The winning cookies in the 2021 Holiday Cookie Contest sponsored by The Progress are an eclectic group of confections. The popular event was held on Monday, Dec. 13.
First place is a pastry roll filled with fruits and nuts, second is a drop cookie chock full of fruit, nuts and candy, and third place is a semi-homemade recipe that starts with a cake mix all completely different but each is very delicious.
Judy Kephart of Clearfield said she researched various recipes before coming up with her first place Rugelach Cookie.
I researched various recipes on line. I get a lot of recipes there. I liked this type of a dough and fillings with fruits and nuts.
Kephart said the recipe takes a bit of time to put together but said the steps are not difficult.
You shouldnt overwork the dough but it is a nice dough to work with. I would also recommend the egg wash and sprinkling the cookies with powdered sugar. It makes the cookies look even nicer.
Kephart said she also added some dried cranberries to the cookies filling because she likes cranberries and thought they would enhance the filling.
1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup finely chopped nuts
1 egg beaten with a splash of water
Use a standard mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese, butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and mix to incorporate. Add the flour and salt mix until everything is combined. Dough will be sticky. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic and put in the refrigerator for eight hours or overnight. When ready to bake, take the dough out of the refrigerator about an hour before your are ready to use it. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Make the filling by mixing together the sugars, walnuts and cinnamon. The apricot preserves can be put into the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it up. Take each piece of dough and roll each into a 9-inch circle on a well-floured surface. Brush or spread a thin layer of preserves overtop of the dough circle. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over it. Lightly press the sugar mixture into the dough. Cut each circle into 12 little triangles (like cutting a pizza). Starting at the wide end of each triangle, roll the dough like a crescent. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Place the cookies seam-side down on the baking sheet and brush the tops with egg wash. Place the cookies in the refrigerator for approximately 15 minutes to allow the dough to firm up. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cookies are baked through. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.
Debbie Bowser of Curwensville said her second place Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies are a family recipe.
My Mom made these for years. I make them at holiday time when fresh cranberries are available, Bowser said.
Bowser suggested chopping the cranberries very finely before adding them to the dough to allow the fruit to be more evenly distributed.
She said the recipe, which makes four dozen cookies, can easily be doubled.
Debbie Bowsers Cranberry Pecan Oatmeal Cookies
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, finely chopped
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a large mixing bowl, add butter and sugars, beat until creamy. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Beat until well-blended. In a separate bowl whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour mixture to the large mixing bowl and mix well. Stir in the oatmeal. Gently stir in the cranberries, pecans and white chocolate chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until browned around the edges. Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Susan Kline of Frenchville earned third place for her Ooey Gooey Cookies.
Kline said she got the recipe from Facebook a number of years ago.
I like this recipe. Its easy to prepare, the ingredients are readily available and make a delicious cookie.
Although the recipe calls for colorful sprinkles in its list of ingredients, Kline said she often doesnt add them.
This cookie freezes well and it stays soft a long time. We really like them, she added.
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sprinkles, divided
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
Cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add the egg and the vanilla, beat until just combined. Beat in the cake mix until well blended. Stir in 1/4 cup of sprinkles. Refrigerate dough one hour or overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Scoop out rounded tablespoonfuls of dough and roll into one-inch balls. Sprinkle the ball with sprinkles, then roll in confectioners sugar until completely covered. Place balls about two-inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the sheets for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Originally posted here:
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