A Year-Round Guide to Franklin and Nantahala

Make them all! Download and print a checklist of all of our recipes here. Orange-Bourbon Molasses Cookies Double Chocolate Cookies with Peppermint Lemon-Vanilla Butter Cookie Molasses Ginger Crinkle Cookies Old-Fashioned

Madison County Championship Rodeo

Make them all! Download and print a checklist of all of our recipes here. Orange-Bourbon Molasses Cookies Double Chocolate Cookies with Peppermint Lemon-Vanilla Butter Cookie Molasses Ginger Crinkle Cookies Old-Fashioned

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Strata

Make them all! Download and print a checklist of all of our recipes here. Orange-Bourbon Molasses Cookies Double Chocolate Cookies with Peppermint Lemon-Vanilla Butter Cookie Molasses Ginger Crinkle Cookies Old-Fashioned

Our State’s Mix-and-Match Guide to Custom Christmas Cookies

Make them all! Download and print a checklist of all of our recipes here.



Orange-Bourbon Molasses Cookies

Yield: 2½ dozen cookies.

3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking soda

¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups granulated sugar
Zest of 1 orange
1 large egg, lightly beaten
¼ cup molasses

3 tablespoons bourbon
Raw cane sugar, for rolling cookies

Preheat oven to 375°. Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice in a medium bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, granulated sugar, and orange zest.

Beat in egg. Beat in molasses and bourbon. Add prepared flour mixture, mixing until just combined. Refrigerate dough 1 hour or until firm.

Form dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in raw cane sugar. Place 2 inches apart on a light-colored, parchment-lined baking sheet.

Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheets; move to a wire rack to finish cooling.


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Double Chocolate Cookies with Peppermint

Yield: 2 dozen cookies.

¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

13 cup cocoa powder
18 teaspoon baking powder
18 teaspoon salt
½ cup white chocolate chips or chunks
½ cup small hard peppermint candies, crushed

Preheat oven to 350°. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together sugar, shortening, and butter until combined. Beat in egg and vanilla.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Slowly beat flour mixture into sugar mixture, scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula as necessary. Stir in chocolate chips or chunks and crushed candies.

Drop rounded tablespoons of dough onto two nonstick baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes or until set. Let cool completely before serving.


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Lemon-Vanilla Butter Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies.

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
13 cup vegetable shortening
½ cup granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
White chocolate chips, for icing (optional)

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, shortening, and sugar until combined. Beat in lemon zest, egg, vanilla, and salt. Gently beat in flour and cornstarch until just combined.

Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°. Using lightly floured hands, form cookies by shaping about 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball and gently flattening into a disc. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on two nonstick baking sheets.

Bake for 20 minutes or until set and lightly golden. Cool 10 minutes on baking sheets; move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

For icing, melt white chocolate chips and drizzle over cooled cookies.


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Molasses ginger crinkle cookies. photograph by Matt Hulsman

Molasses Ginger Crinkle Cookies

Yields: 24 cookies.

12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup unpacked light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ cup molasses
1 teaspoon coffee extract or pure vanilla extract
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger

Cream the butter, ½ cup of the granulated sugar, and the brown sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with a wooden spoon and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add the egg, molasses, and coffee extract, beating well to combine.

Combine the flour, ground ginger, fresh ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a separate bowl and stir to mix. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat just until combined. Cover the dough with plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight, until firm.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375˚. Combine the remaining ½ cup granulated sugar and the crystallized ginger in a small shallow bowl and stir to mix. Pinch off small pieces of the dough and roll them into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in the sugar-ginger mixture to coat evenly and arrange on ungreased baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart.

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are set and the center is still soft. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes. Serve warm or transfer to a baking rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container until ready to serve, or for up to 3 days.


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Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies

Yield: 96 cookies.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2½-3 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, blending well. Blend in vanilla. Sift together the flour, salt, and soda. Stir flour mixture into butter mixture, a little at a time, until a stiff dough forms.

Refrigerate dough for several hours or overnight. When ready to bake, roll out

a little dough at a time on a surface lightly coated with confectioner’s sugar. Cut dough into shapes and place cookies on a greased baking sheet.

If desired, lightly sprinkle cookies with additional granulated sugar. Bake at 350˚ for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.


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Double chocolate sandwich cookies. photograph by Charlotte & Johnny Autry

Double Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Yield: 24 sandwich cookies.

Cookies:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder, sifted (plus extra to shape cookies)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

Filling:

¾ cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 325˚. Line four baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. Place butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until creamy. Add eggs, and beat. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt; mix until combined and dough comes together.

