New Year’s resolutions are a tradition mainly in the Western Hemisphere. They reflect a desire to change an undesired trait or behavior to accomplish a personal goal or otherwise improve someone’s life. About 60 percent of people admit to making New Year’s resolutions. Less than 10 percent are successful in achieving them.

Here are some interesting facts about New Year’s resolutions:

• Saving money is one of the Top 5 resolutions and also one of the most commonly failed.

• Over half say that they fail their resolutions before Jan. 31.

• 71 percent say they want to diet or eat healthier.

• 65 percent want to exercise more.

• 26 percent want to learn a new skill or hobby.

• 21 percent want to quit smoking.

• 17 percent want to read more.

• 16 percent want to find another job.

• 15 percent want to drink less alcohol.

• 13 percent want to spend more time with family and friends.

Whether or not you made a New Year’s resolution, I wish for you a healthy, prosperous new year.

I hope you will enjoy today’s recipes. They can help you get rid of some of that leftover holiday candy. Thanks for reading.

BUTTERFINGER OATMEAL COOKIES

¾ cup shortening (I like to use the butter flavor)

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

½ cup sugar

1 egg

¼ cup water

1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

3 cups uncooked quick-cook oats

1 (10-ounce) bag Butterfinger baking bits (or chop up Butterfinger bars to equal about 1½ cups)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. Beat shortening and sugars until fluffy. Add egg, water and vanilla, and mix well. Combine salt, flour and baking soda. Gradually add to batter and mix until smooth. Stir in oats and Butterfinger bits until thoroughly incorporated. Using a medium cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoons), drop onto prepared sheets, and bake for 12 minutes or until edges are browned. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for 2 minutes, and remove to wire racks to completely cool.

BABY RUTH COOKIES

½ cup butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

1 large egg

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 (2.1-ounce) Baby Ruth candy bars, chopped

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in chopped candy bars. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

REESE’S PIECES PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL COOKIES

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup peanut butter, smooth or crunchy

½ cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

½ cup uncooked quick-cooking oats

1½ cups Reese’s pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Cream together the butter, peanut butter, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Gradually add the flour, baking soda and salt until just combined. Stir in the oats and the Reese’s pieces; combine and drop by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, and cool on wire racks.

• Contact Lee Ann Flemming at lafkitchen@hughes.net.

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