Holiday Cookies ‘Tis The Season For Baking Treats; Make The Task A Merry One With Some Help From The Little Angels In Your Family

The Associated Press

The following cookies are easy to make and fun to decorate for the holidays.

Milky Way meteor crisps take just a handful of ingredients and can be prepared on the stove top or in the microwave oven. Solar swirls are the perfect canvas for children to decorate. And even the littlest angel in your family can help decorate frosted holiday angels.

Milky Way Meteor Crisps

1/2 cup butter

1 (10-ounce) bag miniature marshmallows

2 (2.15-ounce) chocolate-covered caramel and nougat candy bars, chopped (or substitute your favorite chocolate-coated candy bars)

6 cups crisp rice cereal

Colored sugars, decorator candies and sprinkles

In 4-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir in marshmallows until melted. Remove from heat; stir in candy bars.

Stir in cereal.

With buttered hands, shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll in colored sugars, decorator candies or sprinkles. Place on waxed paper. Store in airtight containers between sheets of waxed paper.

Yield: 4-1/2 dozen cookies.

Nutrition information per cookie: 50 calories, no protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fat (36 percent fat calories), 5 milligrams cholesterol, 50 milligrams sodium.

Microwave instructions: In large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and marshmallows. Microwave on high (100 percent power) for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring once, until marshmallows are melted. Stir in candy bars. Stir in cereal and shape as directed.

Note: Cookies can be formed into different shapes and sizes. For gifts, shape into large popcorn-size balls, wrap in colored cellophane and tie with ribbon.

Variation: Prepare mixture as above; press into buttered 13- by 9-inch pan. Cut as desired.

Solar Swirls

Cookies:

1-1/2 cups sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup sour cream (regular, light or nonfat)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting:

3 cups powdered sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

3 to 4 tablespoons milk

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Glaze:

2 cups powdered sugar

3 to 4 tablespoons milk

Red and green food coloring

Decorator sugars and candies

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In large mixing bowl, combine sugar, 1 cup butter and sour cream. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla; continue beating until well mixed. Reduce speed to low and add all remaining cookie ingredients; beat until well mixed, 1 to 2 minutes.

Shape rounded tablespoonfuls of dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets; flatten slightly with palm of hand. (Dough will be soft and sticky; if dough sticks to hands, lightly flour hands.) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until set. Cool 1 minute before removing from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

In a small mixing bowl, combine all frosting ingredients. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy and easy to spread, 1 to 2 minutes.

For the glaze, in a small bowl stir together powdered sugar and enough milk for thin consistency. Divide glaze; tint with red and green food coloring.

Frost 2 or 3 cookies at a time. Use small paintbrushes to apply drops of glaze; use a toothpick to create a swirled design. Sprinkle with colored sugars or candies, if desired. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

Nutrition information per cookie: 170 calories, 2 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fat (42 percent fat calories), 30 milligrams cholesterol, 140 milligrams sodium,

Note: Ready-to-use decorator gels may be used instead of glaze.

Frosted Holiday Angels

Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup butter, softened

2 to 3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

Food coloring, as desired

Sugar ice cream cones, for angel body

Small or large pretzel twists, for wings

Chocolate or vanilla wafer cookies, for head

Toasted coconut, for hair (see note)

Fruit-flavored ring-shaped candies, for halo

Miniature candy-coated chocolate pieces, decorator candies or sprinkles, decorator gels and frostings, gumdrops, miniature chocolate chips, etc., for decorations

In small mixing bowl, combine all frosting ingredients, except food coloring. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Tint frosting as desired in pastel colors. Reserve some white or yellow frosting for attaching heads, hair and face.

Place sugar cone upside down and frost. Attach pretzel twists to make wings. Decorate angel body as desired with decorator gels, frostings and candies. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes for frosting to set.

For angel head, decorate wafer cookie with candies using frosting to attach eyes, nose and mouth. Attach head to cone with frosting.

For hair, attach coconut with frosting. Let stand until frosting is set, 5 to 10 minutes. Attach fruit-flavored, ring-shaped candy for halo.

Yield: 8 angels.

Nutrition information per angel: 250 calories, 1 gram protein, 45 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fat (29 percent fat calories), 20 milligrams cholesterol, 110 milligrams sodium.

Note: To toast coconut, spread in shallow pan. Bake at 350 degrees, stirring often, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

MEMO: Recipes from Land O’Lakes.

Recipes from Land O’Lakes.

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