This Holly Cookie variation can play a dual role as evergreen woodpiles on a Christmas dessert tray and swamp monsters at Halloween.
This Holly Cookie variation can play a dual role as evergreen woodpiles on a Christmas dessert tray and swamp monsters at Halloween. (Mel Barber — mbarber@yorkdispatch.com)

Continuing our theme of odd-looking but good-tasting cookies this week, here's a variation on the old cornflake wreath standby.

This recipe for Holly Cookies comes from my mother-in-law, who makes it with the traditional cornflakes. Since I'm an oddball, I substituted Golden Grahams for the cornflakes and called it an evergreen woodpile. You can choose any cereal you like; flat or flaky shapes that resemble leaves or a woodpile will work best.

If green food doesn't get your salivary glands going, opt for red food coloring instead. You can always rename the cookies Poinsettia Cookies and add edible gold beads on top.

And if cinnamon candy isn't your thing, use red M&Ms for the berry-impersonating toppers.

Be sure to keep the heat very low while cooking; you want to melt the marshmallows, not scorch them.

Bonus tip: If you use Golden Grahams, add eight drops of green food coloring, and place two candies on each cookie, you can make the same recipe for Halloween and call them swamp monsters.

Holly Cookies

1 stick margarine

4 cups mini-marshmallows

1 teaspoon vanilla

3½ cups cereal

green food coloring

candy topping (cinnamon imperials)

Melt margarine and marshmallows over low heat. Add vanilla and food coloring. Stir well.

Remove from heat. Stir in cereal.

With spoon, drop onto waxed paper. Place two or three candy pieces atop each cookie.

Makes about 24 cookies.

-- Reach Mel Barber at mbarber@yorkdispatch.com.