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Candy hides in these cookies

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Orange slice candy seems like it's been in existence since the beginning of time! This long-time favorite goes way back in popularity and even versatility. Besides chocolate candy, this candy is one of those that once you start eating them, you can't stay out of them!

If you've not done any cookie baking this season, get some orange slice candy and turn on your oven to create "Orange Slice Bar Cookies". This cookie takes orange slice candy and with some other ingredients and makes a fabulous bar cookie that would fit in perfectly with the Christmas season! It seems that anything orange flavored has a welcome spot at the holidays.

This cookie isn't very expensive to make in comparison to some holiday recipes. For one, this one has only 1 tablespoon of butter and that goes into the icing. There's no shortening of any sort in the cookies themselves. The other ingredients are those you may already have in the kitchen, except for possibly the orange slice candy. This can be found very easily and quite inexpensively in many stores.

The only step that may be a challenge in this recipe is cutting the orange slice candy into small pieces. To make this easy, use a good, sharp knife. To keep the candy from sticking, try spraying the knife with cookware spray or coat some vegetable oil on the knife. If you have someone handy who can help you with this, getting this step completed won't take so much time! Nonetheless, I find this step to be well worth making the cookies!

Once you have the cookies baked and they come from the oven, when they've cooled, you top them with a simple orange icing. When cold, they can be sliced into bars. I find these cookies are better after they've been stored for a day in a tight-fitting container. This helps the cookies to mellow in flavor. These make a welcome gift for someone when packed in a Christmas tin or even on a holiday cookie tray.

Last Christmas, I shared another recipe for "Sugarplum Cake", which also uses the orange slice candy. This is a special cake and is a staple in my home at Christmas. To get this special recipe, follow this link:

http://www.examiner.com/article/visions-of-sugarplums-baked-into-a-cake

If you've not started your holiday baking, let this recipe get the fun started!

ORANGE SLICE BAR COOKIES

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 pound orange slice candy, cut fine

Beat together the eggs and brown sugar until smooth. Combine the dry ingredients and gradually add to the egg mixture. Add the cold water and vanilla extract and blend well. Fold in the nuts and orange slice candy pieces. Turn into a greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or just until the center springs back when lightly touched. Be careful not to overbake. When cool, top with the following icing:

  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soft butter
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • orange juice as needed

Combine sugar, butter and orange peel with enough orange juice to make a spreadable consistency.

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