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Best-Loved Cookies and Bars

These cookie recipes are easy to make, perfect for swapping, and pretty enough to be decorations.

Cookies, brownies, and bars are always crowd-pleasers—and great handmade gifts for friends and family during the holidays or for other special occasions. We love cookie recipes with a special Southern twist: Red Velvet Thumbprints, Cornmeal Thumbprints with Tomato Jam, Tea Cakes, and Swoon Pies (our take on Moon Pies). But, we crave classics like chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, or white chocolate chip cookies just as much. Get really creative—not to mention decadent—with brownie and bar recipes like Pecan Pie Bars, Bayou Brownies, Mudslide Brownies, Death by Caramel Bars, and Kitchen Sink Brownies (which have a little of everything but the sink in them). During the holidays, try our cookie, bar, and brownie spins on favorite holiday flavors: Glazed Fruitcake Bars, Layered Eggnog Blondies, Coconut Snowballs, Chocolate Peppermint Crackle, and Pecan Pralines. With so many recipes to choose from, you can fill your cookie jar year-round. Keep ice cream in the freezer, and you’ll always have an easy answer when somebody asks, “What’s for dessert?”

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