Friday, December 16, 2011

Sweet Treats

It's the last weekend before Christmas this year. Are you finished shopping for gifts to help Santa fulfill the wishes? Or are you like me and still have a few things to pick up.

Luckily I only have a few small things to shop for and I'll finish that up while I make the weekly run for groceries. So even if the stores are crowded it shouldn't be to bad nor take me very long at all. If the old body isn't in to bad of shape, I may even just stroll around the stores and see if I find some people I know and gab a bit.

How about your cookie and candy making? I'm real close to finishing that project and will probably finish today. Unless I get a fit of laziness. I do have this overwhelming urge to just go back to bed this morning...

I've left you with some of our family favorites here this week. I received a question about the Potato Candy recipe of Monday's Getting Ready post. So I edited it just a little. It's tough to relate a recipe that you don't even think of when making. Now I'm beginning to understand what some people before me must have went through when trying to give someone a recipe.

The Sugar Cookie recipe I use is one I've never seen here on the internet. I used to make these when my kids were in school and they had to take a turn bringing in snacks. Then one day there was a parents day and I was pleasantly surprised when a mom walked up to me and commented that her daughter said my sugar cookies were better than hers. She asked for the recipe and I was only to glad to share it with her and others. Even three of the kids there that day said my cookies were the greatest, even better than their mom's! Now that makes a single dad feel kinda proud.

I have no idea where I originally found this recipe, but it had to have been in a cookbook. It said to sprinkle the cookies with sugar after baking them, but I did and then thought they were to sweet. So I just bake them and let them cool without the added sugar. I do sometimes when making them for Christmas us the colored sugars though for added decoration.

Sugar Cookies

1 Cup (2 Sticks) Softened Butter
1 Cup Sugar
Beat in a large bowl at high speed until creamy.
Add: 2 Eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
Beat until light and fluffy.

Sift: 3 1/2 Cups Flour
2 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Stir into butter/sugar mixture

Shape into 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet (leave space between, they will grow)
Butter the bottom of a glass and flatten cookies to 1/4 inch with the bottom of the glass. (Often I only use a big spoon.)

Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
Makes about 4 1/2 Dozen
* The dough can be rolled to 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters.

One more cookie I often make and have been asked to make this year and thought I'd add here for you is,

Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

2 Cups Sugar
1/2 Cup Cocoa
1/2 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Butter
Mix and boil while stirring, for EXACTLY One Minute (not 1 second longer or 1 second less)
Take the pot off the burner.

ADD (It's best to have these ready before you start boiling)
3 Cups Oat Meal
1/2 Cup Peanut Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Mix together well and drop by spoonfuls on wax paper

Pay heed to that one minute. Any less and they'll never set up and will be a gooey mess. Any Longer and they'll be dry and even like rocks.
I didn't listen well to my mom when she told me that and I did mess that up...

But they are so fast and easy that I often would make them for the kids and myself for a quick treat. After putting them on the waxed paper I would put some in the refrigerator to help them cool quickly.

There may be one more cookie I will make yet this year. A really great friend and reader of the blog who is from Australia mentioned a cookie called an Anzac. It takes Golden Syrup though and I have to see if I can find that in any of the local stores. If I can, I know I'll be trying them. They sound like an oatmeal cookie with coconut.

There are a few recipes that say you can swap the Golden Syrup for Honey, but she warns that it drastically changes the flavor.
I do have a feeling deep inside though that if I can't find the Golden Syrup I just may try them with honey anyway.

Well, I hope your shopping and baking and candy making is coming along well. I also hope that if you still have kids at home that your getting them into the act and allowing them to help you. It's a great way to teach the kids and an even greater way to have fun with them. Fun that also makes great fun things to eat!

By the way. There was a buddy's wife who used her teen son as her mixer. She'd hand him the bowl and a big wooden spoon and he'd mix up the ingredients. That young lads arms were well defined and strong! He never lifted a weight or did any other workouts for his muscular arms...
She also never purchased store bread, rolls, cakes, cookies or even sticky buns. I often threatened to steal her away from my buddy.

Have a great cookie and candy making weekend!!!

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