EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Remember that commercial when the gorgeous Catherine Deneuve sat casually on the edge of a pool table with her blonde hair cascading over one shoulder, as she said in a velvety French accent, "Please don't hate me because I'm beautiful?"  I remember hating her because she was beautiful.

On a similar note, I am here pounding on my keyboard. My hair hasn't been washed since yesterday and does not, even on a good-hair-day, cascade anywhere. My Hudson County accent does not resonate with lyric poetry, but I am asking you, "Please don't hate me because my tree is decorated and my gifts are wrapped with one full day to go until Christmas."  I still have baking to do.

A favorite here at TAP Central is the Cran-Pistachio Christmas Cookie, a Betty Crocker staple from the days before fondant icing, Cupcake Wars, and businesses on Easton Avenue that actually deliver warm cookies to Rutgers students until 3:00 am.

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Here goes the recipe for this colorful, crunchy-chewy treat.  Perhaps you will have them baked in time to leave a few out for Santa:

Cran-Pistachio Christmas Cookies

Ingredients

1 Parchment Paper

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix

1 box (4-serving size) pistachio instant pudding and pie filling mix

1/4 cup  all-purpose flour

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted 

2 eggs 

1 cup dry-roasted salted pistachio nuts, chopped

1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped

Steps

  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheet with Reynolds Parchment Paper; set aside. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix, pudding mix and flour. Stir in melted butter and eggs until soft dough forms. Add pistachios and cranberries; mix well.

  • 2 Using small cookie scoop or teaspoon, drop dough 2 inches apart on lined cookie sheet. Press with fingers to slightly flatten.

  • 3 Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered at room temperature.

Serve to hungry people.  Make them happy.  Don't hate anyone.  It is Christmas, after all.