Christmas Workshop


Treats

By Rebecca Todd

Christmas Sandwich Cookies

1 package (18 1/4 ounces/517 g) devil’s food cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 package (3 ounces/85 g) cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

2 to 3 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

red or green food coloring

  1. 1.

    In a mixing bowl, beat the cake mix, eggs, and oil.

  2. 2.

    With clean hands, roll the dough into 1″ (2.5 cm) balls. Place them on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten them slightly.

  3. 3.

    Bake at 350° F (175° C) for 8–10 minutes. Let cool.

  4. 4.

    In another mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and the butter. Add the sugar and vanilla; mix until smooth.

  5. 5.

    Blend in a drop of food coloring.

  6. 6.

    Frost the bottoms of half of the cookies. Place the remaining cookies on top.

Popcorn Lollipops

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

3/4 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon salt

red or green food coloring

5 quarts popped popcorn

1 package (4 ounces/113.4 g) lollipops

  1. 1.

    After mixing the sugar, syrup, water, vanilla, and salt in a medium saucepan, ask an older person to help you cook it over medium heat until it just reaches the hard ball stage. (If you don’t have a candy thermometer, drop about 1/4 teaspoon of the liquid into a half cup of very cold water and feel the drop with your finger. If it is round and hard, it is done.)

  2. 2.

    Blend in a drop of food coloring, then quickly and gently stir the syrup with the popcorn.

  3. 3.

    When the popcorn is barely cool enough to handle, use clean, buttered hands to mold it into balls (or other shapes) around the lollipops. Green popcorn can be shaped into trees around the lollipops.

Cherry-Cheese Tarts

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs *

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 package (8 ounces/227 g) cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1 can (20 ounces/567 g) cherry pie filling

  1. 1.

    Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the butter.

  2. 2.

    Line a muffin baking tin with paper muffin cups. Press 1 tablespoon of crumbs into the bottom of each cup.

  3. 3.

    In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and egg until smooth.

  4. 4.

    Spoon 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture over each graham cracker crust.

  5. 5.

    Bake at 375° F (190° C) for 12–15 minutes. Let cool.

  6. 6.

    Put 2 tablespoons of cherry pie filling over each cheesecake. Chill for at least an hour.

Crafts

By Julie Wardell and Ellen Javernick

Wall Hanging

To make a decorative wall or door hanging, you will need: a piece of rope 3/8″ x 27″ (1 cm x .7 m), fourteen pieces each of four different-colored cotton fabrics 1 1/4″ x 6 1/2″ (3.2 cm x 16.5 cm), yarn or ribbon, and your choice of decoration (see step 2).

  1. 1.

    Tie a knot at each end of the rope. Tie a fabric strip just below one knot (see illustration). Alternating the colors, continue tying the strips down the rope, making sure each strip is pushed against the previous one. Stop when the fabric ties completely cover the rope between its knots.

  2. 2.

    Decorate the wall hanging by using yarn or ribbon to bow-tie-on one or more of the following: fabric bundles [5 1/2″ (14 cm) fabric circles] filled with either potpourri or cotton balls sprayed with cologne; tiny wrapped packages; bells; or Fragrant Gifts (see below).

Fragrant Gifts

To make these nonedible gifts, you will need: 1 cup ground cinnamon, 1 cup applesauce, a rolling pin, waxed paper, 2 1/4″ (5.7 cm) or smaller cookie cutters, a toothpick, cookie sheet(s), scissors, narrow ribbon, and small safety pins (optional).

  1. 1.

    Put the cinnamon and the applesauce into a bowl and mix. Knead the dough until it is well blended and smooth. Divide it in half and form each half into a ball.

  2. 2.

    On waxed paper, roll one ball to about 3/8″ (1 cm) thickness. Cut out the shapes with the cookie cutters. Using the toothpick, make a hole 1/4″ (6 mm) in diameter near the top for hanging. Carefully place each shape on the cookie sheet. Work the leftover dough into the second ball and repeat the process.

  3. 3.

    Bake at 150° F (65° C) for 3 to 4 hours, checking periodically (they are done when the centers look completely dry). Remove them from the oven and let them cool.

  4. 4.

    Decide what gifts you are going to make: tree and package decorations, bookmarks, necklaces, pins, and/or drawer fresheners (see illustration). For each gift, cut the appropriate length of ribbon, push one end through the shape’s hole, and knot the ends together or tie them in a bow.

[photos] Photos by Maren Mecham

Show References

  1.   *

    Option: Put a vanilla wafer cookie in the paper muffin cups, instead of graham cracker crumbs and butter.