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The World's 5 Best Holiday Cookies
Are we exaggerating? You decide. We've just gotten back from traveling the culinary cosmos in search of the perfect holiday cookie. No bakery was neglected, no cookie jar left unturned. After months of research-and multiple dental appointments-we've returned with these five holiday cookie recipes guaranteed to tickle your taste buds. You can thank us later.

Chocolate Chip Reindeer Bars
Santa's Kisses
Snowball Cookies
Candy Cane Cookies
Forgotten Cookies

Chocolate Chip Reindeer Bars
And you thought carrot-chewing reindeer powered Santa's sleigh. No, these nimble animals-like the rest of us-have a sweet tooth. So hoof on over to the kitchen this holiday season and whip up a tasty batch of Chocolate Chip Reindeer Bars for your family-and Santa's furry chauffeurs.
Ingredients
2/3 cup butter, salted
2 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped
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Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Coat a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray, and set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat or in the microwave. In a medium bowl, combine the flour and baking powder; set aside. In a large bowl, beat together the melted butter, brown sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer. Slowly beat in the eggs, mixing until batter is smooth. On low speed, gradually mix in the flour mixture until batter is very stiff. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts.

Spread the batter in the baking pan, making sure it covers the entire bottom of the pan. Bake 25 minutes or until the bars start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Use oven to mitts to transfer the hot pan to a wire cooling rack. Cool at room temperature in the pan for about 5 minutes; cut into bars.
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Santa's Kisses

It's no secret that Santa is a cookie connoisseur. How do you think he got that jelly belly-from a steady diet of veggies and soy? Try this favorite from the Claus family kitchen and find out why Santa's so jolly.
Ingredients (makes 48 cookies)
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick butter, salted
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 egg
48 Hershey's Chocolate Kisses


Directions
Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Coat a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda, and set aside. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, light brown sugar, one-quarter cup of the granulated sugar, sugar, vanilla and peanut butter in a mixing bowl for about two minutes until light and fluffy. Add the egg to the peanut butter mixture, and mix for about 10 seconds. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture, and blend on low speed for about 20 seconds or until the dough is smooth.

Take teaspoon-size pieces of dough, and roll them into balls with you hands. Dip one side of each ball into the remaining granulated sugar, and place the balls sugar-side up on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, and immediately place one Chocolate Kiss into the center of each cookie. Cool for about five minutes before serving.
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Snowball Cookies
They may look like snowballs, but you won't want to toss these cookies. Needing just five ingredients, these easy-to-make chocolate-filled goodies will tempt the tummies of your hungry little elves.
Ingredients (makes 24 cookies)
1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flou
8-ounce bag of Hershey's Chocolate Kisses
Confectioner's sugar
Directions
Preheat oven 10 350-degrees. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth, then add the flour. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic, and refrigerate for half and hour. In the meantime, remove the foil from the chocolate kisses. When time is up, remove the dough from the refrigerator and shape it into one-inch balls. Insert a chocolate kiss into the center of each ball, making sure the chocolate is completely covered by the dough. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 10 to 12 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over the top while still warm.
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Candy Cane Cookies
Decorative and delicious, these colorful cookies can be placed in a gift box with a holiday bow and given to family, friends and teachers.
Ingredients (makes 48 cookies)
1 cup butter, salted
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
Directions
In a large bowl, beat the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat until combined. On a low speed, gradually mix in the flour.



Divide the dough in half, and place into two bowls. Mix the red food coloring and peppermint extract into one of the bowls. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until the dough is firm, about two hours.

Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. To make each cookie, take on tablespoon of dough from each bowl, and roll into a four-inch rope. Twist the two ropes together, and curve into a candy cane shape. Bake on greased cookie sheets for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool for two minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
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Forgotten Cookies
After being banned from all reindeer games (like Monopoly), Rudolph and his red nose fled the North Pole in search of acceptance and a good plastic surgeon. What he found instead was the Island of Forgotten Toys, a curious little place where trains with square wheels, jelly-filled squirt guns and other peculiar playthings roamed freely. Even better, these overlooked toys had an endless supply of delectable Forgotten Cookies to nibble on, which explains their upbeat attitudes and ceaseless singing.
Ingredients (makes 24 cookies)

2 egg whites
pinch of salt

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup chocolate chips
Directions

Preheat oven to 375-degrees. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites and salt until stiff. Slowly add the sugar, and fold in the chocolate chips. Using a teaspoon, drop dollops of the dough on a greased cookie sheet. Place the cookies in the oven, then turn off the oven. Let the cookies sit in the oven undisturbed for at least 4 hours.
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More Cookies? We've got dozens more cookies recipes in Parenthood.com's Recipe Xchange. Check it out today!


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