December 17, 2008

Christmas Goodies

As you probably are, I have been baking alot lately for gifts, cookie swaps, and meals shared with friends, which means I'm pulling out some old favorites. Thought I'd share some!

(courtesy of Niki Lewis)

3 quarts butter popcorn
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
2/3 cup slivered almonds
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 sticks margarine
1/2 cup Karo syrup

Place popcorn in large container. Sprinkle with pecans and almonds on top. In saucepan, melt margarine and then add sugar and Karo syrup. Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring constantly. Mixture will turn a light caramel color. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp vanilla. Pour over popcorn mixture and stir really well. Turn out mixture on wax paper to cool and then break apart after about 15 minutes.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels
Pretzel Rods
White chocolate baking squares
Christmas sprinkles or really any baking sprinkles

Follow directions for melting chocolate and then cover ends of pretzels in melted chocolate. Cover chocolate in sprinkles and let melt on wax paper. Perfect for classroom or teacher gifts!

Crumbly Top Apple Pie
(from my Aunt Nancy who got it from my great-grandmother)
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
4 cups pared, sliced apples
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sifted flour
1/3-1/2 cup butter

Mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add apples. Arrange apples in shell. Blend brown sugar and flour. Cut in butter. Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Wedding Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts (almost ground)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp honey

Combine butter and 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar and beat on medium high speed for 7 minutes, until mixture is white and fluffy. Meanwhile, combine flour, nuts, and salt. With mixer on low speed, add vanilla and honey and then add flour mixture. Transfer dough into airtight container and refrigerate 30 minutes or overnight. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls and place them 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 9-11 minutes or until edges are pale golden. While the cookies are in the oven, place the remaining confectioner's sugar in a bowl. A few minutes after the cookies are out (still warm), gently roll 6 cookies at a time in sugar. Store cookies in a container with powdered sugar at the bottom.