Cakes, cookies and other sweet recipes

By ANDREW ARMSTRONG / Recipe Columnist

I will be the first to tell you, I cannot bake cookies. I am in culinary school and I have won cooking competitions at local churches; however, cookies are a different story. We will put it like this: When a person’s mother hears her kid is planning to bake a dozen cookies and that mother’s response is, “Please don’t, have you still not learned your lesson?,” then it should tell you just how bad they generally turn out.

That being said, if I am ever asked to bake cookies, I will do so, but they have to be the “rolled ball” style cookies. If this also applies to you, then this week I have some recipes and I believe they will satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Georgia Orange Pudding Cake

1 box of yellow cake mix, disregard the box instructions

1 cup of oil

4 eggs

1 can of mandarin oranges

Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Mix the above ingredients together and blend well. Pour in a floured/greased pan and bake for 35 minutes or until done at 350 degrees.

*Georgia orange pudding cake topping

1 large can of crushed pineapple, undrained

1 package of instant vanilla pudding

1 carton of Cool Whip topping (9 ounces)

Mix together the three ingredients and spread on the cooled cake, then refrigerate.

All Year Fruit Cake

Maraschino cherries, chopped (16 ounces)

Pineapple, crushed (16 ounces)

Dates, chopped (16 ounces)

Pecans, chopped (16 ounces)

½ a cup of miniature marshmallows

1 ½ cups of flour

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of nutmeg

½ a teaspoon of all spice

1 tablespoon of brown sugar

1 cup of white granulated sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

5 eggs

1 tablespoon of milk

1 tablespoon of butter, melted

Preheat the oven at 325 degrees. Mix together the first 12 ingredients and toss it well to fully coat everything, then add in the eggs, milk and butter to create your batter. Pour into a greased and floured pan baking at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Andrew’s Ambrosia Cookies

2 cups of flour

½ a teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1 cup of butter

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1½ cups of oatmeal, uncooked

2 cups of coconut

1 cup of yellow raisins

1 cup of almonds, chopped

Preheat the oven at 375 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar, until it is light. Mix in the eggs one at a time and beat the mixture well. Stir in all the dry ingredients one at a time. Shape the dough into small balls and bake on a greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Andrew’s Sugared Spice Cookies

2 sticks of butter

¼ a cup of white sugar

¼ a cup of brown sugar

2 cups of flour, sifted

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

¼ a teaspoon of all spice

¼ a teaspoon of ginger

2 cups of crushed corn flakes or raisin bran cereal

1 cup of nuts, chopped

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

½ a cup of powdered sugar (use to roll cookies in after baking)

Preheat the oven at 325 degrees. Cream the butter and sugar. Mix in the remaining ingredients and roll the mixture into balls. Bake the cookies at 325 degrees for 30 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. Once they are done baking let them cool and while they are still warm roll them in the powdered sugar.

Mary Jo’s Spiced Grapes

5 pounds of seedless grapes

4½ pounds of sugar

1 cup of vinegar

1½ teaspoons of cinnamon

4 teaspoons of all spice

Boil the grapes for 15 minutes or until they are tender. Add the sugar and cook, until the mixture is thick. Mix in the remaining ingredients and cook the mixture, until it gives a slight jell. (223 degrees on a candy thermometer). Pack into hot sterilized jars and seal with a water bath.

Nutty Clusters

1 egg, beaten

¾ a cup of brown sugar

1¼ a cup of flour

½ a teaspoon of baking soda

¼ a teaspoon of salt

¼ a cup of butter, melted

3 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1 cup of nuts, chopped

Preheat the oven a 375 degrees. Mix all of the ingredients together and drop onto greased cookie sheets, using a teaspoon. Bake the clusters at 375 degrees for 7 minutes.