Merry Christmas! Christmas is a beautiful time of the year but there sure are a lot of people trying to mess things up. I am an old lady and Christmas has been Christmas since I can remember. We really need to pray for our country, our kids, grandkids and just about everyone I can think of. So, because I believe in Christmas I am going to say it to everyone I greet at any location and hope they understand that I have a right to say that and if they don’t like it or believe it, just ignore me. Hope you had some fun baking some of last weeks cookies. Christmas cookies are just part of the fun but I found a great way to bake cookies. It is called “Oak Grove Band groups cookie dough.”

The band members sold plastic buckets filled with cookies that are ready to bake but frozen. For a person who is just preparing for themselves they are great. Everyone laughs because I bake four at a time. That assures that the calories are not too great and I can have a cookie fix every evening with little trouble. I cannot get by with this when the granddaughters are around so I will share a few more cookies recipes for your holidays.

Chocolate Peanut Clusters

16 ounce jar dry-roasted salted peanuts 16 ounce jar dry-roasted unsalted peanuts 2 pounds white melting chocolate,, coarsely chopped 4 ounces sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips In a 5 quart slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on low setting for three hours. Stir and drop candy by heaping tablespoons on wax paper. Let cool completely. Makes about 3 ¼ pounds. Pineapple and Nut Cheese Ball 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened 2 cups chopped pecans, divided 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained 1/4 cup cup chopped green pepper 2 Tablespoons onion, chopped 2 teaspoon seasoned salt Beat cream cheese until smooth. Blend in one cup pecans and remaining ingredients. Shape into 2 balls; roll each ball into remaining pecans. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 2 cheese balls. The above is not a cookie recipe but it is so yummy I decided to share it. Now back to the cookies.

Oatmeal Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups brown sugar, packed 2 cups sugar 1 cup shortening 3/4 cup butter, softened 4 eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons baking soda 3 cups long-cooking oats 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 cup chopped pecans Beat sugars, shortening and butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. Combine flour, salt and baking soda; add to sugar mixture, blending well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop dough by 2 tablespoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes. Let cook 4 minutes on baking sheets. Remove cookies and place on wire racks to cool completely. Makes 6 1/2 dozen.

Have a Merry Christmas, GOD bless you each and every one..and I will see you next week.

Dixie Ryan lives in Odessa and has enjoyed sharing her cooking talents and secrets with readers for many years.