Wednesday, December 21, 2011

One for you and one for me

How many of you have been to a cookie exchange?

I went to my first one Saturday with my friends at Marsh Swamp Church.

We enjoyed music and door prizes and choosing from among several dozen varieties of cookies, fudge, candy and other sweets to eat and take home.

On Friday afternoon, I made three recipes with the help of daughter Anna and cousin Nancy Boykin. We chatted and stirred and cut and rolled and had a fun time.

Everyone who attended Saturday’s exchange was asked to take at least three dozen pieces of a holiday treat. In return, we all got to take home at least three dozen treats.

I was brave and made three new recipes! I’ll share two of them here today.

The first, tiger butter, was so easy that I had it made in less than 10 minutes. This delicious candy — made with white chocolate, dark chocolate and peanut butter — is similar to a fudge, but because I spread it thin, it reminds me more of a candy. This easy treat is delicious, and I heard several people say the same thing I noticed, that the candy melts in your mouth! This recipe made more than enough for the exchange, so I saved some for our family Christmas Eve gathering.

I made two recipes from Better Homes and Gardens’ special interest publication “100 Best Cookies.” It was so hard choosing what to make from this magazine because there are so many options! But I chose salted peanut bars and sandies.

The recipe for sandies is almost identical to my recipe for nutty fingers or lady fingers. When I make nutty fingers, I have to drag out the Mirro press that has been in my family for decades. It’s seen better days, and my husband has to turn the crank for me to press the batter through the hole to make logs. It’s not an easy task. I had already thought I’d forgo the Mirro press and make the nutty fingers as cookies this year, so when I saw the round sandies, I decided this was all the incentive I needed to try something new.

They were so easy to make and taste just like the nutty fingers my family requests each year. Before the week is out, I’ll be making two more batches of this recipe for my extended family to enjoy.

Anna and I tried many delicious treats at Saturday’s exchange, from cinnamon hard candy to chocolate dipped pretzel rods — and took home containers filled with the fruits of our friends’ labor! I asked my friends to share their recipes for my column, and several of them did just that.

These are easy recipes that you can prepare before the week is out.

We had such a nice time at the cookie exchange, and I urge others to organize or attend a similar event next year. Our exchange included young girls, moms and grandmoms and was such a nice way to spend part of a Saturday morning. Anna and I will most certain be back next year.

Melted Snowman Cookies
  • 30 ounces ready to bake sugar cookie dough
  • 16 ounces vanilla frosting
  • 2 packages (7 oz.) white decorating cookie icing
  • Bag of large marshmallows
  • Butter or margarine, for greasing your plate
  • 6-8 small Ziploc bags
Bake the sugar cookies according to directions and slice about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

While the cookies are cooling, take the container of vanilla frosting and use your favorite food coloring and split into several bowls and use the food coloring to make all different colors of frosting to decorate the cookies or if you’re in a hurry, buy individual tubes of icing. Put each color frosting in a different Ziploc bag, and snip one corner of your bag to make your piping bag.

Next use decorating cookie icing, and frost your cookies. Make sure to let a little bit of icing spill over the edge, for the melting effect. Use a spoon to help spread the icing.

Lightly grease a small plate with the butter or margarine. Place a couple of marshmallows at a time on the plate, and microwave for about 5 to 6 seconds. You want them to puff a little but not double in size, or melt. Grease your fingers and pick up your marshmallow and place it on the edge of your cookie. Press it down slightly. Then decorate the cookies. I used scarves, bows, earmuffs and arms to decorate.

Makes about 12 to 15 cookies.

Heather Scott

Peanut Clusters
  • 1 6-ounce package chocolate chips
  • 1 12-ounce package butterscotch chips
  • 1 12-ounce package salted Spanish peanuts
Combine chocolate and butterscotch chips in 2-quart bowl. Heat in microwave on 60% power for 4 minutes, stirring once during melting. Stir in peanuts.

Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper and let set.

Microwave time may vary, but it’s better to start low and add time because you can’t use it if it’s overcooked.

Beverly Boyette

Tiger Butter
  • 2 6-ounce packages white chocolate squares
  • 1/2 heaping cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
Coat a large baking pan with wax paper.

In a medium-size bowl, melt white chocolate according to box directions. I used the microwave. Stir the chocolate to blend. Mix in the peanut butter.

Pour mixture onto waxed paper. Spread with the back of a spoon to desired thickness.

Melt chocolate chips. Start at 30 seconds in microwave. Stir. Continue heating at 15 second intervals until melted, but be careful not to overcook.

Dot the surface of the white chocolate mixture with the dark chocolate. With a knife or toothpick, swirl the dark chocolate into the white chocolate to make pretty marble designs.

Let the candy stand to harden. Can briefly place in refrigerator if needed.

Cut into squares or break.

Lisa Batts

Babe Ruth Bars
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup Karo Syrup (light)
  • 1 3/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 5 1/2 cup Special K cereal
  • 12 oz. bag milk chocolate chips
Mix sugar and Karo syrup together in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and pour over peanut butter stir until creamy. Add Special K cereal gradually, stirring to coat flakes. Put mixture in a 9x13 dish sprayed with cooking spray or greased lightly with butter. Pack down until even. Melt chocolate according to directions then pour over mixture; spread evenly. Let chocolate harden then cut into bars.

Wendy Skinner prepared this from a recipe given to her by Pennettie Bass.

Classic Christmas Sandies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
In a mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in water and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour and the pecans. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 to 60 minutes or until firm enough to shape.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake about 15 minutes or until bottoms are light brown. Transfer to wire racks and let cool.

Place the 1 cup powdered sugar in a large plastic bag. Add cooled cookies, in batches, to bag. Gently shake to coat.

*Notes: I didn’t toast my pecans, and I used a small scoop to form the balls. Also, instead of coating my sandies in a bag, I rolled them in powdered sugar that I poured onto a plate.

Lisa Batts, as prepared from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe

No comments:

Post a Comment