3 Amazing Christmas Treats You Need To Try!
Hi Everyone! I know it’s been a LONG two weeks with only one post, and for that I deeply apologize. I’ve been sick (still), and I’ve changed strategies (and themes) for the shop. Everything that I was working on before has been scrapped because it just wasn’t working. Now I’ve got an awesome new program, a beautiful theme, and more to hopefully show you soon. I’m just waiting on my web host to get back to me with one last thing and then we’ll be up and running, finally. Enough about the shop; Today we’re going to talk about the 3 Amazing Christmas Treats You Need To Try. I’ll be sharing with you my mom’s to die for Fantasy Fudge Recipe, as well as my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, and my version of my grandma’s awesome Peanut Butter Cookies.
Can you believe that we’re already 11 days into December? How crazy is that!? Luckily in my short hiatus from blogging, I’ve managed to purchase and wrap (almost) all of our gifts. I have just a few to go for the littles in our family, and then I’m done. I’m extremely thankful for Amazon Prime and Ebay, otherwise I wouldn’t have even started shopping yet.
Punky and I went out on Black Friday (I know, I know…) to get groceries, and people were CRAZY! We were standing in the checkout line, and this woman comes barrelling through, knocking into me, our cart, and pushing Punky over. The only thing she was holding was a box of mince pies, and a bottle of gin. Punky was fine, and I called her a not-so-nice name before she left. It was the same when I went up to Edinburgh last week. The amount of people who were shoving each other over a 30% off deal was insane.
It kind-of makes me happy to be home with a really bad cold. I don’t think I could tolerate any more pre-holiday rudeness!
One of the things that makes me happy at this time of year though are my family’s Christmas Treats! I love to bake, and make homemade caramels, fudge, and toffee from scratch. I finally have a Kitchenaid mixer, so I can make things like divinity without fearing that I’m going to blow up my hand mixer (again). Yeah, that really happened. Never try to make divinity without a stand mixer!
In the past on one of my more popular (but now non-existent) blogs called Amanda’s Budget Baking, I used to do Cookie Week every single year. I’d share the recipes I’d be making to give to family, and they were almost always something new. I probably won’t be bringing back Cookie Week (since it’s so close to the holidays, and I have too much on my plate right now), but today I’m going to share with you three of my favorite Christmas Treat recipes that are always a hit with my family (and everyone we share them with!)
I really hope you all enjoy these recipes. All three of them have been in my family for quite a long time, and have been rigorously tested! If you have any issues with any of the recipes, please feel free to email me, and I’ll help you troubleshoot any problems.
Amanda’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 c. Butter
3/4 c. White Sugar
3/4 c. Light Brown Sugar (packed)
2 large Eggs
2 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract (or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste… we like a lot of vanilla)
2 1/4 c. All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 c. Chocolate Chips
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy with a hand mixer on medium speed. Add eggs and vanilla into the butter/sugar mix and combine well. Mix flour into the butter mix until no streaks remain. Fold in chocolate chips. Preheat oven to 325 F or 162 C. Lightly spray your baking sheets with non-stick spray, and drop by teaspoonful. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the center of the cookies are just set, and edges are light golden brown.
*** Notes *** When cooling these cookies, leave on the pan for two or three minutes until they firm up. They’ll break into pieces if you try to move them off the pan immediately. When removing from the pan, place on parchment paper directly on your counter top. Wire racks are NOT recommended for these cookies. They are much too fragile to sit directly on the rack and will make a huge mess. I use a light colored baking pan for these. The sugar in the cookies quickly burns on a dark baking sheet. Keep in an airtight container for no longer than a week. I make small cookies and get about 40 out of the batch.
If you’re baking small cookies, make sure to keep an eye on them constantly. They burn very easily, and usually only take about 5-8 minutes in a fan assisted oven. Larger cookies are usually done between 9-12 minutes. I like to slightly undercook them as they stay soft and chewy longer.
Grandma S’ Peanut Butter Cookies
This recipe is my creation, which is extremely close to my grandmother’s original recipe. I’ll have to ask my mom or grandma for the real thing, but as soon as I get it I’ll update this one to share with you all! There’s nothing better than my grandma’s cookies. Each one is like a warm hug that immediately transports you back to your childhood.
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. butter
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour (plain flour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Cream butter and sugars together. Add peanut butter, salt, soda and vanilla. Combine well. Add flour a little at a time and combine well after each addition.
Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. Unless you line the pans, these cookies WILL stick. Guaranteed.
Roll into 1 inch balls and flatten with a fork, pressing cross hatches into the top of the dough.
Bake for 10-12 minutes at 190 C. Cool on a baking sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
Mom’s Fantasy Fudge
This recipe is AMAZING. I use it nearly every single year, and there’s never any left. There are tons of recipes online for different versions of fudge, but none of them beat my mom’s recipe. You can use the base recipe to create any single flavour you’d like. If you like Peanut butter fudge, use ¾ c. real peanut butter, or peanut butter flavoured chips. To make variations of chocolate fudge, you could substitute chocolate chips for 3/4c to 1 c. Nutella. For anything peppermint or fruit flavoured, use white chocolate in the base recipe.
Makes 3 lbs or 40 servings
3 c. Sugar
1 stick (1/4 c.) butter or margarine
7 oz Marshmallow Creme
1 (5oz) can Evaporated Milk
1 package (12 oz) any flavor Chocolate Chips (Peanut butter, Semisweet Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate…etc)
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
Any additions you like, such as crushed peppermint, dehydrated fruit (craisins with an orange flavored fudge is amazing), lemon zest, etc. Experiment to your heart’s content!
Line a 9″ square pan with foil. Bring the sugar, butter and milk to a full rolling boil in a large saucepan (a large stockpot works better) on medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 4 minutes or until 234F on a candy thermometer. STIR CONSTANTLY!
Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips and marshmallow creme. Stir until melted, then stir in nuts (if using) and vanilla extract. The vanilla will make the mixture pop and sizzle a bit, but keep stirring. This sets up very quickly, so you have to move fast. Pour into the prepared pan and cool completely before cutting.
Now that you know what recipes my family uses for holiday treats, why don’t you share some of your most prized recipes too? Kind of like a cookie swap! I’d love to see what you’re making this year, so please comment here, on fb or twitter.