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It's almost time for holiday baking

By Sharon Ghag

McClatchy Newspapers

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 18 2011 4:03 p.m. MDT

— Toni Fiorenzaof Toni's Courtyard Cafe & Catering, Merced, Calif.

OATMEAL RAISIN COOKIES

Makes 2 dozen

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup light brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick-cook oats

2/3 cup raisins

Instructions: Cream together the butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy.

Add egg and vanilla and mix a bit more. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a bowl. Pour in the flour mixture and work mixer on low just to work in dry ingredients. Stir in oats and raisins with a spoon.

Scoop out tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto parchment-paper-lined sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake 12 to 14 minutes at 350 degrees.

Chilling dough results in a taller, chewier cookies.

— "The Cookiepedia: Mixing, Baking, and Reinventing the Classics," by Stacy Adimando (Quirk, $18.95)

SWEET-SURPLUS-OF-CHOCOLATECOOKIES

Makes about 21 cookies

Ingredients:

2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon unsifted bleached all-purpose flour

teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

11 tablespoons (1 stick plus 3 tablespoons) unsalted butter

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 large egg yolks

2 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons quick-cooking (not instant) rolled oats

12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips

2/3 cup firmly packed sweetened coconut

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together.

Cream the butter in the large bowl of a free-standing mixer on low speed for three to four minutes.

Add the brown sugar and beat on moderate speed for one minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat one minute longer.

Add the egg yolks, beating on low speed until just incorporated. Blend in the vanilla extract and then the sifted ingredients until flour particles are just absorbed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and then blend in the rolled oats, then the chocolate chips and coconut.

Place 3 tablespoon mounds of dough about 3 inches apart on prepared baking pans. Bake 16 to 17 minutes, or until just set.

The edges off the cookies will be just a bit darker than the centers.

— "Baking Style," by Lisa Yockelson (Wiley, $45)

PETITS FOURS A L'ANISE

Makes about 100 cookies

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