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2018 LaGrange Daily News Holiday Cookie Contest winners announced

Traditional Category
Winner: Debbie Morris

Cranberry Orange Cookies

Ingredients:
½ cup of dried cranberries
¾ cup of sugar
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1-2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 cup butter cubed and cold
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest 1 orange

Baking instructions:

  1. Combine cranberries and ¼ cup sugar in food processor and process until cranberries are broken into smaller pieces
  2. Set aside — combine flour and remaining sugar in large bowl
  3. Use a pastry cutter to cut in butter until you get fine crumbs.
  4. Stir in extract, cranberries, sugar mixture, orange zest and juice.
  5. Use hands to knead the dough until it comes together to form ball. Shape into a log about 2 inches in diameter, place on waxed paper and wrap it up then wrap in plastic wrap. 
  6. Refrigerate for two hours or up to two hours. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut slices of cookie dough about ¼ inches thick. Place in a bowl with granulated sugar to coat. Then on cookie sheet. Bake approximately 15 minutes. Allow to stay on pan until cooled. Cool completely and store in an air-tight container.

Decorated Category
Winner: Maureen Gay

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:
1.5 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Baking instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Children’s Category
Winner: Bailey Wilson, 12

Pretzel Caramel Chip Cookies

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup stick pretzels, broken into thirds
1/2 cup Kraft caramel bits
1/4 cup butterscotch chips
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Baking instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a stand mixer or electric hand mixer, cream the butter and the sugars. Add the vanilla and egg. Mix and scrape the sides of the bowl.  In a small bowl, combine the salt, baking soda and flour. Gradually add to the wet mixture. Mix until combined.
  2. Add the pretzel pieces, caramel bits and chips. Mix together using a spatula. Using a cookie scoop spoon the mixture onto a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or non stick parchment cookie sheets.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 11-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool completely on a wire rack. 
  4. Recipe yields: 16 – 20 cookies depending on the size.