Monday, December 27, 2010

The Sweetness of Christmas

I love sweets! Christmas is such a great time to eat those delicious treats that come out once a year.

Here are some of my Christmas favorites!

Peppermint Popcorn:
This year I made a new recipe, thanks to my friend Nicole, of Peppermint Popcorn. It is so easy and very delicious. The best part about it was Shepherd got to help.

There are only three ingredients; 1. White Chocolate Almond Bark, 2. Two bags of Tender White Popcorn, and 3. Twelve candy canes.

1. First I put the candy canes in my food processor, and let Shepherd push the button. He had so much fun making a really loud noise.
2. Once my candy canes were broken up, Shepherd popped the popcorn. He just loves the microwave and gets excited when I let him use it. I then had to pop one more bag of popcorn so Shepherd could eat some.
3. Lastly, I heated the Almond Bark until it was melted, mixed in the candy canes, and poured it over the popcorn. After some good stirring, I was able to pour it on wax paper to dry!

Taylor's Toffee:
Taylor does not cook, but once a year he will make toffee at Christmas time. It is wonderful and he does a great job!

1 cups slivered almonds
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

Grease a baking sheet. Bring sugar and next 3 ingredients to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook until mixture is golden brown and candy thermometer registers 290 to 310 degrees (about 15 minutes). Pour sugar mixture on baking sheet. Sprinkle with morsels; let stand 30 seconds. Spread melted morsels evenly over top; sprinkle with nuts. Chill 1 hour and break into pieces.

Childhood Cookies:
Every Christmas my mother, sisters, and I would make the Reece's Cup cookies. We like to use chocolate chip cookie dough and Reece's Cups in the center. These cookies are also great frozen.

Pumpkin Roll:

Taylor and I love pumpkin rolls! There is nothing better than a slice of pumpkin roll and a cup of coffee. Taylor will eat half of the pumpkin roll in one sitting. I made a pumpkin roll for dessert on Christmas day. I use the Libby's pumpkin roll recipe:

1/4 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground all spice
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 c. sugar
2/3 c. pumpkin
1 pkg. cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
6 Tb butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

For Cake:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 15x10 inch jelly roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, all spice and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evening in pan.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

For Filling:
Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and cinnamon in mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Re-roll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Reagan's Sugar Cookies:
2 c. Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/3 c. butter (softened)
1 egg
3/4 c. sugar
1 Tb milk
1 tsp vanilla

Combine flour, baking powder. In a larger bowl, cream butter, shortening, sugar, egg, milk and vanilla. Gradually mix in flour mixture. You might need to add a little more milk to get the consistency you need for the dough. Cover cookie dough and chill for 3-4 hours. Then roll out onto floured surface and cut out cookies. Cook 6-8 minutes at 375 degrees. You might want to double the recipe.

The icing is just powdered sugar, vanilla and milk.

Taylor making cookies

Julia, Kay, and Robert decorating the cookies on Christmas Eve.

Each person selected their best cookie, looks like we need to keep this as a hobby.

Eating our treats!

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