Happy Endings

With the holidays upon us, there seems to be some wisdom in having some quick and tasty treats on hand for unexpected guests and quick snacks as you rush from here to there. That's what this month's column is all about. Taking a boxed cake mix and adding a few choice ingredients gives you a scrumptious cookie that's easy to make and perfect for putting out for company or grabbing as you rush out the door to finish your holiday shopping.

If you want to swap off the dried cranberries for raisins, chopped dates, dried cherries or almost any dried fruit, go for it! It's bound to add a little special pizzazz to what promises to be standard fare in your cookie jar. You can also use regular or quick-cooking oats in this recipe -- but the thick-rolled ones will make the cookies extra chewy!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Simple Oatmeal-Cranberry Cookies

  • 1 pkg. spice cake mix
  • 1 c. thick-rolled oats
  • 1/2 c. butter or margarine
  • 1/2 c. vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. dried cranberries
  • 3/4 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, oatmeal, butter or margarine, shortening, egg, milk and vanilla. Mix thoroughly until combined. Stir in the cranberries and nuts.

Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow to cool 1 minute on the cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack and cooling completely.

  • Yields: about 3 dozen cookies
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

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