Thursday, March 22, 2012

Most requested desserts and holiday treats

These are the most requested desserts and Holiday treats. Enjoy!

Easy Fantasy Fudge (makes 6 lbs)
1 1/2 c. marg. (3 sticks)
6 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. evaporated milk
2 pkg. (12 oz each) semi sweet chips* (3 c.)
1 jar (13 oz) Marshmallow creme +
2 c. chopped nuts
2 tsp vanilla

* variations- milk chocolate, vanilla, peanut butter chips, mini snickers
+ I double the recipe and substitute the 13 oz for 2-7 oz jars in each batch
Mix marg., sugar, milk in heavy 5 qt. saucepan. Bring to full boil, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 min. over medium or, if you really want to use a candy thermometer, until 234 F (soft ball); stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased pans. Either use 3- 9 x 9 or 2- 13 x 9 pans. Cool at room temperature. Cut into squares. Makes 6 lbs.

Special K Bars (my tweak on Grandma’s special treat)
1 c. lite Karo Syrup & 1 c. white sugar
Put in med. Saucepan on med heat until it just boils. Take off heat.
Add: 1 1/3 c. peanut butter (any variety) 1 tsp vanilla
Put peanut butter mixture in large bowl with:
7-8 c. flake cereal (Special K or Cornflakes are good)
Mix until evenly coated. Meanwhile, melt ½ pkg chocolate chips and ½ pkg (6 oz each) of peanut butter chips. Put ½ of cereal mixture in rectangle pan. Pour and spread melted chips on top. Add remaining cereal and press down. Cut into small pieces. Put in fridge until hardened (45 min).
Variety: Add raisins or chunky peanut butter. Use butterscotch chips instead of p.b. chips.

Cream Cheese Mints (from my grandmother, LAF)
3 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/2 tsp. flavoring (lemon, almond, peppermint, orange, cinnamon)
3 c. sifted pwd. sugar
few drops of food coloring
granulated sugar
waxed paper

In a small mixing bowl stir together softened cream cheese and flavoring. Gradually add pwd. sugar. Stir until mixture is smooth (knead in the last of the sugar with your hands). Add food coloring. Knead until evenly distributed. Form into 3/4" balls. Roll in sugar and place on waxed paper. Flatten each ball with tines of fork or bottom of glass or use molds. If using molds, sprinkle them with sugar and place 1 tsp at a time in mold. Cover with paper towels and dry overnight at room temperature. Store in tightly covered container in fridge or freezer. Lasts up to 1 month in freezer. Makes 48-60.

Molasses Sugar Cookies
3/4 c. marg. (step 1- melt and let cool)
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. dark molasses
1 egg (step 2- add all these 3 to marg. and beat well)
2 tsp. baking soda
2 c. sifted flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
Sift these dry ingredients and then all to above mixture. Chill for at lest 1 hour. Form 1" balls, roll in sugar, and place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 F for 8 minutes. Will still be soft. They harden a bit as they cool.
Variations- substitute olive oil for melted marg. and increase flour to 2 1/3 c. I also like to change around the flour, adding some wheat flour or oat flour in place of part of the white flour. I always keep at least 1/2 of it white.

Almond Triangles (a great cookbook find by me)
Line 15x10 pan with foil (shiny side up).
1) Beat 2 c. butter & ½ c. granulated sugar until creamy.
Add ½ tsp. salt, ¾ tsp. almond extract; then beat in 1 egg.
Add 2 ¼ c. flour. Mix then pat into pan (spreading up the sides). Refrigerate until cool (12-15 min). Prick with fork, then bake 10 min. at 375° F.
2) Meanwhile (while dough is in fridge), Take a 4-5 qt heavy saucepan and add 2 c. butter, 1/3 c. honey, 1 c. brown sugar, ¼ c. granulated sugar. Cook on low heat, stirring occasionally until boiling. Once it boils, let it boil for an additional 3 minutes, without stirring. Take off the heat and add ¼ c. heavy whipping cream and 1 lb (5 ¼ c.) sliced almonds.
3) Place on dough hot out of the oven and bake an additional 15 min. at 375° F. It should be bubbling evenly when you take it out.
4) Cool and then cut into 2” squares and then again into triangles.
Note: Step 1 takes about 15 min. before you start on step 2. I usually preheat the oven at the same time I put the pan on for #2. That way, your dough comes hot out of the oven at the right time. Makes 80.

Butter Toffee (from my mother-in-law)
6 small Hershey bars (or 15 miniatures)
1 c. finely chopped nuts
1 lb. marg.
1/3 c. water
2 c. sugar
Cook and stir only last three ingredients every minute until when tested in cold water it makes a good hard ball (260 on a candy therm.- takes about 22 minutes on medium heat). Pour into a 13 x 9 pan. Use 6 small Hershey bars and put on top of hot candy mixture. Spread evenly with a spatula. Candy will melt as you go. Pour (or sprinkle) nuts over top of chocolate. Let cool. Break into pieces.

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