Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Cookies are perfect Halloween ‘treats’

| October 17, 2021 1:00 AM

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought about trick-or-treaters and the junky candy they usually receive as hand-outs. How about good, home-made cookies? I agree that crumbling in a trick or treat bag may be a problem, but it seems that could be overcome with the use of small paper bags or coffee filter holders. Of course, if you’re hosting a party, there’s no problem at all. Anyhow, I’ve found a great bunch of cookie recipes and whether you give them out or eat ‘em yourself — here they are. Enjoy!

Pumpkin-Nut Cookies with Ginger-Cream Frosting

2½ cups flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed

½ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup butter, softened

1 large egg

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup raisins (optional)

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

Set oven to 350 degrees. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl; set aside. In mixer bowl, combine and mix the sugars, then add the butter and beat well. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix again. Add egg, pumpkin and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. At low speed, blend in flour mixture. Stir in raisins and nuts just until evenly distributed. Drop by tablespoonsful onto ungreased cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake 20-24 minutes or till tester in center of cookie comes out clean. Cool and frost.

Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

3 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

Scant ¼ teaspoon ground ginger

2 to 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons (or more) water

Beat cream cheese, butter and ginger together until light and fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar and thin with water to proper spreading consistency. Spread frosting on each cookie, topping with a pecan or walnut half, as shown.

Note: For trick or treat, forego the frosting and nut half.

Choco-Coconut Macaroons

2 squares unsweetened chocolate

2 Tbs. butter

1/2 cup granulated cane sugar

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

2 1/3 cups (about) shredded coconut

Set oven at 325F. Lightly butter cookie sheets. Melt chocolate with butter over very low heat in heavy saucepan, stirring constantly till smooth; remove from heat. Blend in sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla; beat well. Stir in coconut thoroughly. Drop from a teaspoon onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2 inches between. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on racks. Makes about 3 dozen.

Chocolate Drop Cookies

(About 4 dozen)

2/3 cup butter, softened

1 cup pure cane sugar

1&1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

1 1/2 cups unsifted flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup buttermilk

Set oven at 350F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Cream butter and granulated sugar together in large bowl. Blend in vanilla and egg. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Alternately add flour mixture and butter milk to creamed mixture. Drop by teaspoons full 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake 7-9 minutes; remove to a wire rack to cool. Frost if desired.*

Tip: Make any drop cookie into a “thumbprint” cookie by pressing a depression in the center of the cookies (I use a thimble) before baking. After removing from the oven, you can place your chosen filler in the depressions while still warm. Chocolate kisses, pumpkin candies, candy corn or a walnut are all possibilities.

Apple Oatmeal Cookies

1/3 cup EACH olive oil, brown sugar, molasses

1 egg

1 cup white flour

½ teaspoon EACH baking powder, baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt (if desired)

¼ teaspoon EACH nutmeg and cinnamon

1 cup peeled apples, grated

½ cup chopped dates

1¼ cups quick rolled oats

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In large bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, molasses and egg.

In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and combine together. Add to the oil mixture. Stir in apples, raisins and oats and mix ingredients well. Drop by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart on lightly oiled baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until lightly browned around edges; remove to a rack to cool.

Our final recipe is perhaps the best Trick-or-Treat offering of all!

No-Bake Sweet/Salty Triple Chocolate Drops

8 ounces white chocolate chips

1 cup (6 ounces) milk chocolate morsels

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels

1 ½ cups chopped pecans or walnuts

1 ½ cups broken pretzel sticks (1/2-in.)

Melt first 3 ingredients carefully in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. When completely melted and smooth, remove from heat and immediately stir in nuts and pretzels. Drop by heaping tablespoonsful onto lightly oiled waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 month. Makes about 1 dozen.

Valle Novak writes the Country Chef and Weekend Gardener columns for the Daily Bee. She can be reached at or by phone at 208-265-4688 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.


Valle Novak

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