Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Holiday Treats

The holidays are all about color, music, lights, laughter, family, and friends. But wait a minute! That’s not all. There’s something wonderful to bind it all together.

Good food and fun treats.

Everyone knows I love to bake and there were been years I’d felt as if I spent days in the kitchen. Still, the end results were always worth it and I shared with friends.

I have my usual recipes and I try a couple new ones every year. Some remain in my recipe files and some don’t.

Is there anything better than walking into a house that smells like a bakery? Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, chocolate, cream cheese, peppermint. Whatever gives you that warm and fuzzy feeling?

The following are a few of ones I enjoy making this time of year.

One cookie that’s fun to make. Buttery cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar that come out rich and chewy. And it makes the kitchen smell so good while baking them.


1 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup margarine, softened 1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla 2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs 2 tsp cinnamon
1 3/4 cups flour 1 tsp cream of tartar

400 oven
In large bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups sugar and margarine until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla and eggs. Blend flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt into creamed mixture. Combine 2 tbsp sugar and cinnamon. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, roll balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. bake at 400 for 8-10 min or until set.

chocolate snickerdoodles -- 1/2 cup cocoa can be substituted for 1/2 cup flour. Bake at 400 for 6-9 min.

These cookies are sooooo good! Time-consuming to make, but the end results are worth it. Yes, you could make them to share, but after you eat a few, you won’t want to.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Filling -- 1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Cookie -- 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine, softened
8-oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
reserve 2 oz. for frosting
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder

Frosting -- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
2 tbsp. cocoa
1-2 tbsp milk
reserved 2 oz. cream cheese

Combine peanut butter and powdered sugar, blend until smooth. Chill while mixing cookie dough.

Cream brown sugar, sugar, margarine and 6 oz cream cheese until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla. Blend flour, cocoa and baking powder into creamed mixture. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, place 2 in. apart on cookie sheets. With thumb, make imprint in center of each cookie. Fill with 1 tsp filling. Bring dough around filling to completely cover. Bake at 350 for 9-12 minutes. Cool.

Mix frosting ingredients together and spread over cooled cookie.

Mine usually come out larger than they say. And I seem to only make them at Christmas time since they're so addicting! They've become addicting to my friends and family too!

These candies aren’t just for holidays. If you like Snickers bars you’ll love these.

Choconut Caramel Bars

2 pkg milk chocolate chips
4 tbsp shortening
2 14-oz pkg caramels
4 tbsp water Choconut
2 cups peanuts, chopped

Melt 1 pkg choc. chips and 2 tbsp shortening-takes about a minute or so in microwave. Stir until smooth. Pour into 9x13 foil lined pan. Refrigerate until firm. Melt caramels and water-about 2 to 4 min. in microwave. Stir until smooth then fold in the peanuts. Pour mixture over the cooled chocolate, spread evenly, and refrigerate until firm. Top with remaining chocolate and refrigerate until it’s set.

Halve recipe if using 8 in. square pan, but do you really want to do that?

I discovered this recipe several years ago and it was an instant hit. If you love dreamsicles you will love this fudge.

Marbled Orange Fudge

1 1/2 tsp plus 3/4 cup butter—divided (it also works just fine with margarine)
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup whipping cream
1 pkg vanilla or white chips
1 jar marshmallow creme
3 tsp orange extract
orange food coloring

Grease 13x9 pan with 1 1/2 tsp butter. Combine sugar, cream and remaining butter. Cook and stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 4 min. Remove from heat, stir in chips and marshmallow creme until smooth. Remove 1 cup, set aside. Add orange extract and coloring to remaining mixture. Stir until blended. Pour into pan. Drop reserved marshmallow mix by tablespoonfuls over top. Cut through mixture with a knife to swirl. Cover and refrigerate until set. Cut into squares.

I’ve tried other flavors and while they taste great I always return to the orange/vanilla combo. You can try chocolate and mint, chocolate & coconut and put coconut in the coconut part, lime extract and vanilla, peppermint, maybe even cinnamon!

The holidays are all about the senses, so with this we have smell and taste. How great is that?



  1. Yum! These recipes sound tasty...especially the Choconut Caramel Bars :-)

  2. The choconut caramel bars are really good, Lynda. I tend to add extra peanuts.