This is a personal family collection of cookie recipes, and a few candies, most of which came from my mother, some that have been passed down through several generations, and others that are of my own creation. Admittedly, in my house, cookies are most popular during the Christmas holidays. However, every now and then I bake a batch just for the indulgence or to try a new recipe. There are many different recipes on this page from which to choose, including a few healthy choices that are low in fat and sugar, or incorporate whole grain flour. In my opinion, the recipes that were handed down from my family are the absolute best of their kind. Since my mother worked for many years at a quality chocolate store in Pennsylvania, we did not need to make candy often, but I included a few of my favorite treats, as well as a link to some shared candy recipes from visitors.
Before you do any baking, you should be familiar with a few basic guidelines. First, unless otherwise specified, all ingredients should be room temperature and, when alternating wet and dry ingredients, start and end with dry. If the size of the egg is not specified, use large. Unsalted butter is superior in taste and allows you to control the sodium so, if you don't use it for other cooking, try to do so when baking. An important tip about mixing cookie dough: it is tempting to use a mixer because it makes the workload easier. However, an otherwise delicious batch can be ruined if over-mixed, so be careful. Also, softened butter should never be too soft. That is essentially the same as over-mixing. And remember, oven temperatures vary, so always check your cookies for doneness a little early and, if needed, bake a little longer. Happy baking and enjoy!