Neighbors will love these holiday treats

Magical Graham Cracker Bars (HERALD PHOTO/Jamie Durrant)

’Tis the season for giving. Here are two quick and very simple recipes that will have your neighbors who are lucky enough to receive them begging for more! I used almond extract for both recipes (because I ran out of vanilla over Thanksgiving and can’t seem to remember to buy more) and we thought they tasted great. In fact, my 8-year-old took one bite of the shortbread cookies and said with a big smile, “Now that is a good cookie!” I hope you feel the same. Enjoy!

Four-ingredient Shortbread Cookies

2 cups flour

1 cup salted butter

1/2 cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Scoop dough into balls. Flatten each ball to 1/2-inch thickness with the bottom of a glass using plastic wrap on top of cookie ball to keep from sticking. Bake 12-15 minutes. Do not over bake. Mix 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract. Brush on cooled cookies and sprinkle with colored sugar.

Magical Graham Cracker Bars

1 box honey graham crackers (all 3 sleeves)

1 12-ounce bag milk chocolate chips

3/4 cup finely chopped pecans

2 cans sweetened condensed milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups powered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with tinfoil and spray well with nonstick cooking spray.

In a food processor or blender add graham crackers and pecans. Pulse until you have fine crumbs. Dump into a larger bowl and add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Spread batter into sprayed pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until just set. Do not over bake. Cool completely.

Lift the bars out of the pan, using the foil overhang. Cut bars and sprinkle with powdered sugar or gently toss in a bowl full of powdered sugar.


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