Chewy Citrus Shortbread Bars

1½ cups unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
2 egg yolks
2 ½ cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ to 2 teaspoons each orange and lemon zest
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur
¼ teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg white
2 to 3 tablespoons raw sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 9x13x2-inch pan with vegetable cooking spray. Beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until combined. Add egg yolks one at a time and beat until smooth. Stir in flour, zests, amaretto and salt, mixing only until everything is incorporated. Spread dough evenly in pan and brush top with egg white. Sprinkle with raw sugar. Bake until golden brown, approximately 30 – 38 minutes. (I think they’re done when the top is golden brown and they appear slightly deflated.  They will harden as they cool). Cool slightly, but cut while still warm.  Cut into 24 bars. These bars freeze well. Just cut and place in a zippered freezer bag. Microwave one bar for a couple seconds to thaw.

Recipe Created by Kim Galeaz, RD CD

Salted Caramel Thumbprints

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup thick caramel topping
Kosher salt

Combine butter, sugar and extract in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low and add flour incrementally. Beat until well-combined, scraping bowl often. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb or 1/8-teaspoon measuring spoon.

Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. At halfway point, make another indentation in center of each cookie, as they’ll puff up while baking.  Let cookies stand 1 minute on baking sheet, then remove to wire cooling rack to cool completely.

Immediately fill each cookie on cooling rack with ¼ teaspoon caramel topping and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Store in single layer in tightly covered container.

Makes about 36 to 40 cookies.

Almond Jewel Jam Thumbprints

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ to ¾ cup seedless jam or preserves (apricot, blackberry, raspberry)

Combine butter, sugar and extract in large bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Reduce speed to low and add flour incrementally. Beat until well-combined, scraping bowl often. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Heat oven to 350°F. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Make indentation in center of each cookie with thumb or 1/8-teaspoon measuring spoon. Fill with ¼ teaspoon jam or preserves.

Bake 14 to 18 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Let cookies stand 1 minute on baking sheet, then remove to wire cooling rack to cool completely. Store in single layer in tightly covered container.

Makes about 36 to 40 cookies.

Kim’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 ¼ cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
½ cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons
Vanilla extract
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips*

Heat oven to 375°F. Whisk flours, baking soda and salt together in medium bowl and set aside. Mix melted butter and sugars in electric mixer bowl on medium speed. Add eggs and extract and mix thoroughly. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture, mixing until thoroughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Chill the dough in refrigerate for at least 30 to 45 minutes. Using cookie scoop (about 1 ½-tablespoon size), place cookies on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 10 to 13 minutes or until golden brown, checking and turning at halfway point. Let cool on cookie sheet just 1 minute, then remove to wire cooling racks to cool completely. Store in tightly covered container. Makes about 40 cookies.

*Macadamia M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies

Add 1 ½ cups chocolate chips, heaping ¾ cup chopped macadamia nuts, ½ cup M&M’s. (Stir candy in by hand or it’ll break up completely.)

*Toffee Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Add 1 cup chocolate chips, 1 cup crushed Heath toffee bits pieces, ¾ cup chopped pecans.

Seven Layer Cookie Bars

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter, melted
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans 

Heat oven to 375°F. Coat a 13x9-inch baking pan with vegetable cooking spray. Combine graham crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with fork. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm. Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars.  (24 or 30 bars.)

Recipe by Kim Galeaz, RD CD