Shape the cookies: Using cocoa powder-dusted hands, roll about 2 teaspoons of dough into a ball. Place ball on baking sheet and flatten slightly. Repeat until all dough is used, placing about 12 cookies on each baking sheet. Bake in batches until cookies are set, about 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool. While the cookies cool, make the filling. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan until just simmering. Remove from heat; add chocolate. Stir until smooth and chocolate is melted; transfer to a small bowl. Chill in refrigerator about one hour, or until filling is thickened and resembles the consistency of store-bought icing.

To finish the cookies, divide and spread the filling equally onto the bottoms of half of the cookies. Top with the plain cookies to create sandwiches.


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White Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies

Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

8 ounces (2 sticks) salted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 egg
1 cup vegetable oil
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup crushed cornflakes
1 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1 tablespoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325º. In a mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugars, and vanilla and orange extracts. Add egg and mix. Add oil and stir.

In a separate bowl, mix flour, cornflakes, oatmeal, baking soda, and salt. Add to batter. Stir in white chocolate chips, almonds, and cranberries.

Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place on cookie sheet, and flatten with a fork dipped in water. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove cookie sheet from oven, and let sit for 2 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.


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Peanut Butter Promises

Yield: 3 dozen.

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
½ cup sugar
½ cup mild honey
1 egg

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a small bowl, and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter, peanut butter, sugar, honey, and egg until well-blended. Add the dry ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Grease baking sheets lightly. Roll bits of dough into walnut-size balls, and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Flatten with a fork to make a crisscross pattern. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Allow cookies to rest on the pan a minute before transferring to a rack to cool.


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chocolate pecan cookies

Chocolate pecan cookies.

Double Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Yield: 4 dozen cookies.

2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 (10-ounce) packages large dark chocolate morsels
1½ cups pecans, halved

Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. In a separate large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg; beat until creamy. Add sifted dry ingredients gradually. Stir in chocolate morsels and pecans. Batter will be thick. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Let cookies sit for 1 minute before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.


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Pecan Dream Cookies

½ pound butter
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons water
2 cups pecans, chopped

Cream butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, and water. Add chopped nuts. Form in oblong drops, and bake 40 to 45 minutes at 350°. Sift additional powdered sugar; drop hot cookies in, and roll around until coated. Lay on wax paper to cool.


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Pisatchio shortbread. photograph by Matt Hulsman

Pistachio Shortbread

Yield: 12 to 16 servings.

¾ cup shelled roasted pistachios + ¼ cup coarsely chopped (for garnish)
⅓ cup powdered sugar
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 to 2 tablespoons softened butter (for preparing pan)
Coarse salt to taste
Apricot jam (for serving)

Preheat oven to 375°. In a food processor, pulse ¾ cup pistachios until finely ground.

Add powdered sugar, butter, and cornstarch to the food processor and pulse until well combined. Add flour and process until a slightly sticky dough forms.

Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with softened butter and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

Press dough firmly into the pan in an even layer. Sprinkle with ¼ cup chopped pistachios and a pinch of coarse salt.

Bake for 25 minutes or until short- bread is just golden around the edges and dough is baked through. Remove from oven and remove from springform pan. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Before it cools, slice into 12 wedges. Let cool completely before transferring to avoid breaking. Serve with apricot jam.


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Gingerbread Cookies

1 cup dark brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
½ cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt

Beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Add egg. Beat in molasses and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mix all remaining ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix well.

Divide dough and wrap in plastic. Let chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.

Roll out on parchment paper until dough is ¼-inch thick. (For snaps, roll dough out as thin as possible.) Place dough in refrigerator for 10 minutes.

Heat oven to 350º. Cut into desired shapes. Bake 8-10 minutes for soft cookies, 20 minutes for crunchy. Let cool on a wire rack.


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Molasses Cream Pie Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies or 1 dozen pies.

1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup molasses
4½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup coarse sugar or sparkling sugar

Cream Filling:

2 (7-ounce) jars marshmallow fluff
⅔ cup of shortening
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons warm water

Preheat oven to 350°. Using a mixer, cream together butter, white granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and molasses.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour,  baking soda, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture and mix well.

Shape into 2-inch balls and roll in coarse sugar. Place 2½ inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until tops are cracked. Remove from oven and place cookies on wire racks to cool. Enjoy as is, or continue on to make cookie sandwiches.

For the cream filling: Using a hand mixer, mix together marshmallow fluff, shortening, and confectioners’ sugar. Add warm water and mix well. Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling on the bottom of each cookie and top with a second cookie.


