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I’m on a cookie kick.

Consequently, I have a proposal, actually more of an invitation that I hope will reap some rewards. Notice I said “rewards” not “awards,” and there’s a reason for that distinction.

I’m inviting anyone with a terrific cookie recipe — Christmas or not, and one she/he would be willing to share in the Spoon — to send it to me at the email address below.

This is not going to be a competition, but I will give each one a try, run it by my dedicated taste testers — co-workers — and share the results along with the recipe. There’ll be no prizes, only the chance that your recipe might become someone else’s new favorite.

This week, I’m priming the recipe pump with two of my all-time favorites.

My grandmother made terrific peanut butter cookies, which I still use as a yardstick for all others. Of course, when you are a kid and you bake cookies with your grandmother it’s the experience that tempers the taste, they could be rocks, but following an afternoon measuring, mixing, rolling and baking they will forever be “the best” in your memory bank.

So, send me your best and we’ll all be winners.

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 c. shortening

1 c. peanut butter, chunk or creamy

1 c. brown sugar

1 c. granulated sugar

2 well-beaten eggs

1 Tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. soda

2 c. sifted flour

Combine shortening with peanut butter. Gradually add sugars and cream thoroughly after each addition. Add eggs, milk and vanilla, stirring well. Sift salt, soda and flour together and slowly add to peanut butter mixture. Roll dough into balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten balls with a fork dipped in flour and bake at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 2 to 3 dozen cookies, depending on size.

P.S.: As a variation, try adding 1 cup of miniature chocolate chips. Using the smaller ones makes it a little easier to flatten the dough.

Also on my list of all time favorites is former local Carol Drum’s superb sugar cookies. I admit that they're a little time-consuming in that you have to mix the dough a day ahead of baking. Small inconvenience, though, since these cookies, quite literally, will get you raves from all directions.

Vary them to suit your mood. You can tint the dough for holiday cookies or use colored sugars for decoration.

Originally a blender recipe, I use a food processor and it works just fine.

Carol's Sugar Cookies

1 c. margarine

1 c. oil

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1 c. powdered sugar

1 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. cream of tartar

1 tsp. cardamon (optional) (I used about ½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg.)

4 c. flour

Sugar and cinnamon, if desired, for topping

In a food processor or blender, combine margarine, oil, both sugars, vanilla and eggs and mix until light and fluffy. Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl and add creamed mixture. Mix until all flour is incorporated and a soft dough is formed. Cover and refrigerate overnight or until well-chilled. When ready to bake, roll dough into balls, place about 2 inches apart on a well-greased cookie sheet. Flatten with a cookie stamp or glass bottom that has been dipped into sugar. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove from baking sheet while still hot and cool completely before storing.*

VARIATIONS: Use a mixture of cinnamon and sugar on glass or cookie press. Also, after pressing with sugared glass, sprinkle tops with a few chopped nuts, then press again gently and bake as above.

Santa Ynez Valley resident Elaine Revelle can be reached at thewoodenspoon@juno.com.

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