Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cran-Pistachio Sugar Cookies

Our church hosts a Cookie Exchange Party before Christmas every year, and it is really a fun idea. I know most people know what that is, but for those who don't, I will explain. You make three dozen of the same type of cookie and bring them to the party on a platter. One dozen of them are taken and put out on the buffet line (dinner/snack foods are served at the party, along with all the different cookies to test), and the other two dozen are put out on display (for the voting, later). While you eat and mingle, you are suppose to test the cookies, and vote on your favorites - there are several categories, like Best Use of Holiday Color, Best Use of Chocolate, Best All Around, etc. When you leave, you get to pack up two dozen cookies of your choice to take home, and after all the recipes are typed up, you get a cookie recipe book that has every cookie from the party in it.

I had pinned a few "easy" cookies on a Pinterest board, because I wasn't sure I was going to be able to go and wanted to have something easy to whip up in case I was left baking at the last minute, which I was :) Here are the easy (and festive!) cookies I whipped up:

Cran-Pistachio Sugar Cookies (from here)

1 pouch Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie Mix
1 box pistachio instant pudding and pie filling mix
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 cup dry roasted salted pistachio nuts, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

In a large bowl stir cookie mix, pudding, and flour. Add melted butter and eggs and stir until incorporated.
Add pistachios and cranberries and mix well. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes and do not over bake.

The author suggested adding green food coloring and I tried this for a batch I made for a Christmas gathering - and I do not suggest it. The subtle green color that the pistachio pudding gives the cookies is enough in my opinion; the food coloring just makes them look cheesy.

{Cookie table at the party}

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