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Oatmeal Cookies

Tart and sweet, hearty and crunchy-chewy, oatmeal cookies are good enough to be iconic. Add cherries or raisins, sprinkle in chocolate chips or pecans, or keep them unfussy; our oatmeal cookies are sure to delight bite after bite. A glass of milk makes the best partner.

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These classic cookies are flavorful but intolerance-friendly, says baker Cybele Pascal, author of "The Allergen-Free Baker's Handbook." Gluten-free and dairy-free (plus egg-free, soy-free, and nut-free), these will please the pickiest dinner guest.

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recipe

In this cleverly customizable cookie, peanuts, almonds, and cashews work equally well for the nut and nut-butter components of the recipe. (It's best to stick to one type of nut per batch.) To amp up the flavor and texture of the cookie, the oats are toasted in butter before being mixed into the dough. And if you don't like nuts, sunflower seeds are also delicious.

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These cookies, cousins of zucchini bread, are perfect for packing up as picnic fare -- even if the picnic table is right in your kitchen. A sweet cream-cheese filling goes in the middle. Print these nifty labels onto adhesive paper or attach with double-sided tape.

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To ensure your cookies come out just right, follow a couple of basic rules: Space them at least 1 inch apart during baking, rotate the sheet pan half way through, and let the cookies cool on the sheet for 1 to 2 minutes before transferring to wire cooling racks. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).

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Instead of old-fashioned oatmeal raisin, swap in apricots and white chocolate. The white chocolate's sweetness tempers the tang of the fruit, creating a balanced batch that will appeal to kids and adults alike.