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Buckeye Recipe

Buckeyes. photograph by Sweetestkitchen.com

Buckeyes

Yield: 4 dozen.

2 cups creamy peanut butter (not all-natural)
½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.

Add the powdered sugar, and beat on low speed until the mixture is well mixed. The mixture will be crumbly and look a little dry.

Form the mixture into 1-inch balls. Press a wooden pick into the top of each ball (to be used later as the handle for dipping), and chill the balls in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

In a small glass bowl, microwave the chocolate and shortening at 50 percent reduced power in 30-second intervals until the morsels begin to soften and lose their shape, then stir until melted and smooth. Alternatively, heat the chocolate and shortening in a small saucepan over low heat until the morsels begin to soften and lose their shape, then remove the pan from the heat and stir until melted and smooth.

Working with one at a time, hold a ball by the pick, and dip the lower three-fourths of it into the melted chocolate, leaving the brown tops exposed. [Hint: If the pick starts to slip out, place a fork underneath the ball for stability while you dip.] Let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place the coated ball on waxed paper or parchment paper to set. Remove the pick.

Cover the coated candies loosely with plastic wrap or nonstick aluminum foil and chill. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Hint: The peanut butter balls must be chilled and the chocolate must be warm for the coating to adhere properly. Work in batches, removing only about a dozen balls from the freezer at a time. Gently reheat the chocolate when it starts to cool and solidify. Another hint: You can replace the semisweet chocolate and shortening with 2 (16-ounce) packages of candy coating, such as CANDIQUIK.


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Angel Bars

½ cup butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butterscotch chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
1 cup coconut, flaked
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 325˚.

Coat bottom of 9 x 9-inch pan with melted butter.

Spread graham cracker crumbs evenly over butter, and press into bottom of pan. Sprinkle butterscotch and white chocolate chips evenly over top of the graham cracker crumbs. Sprinkle with flaked coconut.

Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over the coconut, and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting into small squares.


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Mamie Eisenhower’s Fudge

Yield: 2 pounds. 

12 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels
12 ounces German’s sweet chocolate, broken into small pieces
2 cups marshmallow creme
4½ cups sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons butter
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 cups nuts, coarsely chopped

Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish or pan, or mist with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the unmelted semisweet chocolate, German’s chocolate, and marshmallow creme.

In a medium saucepan, bring the sugar, salt, butter, and evaporated milk to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 1 minute. Reduce the heat and simmer 7 minutes, stirring continuously. Pour the hot syrup over the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Stir in the nuts.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Let stand undisturbed at room temperature until firm, preferably overnight.

Cut the fudge into small squares. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Some people prefer the texture of this fudge chilled after it’s cut.


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Martha Washingtons. photograph by iStock/TorriPhoto

Martha Washingtons

Yield: 8 dozen pieces.

1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
1 (1-pound) box powdered sugar
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 (14-ounce) package sweetened, flaked coconut
4 cups pecans, finely chopped
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

Finely chop the cherries and let drain on a paper towel.

Stir together the melted butter, powdered sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in coconut, pecans, and cherries.

Form mixture into balls about the size of a golf ball. Chill in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

In a small glass bowl, microwave the chocolate morsels and shortening at 50 percent reduced power in 30-second intervals until the morsels begin to soften and lose their shape, then stir until melted and smooth. Alternatively, heat the chocolate and shortening in a small saucepan over low heat until the morsels begin to soften and lose their shape, then remove the pan from the heat and stir until melted and smooth.

Working with one candy ball at a time, coat each piece in chocolate. Lift it out with a fork and let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place the coated ball on waxed paper or parchment paper to set.

Cover the coated candies loosely with plastic wrap or nonstick aluminum foil, and chill until the chocolate is set. Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

Tip: You can replace the semisweet chocolate morsels and shortening with 2 (16-ounce) packages of candy coating, such as CANDIQUIK.


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Saltine Cracker Toffee

Yield: 2 dozen pieces.

24 saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup firmly-packed light brown sugar
12 ounces milk chocolate morsels
½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 325º. Line the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Mist the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Arrange the crackers in a single layer on the pan.

In a microwave-safe glass bowl, microwave the butter and brown sugar on high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until sugar melts, stirring occasionally. Pour the hot butter mixture over the crackers.

Bake 15 minutes, or until bubbly. Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the chocolate morsels evenly on top, and let stand until melted, one to two minutes. Spread the melted chocolate over the surface. Sprinkle evenly with nuts.

Cover and chill at least two hours. Break into pieces. Store refrigerated in an airtight container.

Hint: You can double or triple this recipe to fill a rimmed baking sheet. 

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This story was published on Nov 10, 2020