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Article updated: 12/4/2012 6:20 AM

Your spice rack can perk up holiday cookies

By Deborah Pankey

There's a time and a place for sweet cookies. And, yes, the holiday cookie tray is one of those places.

Green-tinted marshmallow wreaths, gritty sugar cookies glazed with lemony frosting and chocolate-drizzled mint bars all have loyal fans in the holiday cookie arena.

Yet do you really want every cookie on the platter to be a pillar of sweetness, fighting among themselves for your sweet tooth?

If you do, I hear ya. The holidays come once a year and this is your time to indulge. But if you want more variety, try spicing things up a bit.

Open the spice cabinet and pull out the thyme, allspice, paprika and, yes, even fennel and black pepper. Used in moderation, they will add savory sophistication to your cookie swap or open-house dessert array.

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