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Granny's Taste of Christmas

Cookie Exchange

Here's a party idea for those who like to bake, or who love fresh baked cookies -- a "Cookie Exchange Party." Dianne Evans invites 11 friends to her party, asking each to bake 13 dozen of one kind of cookie. "This is one dozen of each kind for everyone to take home and the extra dozen for sampling at the party," she explains.

Send out invitations at least a week in advance so that everyone has plenty of time for baking. Ask everyone to bring copies of the recipe to go with their cookies, and to bring along a large container to take their cookie assortment home with them.

As the host, Evans decorates her dining room in festive holiday spirit and provides plates, naplins and drinks like hot apple cider, coffee, hot chocolate, etc. to wash down the cookies.

Granny Cookie Tips                                                         

1. When cutting slice & bake cookies, slice with dentalfloss and keep rotating the roll so that you don't have a flat side.

2. Avoid over-mixing cookie dough. Over-mixing will result in a tough textured cookie.

3. Bake cookies only until they are done. Over-baking creates a dry cookie. Underbaking creates a "doughy" cookie. Use the time given [in the recipe] as a guide for doneness. Cookies are done if they retain a slight imprint when pressed lightly with a finger.

4. When a cookie recipe calls for quick-cooking rolled oats, use quick-cooking or old fashioned regular but not the instant breakfast kind.

Granny's Angel Food Tips                                                         

1. It's very important not to get one speck of yolk into the egg whites or they will not beat properly. First separate each one into a little bowl before transferring it into the beating bowl.

2. Separate the eggs while they are still cold, but always let the whites come to room temperature before beating.

3. To loosen the cake from side of pan, carefully run a long metal spatula between the pan and cake, being careful not to cut into the cake..

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Granny's Taste of Christmas
Granny's Taste of Christmas

by Dianne C. Evans
Favorite Recipes Press, 2006
Order a Copy

Decidedly Southern in its tone and selection of recipes, this seasonal cookbook offers simple, easy-to-follow instructions with folksy tips and occasional humor.

The "treasured family holiday recipes" in this collection include Zucchini Gift Bread, Fruitcake Cookies, Mulled Cider, Toasted Pecans, Gingerbread Cut-out Cookies and Christmas Wassail.

"Back in 1976, I wrote a little Christmas cookbook called 'A Taste of Christmas,'" the author recalls. She printed up 1,000 copies of the 64-page book and nearly sold them all at a Georgia crafts show. A new, more polished edition was published and thousands more copies were sold.

"I was encouraged to do a second edition of the 'Taste,' but never got around to it..." Until now. "Granny's Taste of Christmas" is the second in a series of "Granny's" cookbooks by Dianne Evans and, in some ways, the second edition of her 30-year-old publishing debut.

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