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Inventive Cookie Ideas for an Extra Sweet Spring
by Janet Tharpe
03/29/11
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I don't know about you, but those sweet Girl Scouts and their addictive cookies sure did a number on my waistline this year! And they're not alone. I've never so enjoyed packing in the calories as I have taste-testing the oodles of fantastic homemade cookie recipes that have been turning up! And I'm not talking about your everyday chocolate chip variety (which I WOULD gladly eat every day, by the way.) No, what I'm seeing is an outbreak of awesome: in the form of ooey, gooey, one-of-a-kind cookie recipes in the recipes club Just a Pinch!

Combining the richness of turtle candy, the cuteness of a cupcake and the bite-size ease of a cookie is the recent recipe posting for scrumptious Turtle Cookie Cups on the site Just a Pinch by club member Valerie Johnson.

"These little cookie cups are very easy to make," assures Valerie. "I made them for Super Bowl Sunday and they were a big hit. If you like chocolate and caramel, I'm sure you will like these."

That's one safe bet! These chocolate cookies are filled with soft caramel and topped with a pecan for the perfect crunchy finish. And since each cookie cup is baked in its own little wrapper, they're ideal for bake sales and party trays.

Now, if ever there were a dessert whose very name screamed "party", it's the aptly named Whoopie Pie. Growing up in the South, I've had to be taught the art of the Whoopie Pie from some New England bakers. These filled, cake-like cookies are said to have originated in Amish kitchens as a way to use leftover cake batter. Goodness, those were some smart cookies!

The Whoopie Pie is a tough dessert to classify - Is it a cake, a cookie, an honest to goodness pie? - but it's got universal appeal! Angie Walker of Stryker, OH (also a Just a Pinch member) adds her own spin to the traditional chocolate Whoopie with her Serene Sunday: Oh, the Sadness of Parting Pumpkin Cookies. With a big name and equally big flavors, Angie's cookies are a spice-filled, pumpkin-packed treat. Is there such a thing as "classic innovation"? If so, I think Angie's got it down to an art!

On the other hand, Kathleen Kulinski, another club member, has perfected what has to be one of the most decadent no-bake cookies of all time. With ingredients to satisfy every craving imaginable - from salty to sweet - I urge women everywhere to whip up a batch for those times when you need a little extra indulgence.

"This [cookie] is a little bit chocolate, a little bit salt, a little bit peanut butter and then there's the fluff" exclaims Kathleen!

These chocolate dears are perfectly freezable, too. So make a lot, eat a few, and save the rest for your next "take me away" moment.

Kudos to all the crafty cooks out there who are coming up with such inventive ways to satisfy our collective sweet tooth! Thanks to you, our tables are a much sweeter place. Now, pass the milk, please…

If you enjoy these recipes, be sure to dip into some of the amazing recipe contests hosted by Just A Pinch. Or, if you haven't done so, go ahead and join any recipe club and start exchanging YOUR ooy-gooy ideas with other cooks from around the world!

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Born in Lexington, Ky., Janet first developed her passion for cooking and recipe club groups at the early age of 14. As a child, she loved cooking for her grandfather and his workers. Now she shares her culinary skills by participating in church socials and a recipe club as she adds to her own recipe box. For the past five years, Janet has served as a chef assistant at a culinary school in Franklin, Tenn. and recipe contests, fine-tuning her skills and swapping hometown recipes with friends and neighbors. Her culinary skills, combined with a dose of southern hospitality, make her the perfect host for the Just A Pinch® online community.

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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