Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Treats 2010

Maybe it's because I'm just a tiny bit ADD but I love finding new and interesting recipes even at Christmas!  Of course you can't mess with the standard classics like sugar cookies, fudge and gingerbread men, but the variety of Christmas goodies available is just too fun not to branch out and try something new.  I tend to gravitate towards making candy because it lasts a little bit longer (in theory) then cookies. 
This first recipe is one I found via one of my new favorite blogs Pioneer Woman.  It does take some patience to get to that elusive hard candy stage but other than that it's pretty easy and ohhh so delicious.  I love the version with dark chocolate and sea salt - yum!


  • 16 ounces, weight Butter, Melted
  • 16 ounces, weight Granulated Sugar
  • 3 ounces, fluid Water
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 16 ounces, weight Chopped Topping: Toasted Nuts, Candy Canes, Sea Salt, Etc.
  • 24 ounces, weight Tempered Dark Chocolate For Coating, Melted

Preparation Instructions

*Necessary Equipment: Candy Thermometer*
Combine butter, sugar, water, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
Cook over moderate heat, stirring gently, until candy thermometer registers 298 degrees.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla until well combined.
Pour the mixture onto a silicone baking mat or good parchment paper. Use a heatproof rubber spatula or offset spatula to spread quickly before the toffee sets. Spread thin.
Allow toffee to cool completely. Blot to remove excess oil from the surface. Coat surface with half of the melted chocolate and immediately sprinkle with topping.
When chocolate has totally set, carefully flip over (it’s okay if it falls apart a bit) and coat other side with the rest of the chocolate. Sprinkle on topping.
Allow to set, then break into bite-size pieces.
Store in an airtight container.

Next up is a recipe I actually made last year too and it was so delicious and easy I repeated it this year.  These are almost gone already - oops!:)

Oreo Truffles


  • 1 (16 ounce) package OREO Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, divided
  • 1 (8 ounce) package PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted


  1. Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
  2. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
  3. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refridgerator.
I love that you can customize these to whatever you want.  Next time I want to try them dipped in white chocolate with crushed up candy canes!

Last is a cookie recipe I found via the blog i am baker, that is an instant classic!  These are so easy and super good.  They are even a bit of a refreshing change to all the heavy chocolate posted above. :)  If a cookie can be called refreshing that is.....
Oatmeal Chocolate Cranberry Spice Cookies

*photo would be inserted here but blogger's not letting me right now*
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar*

1 1/2 cups whole oats*
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips*
*I used ultra fine bakers sugar, organic whole grain oats, and a high quality cocoa chocolate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In medium bowl sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon,  and all spice.  In separate large bowl, cream together shortening, brown sugar, and white sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Combine well.
Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.  Then add oats, cranberries, and chocolate if you so desire.
Use 1/4 cup and scoop onto cookie sheet... you should get about 6 per sheet.
Bake for at least 8 minutes, but most likely will bake for 12 depending on your stove.

So there you have it  - my top three holiday treats of 2010!  I'm off to deliver more of these today because frankly I'd like my jeans to still fit after Christmas! 
Happy Monday everyone!  Hope this finds you enjoying the last few days before Christmas!


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