Thursday, April 10, 2014

Previously unpublished post! Holiday Baking - I got this

After I posted a small entry this morning I noticed I had something still in my draft folder.  I was a bit shocked to find this entry that I started back in December!  Apparently the holiday rush hit be a little harder than anticipated and I never got to finish this.  So, here it is...months later, but maybe you can refer back to it in 8 months when planning your holiday baking!



December 21, 2013

So, after my brief freak out about Christmas approaching way too fast, I decided I needed to get my bake on. Each year I like to make a small basket of goodies for our neighbors and the executives that I support at work. I think this year I had 21 people/families on my list.  I was already planning to go in late on Wednesday because of the holiday program at my son's school, so why not just take the whole day and get everything cranked out at once.  Boy I am glad that I did!  Now, I did start some of these on Tuesday night because I like to cool the truffles overnight if I can, but I was definitely busy in the kitchen all day and night when I wasn't visiting my son at school (twice that day)!

Since I posted a picture of my goodies on Facebook (natch), I got a few inquiries into the recipes.  Here is a snapshot of everything together:


So from the top left: Chocolate double peppermint bark and white chocolate bark; Cinnamon sugar almonds
Center: Chocolate peppermint cookies; Butter spritz cookies drizzled with chocolate
Bottom: Oreo balls; Raspberry chocolate truffles.

Now, I debated putting recipes out there because it's embarrassing at how easy they all are, but I will share anyway.  The most time consuming thing is rolling the truffles into balls, otherwise so easy!!

Peppermint Bark
Adapted from Betty Crocker
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Standing time: 1 hour

Ingredients
  • 1 package (12 oz) Giradelli white chocolate morsels OR Nestle Dark Chocolate and Mint Morsels (or other mint flavored chocolate pieces)
  • 1 box of mini peppermint candy canes
Directions
  • Cover cookie sheet with waxed paper or aluminum foil.
  • Heat chocolate morsels in the microwave or over a double boiler.  If microwaving, start at 2 minutes, then stir until smooth.  Candy will retain it's shape until mixed around.  White chocolate has a very thin line between melted and overcooked.  If not entirely melted, microwave for 30 seconds at a time. .
  • Using a food processor or Magic Bullet, pulverize half of the candy canes into a fine powder.  Put the other half in a plastic bag and crush with rolling pin or bottom of small heavy saucepan. Pour crushed candies into wire strainer.  
  • Stir coating to mix evenly.
  • Spread coating evenly on cookie sheet.  Sprinkle evenly with remaining candy pieces.  Let stand about 1 hour or until cool and hardened.  Break into pieces.

Butter Spritz Cookies
From: Instructions that came with the cookie press
Yield: 6 – 7 dozen cookies

Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) Margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 cup  Sugar
  • 1Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3 ½ cups Flour
Directions
  • Pre-heat oven to 375º
  • Beat butter on medium until creamy
  • Add sugar, egg & vanilla; beat well
  • Add flour, 1 cup at a time.
  • Dough will be soft.  DO NOT REFRIGERATE.
  • Press 1” apart on cookie sheet using cookie press
  • Bake 10-12 minutes or until firm but not brown
  • Cool 2 minutes and transfer to cooling rack.

Ingredients
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese or whipped cream cheese
  • 18 ounce package of Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 2 cups semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon shortening


Directions
  •  Mix cream cheese with electric mixer until fluffy. Add the crushed Oreos and beat on high until well mixed.
  • Chill for at least 2 hours in the freezer. Then roll Oreo cookie mix into one inch Oreo Balls.
  • Melt the chocolate chips and shortening with a double boiler or in the microwave.
  • Dip the Oreo balls completely into the melted chocolate using tongs or a toothpick.
  • Put on wax paper. After the Oreo balls harden, keep them in the refrigerator.
  • Makes about 3 or 4 dozen Oreo Balls, depending on the size


Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Chilling time: 1 hour
Yield: 4 dozen

Ingredients
  • 1 (14-ounce) can eagle brand sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
  • ¼ cup raspberry liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry jam
  • 2 (12-ounce) packages semisweet chocolate morsels
  • Coatings:  confectioners sugar, colored sugar, finely chopped walnuts, nonpareils, chopped coconut


Directions
  • Microwave first 4 ingredients in a large microwave-safe bowl at high 3 minutes.
  • Stir in chocolate morsels until smooth. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  • Shape mixture by tablespoonfuls into balls, and roll in coatings


See previous blog posts for the Slow Cooker Cinnamon Sugar Nuts and Chocolate Peppermint Cookies




So, that was what I made for my food gifts in 2013.  Now it has me thinking about what to do this year!