Black-Eyed Susans

3/4 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
12 drops yellow food color
1 egg
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese -- softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 dozen (about) large semisweet chocolate chips

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, food color, egg and cream cheese in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour. Cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.

Heat oven to 375∫. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Make 3 cuts with scissors in top of each ball about three-fourths of the way through to make 6 wedges. Spread wedges apart slightly to form flower petals (cookies will flatten as they bake).

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until set and edges begin to brown. Immediately press 1 chocolate chip in center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Cut balls from top into 6 wedges about 3/4 way through dough.

Frosted Cinnamon-Mocha Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened
2 teaspoons instant coffee (dry)
1 egg
3 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate -- melted and cooled
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mocha Frosting -- (recipe follows)

MOCHA FROSTING
1 teaspoon instant coffee (dry)
3 tablespoons hot water
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons water (2 to 3 teaspoons)

Heat oven to 350∫. Beat sugar, butter, coffee and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in chocolate. Stir in remaining ingredients except Mocha Frosting.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched in center. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost with Mocha Frosting.

MOCHA FROSTING:

Dissolve coffee in 3 tablespoons hot water; set aside. Melt chocolate and butter in 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar, coffee mixture and 2 to 3 teaspoons water until smooth and spreadable.

Chocolate Chip-Pecan Bars

1 package French vanilla cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened
2 cups pecan halves
2/3 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 (6 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup)

Heat oven to 350∫. Mix cake mix (dry) and 1/2 cup butter in medium bowl, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until crumbly. Press firmly in bottom of ungreased rectangular pan, 13 ◊ 9 ◊ 2 inches. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown.

Sprinkle pecan halves evenly over baked layer. Heat 2/3 cup butter and the brown sugar to boiling in 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally; boil and stir 1 minute. Spoon mixture evenly over pecans.

Bake about 20 minutes or until bubbly and light brown. Sprinkle chocolate chips over warm bars; cool. Cut into 8 rows by 4 rows.

Vanilla Brownies

1 (10 ounce) package vanilla milk (white) chips (1 2/3 cups)
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Creamy Vanilla Frosting -- (recipe follows)

CREAMY VANILLA FROSTING
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine -- softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk (1 to 2 tablespoons)

Heat oven to 350∫. Grease and flour rectangular pan, 13 ◊ 9 ◊ 2 inches. Heat vanilla milk chips and butter in heavy 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, just until melted (mixture may appear curdled). Remove from heat; cool. Stir in flour, sugar, vanilla, salt and eggs. Stir in nuts.

Spread batter in pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Spread with Creamy Vanilla Frosting. Cut into 8 rows by 4 rows.

CREAMY VANILLA FROSTING:

Mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable.

Easy-Yet-Elegant Raspberry Bars

1 (19.8-ounce) package fudge brownie mix (1 pound
3.8 ounce package)
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese -- softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Heat oven to 350∫. Prepare and bake brownie mix as directed on package for fudgelike brownies in rectangular pan, 13 ◊ 9 ◊ 2 inches. Cool completely. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and preserves in small bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over brownies. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

Microwave chocolate and butter in small microwavable bowl on Medium (50%) about 1 minute or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Drizzle over brownies. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until chocolate is firm. Cut into 6 rows by 3 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

Chocolate Shortbread

2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine -- softened
3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate -- melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon shortening
Creamy Frosting -- (recipe follows)

CREAMY FROSTING
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons (about) milk

Heat oven to 325∫. Beat powdered sugar and butter in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, cocoa and vanilla.

Roll half of dough at a time 1/2 inch thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into 3-inch rounds. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until firm (cookies should not be dark brown). Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Mix chocolate and shortening until smooth. Prepare Creamy Frosting. Spread each cookie with about 1 teaspoon frosting. Immediately make three concentric circles on frosting with melted chocolate. Starting at center, draw a toothpick through chocolate circles to make spider web design. Let stand until chocolate is firm.

CREAMY FROSTING:

Mix powdered sugar and butter in medium bowl. Stir in vanilla and milk. Beat with spoon until smooth and spreadable.

Caramel-Pecan Cookies

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 vanilla caramels
160 pecan halves (about 2 1/4 cups)
Chocolate Glaze -- (recipe follows)

CHOCOLATE GLAZE
1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons water (2 to 4 teaspoons)

Heat oven to 350∫. Beat brown sugar, butter, water and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour and salt.

Cut each caramel into 4 pieces with sharp knife. For each cookie, group 5 pecan halves on ungreased cookie sheet.

