Monday, December 12, 2011

Getting Ready for Christmas

Only thirteen days left and it's Christmas. Are you ready? Is your shopping finished yet? Have you done your cookie baking? Do you have your Christmas candy like potato candy, cashew brittle and peanut brittle made?

I'm almost there. The chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal and oatmeal raisin cookies are done and my son and I have only sampled like two of each. For us that's incredible! It has helped that I've hidden them though.

There are now about fourteen dozen cookies hidden in my house and about seven or eight dozen to be made. Then the candy making begins. About two pounds of potato candy, the cashew brittle and peanut brittle, which I have no idea how much the recipes I use make.

I still use my mothers recipe for potato candy which was passed down from her grandfather. I make two batches for here at home and to have some for gifts.

Potato Candy
1/2 Cup Mashed Potatoes
4 teaspoons Vanilla
1 bag Powdered Sugar (the two pound bag)
I start with about 3/4 of the bag of powdered sugar and keep adding more.
Mix to a dough like consistency
If it gets too thick add more potatoes. But just a very little at a time

Divide the dough into four equal amounts. Lay Waxed Paper on your rolling board. Dust your roller and Waxed paper with Powdered Sugar. One at a time, roll out on waxed paper into a rectangular shape. About an eight inch thick or a little thinner. You should dust the rolling pin with powdered sugar to keep it from sticking.

Spread with a thin layer of Peanut butter.

Roll up from the long edge into a log shape. Use the waxed paper to help you roll.
Sometimes I have trouble with the candy sticking to the waxed paper so I use a butter knife to help loosen it.

After it's rolled, cut into approximately 1/4 inch pieces.

When you begin to mix it looks like a complete watery failure. But don't get upset, just keep working in more powdered sugar and you will arrive at a tasty ending.

After cutting the 1/4 inch pieces I let them dry on the waxed paper for a few hours until they are not so sticky.
I then cut waxed paper to fit in a tin storage container that has Christmas designs on. I lay one piece of waxed paper on the bottom to keep them from sticking to the bottom. Lay the pieces in one layer kind of neatly, cover that layer with another piece of waxed paper and continue until the tin is full or I'm done.

I have once had some that were a month old that were kept that way and they were fine. But usually they don't last more than two weeks because of all the people around here with a sweet tooth. Yes, myself included.
But one word of warning from personal experience... Eat to much at one time and you will get a powerful belly ache. I learned that as a kid as, if I remember right, so did my kids...

I've even seen potato candy that was made of the same recipe but was rolled into balls and had no peanut butter added. That would be great for people who can't eat peanut butter.
They really taste great, but I like that peanut butter. Possibly way to much!

I know some people that don't bake or make candy because of physical health problems and some who just can't or won't bake. Baking for one just does seem to be such a waste...

So I like to pack up various homemade cookies and candy to give as gifts. I've never had any complaints other than they would like to have had more. I also appreciate when I receive these kinds of gifts. Others have different recipes than I do and I get to enjoy their precious goodies as well. Some even make things I don't make.

I never have a problem getting tins to use. Usually every year someone gives me tins or even nice boxes with candy or something and I clean them and use them the next year to fill with scrumptious goodies. If I run short, they are sold at most stores and are very reasonably priced.

Have a really fantastic cookie and candy making day!

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