Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cherry Butter Cookies

My cousin posted this recipe on facebook. I thought they sounded like a fun cookie to give away with some of my other Christmas goodies. I loved them, and they are easy to make, which is always a plus! Thanks for sharing Becky!

Cherry Butter Cookies
Rebekah Pitts
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup margarine
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1 can cherry pie filling

1. Beat butter and margarine together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, powdered sugar, and flour. Mix until combined.
2. Roll dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Make a small indention in the center of each cookie with your thumb. Spoon a cherry into the center.
3. Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are golden on the edges. Makes 2 1/2 dozen.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Toffee Butter Crunch

This is my favorite candy to make at Christmas. I love it! I make it with almonds, but the recipe says you can also make it with pecans.

Toffee Butter Crunch
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds or pecans, toasted
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
3 TBSPs water
1 TBSP light-colored corn syrup
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup finely chopped almonds or pecans, toasted

Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts in pan. Set pan aside.

Butter sides of a heavy 2-quart saucepan. In saucepan melt butter. Add sugar, water, and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture boils.

Clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Reduce heat to medium; continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, stirring frequently, till thermometer registers 290 degree F, soft-crack stage (about 15 minutes). Watch care-fully after 280 degree F to prevent scorching. Remove saucepan from heat; remove thermometer.

 Pour candy into the prepared pan. Let candy stand about 5 minutes or till firm; sprinkle with chocolate. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes. When chocolate has softened, spread over candy. Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts. Chill until firm. When candy is firm, use foil to lift it out of pan; break into pieces. Store tightly covered. Makes about 1-1/2 pounds

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip

I was introduced to this dip 3 years ago by my friend Aubri. I loved it, and since then I make it every year during the holidays.

Cranberry Cream Cheese Dip
Aubri Larson
Cranberry Sauce
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
1 (12oz.) package fresh cranberries

Cream Cheese Spread
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 TBSP honey
1/4-1/2 tsp cinnamon

Toasted slivered almonds (optional)

1. Combine orange juice and sugar in a saucepan. Heat to a soft boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Add cranberries and boil 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate overnight.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, honey, and cinnamon; mix well.
3. Spread cream cheese mixture on a platter, plate, or pie pan. Spread cranberry sauce on top. Sprinkle on toasted slivered almonds, if desired. Serve with crackers.

Microwave Peanut Brittle

Here's another Christmas candy I like to make. I did a little trial and error with this a couple years ago. I tried dry roasted peanuts, Spanish peanuts, and a couple different microwaving methods. This is my favorite and it's the easiest. It only takes about 15 minutes to cool, so from start to finish you can have peanut brittle in less than 30 minutes.

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1 1/2 cups salted peanuts
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 TBSP butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda

1. Grease a baking sheet and set aside. In a glass bowl combine peanuts, sugar, and corn syrup. Microwave on high for 6 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla and microwave for 2 more minutes.
2. Stir in baking soda until light and foamy. Pour onto baking sheet and spread thin. Cool completely and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Chocolate Cherry Cake

My husband requested a chocolate cherry cake for his birthday. He specifically asked for one with cherry pie filling mixed in the cake. So here it is. I found it on It was simple and we all loved it. The frosting is kinda fudgy and very good. 

Chocolate Cherry Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
1 tsp almond extract
2 eggs
1 cup white sugar
5 TBSPS butter
1/3 cup milk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, cherry pie filling, almond extract, and 2 eggs by hand; stir until well blended. Pour batter into prepared pan.
3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until it tests done. Cool.
4. In a small saucepan, combine sugar, butter or margarine, and milk. Boil, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Immediately pour over partially cooled cake.

Peanut Butter Fudge

Here's another easy and yummy fudge I make at Christmas. It's a recipe from my mom's collection. Lining the pan with foil also works in place of buttering the dish.

Peanut Butter Fudge 
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/3 cups peanut butter
1 jar (7oz.) marshmallow creme

In a saucepan, bring sugar and milk to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Add peanut butter and marshmallow creme; mix well. Quickly spread into a buttered 8 inch square pan. Chill until set. Cut into squares.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Foolproof Chocolate Fudge

I make this fudge every Christmas. It's so easy! It's fun to try different variations too. My husband created his own variation this year based on his favorite candy bar (Cadbury Fruit and Nut). If you've never made fudge you should try it this year!

Foolproof Chocolate Fudge
Eagle Brand®
3 cups (18 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
Dash salt
1/2 to 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract

1. Line 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan.
2. Melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in heavy saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in nuts and vanilla. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
3. Chill 2 hours or until firm. Remove from pan by lifting edges of foil. Cut into squares.

Gavin's Fruit and Nut Fudge
Make fudge as directed above using 1/2 cup of toasted almonds, and adding 1/2 cup raisins (packed) with the nuts.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy

Salisbury Steak is essentially a beef patty served with a brown sauce. My husband loves his meat and potatoes, so I occasionally make this dish, give the kids the noodles and make him some potatoes.

Salisbury Steak with Onion Gravy
Taste of Home
1 egg
1 can (10-1/2 ounces) condensed French onion soup, undiluted, divided
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch pepper
1-1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cold water
6 cups hot cooked egg noodles
Chopped fresh parsley, optional

1. In a large bowl, beat egg. Stir in 1/3 cup of soup, bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Crumble beef over mixture; mix gently. Shape into six oval patties.
2. In a skillet, brown patties over medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside; drain. Add the water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and remaining soup to skillet. Bring to a boil. Return patties to skillet. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Remove patties. Combine flour and cold water until smooth. Stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve patties and gravy over noodles. Garnish with parsley if desired. Makes 6 servings