Shape 1 teaspoon dough around each caramel piece to form a ball. Press ball firmly onto center of each group of pecans.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until set but not brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Spread tops of cookies with Chocolate Glaze.

CHOCOLATE GLAZE:

Melt chocolate in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla and water until smooth and spreadable.

Brandy Snap Cups

1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon brandy
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
4 cups mixed fresh strawberries and raspberries
2/3 cup raspberry jam -- melted

Heat oven to 350∫. Heat butter, corn syrup and brown sugar to boiling in 1 1/2-quart saucepan, stirring frequently; remove from heat. Stir in brandy. Mix flour and ginger; gradually stir into syrup mixture. Drop dough by heaping teaspoonfuls at least 5 inches apart onto lightly greased cookie sheets or line sheets with baking parchment paper. Bake until cookies have spread into 4- or 5-inch rounds and are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes (watch carefully as these cookies brown quickly).

Cool cookies 1 to 3 minutes before removing from cookie sheets. Working quickly, shape over inverted drinking glass about 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Allow cookies to harden; remove gently and place on wire racks. Cool completely. If cookies become too crisp to shape, return to oven to soften about 1 minute. Fill each cookie cup with 1/4 cup berries. Drizzle with jam.

Brownie Crinkles

1 package Sweet Rewards low-fat fudge brownie mix
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fat-free, cholesterol-free egg product
OR
1 egg
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350∫. Grease cookie sheet. Mix brownie mix (dry), water and egg product with spoon about 50 strokes or until well blended.

Shape dough by rounded teaspoonfuls into balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched lightly in center. Immediately remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Apricot-Cherry Bars

1 package yellow cake mix
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cut-up dried apricots
1/2 cup drained chopped maraschino cherries
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 375∫. Grease and flour jelly roll pan, 15 1/2 ◊ 10 1/2 ◊ 1 inch. Beat half of the cake mix (dry), the water, butter, brown sugar and eggs in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, or mix with spoon. Stir in remaining cake mix, the apricots and cherries. Spread evenly in pan.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into 6 rows by 5 rows.

Zucchini Bars

2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 small zucchini -- shredded and drained (1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Clove-Spiced Frosting -- (recipe follows)

CLOVE-SPICED FROSTING
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter or margarine -- softened
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3 teaspoons milk (3 to 4 teaspoons)

Heat oven to 350∫. Grease square pan, 8 ◊ 8 ◊ 2 or 9 ◊ 9 ◊ 2 inches. Mix brown sugar, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Stir in zucchini and nuts.

Spread batter in pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost with Clove-Spiced Frosting. Cut 6 rows by 4 rows.

CLOVE-SPICED FROSTING:

Mix all ingredients until smooth and spreadable.

Sour Cream-Sugar Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 egg
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup sour cream
Sugar

Heat oven to 375∫. Beat 1 cup sugar, the butter, shortening, lemon extract and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sour cream.

Roll one third of dough at a time 1/4 inch thick on well-floured cloth-covered surface. Cut into desired shapes. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched in center. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Giant Honey and Oat Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine -- softened
2/3 cup honey
3 egg whites
4 cups quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 350∫. Grease cookie sheet. Beat sugar, butter, honey and egg whites in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Drop dough by level 1/4 cupfuls or #16 cookie/ice-cream scoop about 3 inches apart onto cookie sheet. Bake 11 to 14 minutes or until edges are light brown (centers will be soft). Cool 3 to 4 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Fudgy Macadamia Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate -- melted and cooled
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Heat oven to 350∫. Beat sugar, butter, vanilla, chocolate and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in nuts.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched in center. Cool 1 to 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Chocolate-Covered Peanut-Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate-covered peanuts
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375∫. Beat sugar, butter, shortening, vanilla and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt. Stir in peanuts and chocolate chips.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown (centers will be soft). Cool 1 to 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Banana-Nut Bars

1 cup sugar
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (2 medium)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
Cream Cheese Frosting -- (recipe follows)

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese -- softened
1/3 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350∫. Grease rectangular pan, 13 ◊ 9 ◊ 2 inches. Mix sugar, bananas, oil and eggs in large bowl with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir in nuts.

Spread batter in pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely. Frost with Cream Cheese Frosting. Cut into 6 row by 4 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.

CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:

Mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla in medium bowl. Gradually beat in powdered sugar with spoon until smooth and spreadable.

