I don’t know how many chicken casserole recipes I have, and you have them all from this column. I like every one of them, but I admit to being weary of the same ole, same ole. Today’s recipe is a combination of two or three of the old ones. It got good reviews from my friends John and Carolyn and over the years they’ve sampled every recipe.

I shared cinnamon pecan cookies with you over 20 years ago. Even with a good amount of cinnamon, it’s still one of my favorite cookies. Chilling the dough makes it way easier to scoop. Did you ever get yourself an ice cream style cookie scoop? You need one now.

If you dislike the taste of bourbon, I read that you can use vanilla extract mixed with water. I this case, use a tablespoon of pure vanilla extract (bourbon is cheaper) and fill to one half cup with water.

Marie Nichols pie recipe should be on your menu this year. Think of the time saved making two pies at once. Think of the compliments you’re gonna get.

I’m wishing for all your Christmas wishes to come true.

Chicken Casserole

4 cups cooked, chopped chicken

2 cans cream of chicken-mushroom soup

or cream of chicken or one of each

3 ribs celery, diced

1 cup diced onion

1/2 stick butter

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

2 cups Pepperidge farms herb seasoned dressing crumbs. Divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with Pam. Cook celery and onion in butter until tender. Whisk together soups and broth. Stir in vegetables and one cup crumbs. Add chicken. Spread evenly in the prepared dish. Bake until bubbly. Top with remaining crumbs. Bake until crumbs are brown.

Cinnamon Pecan Cookies

1 cup butter at room temperature

1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed

1 cup white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

3 large eggs

4 cups sifted all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream butter and sugars until light. Add eggs, beating after each. Add vanilla. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Are dry ingredients to butter mixture about a cup at a time. Beat only until blended. Add pecans. Chill about an hour. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the parchment. Bake eight to ten minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool five minutes on the cookie sheet. Cool completely on a rack. Store tightly covered.

Bourbon Balls

3 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons white karo syrup

1/2 cup bourbon

Extra powdered sugar

Stir together wafer crumbs, pecans, cocoa and powdered sugar. Whisk together karo and bourbon. Add liquid to dry ingredients. Stir until well combined. Shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in powdered sugar. Store tightly covered.

Marie Nichols Coconut/Pineapple Custard Pies

2 (8-inch) unbaked pie shells

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple

1 stick butter plus two tablespoons

6 eggs, beaten

1 cup, packed, coconut

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter, blend in sugar, beaten eggs, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Add coconut and pineapple. Divide equally between pie shells. Bake 45 minutes or until golden brown and filling is set. Cool at room temperature.

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