SANTA'S SPICY GINGERSNAPPERS

Recipe courtesy of Judy's Kitchen (http://judyskitchen.blogspot.com)
Source:  Better Homes and Gardens
Rating:  9 out of 10

INGREDIENTS:  1 cup raisins
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger (Increase if you want a spicier cookie)
1 tsp. finely shredded orange peel
1 tsp. vanilla
3-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (Increase if you want a spicier cookie)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg (Increase if you want a spicier cookie)
1/4 tsp. ground ginger (Increase if you want a spicier cookie)
1/4 tsp. salt
1 recipe Pecan Topping, below
1 recipe Orange Glaze, below

1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Place raisins and butter in food processor; process until raisins are chopped and combined with butter.  Transfer mixture to extra-large bowl.  With electric mixer, beat in brown sugar, eggs, crystallized ginger, orange peel and vanilla until creamy.

2. In medium bowl, combine flour, pecans, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder,nutmeg, ginger and salt.  Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture.  Mix until well combined.

3. With a 2-Tbsp. cookie scoop, drop dough 4” apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  (Note:  I used a rounded Tbsp. of dough and lined my cookie sheet with parchment paper.)  Flatten tops lightly.  Spoon about 1 tsp. pecan topping onto center of each unbaked cookie.

4. Bake 11-13 minutes, until edges are just set.  (Note:  cookies will be soft and look undone, but they harden as they cool.)  Let cool on pan for 2 minutes; transfer cookies to cooling rack.  Cool completely.

5. Drizzle cooled cookies with Orange Glaze.  Yield:  3 dozen large cookies.  (My yield was 34.)

Pecan Topping:  In small bowl,  combine 1/2 cup chopped raisins, 1/2 cup  chopped pecans, 3 Tbsp. dairy sour cream and 2 Tbsp. caramel topping.  (Note:  I used 3 Tbsp. cream cheese + 2 Tbsp. Kraft caramel bits.)

Orange Glaze:  In small bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp. orange juice.  (Or just microwave some cream cheese or butter cream frosting till melted.)