Miniature Florentines

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup whipping (heavy) cream
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup candied orange peel -- finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1 (4 ounce) package sweet baking chocolate -- melted

Heat oven to 375∫. Cover cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper. Mix sugar, butter, whipping cream and honey in 2 1/2-quart saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in remaining ingredients. Let stand 5 minutes.

Drop mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto cookie sheet. Bake 4 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool 2 minutes or until firm; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Turn cookies upside down; brush with melted chocolate. Let stand at room temperature until chocolate is firm.

Mini Cookie Pizzas

14 purchased sugar cookies (4 inches in
diameter)
1 tub Rich & Creamy chocolate ready-to-spread frosting
Colored sugar, if desired
2 cups assorted candies or trail mix
2 ounces vanilla-flavored candy coating
2 teaspoons shortening

Frost each cookie with about 2 tablespoons of the frosting; sprinkle with colored sugar. Top with 1 heaping tablespoon of the assorted candies.

Melt candy coating and shortening in 1-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Drizzle over cookies.

Whole Wheat Rounds

1 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 375∫. Beat butter, 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flours and salt.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until almost no indentation remains when touched in center. Cool 1 to 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Sprinkle lightly with additional powdered sugar.

The Ultimate Valentine's Day Cookie

1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1 tablespoon white vinegar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 drops red food color

Heat oven to 400∫. Beat powdered sugar, butter and vinegar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients except food color. Divide dough in half. Mix food color into one half. (If dough is too dry, stir in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time.)

Roll dough 1/8 inch thick on lightly floured cloth-covered surface. Cut into heart shapes with various sizes of cookie cutters. Place smaller hearts on larger hearts of different color dough if desired. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until set but not brown. Cool 1 to 2 minutes; carefully remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Decorate with white and pink Decorator's Frosting if desired.

Cinnamon Espresso Cookies

1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso coffee (dry)
1 tablespoon hot water
1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee (dry)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Espresso Coating -- (recipe follows)

ESPRESSO COATING
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee (dry)

Dissolve 1 1/2 tablespoons espresso in hot water in large bowl. Add
butter, shortening, sugars and egg. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon espresso, cinnamon and salt on low speed.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into roll, 10 inches long. Wrap each roll with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes. Prepare Espresso Coating. Roll each roll of dough in coating (reserve any remaining coating). Rewrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes longer.

Heat oven to 375∫. Cut each roll into 3/8-inch slices. Place about 2
inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with remaining coating. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are light brown. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

ESPRESSO COATING:

Mix ingredients on a large plate or piece of waxed paper.

Chocolate-Almond Tea Cakes

3/4 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup hot cocoa mix (dry)
1/2 cup chopped slivered almonds -- toasted (see Notes)
Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 325∫. Beat butter and 1/3 cup powdered sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, cocoa mix and almonds. (If dough is soft, cover and refrigerate until firm enough to shape.)

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until set. Dip tops into powdered sugar while warm. Cool completely on wire rack. Dip tops into powdered sugar again.

Butterscotch Shortbread

1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 300∫. Beat butter, shortening and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour and salt. (Dough will be dry and crumbly; use hands to mix completely.)

Roll dough into rectangle, 15 ◊ 7 1/2 inches, on lightly floured surface.
Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Place about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 25 minutes or until set. (These cookies brown very little, and the shape does not change.) Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.

Animal Cookies

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 350∫. Beat sugars, butter, vanilla and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in remaining ingredients. (If dough is too soft to shape, cover and refrigerate about 2 hours or until firm.)

Shape dough by 2 tablespoonfuls into slightly flattened balls and ropes. Arrange on ungreased cookie sheet to form animals as desired. Use small pieces of dough for facial features if desired. Bake about 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.


Almond Bars

1 package white cake mix
1/2 cup butter or margarine -- softened
2 eggs
Almond Topping -- (recipe follows)

ALMOND TOPPING
2/3 cup sliced almonds
2/3 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon milk

Heat oven to 350∫. Beat cake mix (dry), butter and eggs with electricmixer on low speed until dough forms or mix with a spoon. Press in bottom of ungreased jelly roll pan, 15 1/2 ◊ 10 1/2 ◊ 1 inch. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown and crust begins to pull away from sides of pan or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Immediately spread Topping over crust. Set oven control to broil. Placepan on middle rack in oven. Broil 2 to 3 minutes or until Topping isgolden brown and bubbly (watch carefully-Topping burns easily). Coolcompletely. Cut into 8 rows by 4 rows.

ALMOND TOPPING:

Cook all ingredients in 2-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring
constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture thickens slightly.