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Cookies for an after-school treat
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The perfect after-school (or work) snack, these cookies are loaded with healthy add- ins. - photo by Shannon M. Smurthwaite
Who doesn't love hot, freshly baked cookies and milk after a long day at school or work? Cookies are a great conversation starter with your young children or teenagers. No matter what their day looked like, these loaded "kitchen sink" morsels will warm hearts and welcome them home.

Whipped up as drop or bar cookies, the dough freezes well for another day.

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AFTER-SCHOOL COOKIES

1 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

teaspoon salt

1 cups brown sugar, packed

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

cup white sugar

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups old-fashioned oats

2 cups chocolate chips, dark, semi-sweet sweet, vanilla or a combination

cup shredded coconut

cup dried cranberries or raisins

cup sunflower seeds, shelled or pumpkin seeds

cup walnuts or almonds, chopped (optional)

Dash of cinnamon

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt with fork. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream sugars and butter. Add eggs, milk and vanilla. Blend well. Slowly incorporate flour mixture into wet mixture. Beat together. Fold in remaining ingredients. Chill dough one hour for best results.

Using a large ice cream scoop or large spoon, drop scoopfuls of dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Flatten the tops slightly for more even cooking. There will be about nine dough rounds per sheet.

Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. (Altitude varies baking times.) If making bar cookies, bake 20-25 minutes. Test for doneness in the middle. Edges should be lightly golden. Do not overbake. They may not look completely cooked, but they will harden as they cool on cookie rack. Let them cool completely before serving.

Makes 2 dozen large cookies. Bars can be cut to size preference.
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