Christmas Gifts
Paula Deen's Christmas Cookies

Christmas is celebrity chef Paula Deen's favorite holiday! From opening her home to family and friends to following traditions old and new, this best-selling author and television host is always looking for ways to make the celebration merry and bright!

In the spirit of the season, Paula's shared with us two of her decadent, delicious, and delightfully-easy-to-prepare cookie recipes that are sure to become some of your family's favorites. Try one today--but we can't promise you there's going to be any left over to leave for Santa!

Enjoy the recipes, and as Paula herself would say, "Merry Christmas, y'all!"

Stick to Your Teeth Chocolate Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Ingredients

2 1-ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup graham cracker crumbs, finely ground
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
24 shelled walnut halves

Garnish:
Walnut halves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate in a medium size bowl. Add the milk and stir until the mixture thickens, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from heat and add the crumbs, salt, nuts, and vanilla and stir until well combined. Work quickly as the mixture will become stiff. Using a spoon, drop the mixture into rounded teaspoons onto a prepared greased cookie sheet. Place half a walnut on top of each cookie. Place cookies in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and quickly transfer onto waxed paper to cool.

Yield: 24 cookies
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Ease of preparation: Easy

Savannah Cheesecake Cookies
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

Ingredients

Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 stick butter, melted

Filling:
Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla or almond extract
Fresh berries and mint leaves, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, brown sugar, pecans, and butter in bowl. Press dough into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned. For filling, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar together in a bowl until smooth, using a handheld electric mixer; add eggs and extract; beat well. Pour over crust. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool completely. Cut into squares before serving. Decorate tops with berries and mint leaves.

Yield: 25 squares
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Ease of Preparation: Easy

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