Stir 1 tsp (5 mL) finely grated orange peel into flour along with spices. Place 1 cup (250 mL) dried cranberries, 1 cup (250 mL) raisins and 2 tbsp (30 mL) dark rum in a small bowl. Microwave until warm, 1 min. Use in place of dried fruits in main recipe. Omit chocolate chips. Prepare dough and bake as directed. Place 6 oz (168 g) chopped white chocolate (about 1 cup/250 mL) in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium until almost melted, 4 to 5 min. Stir until melted. Dip half of each cookie in chocolate. Set on a parchment-lined baking sheet to firm up. Makes 40.
Use 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped glacé Christmas mix and 1/2 cup (125 mL) coarsely chopped toasted cashews in place of dried fruits, nuts and chocolate chips in main recipe. Prepare dough and bake as directed. Place 1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped semi-sweet chocolate in a small bowl. Microwave on medium until almost melted, 3 min. Stir until melted. Using tines of a fork, drizzle over cookies. Makes 40.
Prepare batter. Turn into a 9-in. (2-L) square baking dish. Bake until top is firm and dark golden, 30 min. Set pan on a rack to cool. For icing, beat 1/4 cup (50 mL) room-temperature butter with 2 cups (500 mL) icing sugar, 2 tbsp (30 mL) milk and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) almond extract until creamy. Spread overtop. Makes 18.