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The Joy of Cookies

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A selection of readers’ favorite Christmas cookie recipes tested by the Times.


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Peppermint Wands

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
For coating:
4 ounces German sweet chocolate, melted
10 red, green and white peppermints, crushed, or finely chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. (We used parchment paper.)
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl; set aside. Beat butter and confectioners’ sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour mixture until combined. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Roll 1 teaspoon of dough into a log, about 21/2 inches long. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, placing cookies 11/2 inches apart.
Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 10-12 minutes or until pale golden at edges. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool.
For coating: When cookies are cool, dip one end of each cookie into melted chocolate. Return to wire rack. Sprinkle each dipped end with 1/4 teaspoon crushed peppermints or finely chopped nuts. Cool on racks in refrigerator for 20 minutes to set. Store in airtight containers at room temperature. Makes about 7 dozen cookies.
Times testing notes: This is a tender dough and works better when the cookies are small. Don’t make logs larger than suggested. We used candy canes for decoration. They are easier to crush than candies.
Source: Marion Haupt, Zephyrhills

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