I'm just a busy wife and mom who loves to cook (and hates to clean up afterward), balancing the many hats I wear and trying to look cool, calm, and collected while doing it...

Oh, and I rarely measure anything when I cook, so consider yourself warned. Love good food. Try new things. Eat to your heart's content.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Is The Time For Love... And Baking!

**Update: I think I figured out the picture posting issue I was having... we shall see if it worked!*** 

Yeah, still figuring this whole blogging thing out... sorry for almost a week since my last post. And only one recipe so far. I might just totally suck at this... But I'm gonna do it anyway! ;) Oh, and I can't get my pictures from my phone to my computer, so I'll have to update the pics onto the blog later... sorry. :/

So every year at Christmastime, my mom, Sophie and I have a whole day (sometimes even a weekend) of baking and treat making. It's fun, and we usually have too many cookies and crap to even know what to do with when we're done! This year is no exception, and tomorrow we will be going at it, baking sugar cookies, gingerbread cookies, coconut cream macaroons, graham cracker squares (an old family favorite that I've not seen anywhere else...) , magic bars, and snowball cookies. Fat kid's dream, am I right?!

I actually started today by making a double recipe (6 pounds!!) of fudge! I use the recipe on the back of the marshmallow cream jar. It's the best, and pretty easy. Here is is for your easy access:

Classic Fantasy Fudge

6cups sugar

3 sticks butter

2 small cans (5 oz each.) evaporated milk (Do not use sweetened condensed milk.)

2 12 oz. bags Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips

2 jars (7 oz. each) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme

2 tsp. vanilla
Line 9 x 13 pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Bring sugar, butter and evaporated milk to full rolling boil (I use a dutch oven type pot) on medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook 4 min. (or until candy thermometer reaches 234°F... I don't use one, I just time it) stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Add chocolate and marshmallow creme; stir until melted. Add vanilla; mix well.
Pour into prepared pan; spread to cover bottom of pan. Cool completely. Use foil handles to lift fudge from pan before cutting into squares. This makes a TON of fudge...

Coconut Cream Macaroons

1/3 cup butter, softened
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract (or almond, if you like that sort of thing...)
2 tsp. orange juice
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 cups sweetened coconut, divided

Beat Butter, cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until well blended. Add egg yolk, vanilla and OJ, beat well.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in 3 cups coconut.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour or until firm enough to handle.

Heat Oven to 350*. Shape dough into 1-in. balls. Roll balls in the remaining 2 cups of coconut. Place on ungreased cookie sheet

Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Cool 1-2 minutes, then carefully move them to a wire cooling rack.

I drizzle it with chocolate ganache. For that, take about 1 cup of chocolate chips that have been melted in the microwave with a couple tablespoons of sugar and a splash of milk, and put it in a ziplock baggie. Snip a tiny bit of the corner of the baggie off , and drizzle over the cookies. 

You could also press an unwrapped Hershey's Kiss into each cookie (Like the peanut butter blossoms cookies) as soon as they come out of the oven, instead of doing the drizzle... either way is delish!

Makes about 4 dozen.

Here are some of our other recipes that we've been using for years (most of them since I was little, and even since my parents were kids...

1 cup Butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups flour

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla and salt together
Slowly add flour, dough will be stiff
Roll dough into walnut size balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Preheat oven to 400*
Bake 10 minutes, just until set but not brown. Cool slightly and roll in powdered sugar while warm. After they are completely cool, roll a second time.
*This recipe needs to be doubled because they are so good and one recipe is not enough!
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
a pinch of salt
2 cups chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix everything together, it will be VERY thick! Spread in a very well greased 8x8 pan. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes, you will want them just light brown and soft. Can be doubled for a 9x13 pan. Cool and cut.

SUGAR COOKIES (This one makes a TON of cookies!)
Cream together WELL:
1 cup butter
1 cup shortening (I use butter flavored)
1 cup sugar
Add: (beat together)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine dry ingredients:
4 cups flour
2 Tablespoons baking POWDER
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Gradually add dry to wet, mix well. Refrigerate 3-4 hours or overnight.. Work with "fist" size handfuls. Roll out onto floured surface. If dough is sticky just knead in small amounts of flour. Cut into shapes and place on cookie sheet.
Preheat oven to 350*
Bake 7-8 minutes to start, increase time if needed. Cookies should be set and a tiny bit golden on bottom edges. Remove carefully to cooling rack. Frost/decorate when completely cool.

Combine dry ingredients in bowl:
4 cups Flour
2 teaspoons Ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Ground Cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl (largest mixer bowl) beat 3/4 cup shortening about 30 seconds
Add 1 CUP Brown sugar; beat til fluffy
1 egg
1/2 cup molasses
2 Tablespoons vinegar
Gradually add flour mixture, blend well. Dough will be stiff!
Work with small amount; roll onto floured surface about 1/8" thick. Gently lift to greased cookie sheet.
Preheat oven to 375*
Bake ONLY 5-6 minutes, until just set. Cookies will set as they cool. Cool slightly before removing from sheets as they will break if too soon.
This is our FAVORITE gingerbread recipe ~ frost/decorate and ENJOY!
I hope you all enjoy these Christmas baking traditions as much as our family!


  1. I feel like I want a glass of milk and some cookies right now! I wish I was closer! They all sound amazing.

    Oh and by the way ...your blog is YOUR BLOG! So whenever you post, your followers (me included) will read your tidbits, and LOVE THEM! And when you don't we will miss you and know that you are just living! Cheers my friend. I <3 your blog! Now I know where to go for some awesome recipes.

  2. MMMMM sounds so yummy, thanks Megan, I just might have to make some new things this year!

  3. Oh, how I miss our family Christmases together! Meg, Graham Cracker Squares are an original recipe made up by your Great-Grandma Hazel! That's the reason you never see it anywhere else... and anyone who tries them will surely fall in love! SO easy, especially now that the recipe doesn't call for crushing graham crackers into oblivion like when we were kids! (Thank goodness for boxed graham cracker crumbs :9)... are the Mexican wedding cakes similar to Grandma's Russian Tea Cookies? I wish we could have been there this year... I MISS YOU ALL! And happy baking to you! PS I'm loving the blog! You do what you want with it... you write they will come (and read hee hee!)!