Monday, December 25, 2006

Holiday Treats (not SB friendly)

This year I had some help in making the holiday treats we give to some of our friends for Xmas. My daughter and two of her friends helped me and we all had a blast! We made two kinds of fudge, candy cane almond bark, chocolate covered pretzels, thumb print cookies, peanut brittle, Bourbon balls, M&M cookies, and coffee cake muffins.
These were my helpers!!!
and my daughter, Martina.
Oh, and my littlest pup, Mozes.
Being goofy in the kitchen but still being very productive!

Chocolate covered pretzels.....its really very easy! Melt white almond bark or white chocolate chips in the microwave and dip pretzels in to coat. Lay out on wax paper and decorate if desired. We used colored sugar. Allow to dry/harden and then lift off the wax paper and store at room temperature in an air tight container or a large Ziploc bag.

This was sooo funny! The girls were teasing one another and Martina got Christina with Chocolate... the looks on their faces are just priceless! Total shock!!! and true laughter....I Love these three Pict's!

Candy Cane bark is extremely easy to make. You melt white chocolate chips or While Almond bark til creamy and smooth. You stir in Crush Candy Canes (I also used some colored sugar for extra color). Spread out thinly on wax paper and allow to harden back up. Break up into small chunks and store room temperature in Ziploc bags or an air tight container. Its that simple!

I cheated and used boxed Coffee Cake muffin mix.

M&M Cookies:
1 c shorting
1/2 c sugar
1 c packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
cream until fluffy

fold in 2 well beaten eggs and beat entire mixture. Sift together 2 1/2 c sifted flower, 1 tsp baking soda and 1 tsp salt.
Add sifted dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir in 1 large bag of M & M candy (and chopped nuts if you like)
Mix well and drop my small balls/spoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for
10 min.

Peanut Brittle
2 c sugar
1 c light Karo syrup
1/2 c water
1 c butter
2 c peanuts
1 teaspoon soda

Combine sugar, syrup and water. Cook and stir until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil and add butter. Stir frequently after it reaches 230 degrees. Add peanuts at soft crack (280 degrees). Stir constantly until it reaches hard crack (305 degrees). Remove from heat quickly and stir in 1 teaspoon soda, mix thoroughly. Pour onto 2 baking sheets that have been well buttered. Cool and break by tapping with a knife handle.

Thumb Print Kiss Cookies. I am not sure where my mom got this recipe but I got it from her. These didn't have deep enough thumb prints so the cream filling didn't want to stay in...but ordinarily these are pretty and tasty!

1/2 c butter
2/3 sugar
1 egg, separated
2 TAB milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 c unsifted flour
1/3 c cocoa
1/3 tsp salt
chopped pecans or walnuts or granulate sugar

Cream butter, sugar, egg yolk, milk and vanilla. In a different bowl combine flour, salt, cocoa, and blend well. Chill dough about 1 hour or until its firm to the touch. While waiting for the dough to chill chop up nuts, unwrap the Hershey's Kisses and make the cream filling.

Cream Filling:
1/2 c powder sugar
1 TAB butter
1 tsp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla
Mix together and set aside.

When the dough is ready, roll into 1 in balls. Dip into a beaten egg white and roll cookie ball in nuts or granulated sugar. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and press a thumb print in the center of each cookie. Bake at 350 for 10 to 12 mins. When the cookies are done and slightly cooled fill each cookie center with the cream filling and place a kiss in the center of it and en

I got both Fudge recipes from Gretchen (The Kitchen Goddess) both were WONDERFUL!!!!
Coffee Shop Fudge
3 c semisweet chip
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp strong coffee, room temp
1 tsp cinnamon
1C pecans
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
Microwave the milk, chips, coffee, cinnamon, and salt together for about 1 minute, stir and nuke in 10 second increments until melted and smooth. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Spread into a foiled and buttered 8 inch pan. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours. Cut, and store at room temp.
note: (we added some miniature marshmallows to make it like rocky road fudge and it was really good this way too)

Cranberry White Fudge
Gretchen said she got this from a Taste of Home Magazine. Its really good and I think more candy like than Fudge but either way its GREAT and one to try!!!

1 tsp butter or Pam spray
12 oz white chocolate chips
2/3 c sweetened condensed milk
1 c chopped salted almonds
1/2 c dried cranberries
2 tsp orange zest
butter or use nonstick spay and grease a foiled pan

Microwave the chips and milk until melted and smooth when stirred (about 1 1/2 minutes). Stir in nuts, berries, and zest and pour into the prepared pan. Chill 2 hours and pull out the foil and slice. Store at room temp
This is extremely easy and yummy. I got lots of compliments on this one and it will defiantly be made again. Thanks Gretchen for passing it on to me!!!

Sorry I forgot to take Pict's of the bourbon balls but let me tell ya they are GOOD!!!! I'm not a whiskey or hard liquor kinda gal...I generally prefer sweet fruity drinks but these chocolate yummy are GOOD! I got the recipe years and YEARS ago from a good friend and neighbor of mine. Thanks Tina!
Bourbon Balls
3 c finely crushed vanilla wafers
2 c powder sugar
1 c finely chopped pecans
1/4 c cocoa
1/2 c bourbon
1/4 c light corn syrup

Mix vanilla wafers, sugar, nuts and cocoa. Stir in bourbon and corn syrup. Shape mixture into 1 in balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Best if covered tightly and refrigerated for several days. I usually put them in a tin or old coffee can layered with wax paper.

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