Beer Biscuits

December 26, 2007
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Pull out that emergency box of biscuit mix … we’re making Beer Biscuits! SAM

1 (20-ounce) package biscuit mix
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer, room temperature
2 tablespoons brown sugar

In a large bowl, combine the biscuit mix, beer, and sugar. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease twelve 2 1/2-inch muffins tins. Spoon the batter into the tins and bake for 20 minutes.
Makes 12 large biscuits.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.


Hot Mulled Wine

December 24, 2007
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Mulled wine is an old, old cold-weather drink, as old as cooking records. And even after a couple of thousand years, it’s still perfect for friends who drop in during the holidays. Keep a big pot hot on your stove all day. SAM

2 quarts Burgundy or other dry red wine
2 quarts apple juice
3 (3-inch) sticks cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 teaspoon ground allspice

In a 1-gallon container combine the wine and juice. Tie the spices in cheesecloth and submerge them in the wine mixture. Cover and chill for 6 hours or overnight. In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the spice bag.
Makes 1 gallon or 32 servings.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.


Whiskey Balls

December 23, 2007
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Such a holiday treat! Give these tasty, spiked, no-bake cookies once, and you’ll have a tradition on your hands. SAM

2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
3 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup whiskey
Confectioners’ sugar

In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs, cocoa, walnuts, corn syrup, and whiskey. Roll into 1/2-inch diameter balls and let rest for 15 minutes. Roll in sugar and place in a single layer to rest for 1 hour. Transfer to gift boxes or jars.
Makes 60 balls.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.


Peanut Butter-Chocolate Fudge

December 22, 2007
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Another child-friendly, no-bake fudge—great for gifts or last-night munching. SAM

8 tablespoons butter, melted (1 stick)
4 large graham crackers, finely crushed
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 1/3 cups unsifted confectioners’ sugar
6 ounces semisweet chocolate morsels

Lightly butter an 8-inch square pan. In a medium bowl, combine the butter, crackers, peanut butter, and sugar. Press into the prepared pan. In the top of a double boiler or in a microwave, melt the chocolate and spread evenly on the peanut butter mixture. Cool in the pan before cutting into 1-inch squares.
Makes 64 1-inch squares.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.


Granola

December 21, 2007
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Energy and goodness in one welcome jar! That’s granola! SAM

3 cups regular, uncooked rolled oats
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1 (2 1/4-ounce) package sliced almonds
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup salted sunflower kernels
6 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
8 ounces dried cherries
6 ounces M&M chocolate candy or chocolate morsels

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, almonds, coconut, and sunflower kernels. In another bowl, combine the honey, oil, water, and rum extract. Pour into the oats mixture and stir to coat. Spread evenly on a heavy baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with salt, and cool. Stir in the cherries and chocolate and transfer to decorative gift jars.
Makes 5 half-pint gift jars.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.


Pepper Cheese Logs

December 20, 2007
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This handy appetizer is great anytime, but your friends and family will especially appreciate it during the holidays. SAM

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon half-and-half
1 large clove garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon finely grated onion with juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or freeze-dried chives
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or to taste
Coarsely ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, half-and-half, garlic, onion, chives, and red pepper flakes. Shape into 4 2 1/2-inch logs and roll in a generous amount of black pepper. Wrap tightly in decorative plastic wrap and chill.
Makes 4 2 1/2-inch logs.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.


Mexican-Style Hot Chocolate Mix

December 19, 2007

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A steaming cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day, instantly, anytime you want it? What a great holiday gift! SAM

1 (2-pound) box instant chocolate milk
1 (1-pound) box confectioner’s sugar
1 (11-ounce) jar nondairy creamer
1 (8-quart) box powdered milk
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

In a large bowl combine all ingredients. Transfer to decorative jars with a note reading: ‘To serve, dissolve 2 heaping tablespoons in 1 cup boiling water and stir with a cinnamon stick.’
Makes 12 half-pint gift jars.

Adapted from Emily’s cookbook: All-American Comfort Food.