FARGO — The tree is trimmed and the presents are (hopefully) wrapped and ready to go. All that's left is the goodies — those sweet and sugary delights that adorn tables this time of year.
Whether they're traditional treats based on recipes dating back hundreds of years or a new discovery that's more recently made its way into kitchens, cookie-making is a sweetly wonderful way to celebrate the season.
Many of these recipes may be family tradition, passed down from generation to generation, but did you know that the treats we choose to create are largely influenced by the place we call home?
General Mills does. The Golden Valley, Minn.-based company used internet search results from Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Tablespoon to compile a list of the most-clicked holiday cookie recipes in each state.
Peanut Butter Blossoms are a popular favorite this time of year. Not ringing a bell? You've probably enjoyed them before — they're peanut butter cookies topped with a signature Hershey's Kiss center, and six states were searching for the directions to make them, according to General Mills.
Minnesotans, along with residents in Maryland, chose Christmas Snickerdoodles to celebrate the holidays. Those cinnamon-sugary, uniquely-tasting treats are relatively unknown outside the U.S., but that just means more for us, right?
North Dakotans went in a different direction with their choice. Their most-clicked recipe, according to this survey, was the Easy Spritz Cookie — a delicate almond-sugar cookie formed using a contraption known as a cookie press and dusted with colorful sugar. It was the top choice in Colorado, Illinois and Washington, as well.
Looking to make a few 'doodles or spritz? Check out the recipes below — all courtesy of Betty Crocker herself.
Makes: 72 servings
2 tablespoons decorative red sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons decorative green sugar
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees. In small bowl, mix red sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon; set aside. In another small bowl, mix green sugar and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon; set aside.
In large bowl, beat sugar, shortening, butter and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt.
Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Roll in sugar-cinnamon mixtures. Place about 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until centers are almost set. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Easy Spritz Cookies
Makes: 48 servings
1 pouch (1 pound, 1 1/2 ounces) Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted*
1 teaspoon almond extract
Decorating toppings and colored sugars (if desired)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, flour, melted butter, almond extract and egg until soft dough forms.
Fit desired template in cookie press; fill cookie press with dough. Force dough through template onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle with decors or colored sugars. Sprinkle with sugar crystals.
Bake 6-8 minutes or until set but not brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack.