Use this simple tip to avoid resort fees at 13 Las Vegas casinos






Hyatt members, listen up: Use this simple tip to avoid resort fees at 13 Las Vegas casinos























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Game 13: Michigan at Rutgers Open Thread


What’s going on with Zeb this year?





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Rescue interview, Legislative Session, Quiet and cool weather, Missing people, Explora internship – KRQE NEWS 13 – Breaking News, Albuquerque News, New Mexico News, Weather, and Videos


Albuquerque man arrested for a attempting to solicit girl

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KRQE Newsfeed: Rescue interview, Legislative Session, Quiet and cool weather, Missing people, Explora internship

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Albuquerque homicides break record set in 2019

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New Year’s Eve celebrated across the state

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KRQE Newsfeed: Winter storm, Man charged, Out of tests, Curbing speeding, Without power

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Polar Plunge at Eagle Nest Lake canceled due to weather

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State of New Mexico out of at-home ‘Vault’ COVID tests

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State Rep. Alonzo Baldonado resigns

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Power outage in Taos Co.; state helps those without propane in northern NM

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Inauguration Ceremony for mayor, new city councilors closed to public

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Participants wanted in UNM study looking to increase learning, memory in older adults

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ABQ BioPark Zoo’s elephant Jazmine tests positive for EEHV

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Time running out for teens to apply for Explora internship program – KRQE NEWS 13 – Breaking News, Albuquerque News, New Mexico News, Weather, and Videos


Albuquerque man arrested for a attempting to solicit girl

Video /

KRQE Newsfeed: Rescue interview, Legislative Session, Quiet and cool weather, Missing people, Explora internship

Video /

Albuquerque homicides break record set in 2019

Video /

New Year’s Eve celebrated across the state

Video /

KRQE Newsfeed: Winter storm, Man charged, Out of tests, Curbing speeding, Without power

Video /

Polar Plunge at Eagle Nest Lake canceled due to weather

Video /

State of New Mexico out of at-home ‘Vault’ COVID tests

Video /

State Rep. Alonzo Baldonado resigns

Video /

Power outage in Taos Co.; state helps those without propane in northern NM

Video /

Inauguration Ceremony for mayor, new city councilors closed to public

Video /

Participants wanted in UNM study looking to increase learning, memory in older adults

Video /

ABQ BioPark Zoo’s elephant Jazmine tests positive for EEHV

Video /



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Rockets vs. Hawks – Game Recap – December 13, 2021


ATLANTA — — Eric Gordon scored 32 points, D.J. Augustin added 22 and the Houston Rockets handed the Atlanta Hawks their fifth straight home loss, rallying from 19 points down for a 132-126 victory Monday night.

Houston won on the road for only the second time this season, overcoming a 41-point performance by Trae Young.

The Rockets trailed most of the game and were down 101-88 heading to the final quarter.

But Augustin hit a 3-pointer with 3:31 remaining that gave Houston its first lead, 121-119, since the opening quarter. David Nwaba set up the basket by stealing a pass from Young.

After Clint Capela missed a pair of free throws, Gordon scored on a drive to the basket. He tacked on a 3 pointer that made it 126-121.

Young connected on a 3 of his own with 23.9 seconds remaining, cutting the Houston lead to 126-124. But the Rockets, the worst free-throw shooting team in the league, knocked down four straight from the line to seal the victory.

Seven players scored in double figures for Houston, which has won eight of 10 since a 15-game losing streak.

“This was a great way for this team to show growth. We were down the whole game, but different guys stepped up,” Gordon said. “When multiple guys are doing that, you always give yourself a chance to win.”

The Hawks scored a season-high 69 points in the first half, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Rockets.

Houston outscored the Hawks 44-25 in the final period, hitting 16 of 25 shots — including 8 of 11 from 3-point range.

It’s been quite a turnaround for the rebuilding Rockets, who started the season 1-16.

“It doesn’t matter who’s on the floor for us,” Augustin said. “Everybody is ready for their opportunity.”

Coming into the season with high hopes after a surprising run to the Eastern Conference final, the Hawks keep breaking down in the fourth quarter.

They have lost five of their last seven — all at home — to slip to 13-14 on the season. All five of those defeats have been by single digits.

“We scored enough to win tonight,” Young said. “We just didn’t get enough stops. We’ve got to figure it out.”

Young, who also had nine assists, was essentially a one-man team. He hit 14 of 22 shots, including five 3-pointers.

John Collins added 14 points for the Hawks and no one else had more than 12. Capela did have 16 rebounds, but the Hawks were outrebounded 45-40.

NWABA STEPS UP

The Rockets got a big contribution from Nwaba, who scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds, doled out three assists and had that big steal in 11 1/2 minutes.

Nwaba has played sparingly in recent weeks, including a stretch of six straight games in which he never left the bench.

But he was a big key to the comeback. The Rockets outscored the Hawks by 17 points while he was on the court.

“I’m the guy who brings energy,” Nwaba said. “I think I showcased that tonight.”

STREAK ENDS

Young just missed extending his streak of games with at least 25 points and 10 assists.

He’s already in pretty good company.

Young joined Michael Jordan and Russell Westbrook as the only players to pull off that feat in at least five consecutive games since the NBA-ABA merger.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Improved to 2-12 on the road. … Gordon returned after missing the previous game at Memphis with a groin injury. … Shooting a league-low 69.9% from the foul line, Houston made 21 of 27.

Hawks: G Bogdan Bogdanovic missed his sixth straight game with a sprained right ankle. While there is still no timetable for his return, he has stepped up his rehab to include individual on-court workouts. … C Onyeka Okongwu is also moving closer to returning from shoulder surgery. He’s on a rehab assignment with the G League’s College Park Skyhawks, where he had 10 points and 15 rebounds in his first game since last season’s conference final.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Wrap up a three-game trip Wednesday night at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Hawks: Travel to Orlando to face the Magic on Wednesday night.

——

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and find his work at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry

——





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Kings vs. Raptors – Game Recap – December 13, 2021


TORONTO — — Chris Boucher matched his season high with 17 points, Yuta Watanabe had 12 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double, and the Toronto Raptors used a 70-point first half to rout the Sacramento Kings 124-101 on Monday night.

Pascal Siakam and Scottie Barnes each scored 16 points, Fred VanVleet had 12 and Gary Trent Jr. added 10 as Toronto made a season-best 53 field goals and set a season high with 28 assists.

Nine different Toronto players scored 10 or more points, including all five starters. The Raptors set season highs for bench points (51) and points in the paint (68).

“I thought we came out with a professional approach, set the tone early, and we were just able to control it from there,” VanVleet said. “Everybody that stepped on the court tonight contributed in a major way.”

Malachi Flynn scored 14 points, Svi Mykhailiuk had 11 and Justin Champagnie finished with 10 for the Raptors, who wrapped up a 4-3 homestand — their longest of the season.

“The big goal was to come out and set a tone defensively that we were there to play hard on that end and I think that was a huge key by the whole team, really,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “The first group did a great job and when the subs started coming in, they kept it going.”

De’Aaron Fox scored 29 points, Buddy Hield added 14 and Marvin Bagley III had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Kings, who went 0-3 on an Eastern Conference road trip that also included losses at Charlotte and Cleveland.

“I have no idea what to say,” coach Alvin Gentry said. “It was embarrassing. That’s the only phrase I think you can use.”

Gentry said his players held a closed-door meeting after the game, although Fox refused to comment on it and Harrison Barnes had little to say.

“We’re not playing together,” Barnes said. “That’s really what it boils down to. As a group, we discussed it. That’s really all I’m going to say on that at this point.”

Toronto scored the first 11 points and led 30-22 after one quarter, getting nine points off six turnovers by the Kings.

The Raptors extended their lead by connecting on 18 of 27 field goal attempts in the second, one more than the Kings had in the entire first half. Toronto led 70-45 at halftime after its highest-scoring half of the season.

“Obviously, the second quarter was bad all around,” Fox said.

The Raptors scored 67 points in the second half of a Nov. 24 game at Memphis. Toronto made 47 field goals in that game, its previous season high.

With 40 points in the second, Toronto also matched its biggest quarter of the season Monday, equaling a 40-point second in a Dec. 5 home win over the Wizards.

The Raptors took a 93-69 lead into the fourth.

NEW PLAN

Toronto’s scheduled home game Thursday against Chicago was one of two Bulls games postponed Monday after 10 of the team’s players entered the NBA’s health and safety protocol. Nurse said he scheduled a practice and a shooting session instead.

“It’s starting to feel like it used to feel last year,” VanVleet said of the first COVID-19-related postponements of the season. “We’ve just got to be mindful of that.”

PLAYING IT SAFE

In a statement issued by the Raptors, the TV broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Matt Devlin and color commentator Jack Armstrong said they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and would stay away from the team “for a period of time.”

BELOW CAPACITY

For the first time in 15 home games this season, the Raptors did not draw a capacity crowd of 19,800. Attendance was 19,463.

TIP-INS

Kings: Missed their first six field goal attempts, and their first seven from 3-point range. … F Richaun Holmes (right eye) sat out for the third straight game.

Raptors: F OG Anunoby (left hip) and C Khem Birch (right knee) sat out for the 12th consecutive game and will miss Tuesday’s game at Brooklyn, Nurse said. There is no timetable for their return. … C Precious Achiuwa, who had missed the previous two games with a sore right shoulder, entered the league’s health and safety protocol Sunday. … Nurse said G Dalano Banton was sent home after halftime because he was feeling ill, adding that Banton is unlikely to travel with the team for Tuesday’s game at Brooklyn. A team spokesperson said Banton’s illness is not related to COVID-19.

UP NEXT

Kings: Host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.

Raptors: Visit the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.

——



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Rockets vs. Hawks – Game Recap – December 13, 2021


ATLANTA — — Eric Gordon scored 32 points, D.J. Augustin added 22 and the Houston Rockets handed the Atlanta Hawks their fifth straight home loss, rallying from 19 points down for a 132-126 victory Monday night.

Houston won on the road for only the second time this season, overcoming a 41-point performance from Trae Young.

The Rockets trailed much of the game and were down 101-88 heading to the final quarter.

But Augustin hit a 3-pointer with 3:31 remaining that gave Houston its first lead, 121-119, since the opening quarter.

After Clint Capela missed a pair of free throws, Gordon scored on a drive to the basket. He tacked on a 3 pointer that made it 126-121.

Young connected on a 3 of his own with 23.9 seconds remaining, cutting the Houston lead to 126-124. But the Rockets, the worst free-throw shooting team in the league, knocked down four straight from the line in final 21.8 seconds to seal the victory.

Seven players scored in double figures for the Rockets, who have won eight of 10 since a 15-game losing streak.

The Hawks scored a season-high 69 points in the first half, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Rockets.

Young, who also had nine assists, was essentially a one-man team. He hit 14 of 22 shots, including five 3-pointers.

John Collins scored 14 points and no one else had more than 12. Capela did have 16 rebounds, but the Hawks were outrebounded 56-47.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Improved to 2-12 on the road. … Gordon returned after missing the previous game at Memphis with a groin injury. … Kevin Porter Jr. (thigh), Jalen Green (hamstring), Danuel House Jr. (ankle), and John Wall were inactive. … The Rockets, who were shooting a league-low 69.9% from the foul line, made 21 of 27.

Hawks: G Bogdan Bogdanovic missed his sixth straight game with a sprained right ankle. While there is still no timetable for his return, he has stepped up his rehab to include individual on-court workouts, signaling that he’s moving closer to rejoining the lineup. … C Onyeka Okongwu is also moving closer to returning from shoulder surgery. He is on a rehab assignment with the G League’s College Park Skyhawks, where he had 10 points and 15 rebounds in his first game since last season’s Eastern Conference final. … Atlanta dropped to 8-2 against teams with a losing record coming into the night, compared with a 5-12 mark vs. teams that were .500 or better.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Wrap up a three-game trip Wednesday night at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Hawks: Travel to Orlando to face the Magic on Wednesday night.

——

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/pnewberry1963 and find his work at https://apnews.com/search/paulnewberry

——





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13 Best Restaurants In Palm Springs


Known for star-studded history and Mid-century Modern architecture, the sun-fueled mecca of Palm Springs boasts plenty of restaurant hot spots for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Many serve cocktails and hip cuisine on picturesque outdoor patios (with reservations recommended for evenings and weekends.) I have chosen 13 of my favorite restaurants hosting a variety of creative cuisine in no particular order.  

Note: I was hosted by the Palm Springs Preferred Small Hotels, including El Mirasol, Grand Central, PS Underground, and Peaks restaurants; all opinions are my own.

Burrito at El Mirasol in Palm Springs
Janie Pace

1. El Mirasol At Los Arboles Hotel And El Mirasol Cocina Mexicana

Since 1985, El Mirasol at Los Arboles has served artfully prepared regional Mexican cuisine and house specialties like chicken breast sauteed with toasted purple tomatillo with dry Cora and Puya chiles sauce. Or try the Pollo en Pipián, a sauce from pre-Columbian times with ground roasted pumpkin seeds and dry chiles. The Pollo en Mole Poblano is Mexico’s national dish, with mole sauce made from chiles, cocoa, and pumpkin seeds, the best I’ve tasted. Savor shrimp in garlic tomatillo, fiery and smoky Dońa Diabla, or picado sauces for spicy, flavorful memories you’ll come back to time and time again. You’ll love the classic plates and the tangy margaritas made with fresh lime juice.

Pro Tip: Save room for flan made two ways, with amaretto or de café.

Dessert at Grand Central in Palm Springs
Photo Credit: Grand Central

2. Grand Central

Your neighborhood bistro and bar opening in May 2018, Grand Central debuted in the former Desmond’s Department Store after John and Rita’s extensive renovations. It’s fun to meet “under the clock,” a tradition in many cities and train stations, to relax and enjoy creative cuisine and drinks. Whether partaking in breakfast, brunch, or lunch, you’ll enjoy the banana-stuffed French toast with cream cheese, seasonal fruit drizzled in chocolate, and whipped cream. Or indulge in the avocado toast with arugula, poached panko-crusted eggs, and avocado dressing on grilled sourdough with breakfast potatoes. My lunchtime goat cheese salad with salmon was excellent, especially the garlic-panko-crusted goat cheese. Reservations for dinner are recommended, especially for the prix fixe menu.

Pro Tip: Save room for the tiramisu or the pistachio cheesecake with vanilla gelato.

Hummus appetizer at Peaks Restaurant
Janie Pace

3. Peaks Restaurant At Palm Springs Tramway

Ride the world’s largest rotating tramway to the top of San Jacinto Mountain to have lunch and enjoy panoramic views of the Coachella Valley at Peaks Restaurant. It was recently ranked number 8 on Architectural Digest’s list of the World’s Best Cliffside Restaurants. Chef John Fritch introduced us to market-fresh seafood pasta, fresh greens, vegetables, dry-aged meats, and poultry from the Coachella Valley, plus fresh bread from local bakeries. My hummus with pita bread and veggies and charred shrimp with napa cabbage was impeccable. Others at my table savored the half-pound bacon avocado blue cheeseburger, the shrimp pasta Parisian, and the tropical chicken sandwich with mango chutney and diced fruit. 

Pro Tip: Save room for the espresso Godiva martini and the apple brown butter tart.

Spinach salad at Melvyn’s Restaurant
Photo Credit: Melvyn’s Restaurant

4. Melvyn’s At Ingleside Inn

The place to see and be seen since 1975, Melvyn’s Restaurant & The Casablanca Lounge offer a memorable dinner and cocktail experience. Savor Executive Chef Alex Fregoso’s appetizers, like the seafood tower or butcher’s block and classic entrees, including Beef Wellington and Steak Diane, prepared tableside. The wine list is pages long, and you’re sure to find a favorite here, including my favorite, Argentine malbec. On weekends, enjoy the bottomless champagne brunch with sparkling wine or mimosas.

Pro Tip: Add the jumbo prawns or half-poached lobster when you order the steak.

5. Mr. Lyons And Seymour’s

Since 1945, Mr. Lyons Steakhouse, formerly known as Lyons English Grill, has served the traditional menu plus a few tweaks on the new food offerings. The design feels like a modern affirmation to the old customers, but with recent changes, like the kaleidoscope-like glass ceiling in the main dining room. A separate bar menu focuses on weekday meals. The area continues to change, welcoming the conservatory and a speakeasy called Seymour’s, named after the owner’s father. Savor slow-roasted prime rib and Beef Wellington, plus a wagyu strip loin or the John Dory Meuniere with lemon caper brown butter.

Pro Tip: Save room for Mr. Lyons’ fresh mint sundae or Halekulani coconut cake.

6. Copley’s On Palm Canyon

Located in the historic Cary Grant estate, Copley’s cuisine by chef Andrew Manion offers fresh produce and innovatively prepared meats. See the creative Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve menus for specially prepared cuisine. Famous for starters, the firecracker sauced pork and lemongrass potstickers are award winners. You can’t pass up the Copley’s Caesar salad with creative additions like shredded radicchio, pineapple croutons, and smoked bacon. My favorite entrée is the shrimp with three-cheese grits served with roasted sweet corn, asparagus tips, and lobster sauce. Delicious!

Pro Tip: Save room for the chocolate souffle cake or lemon lavender-scented pound cake.

Appetizer at PS Underground
Janie Pace

7. PS Underground Dinner Show

Offering one-of-a-kind culinary episodes, reserve your seat at the table for a feast of the senses at PS Underground. Their lineup includes entertaining shows aplenty. Bacon, a Sunday brunch escapade with all things bacon, features bacon Bloody Mary’s, bacon brunch, and bacon desserts. Spy, with dinner shaken, not stirred, serves a four-course dinner, free-flowing beer, and wine and specialty cocktails. Plus, enjoy Holiday Havoc, Sounds of the Season, and Sparkle, where the magic of the holidays engulfs you with light appetizers, holiday cocktails, and a four-course globally inspired dinner. Reservations are a must for each inspiring production. You are encouraged to dress to compliment the theme of the show.

8. Cheeky’s

Cheeky’s, offering a quirky breakfast and brunch, serves a fresh and inventive menu where everything is made from scratch and changes weekly, depending on the seasonal fresh local ingredients available. Served in a mason jar, get a boozy lemonade or Bloody Mary to go. For breakfast, order the huevos rancheros with Peruano beans, guacamole, and sour cream, or chilaquiles with homemade chorizo, tomatillo, queso fresco, cilantro, and onion. Try the yummy Chinese chicken salad, a grass-fed burger with pesto fries, or the chilled cucumber with dill and yogurt soup of the day for lunch. Get coffees like the espresso, Americano, latte, or cappuccino.

Pro Tip: Save room for coffee cake or a cookie.

9. Birba PS

Famous for serving up handmade pasta and wood-fired pizza, plus gluten-free cauliflower pizza and original salads, Birba PS pulls it all together in an outdoor setting. It’s a perfect warm spot in the desert evening under the star-scattered sky. At the sleek open-air bar, indulge in the Heated Snake, made with agave tequila, lime, lemon, triple sec, and habanero simple syrup; or Naked on a Plane, served with mezcal Aperol, lemon, yellow chartreuse, and soda. The menu changes every couple of months to keep it interesting.

Pro Tip: Save room for tiramisu, or the Torta do Birba made with chocolate pave prosecco sabayon and Marcona almonds.

10. Eight4Nine Restaurant & Lounge

At home in the creative Uptown Design District of Palm Springs, enjoy lunch, dinner, or weekend brunch in the 9,000-square-foot interior and patio dining areas at Eight4Nine. Savor the edamame avocado hummus toast or the grilled Castroville artichoke for lunch starters, or try the rock shrimp roll or the Eight4Nine ground tenderloin burger. For mains, the ahi tuna poke bowl or poblano chile relleno are the best. For dinner mains, partake in the beef tenderloin or the mesquite-smoked carne asada served with refried pintos, pico de gallo, and sweet corn pudding. The selected cocktails are an adventure, like the prickly pear or the Eight4Nine.

Pro Tip: Save room for the lime pie or chi spice crème Brulee.

11. Farm

Farm’s traditional Provencal-style restaurant offers locally sourced produce, eggs, and artisanal meats in a garden patio setting, with a floral landscape transporting you to the south of France. Savor crepes of smoked salmon and spinach or chicken and mushrooms, omelets made with veggies, andouille sausage, spinach, or crispy duck confit and goat cheese. Enjoy salads, sandwiches, and eggs benedict, or baked brie. Dinner is a prix fixe menu with appetizers, sorbet, Cornish hen or wild-caught black cod, and dessert of carrot cake, turtle cheesecake, or chocolate hazelnut strawberry crepe.

12. Rooster And The Pig

Industrial-chic Vietnamese fare, Rooster and the Pig serves beginners like fish-sauce wings or shrimp with mango, mint, mizuna, and rice noodles. Relish fresh plates including a shredded chicken plate with cabbage, carrots, and onions — or Vietnamese beef jerky served with green papaya, basil, mint, and peanuts. Enjoy sharing plates of whole tiger prawns, crispy beef, sauteed eggplant, or sesame ginger tofu. Order sake, wines, beers, cocktails, or highballs like Hitachino Japanese craft whiskey and soda for drinks.

Pro Tip: This restaurant is cashless, accepting credit and debit cards only.

13. So-Pa (Currently Open To L’Horizon Hotel Guests Only)

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are only available for registered L’Horizon Hotel guests 21 and older. They offer both an intimate alfresco dining experience and a family-style dining experience at the 26-foot live edge walnut communal table. Enjoy eggs cooked your way, thick-cut bacon, avocado toast, or pancakes with seasonal berry compote and maple syrup for breakfast. The all-day menu boasts salads, prime ground chuck burger, or turkey club. After 2 p.m., order crispy octopus, seared pan sea bass, or hearty heirloom tomato vegetable tart.

Pro Tip: Check all the restaurants’ websites for Holiday Dinners available.

Check out these other Palm Springs highlights:



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13 delicious holiday cookie recipes from Houston Chronicle readers


A new COVID variant. Supply chain disruptions. Rising grocery prices. Travel concerns and restrictions. So many unknowns affecting our second pandemic holiday season. But the one thing we can count on? Cookies.

No matter the external forces coloring the holiday season, Christmas cookies and seasonal sweets are here to stay. Home bakers are in cookie elf mode now, churning out family favorites: bars, balls, candy, and all manner of sugar dough crisps and crunches.

Our annual holiday cookie contest — recipes submitted by Houston Chronicle readers — produced another season of sweet abundance. We whittled down our favorites to a baker’s dozen, including our winner (chosen by Chronicle editor Maria Reeve), a clear favorite for its warm spices that nestle perfectly into the holiday spirit. Submitted by Danni Hertel, a University of Houston student who describes herself as an avid cookie baker, the Vanilla Chai Cookies with Eggnog Nutmeg Icing provided exactly what we crave in a Christmas cookie.

All our top cookie submissions were tested by staff. We thank all our readers who submitted recipes. We know that their favorite cookies will shine this season and help drum out the ongoing pandemic blues.

 

English Toffee

The English Toffee Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in Houston.

The English Toffee Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in Houston.

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Janice Merck has been making this classic toffee for three decades. This holiday candy would be appreciated at any Christmas cookie swap. Click here for the FULL recipe. 

PRO TIP: Cook butter, sugar, water and vanilla over medium heat in a heavy pot, stirring constantly until golden brown. It may smoke, but don’t worry.

 

Glazed Honey Cookie Bars

Glazed Honey Cookie Bars

Glazed Honey Cookie Bars

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

These easy, soft, rich bars from Kathy Sturm were a hit with all of our tasters. Click here for the FULL recipe. 

PRO TIP: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Bake in 13-by-9-inch pan or larger for approximately 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Frost with glaze while still hot. Sprinkle with more chopped pecans, if you like.

 

Butter Tarts

Butter Tarts

Butter Tarts

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

A beloved treat in Canada, you can use prepared tart shells or make your own pastry in a muffin tin for these gooey mini pies. Click here for the FULL recipe.

PRO TIP: Combine flour and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender. Sprinkle with cold water and mix. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour. Roll out a little smaller than ¼ inch thick. Cut 12 circles, about 4 inches in diameter. Curl each into cupcake pan cups.

 

Peppermint Pecan Nutaroons

Peppermint Pecan Nutaroons

Peppermint Pecan Nutaroons

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

These super simple, sweet and crunchy “candied” light bites from Becky Lowicki will put a spring in your step. Click here for the FULL recipe.

PRO TIP: Beat egg whites until stiff. Add brown sugar to eggs a few tablespoons at a time. Add vanilla and fold in nuts. Drop by ½ teaspoons onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with crushed peppermints. Let cool for 20 minutes.

 

Winter Vanilla Chai Cookies with Eggnog Nutmeg Glaze

Winter Vanilla Chai Cookies with Eggnog Nutmeg Glaze

Winter Vanilla Chai Cookies with Eggnog Nutmeg Glaze

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Houston Chronicle editor Maria Reeve selected these flavor bombs as the best of the bunch. The recipe was submitted by University of Houston student Danni Hertel, who says: “These cookies hold a special place in my heart because as I was battling some very serious health issues this past year, baking became my only solace, and I soon started creating my own recipes and concoctions. The Vanilla Chai cookies were my first ever self-created recipe and reign as the favorite cookie of family and friends alike.” Click here for the FULL recipe.

PRO TIP: With a spoon or the mixer set on low, stir in the flour, baking soda and salt all at once. Don’t worry if the dough is soft, it’s supposed to be. Chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours or freeze for 15-30 minutes, so it is easier to handle.

 

Vegan Gingerbread

Vegan Gingerbread

Vegan Gingerbread

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

You wouldn’t even know these yummy, semi-soft gingerbread cookies contain no dairy. Click here for the FULL recipe. 

PRO TIP: Sift dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the oil, molasses, sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Mix wet ingredients into dry, using a whisk, an electric hand mixer, or your hands, until uniform. Flatten dough into a disk and refrigerate, wrapped in plastic wrap, for 30 minutes or overnight.

 

Sesame cookies (Biscotti Regina)

Biscotti Regina (sesame seed cookies)

Biscotti Regina (sesame seed cookies)

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

These sesame biscotti tinged with anise are a grown-up addition to any cookie tin. Click here for the FULL recipe.

PRO TIP: Preheat oven 375 degrees. In a bowl of a stand mixer, add the eggs, sugar, Crisco, baking powder and anise extract. Mix well. Add flour and mix well. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

 

Amaretti Almond Cookies

Amaretti Almond Cookies

Amaretti Almond Cookies

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Mary Zwald’s crispy cookies offer intense almond flavor and they can be enjoyed as is or gussied up with a dip in dark chocolate. Click here for the FULL recipe. 

PRO TIP: If desired, melt a cup of dark chocolate and dip the bottom of each cookie. Rest on parchment until set.

 

Grammy Vargo’s Kossuth Moons

The Grammy Vargo’s Kossuth Moons Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in Houston.

The Grammy Vargo’s Kossuth Moons Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, in Houston.

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Jane Vargo Brown’s grandmother arrived in America in 1907 at age 14 carrying her mother’s Hungarian recipes. These moon-shaped cookies appeared on every Christmas dessert tray Brown’s grandmother made during her life. Click here for the FULL recipe. 

PRO TIP: Grammy must have had some mighty big bowls in her kitchen arsenal. We halved the original recipe, which began with a whopping 12 cups of flour. While we used the suggested half-moon cookie cutter, these cookies can be any shape.

 

Jan Hagel

Yon Hagel (pecan sandie)

Yon Hagel (pecan sandie)

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Pronounced “yon hahgel,” these Dutch shortbread cookies are a favorite in the Netherlands. Sharon Mayer first made them in 1971 when she taught world history; they’ve become part of her Christmas baking since. Click here for the FULL recipe. 

PRO TIP: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix butter, sugar and egg yolk until well blended. Stir in flour and cinnamon until incorporated. Pat dough directly onto a cookie sheet at 1/8-inch thickness, forming a large rectangle or square.

 

Pecan Date Treats

Pecan Date Treats

Pecan Date Treats

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

These bar cookies hide a layer of not-too-sweet, sticky date filling. Mark Parthie’s recipe is easy, satisfying and a textural delight. Click here for the FULL recipe

PRO TIP: Prepare date filling. Cook all filling ingredients in a saucepan set over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until thickened and most of the water has evaporated. The filling will have a jammy, spreadable consistency. Set aside to cool.

 

Persimmon Cookies with Orange Glaze

Persimmon Cookies with Orange Glaze

Persimmon Cookies with Orange Glaze

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

This lovely cookie from Shelley Martin offers luscious persimmon and warm holiday spice flavors. Be sure to buy your persimmons well ahead of time for optimal ripeness. Click here for the FULL recipe.

PRO TIP: To make the glaze, combine sifted confectioners’ sugar, orange juice and zest together. Whisk until smooth. Dip the cookie tops into the glaze and twirl the cookie. Let the cookies harden, about 30 minutes.

 

Reindeer Shortbread Bites

Reindeer Shortbread Bites

Reindeer Shortbread Bites

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Suzi Russell’s simple shortbread is shot through with cheery chopped candied cherries. Click here for the FULL recipe. 

PRO TIP: Use hands to shape dough into a ball. It will be slightly dry but it will soften as you work with it. Divide dough in half and place each dough ball into a sandwich-size resealable plastic bag. Use a spoon or spatula to push the dough into bag corners, then use a rolling pin to roll the dough inside the bag, spreading it to a ½-inch thickness. Seal bags and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

 

THANK YOU TO ALL COOKIE TESTERS: Greg Morago, Jody Schmal, Emma Balter, Diane Cowen, Elizabeth Pudwill, Bridget Schmal and Marcia Ogasawara.

 

 

 

 

 

 



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