Mom's Apple Squares
Traditional recipes for apple squares often use plenty of trans fat–laden shortening in the crust. We replaced it with a mixture of canola oil and butter and swapped out half the all-purpose flour for whole-wheat pastry flour for a little fiber. They are best enjoyed slightly warm. Gently reheat any leftovers in the oven or toaster oven to recrisp the crust.
Patti Anderson, a professional quilter, had never entered a cooking contest before she took our challenge. This quick, no-fuss, chewy chocolate cookie is made on your waffle iron. No need to haul out the big mixer, you can mix the batter with a small hand mixer or even by hand. Kids love these!
Holiday cookies don't get any cuter than these mini gingerbread houses that kids and adults alike will love. Use a mini gingerbread house cookie cutter to cut out all the parts (the kids will love helping with this part), then build the houses and let the kids go to town decorating. Line up your finished creations to make a gingerbread house village, eat them up or prop them up on mugs of cocoa for dipping and munching.
Snowman Meringue Cookies
You've never made a snowman like this! These cute lightened-up cookies are awesome on their own, or float one in a cup of hot chocolate and watch it melt away. When making meringues, make sure that your bowl and beaters are clean and that there is not a trace of yolk in the egg white; the smallest amount of fat will prevent the egg whites from forming meringue. Depending on the humidity in your kitchen, the baking time might vary considerably. Check to make sure your cookies are crisp throughout before removing them from the oven.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Classic chocolate chip cookies get a fall update by mixing in pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice. Not only are these pumpkin cookies even more flavorful than regular chocolate chip cookies, they're also oh-so-soft and cake-like. Use chocolate chunks for big gooey bites of chocolate or opt for mini chocolate chips to ensure a bit of chocolate in each bite.