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Early cookie development dates to the seventh century Persian Empire. Records show that the �cookie� was originally used as a test cake: bakers would place a small amount of cake batter onto baking pans to ensure the oven was heated to the correct temperature for cake baking. However, baking techniques and recipes evolved with the melding of cultures across Northern Europe and the developing spice trade, allowing the cookie to become a culinary treat rather than a testing method.

As global sea travel became widespread starting in the 14th century, biscuits, or hardtack, were the ideal travel food because they stayed fresh for long periods of time. One of the most popular forms of this �travel cookie� was the jumble, a hard cookie made from nuts, sweetener and water.

Eventually, English, Scottish and Dutch immigrants brought their versions of the cookie to North America in the 1600s. While the English primarily referred to the cookie as �small cakes,� or �tea cakes,� the Dutch used the word �koekje,� which eventually evolved into �cookie� or �cookey� in the 1700s. Affordable sugar and flour in the 19th century and the introduction of chemical rising agents such as baking soda led to the development of new cookie recipes that have become modern day favorites, including Snickerdoodles, Fig Newtons and, of course, the chocolate chip cookie.

Preheat oven to 375�F. Shape dough into 1/2-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Lightly flatten half the balls with bottom of a juice glass to create �bottom� layer of button. Sprinkle rounded button tops with decorative sugar.

Once cooled, spread bottom cookies with 1/4 teaspoon apple cider jelly; place cookie top on jelly. Store unfilled cookies in airtight container, in refrigerator, for up to 1 week, and filled cookies for up to 3 days. Bring cookies to room temperature before serving.

Combine 6 cups fresh apple cider, 4 cups sugar and 1 box (1 3/4 ounces) sure-jell dry, sugar-free pectin in saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to boil; stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes, stirring intermittently. Remove from heat; skim off any foam; pour into clean sterilized jars. Refrigerate to set (or process according to canning instructions). Makes 3 dozen mini sandwich cookies.

In large bowl, combine butter, almond butter, rum, almond extract and confectioners� sugar using electric mixer. Dough will be smooth and firm. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm; about 30 minutes. Makes 4 dozen candies.

To dip balls, insert a toothpick about 1/2 inch into the ball, dip into melted chocolate leaving a small circle of dough visible at the top, and place on parchment paper to dry until chocolate is firm. Repeat with remaining candies. Store in airtight container for up to 3 days.

In small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to butter mixture. Mix in bananas and pecans; stir to incorporate. Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes 16 2-inch bars.

In large bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, sugar and extract with an electric mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Add cinnamon and 1 cup confectioners� sugar; blend until smooth (careful; over mixing will cause separation). Add additional confectioners� sugar to create desired consistency.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add egg, salt and vanilla; blend until incorporated. Stir in flour and chili powder; blend well. Add chopped pecans; mix to combine.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls; place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until very light brown and crisp at the edges. Cool cookies on pan for two minutes or until set, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Makes 4 dozen cookies

Place chocolate, vanilla, chili powder and cinnamon in large microwave-safe dish. Microwave 30 seconds on high, stir and continue to microwave in 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring after each until chocolate is melted and smooth. Using teaspoon, drizzle chocolate over cooled cookies; press a pecan half on top and sprinkle with sea salt.