Recipes Archive/December

December Recipes

Homemade Candy Canes

1 tspbutter
1 csugar
1 cwater
1 clight corn syrup
1/4 tspcream of tartar
1 tsppeppermint or spearmint extract
6 dropsred or green food coloring

Grease two baking sheets with butter; set aside. In a large saucepan, bring the sugar, water, corn syrup and cream of tartar to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 280° (soft-crack stage). Remove from the heat; stir in extract and food coloring. Immediately pour onto prepared pans in eight 8-in. strips. Let stand just until cool enough to handle, about 1-2 minutes. Working quickly, roll each strip into a 10-in. log. Cut each into two 5-in. lengths. Curve the top of each to form the handle of a cane. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container.

Christmas Cookie Ornaments

1/2 cbutter, softened
1/3 cshortening
1 csugar
1/4 choney
1/2 tspvanilla extract
3 call-purpose flour
1/4 tspsalt
6-2/3 cconfectioners' sugar
1/2 cwater
1 tbsplight corn syrup
1 tspvanilla extract
Assorted liquid or paste food coloring
9 yards of 1/8-inch-wide ribbon in Christmas colors of your choice
Christmas cookie cutters or sizes of your choice

In a bowl, cream the butter, shortening and sugar. Beat in the honey, egg and vanilla. Gradually add the flour and salt. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll to an 1/8-in. thickness. Cut into shapes using cookie cutters dipped in flour. Transfer cutouts to ungreased baking sheets. Using a straw, make a hole in the top of each cookie. Remove the center circle of dough. Bake the cookies at 350° for 6 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. Remove the cookies to wire racks to cool. For frosting, combine the confectioners' sugar, water, corn syrup and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Tint the frosting with liquid or paste food coloring in desired colors. Place each color of frosting in a pastry or plastic bag. Cut a small hole in the tip of each bag. Spread and pipe frosting onto cookies as desired. If desired, create stitch marks on a stocking or veins on holly leaves by dipping a toothpick in food coloring and painting on the lines. For hanging loops, cut forty 8-in. strips of 1/8-in.-wide ribbon. Thread a ribbon strip through the hole in each cookie and tie the ends into a bow.

Simple Snowflakes

6flour tortillas (6 inches), warmed
2 tspcanola oil
Confectioners' sugar

Fold a tortilla in half, then in half again and once again. Using a clean scissors or sharp knife, cut small triangles on folded and outside edges. Unfold tortilla; brush both sides with oil. Place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and oil. Bake at 400° for 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned. Dust both sides of tortillas with confectioners' sugar while still warm.

Salmon Mousse Cups

1 x 3 oz pkgcream cheese, softened
1/2 cbutter, softened
1 call-purpose flour
1 x 8oz pkgcream cheese, softened
1 cfully cooked salmon chunks
or 1 can (7-1/2oz) salmon, drained, bones & skin removed
2 tbspchicken broth
2 tbspsour cream
1 tbspfinely chopped onion
1 tsplemon juice
1/2 tspsalt
2 tbspminced fresh dill

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add flour and mix well. Shape into 24 balls; press onto the bottom and up the sides of greased miniature muffin cups. Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the salmon, broth, sour cream, onion, lemon juice and salt until blended. Spoon into the shells. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle with dill.

Ornament Popcorn Balls

10 cpopped popcorn
1 pkglarge marshmallows
1/4 cbutter, cubed
1/4 tspsalt

Optional decorations: candy canes, candy spearmint leaves and assorted gumdrops Place popcorn in a large bowl. In a large saucepan, combine marshmallows, butter and salt. Cook and stir over medium-low heat until melted. Pour over popcorn; mix well. Cool slightly. With greased hands, shape mixture into 12 popcorn balls, about 3/4 cup each. Place on waxed paper. Decorate as desired; let stand until set.

Double Nut Stuffed Figs

36dried Calimyrna figs
2/3 cfinely chopped pecans
2/3 cfinely chopped walnuts
7 tbspagave nectar, divided
3 tbspbaking cocoa
1/4 tspground cinnamon
1/8 tspground cloves
1/2 cpomegranate juice
4-1/2 tsplemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Remove stems from figs. Cut an “X” in the top of each fig, about two-thirds of the way down. In a small bowl, combine pecans, walnuts, 3 tablespoons agave nectar, cocoa, cinnamon and cloves; spoon into figs. Arrange in a 13x9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix pomegranate juice, lemon juice and remaining agave nectar; drizzle over figs. Bake, covered, 20 minutes. Bake, uncovered, 8-10 minutes longer or until heated through, basting occasionally with cooking liquid.

Eggnog Truffles

1 lbwhite chocolate, divided
4 ozcream cheese, softened
1/4 cpowdered sugar
1/4 tspnutmeg
1/4 tspimitation rum extract

In a small bowl, cream together cream cheese, powdered sugar, nutmeg, and rum extract. In a microwave safe bowl, melt 1/2 lb (8 oz) of the white chocolate for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave, stir, and repeat in 30 second intervals until the chocolate is completely smooth. Add the chocolate mixture to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Refrigerate for about 2 hours or until chilled and slightly more firm. Melt the remaining chocolate. Remove the cream cheese and chocolate mixture from the fridge, and roll into one-inch balls. Roll each ball in the white chocolate, and place on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Saltine Toffee

1 cbrown sugar
1 csalted butter
1 sleevesalted crackers
¾ cpeanut butter
1½ -2 cchocolate chips sprinkles!

Cover a 9x13 baking dish with foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray or grease with oil. Arrange the saltines in one layer in the pan, leaving a little bit of room between each cracker, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a small nonstick saucepan. Bring to a boil and let boil without stirring for three minutes. Pour the hot mixture over the crackers and bake for 5 minutes. Drop the peanut butter onto the hot cracker and toffee mixture; bake for another 1 minute to melt. Spread the peanut butter. Sprinkle with chocolate chips; bake for another 1 minute to melt. Spread the chocolate evenly and top with sprinkles. Freeze or chill for 1 hour or until set. Break into small pieces for serving.