Christmas Goodies...

if you are getting a box of Christmas goodies from me this year...and want to be surprised...read no further...
If you just can't wait anymore...go ahead and peek :)
I LOVE to bake & make candy around the holidays...each year I do something a little different. And to keep me from eating all of it I send it away to my family (which they love) who all live very far away from me...I rarely can be there at the holidays to cook for them, so this is the next best thing :)

This year the array of goodies include (I always do a selection...with a little of each for everyone)

1. Pretzel Turtles
these can't really be counted as cooking in my book...they are so easy & you just have to assemble them...
You need:
square "snaps" pretzels
chocolate covered caramels
pecan halves
Preheat oven to 300. Arrange pretzels in a single layer (now is a good time to use your silpat...or line your cookie sheet with parchment paper). Top each pretzel with 1 chocolate covered Caramel.
Bake for 4 minutes...if you use "Rolos" bake for the full time, if you use dove bake only for 3 minutes, and be careful...a lot of my caramel tended to ooze out of the dove chocolates :(.
Remove from oven and press 1 pecan half into the top...let cool to re-harden.

2. Cinnamon Glazed Pecans These don't really look that tasty in the pic...but they are sooo yummy...you have to try them :)

You need:

2 egg whites
1 lb pecans
3/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamonBeat egg whites until stiff. Stir in pecans, add cinnamon and sugar. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake one hour at 200, stirring every 15 minutes.

4. Candy Cane Two Minute FudgeFollow the recipe on the sidebar...omit nuts and add some crushed up candy canes (a good way to use them up...ours never get eaten) and some white chocolate chips.

Also try adding marshmallows & almonds (rocky road); a peanut butter swirl (mix a little peanut butter with powdered sugar to taste...swirl into warm fudge); cherries (candied or dried); caramel bits; or chopped pretzels...or really anything you enjoy with chocolate :)

This is my favorite cookie cookbook of all time...the pages are all dogeared and blotted with vanilla...I have tried so many of the recipes in it and none of them have disappointed yet :)

This year I chose to make...
5. Holiday Bonbons
(yummy sugary cookies with an almond paste filling...then dipped in chocolate)

6. Lace Cookies
(yummy, thin and crisp...buttery, brown sugar oatmeal cookies)

From Martha Stewart I tried these two recipes:
7. Coconut Balls

8. Lollipops
(my first attempt ever...they are shaped in a mold of Santa's head)
I substituted lemon extract for cinnamon extract...they were very mild (but perfect for little my nieces and nephew)

I also like to make my own bags from wax paper...just fold a piece into thirds & tape...roll up the bottom two times and tape...open and fill, then close it how you like. So easy and inexpensive (I always have it on hand anyway)
Here are a few other recipes that we love this time of year....Enjoy!
Coconut Swirls
Melt 2 T. Butter in a 2-quart saucepan. Remove from heat and add 3 T. water and 1 tsp. vanilla. Mix together 2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 1/2 c. instant dry milk, add to butter mixture, about 1/2 c. at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in 3 cups coconut. Drop by tsp. onto waxed paper. Melt 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate over hot water. Swirl about 1 tsp. melted chocolate over each coconut drop, then chill. Makes about 30.

1 (16 oz) package powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter or margarine
2 T. evaporated milk
4 to 5 drops peppermint flavoring (or 1 tsp. extract)
food coloring (optional)Combine all ingredients, except food coloring, and beat until well blended. Kneed until smooth, add food coloring. Shape into balls and mash with a fork making a "plaid" design on top. Put on a paper towel lined baking sheet, cover with another layer of paper towels. Let dry overnight or 24 hours.
Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

KayC. said...

I couldn't wait...I had to see...all the wonderful goodies coming to me!!!!
;-D love you!

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