Fudge Quick and Easy

December 27, 2008

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Got a bunch of children hanging around your home this holiday week? Set them to work making fudge. This microwave variety is so easy even a small child can proudly say, ‘I made this!’

1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 stick salted butter, melted (8 tablespoons)
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped raisins or candied fruit

In a microwave-safe dish, stir together the sugar, cocoa, butter, and milk. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Beat with a pastry fork until smooth. Add vanilla and fruit. Pour into a lightly greased 8- x 8-inch pan. Chill until firm.
Makes sixty-four 1-inch squares.

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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.


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.