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Fall has arrived here where I live in the Pacific Northwest, and the trees have already started turning lovely colors. The bright reds and oranges provide a nice contrast to the dark green foliage of all the Douglas firs and cedars in our area. Another odd sign that the weather is changing here is the sudden appearance of spider webs everywhere. While I’m not a fan of creepy crawlies, the webs are quite striking when they’re covered in dew and sparkling in the sun.
I wanted to share one of my favorite cookie recipes with you for a couple of reasons. The first is that my amateur sleuth, Abby McCree, loves to bake cookies of all kinds. She draws a lot of comfort from baking whenever she’s feeling stressed, but she also loves to share her creations with all of her friends. She and I have that in common.
The second reason is that I’ve been making this same cookie since I was a little girl. My mom and I always made cookies together using a Mirro Cookie Press. I still use the same kind of old-style press that she had and think of her whenever I make these, a type of cream cheese spritz cookie. They are light, crispy, and especially tasty. I made this batch in fall colors, using orange sugar crystals with a spot of green to look like pumpkins.
I hope you’ll give the recipe a try—they always meet with rave reviews when I share them with friends and family.
HOLIDAY WREATHS (cookie press cookies)
- ½ cup shortening
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Cream shortening and cream cheese together. Add sugar and vanilla and mix well. Add flour until well mixed.
- Use the star plate on the cookie press, making circles of the dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle decorative sugar around the cookie. The dough is too soft to use any of the other plates in the cookie press.
- Bake 12-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven. You want the edges and the bottom to be slightly brown. It’s better to have them underdone than too brown. Cool slightly before removing from the cookie sheet.
- One recipe makes about 18 cookies. I usually use an entire 8 oz. pkg of the cream cheese and multiple the recipe by 4.
- Halloween—Use orange sugar crystals with one spot of green to represent a pumpkin.
- Christmas—Use green sugar crystals around the cookie with one spot of red to look like a wreath with a red bow.
Overcommitted committee member Abby McCree gets in a patch of trouble trying to solve the murder of a pumpkin farmer…
The small town of Snowberry Creek, Washington, is gearing up for the Halloween Festival, and naturally Abby is on the planning committee. As part of her duties, she’s picking up a pumpkin order from ornery farmer Ronald Minter. But what she finds instead is the farmer in the middle of his corn maze with a knife in his back.
The police suspect a homeless veteran named Kevin Montgomery, who was seen arguing with Minter when the farmer accused him of trespassing and stealing pumpkins. Abby’s tenant Tripp Blackston, a veteran himself who’s been helping Kevin, is sure he’s innocent. Together, Abby and Tripp follow the twists and turns of the case to corner the corn maze killer—before someone else meets a dead end…