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Holiday Sweets & Treats

December 15, 2005
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Having a Chanukah party and want to keep the little ones busy for a while?

Try an informal "Cookie-Decorating Contest." Winning categories can include "most beautiful, " "most spiritual," "most colorful" and "most international." The best part is that everyone involved can be a winner (and they get to eat a treat as well for their prize).

You will need: cookies (there's a recipe below that you can try); bowls filled with colored frostings; cookie decorations (blue and white sprinkles, colored sugar, mini-M&Ms or other small candies, silver balls, decorative gel); paper plates; wax paper; plastic knives and, of course, judges!

You can start the contest by giving each participant some cookies and a piece of wax paper on which to work.

Put the paper plates in the center of the table, and start decorating.

Put the finished cookies on the plates.

Dole out your praise, and then let the kids dig in!

Chanukah Cookies

11/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 cup butter or margarine
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
21/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tarter

Combine the confectioners' sugar, butter and egg in a mixer.

Mix in the vanilla and almond extract. Mix in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.

Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap.

Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours or overnight. Dough will be hard.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In small amounts, roll out the dough on a floured cutting board to an approximate thickness of one-eighth inch.

Use Chanukah cookie-cutters to get the shapes you want. If you don't have cookie-cutters, you can cut the dough into fun shapes with a plastic knife, or make circles from the rim of a glass.

Sprinkle each cookie with sugar and place it on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 7 to 8 minutes. Cool and decorate.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Cookie Frosting

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
11/2 Tbsps. of milk

Combine all the ingredients in a mixer. Add food coloring to get the colors you want.

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