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Holiday cookies: Grandma Chandler's Christmas cookies

December 12, 2011 |  8:00 am

Christy Cowell of Pasadena was one of the winners in our Los Angeles Times Holiday Cookie Bake-Off last year with these humble sweets she calls "Grandma Chandler's Christmas cookies."

"These cookies will never win a beauty contest — they look kind of like potatoes!" she wrote. "But they are a fantastic, sturdy molasses-spice-walnut cookie that keeps well and tastes great throughout the holiday season. We cut them into diamond shapes because, well, that's how we've always done it." Cookiecover

They're among the 50 favorite holiday cookie recipes we've collected in our "Holiday Cookies" e-book, which is on sale now.

All of them have been vetted by the Times' Test Kitchen, so you know they work. Download it on the Amazon Kindle, the Nook or via the iBookstore. Or go straight to the source.

And don't forget: Thursday we'll be unveiling a whole new collection of sweets from this year's contest.

Photo: Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times

Grandma Chandler's Christmas cookies

Total time: 1 1/2 hours

Servings: About 12 dozen cookies

3 eggs

1/2 cup molasses

3 3/4 cups dark brown sugar

3/4 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon ground allspice

1 1/2 pounds walnuts, coarsely chopped

About 6 ½ cups flour

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, molasses and brown sugar. Beat in the water, then the baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and allspice. Beat in the walnuts, and then half of the flour. It's best to beat in the rest of the flour by hand; this recipe makes a lot of dough, possibly too much for some mixers.

3. Roll out the dough in batches on a well-floured surface to a generous one-fourth-inch thickness. Cut the dough into diamond shapes and bake on lightly greased sheets until the bottom is lightly browned but the top has yet to color, 11 to 13 minutes.

4. Pack in air-tight containers; these are good for 2 to 3 months and they ship well.

Each of 12 dozen cookies: 79 calories; 1 gram protein; 12 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 3 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 4 mg cholesterol; 6 grams sugar; 21 mg sodium.