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Cookie and Dessert Recipes

Updated on May 7, 2016
Anna Marie Bowman profile image

Anna wears many hats: writer, mother, crafter. Over the years, she has found what works and what doesn't for herself and her family.

Just Desserts

A while back, in response to a HubMob request, I did a hub on some of my favorite family recipes. After publishing it, I knew there were essential recipes that I had left out. Dessert recipes, of course. What meal is complete without dessert? What family holiday or cookout is the same without those family standards that you remember always being there?

Every family has them. Those cookies or desserts that always show up on the table every time there is a family gathering. It isn't the same things that show up for all families. We all have our own traditions and favorite desserts. These are mine.

Almond Crescents

I am not really sure where my mother came across this recipe, or why she has two versions of it. Almond crescents are delicious little tea cookies that have always been a part of the holidays in my family. They are buttery, a little sweet, and so easy. The hardest part is the shaping, but as long as they taste good, does it matter if they are perfect crescents? Both recipes are good, and if you ask me which one is better, well, you will have to decide that for yourself. The debate still rages in my family.

Almond Crescents (recipe A) pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

1 Cup unsalted butter, softened 1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 Cup sugar 2 1/2 Cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. almond extract 1 Cup ground almonds

Powdered sugar

Beat the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy. Blend in the almond extract and vanilla. Mix in the flour and almonds. Roll 1 Tbs of dough into a ball and form into a crescent shape. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake until they just barely start to brown (about 12-15 min). (Bake them any longer and they will burn on the bottom). While still warm, roll them in the powdered sugar. Allow to cool slightly and roll in powdered sugar again.

Almond Crescents (recipe B) pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

2 Cups flour 1/8 tsp salt

1 Cup soft butter 1 tsp. vanilla

1 Cup ground almonds 1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/2 Cup powdered sugar Powdered sugar for coating

Mix all ingredients together with hands. Refrigerate for 1 hour, covered. Roll dough into ball, and then shape into crescent. Place 2 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake 12-15 min. Do not let brown. While still warm, roll cookies in more powdered sugar, let cool and roll in powdered sugar again.

Yummy almond crescents
Yummy almond crescents


Aside from the funny name, these cookies have a wonderful, cinnamon taste. They are a favorite of my mother, and so, once again, were a part of most of my childhood Christmases. Getting together with my family and baking cookies every year before Christmas is an important tradition with my family that I miss dearly.

Snickerdoodles pre-heat oven to 375 degrees

1/2 Cup butter or margarine, softened 1 Cup sugar

1/4 tsp. baking soda 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1 egg 1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/2 Cups flour 2 Tbs. sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Beat the butter on high for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup sugar, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Slowly beat in the flour. Cover and chill for 1 hour. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll them in the cinnamon and sugar. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for about 10 minutes. The finished cookies should have a "cracked" top.

I love the cracked look of the snickerdoodles
I love the cracked look of the snickerdoodles

Rum Balls

Rum Balls are a lot of fun. Just be sure to keep them away from the kids, because there is no baking involved. The alcohol remains in the cookie! I repeat, not for the little ones! Adults only!!! These delightful little treats are perfect for a cold winter's night. They also lend themselves well to variations. I have provided a few variations of my own as well as the original recipe. These are super easy to make, and make a great gift for that fun-loving friend that you are having trouble shopping for.

Rum Balls (basic recipe)

1 Box vanilla wafers, crushed fine 2 Tbs. cocoa

1 Cup powdered sugar 1/2 Cup Rum

Mix all the ingredients together and form into 1 inch balls. If they are too thick, add a little more rum. If they are too sticky, and more powdered sugar. Roll the balls in regular, granulated sugar and place on waxed paper. Allow the balls to dry for about an hour. Store them in a tightly sealed container. And, remember, they improve with age!!

Rum Balls (variation 1)

Substitute the 1/2 cup Rum with 1/2 Cup coconut rum. And, instead of rolling in granulated sugar, roll balls in shredded or even toasted coconut.

Rum Balls (variation 2)

Substitute 1/2 cup rum with 1/2 Cup spiced rum (Captain Morgan's, for example). Roll in either granulated sugar or try a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.

Other ideas

Try out different types of liquor. Perhaps try amaretto and a little instant coffee. Or cherry flavored liquor for a kind of chocolate covered cherry. Roll the balls in festive colored sugar sprinkles for a little more flair. Mix and match to find what you like. If you come up with a great combination, let me know!

This has become a favorite recipe, mostly because I can change it around so much
This has become a favorite recipe, mostly because I can change it around so much

Pistachio Salad

Forgive me if this recipe is actually on a box of pistachio pudding mix. In all these years, never bothered to look. This is yet another recipe given to me by my mother. This recipe follows me to all my family gatherings, summer picnics, Thanksgiving, Christmas and beyond. Sometimes we just make it for the fun of it. It's very easy to make, and the kids love it!

Pistachio Salad

1 large container of whipped topping

1 package of instant pistachio pudding mix

1 medium sized can crushed pineapple (do not drain)

1 package of mini marshmallows (plain or colored)

1/4 Cup crushed walnuts, almonds or pistachios (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. That's it!!

Yummy marshmallowy goodness
Yummy marshmallowy goodness

Cow Chips (or Buffalo Chips)

I have saved the strangest for last. The name says it all. It looks like something out of the backside of a large farm animal. Having scared you enough, they taste so good!!! This is a favorite recipe from my father's side of the family. And, while the name and appearance may throw some people off, the taste more than makes up for it.

Cow Chips

4 Cup sugar 1 tsp salt

1/2 Cup cocoa 1 stick butter

1 Cup milk 4 Cups quick oats

1 Cup peanut butter 2 tsp. vanilla

Mix together the sugar, salt and cocoa. Mix in the butter and the milk. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for about 1 1/2 to 3 minutes. Quickly add the oats, peanut butter and vanilla. Remove from heat and stir until everything is well combined and the oats are well coated. Spoon large spoonfuls onto waxed paper and let cool.

*Sadly, I have no picture for these, as I could find no reference to them anywhere, nor have I made them in a very long time.


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