Christmas Cooking Fun


Candy Cane Cookies

1 cup shortening

1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon red food coloring

1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy

1/2 cup sugar

Mix together shortening, sugar, egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Add sifted flour and salt and mix thoroughly. Blend food coloring into half of dough.

Using 1 teaspoon uncolored dough, roll a 4″ strip and then a 4″ strip of red dough. Lay strips side by side, press lightly together, and twist like rope. Place on ungreased baking sheet and curve top down to form handle of cane. Bake at 375° for 9 minutes. Sprinkle candy and sugar mixture over warm cookie.

Marshmallow Nut Puffs

1/2 pint heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

large marshmallows

chopped nuts, coconut, or chocolate decorettes

Add 1 teaspoon vanilla to 1/2 pint heated, heavy cream. Dip marshmallows in cream until outsides are soft and roll in finely ground nuts, coconut, or chocolate decorettes. Flatten marshmallow lightly and chill.

Snowballs

6-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces

1 1/3 cup evaporated milk

1 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

1/2 cup chopped nuts

3 1/2-ounce can flaked coconut

Combine chocolate and milk in double boiler and heat over hot (not boiling) water until chocolate melts. Remove from heat and add sugar and nuts. Cool slightly, form into 1″ balls, and roll in coconut.

Meringues

6 egg whites at room temperature

1 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

candy decorations

In a large bowl, beat egg whites with an electric mixer at high-speed until frothy. Add cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form. Very slowly, add sugar while beating—about 12 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until meringue looks glossy and makes stiff peaks. Line baking sheet with ungreased brown paper. Scoop meringue onto paper, forming desired shapes with spoon. Decorate with colored candy decorations. Bake at 200° for about 2 hours or until very dry but still white.

Rocky Road

4 milk chocolate bars (4 1/2-ounce)

3 cups small marshmallows

3/4 cup chopped nuts

Partially melt chocolate over hot (not boiling) water in double boiler. Remove from heat and beat until smooth. Stir in marshmallows and nuts. Spread in buttered 8″ square pan. Chill and then cut into squares.

Maple Fudge

1 7/8 cup sugar

1 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 cup chopped nuts

Boil sugar, maple syrup, and cream in saucepan at 280° to soft-ball stage. Set aside until lukewarm. Beat until thick, add nuts, and pour into buttered pan. Cut when cool.

Peanut Clusters

8-ounce package chocolate pieces

1/2 pound roasted spanish peanuts

Melt chocolate in double boiler over hot (not boiling) water. Remove from heat and stir in peanuts. Drop from teaspoon onto waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Chill several hours.

Uncooked Fondant

1 egg white

1 tablespoon cold water

2 tablespoons light cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

5 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Blend together egg white, water, cream, and vanilla. Add sugar, gradually kneading mixture until smooth. Cover with damp cloth and let stand at room temperature 1 hour before shaping into small balls. The balls can be rolled in the sugar, or a cherry, walnut, or raisin could be placed in the center of each ball.

Candy Cane Popcorn Balls

5 quarts popped corn

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

8″ candy canes

Keep popcorn hot and crisp in oven at 300°. Butter sides of saucepan and mix remaining ingredients except vanilla and candy canes. Cook mixture at 250° to hard-ball stage. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour slowly over hot popcorn, stirring until mixed thoroughly. Butter hands lightly, shape into a popcorn ball around the bottom of each candy cane, and tie a bow around finished canes.

Tutti-frutti Bars

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/2 pound marshmallows

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup chopped candied cherries

1/2 cup chopped nuts

5 1/2-ounce package puffed rice cereal

Heat butter and marshmallows in double boiler until thick and syrupy. Beat in vanilla and add cherries and nuts. Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal in a large bowl while stirring briskly. Press into greased 9″ square pan. Let stand till firm enough to cut.

Butter Toffee

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup butter

1 cup chopped nuts

12-ounce package semisweet chocolate pieces

Mix sugar, salt, water, and butter together and cook at 285° to light-crack stage. Add 1/2 cup nuts and pour onto greased cookie sheet and cool. Melt chocolate pieces over warm water in double boiler. Pour half of chocolate over toffee and sprinkle rest of nuts on top. Cool, turn, and repeat procedure on reverse side.