Recipe roundup: holiday baking edition

recipe roundup

This year Matt asked me to bake cookies several times a week so that he could flood the break room at his day job with sugary goodness. This sounded like a great plan to me because I love to bake and getting all the cookies out of the house the very next day means less chance for me to eat them all myself. Even with the new pup underfoot (more on him soon) I have managed to crank out some good stuff without burning a single cookie.

Peanut Butter Blossoms from Better Homes and Gardens. These disappeared in a day. Soft little peanut butter cookies with whole Hershey kisses smooshed into the top – what’s not to like?

Lemon Bars from Ina Garten. I took the time to hand-squeeze five jumbo lemons to get a whole cup of lemon juice for these super-tart bars and it paid off – literally. After the pan was emptied and returned to me the same day I dropped it off I had a request from the shop manager to make a second batch just for him – and he wanted to pay me for my time.

Cowboy Cookies from my personal files. Crunchy-chewy oatmeal cookies full of chocolate chips and pecans. One of the few cookies I am physically incapable of resisting. I have no idea where I got this recipe. I jotted down the ingredients long before I ever started cooking, which makes it likely that I got it off of a PBS cooking show. I am shocked that I didn’t cite my source – that is not at all like me. I typed it up on a typewriter (I used to sort of collect them) and the instructions I invented make it clear to the current-day me that I had never baked a cookie in my life. Here’s a corrected version:

Cowboy Cookies

  • Servings: approx. 24
  • Print


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1-1/3 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Beat in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add oats, chocolate chips, and pecans.
  3. Using a medium cookie scoop (I use a #50 disher) or a tablespoon measure, drop balls of dough 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until barely golden on edges. Let sit on baking sheet five minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

— Amanda


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