Monday, December 10, 2012

Two Dozen Tried and True Holiday Recipes

Mexican Wedding Cakes

One of our favorites! So tender and rich. We make them for every occasion!

2 cups butter 1 cup powdered sugar

4 cups sifted flour 2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup finely chopped pecans

extra powdered sugar for rolling after baking

1. Whip butter with mixer; add sugar.

2. Next, add flour and vanilla.

3. Add nuts.

4. Roll in balls the size of walnuts.

5. Bake about 10-12 minutes regular oven; 7-10 minutes convection.

6. Roll in powdered sugar as soon as possible after baking.

7. Re-roll in powdered sugar before serving.

                                          Sour Cream Cookies

A favorite of several in our family, hands down! These are the most tender, soft, delicious cookies. We use various colors of sprinkles for other occasions (red and blue for July 4th, red for Valentine’s Day, pastel for Easter, etc.).

4 c flour 1 ¼ tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp soda ¾ tsp salt

1 1/4 c. butter, softened

3 eggs 2 cups sugar

1 ½ tsp vanilla 1 ¼ cup sour cream

Colored sprinkles/sugar according to occasion

1. Sift soda, flour, salt, and baking powder together; set aside.

2. Beat butter, sugar, and eggs together.

3. Beat sour cream and vanilla into the butter mixture.

4. Gradually beat dry ingredients into the wet mixture.

5. Refrigerate for one hour or longer. (We shape and freeze, freeze in one quarter containers (chunks of dough); etc. too.)

6. Drop and sprinkle with colored sugars (or sprinkle half way through baking time. (If sprinkled before baking it's not as distributed but it stays on better.)

7. Bake at 350' for 6-8 minutes for convection; 8-11 minutes regular oven.

                                  Peanut Blossom (“Kiss”) Cookies

These are better than your average peanut butter cookie. We prefer the milk chocolate taste of stars on them rather than kisses. These go quickly on holiday trays.

5 ¼ cups flour 1 ½ cups peanut butter

3 tsp soda 3 eggs

1 ½ tsp salt 6 TBSP milk

1 ½ cups sugar 3 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed 3 pkgs Hershey’s kisses or stars

1 ½ cups shortening/butter (we use ½ Crisco and half real butter)

1. Cream butter, shortening, brown sugar, and white sugar.

2. Whisk eggs.

3. Mix milk, eggs, and vanilla in separate bowl.

4. Pour milk mixture into creamed mixture, and mix.

5. Combine remaining ingredients (except kisses) in another mixing bowl.

6. Add to mixing ingredients until well blended.

7. Shape dough into balls, using a rounded teaspoon for each.

8. Roll balls in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheets.

9. Bake for 8-11 minutes convection; 10-13 regular.

10. Top each cookie immediately with a kiss, pressing down firmly so cookie cracks around the edge.


A simple candy (though the dipping process is best done by older kids or adults or you’ll have peanut butter balls floating in your melted chocolate!) that most people love. I’m always amazed how quickly we run out of these in spite of the large amount it seems we make on candy days.

1 (18 ox) jars creamy peanut butter 2 sticks (1 cup) butter

5 cups powdered sugar 2 cups chocolate chips

1. Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar, and butter in mixing bowl until well blended.

2. Add more peanut butter or powdered sugar if mixture is too moist or too crumbly.

3. Chill until firm.

4. Roll into small balls and place on wax paper.

5. Melt chocolate chips in large glass measure at 70% power for three minutes, stirring every one minute or so until melted and creamy.

6. Dip each ball with toothpick or candy dipper into chocolate. Leave top part of ball undipped.

7. Makes around 100 balls.

8. Let set up on foil pieces until firm (usually a few hours if doing it at room temperature).

                                         Peanut Butter Fudge

This is the yummiest peanut butter fudge I’ve ever had---when I get the texture right. It can be tricky to get it just right, but it is so worth it.

4 cups brown sugar 4 cups mini marshmallows

4 cups white sugar 4 cups peanut butter

2 cups evaporated milk 4 TBSP vanilla

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

1. Combine sugars, evaporated milk, and butter in heavy saucepan.

2. Cook until softball stage on medium (235’), stirring often.

3. Remove from stove.

4. Stir in marshmallows, peanut butter, and vanilla.

5. Stir until all is melted and begins to thicken.

6. Pour into 2 13x9 greased baking dishes.

7. Cool, cut, and serve.

8. Makes approximately 5-6 lbs.

                                          Never Fail Chocolate Fudge

My personal favorite holiday treat—the more walnuts, the better. This is a very simple fudge recipe that truly is no-fail.

8 cups sugar ½ lb butter (2 sticks)

2 (7 oz) jars marshmallow cream 2 cups chopped nuts

2 12 oz cans evaporated milk 2 12 oz packages choc chips (4 cups)

1. Melt butter in large heavy sauce pan.

2. Stir in milk and sugar.

3. Bring to full rolling boil, stirring constantly to prevent scorching (on medium to medium high heat). (Bring to softball stage; 235’.)

4. Remove from heat, and stir in chocolate chips until melted.

5. Add marshmallow cream and nuts, stirring until well blended.

6. Pour into two 9 x 13 greased baking dishes.

7. Cool at room temp.

8. Makes approximately 6 lbs.

                                              Banana Bread

I like to have one of the kids use up brown bananas anytime of the year and put some of these loaves in the freezer. Then we have them for potlucks, company, or new baby gifts. Quick breads are even better after they’re frozen!

2 cups sugar 2 tsp soda

1 cup butter (1/2 lb or 2 sticks)

2 tsp salt

4 eggs 6 cups flour

1 cup sour milk 6 large bananas

1. Cream sugar and butter in mixing bowl.

2. Add eggs and blend.

3. Add sour milk. (To “make” sour milk, put 1 TBSP vinegar in bottom of one cup measure before adding milk to measure.) Blend.

4. Mix flour, salt, and soda in another bowl with a fork.

5. Stir gradually into creamed mixture.

6. Add smashed bananas.

7. Pour into four small, well-greased bread pans.

8. Bake at convection 350’ for 30-45 minutes or until fork or toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Regular oven 45-60 minutes)

                                           Scotch Crunchies

If you like butterscotch chips and cashews, you’ll love these. Don’t let their strange ingredients steer you away. They are SIMPLE and yummy.

2 (12 oz.) of butterscotch chips (4 cups) 2 cup cashews

4 cups chow mein noodles

1. Melt butterscotch chips in eight cup glass measure in micro at 70% of power for two to three minutes, stirring every thirty seconds or so, until thoroughly melted. (Do not overheat.)

2. When melted, stir in cashews and chow mein noodles.

3. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto foil.

4. Let dry.

                                              Peanut Clusters

A peanut-chocolate drop candy that is SIMPLE to make.

2 (12 oz each) packages butterscotch chips 12 cups peanuts (not redskin or dry)

2 (12 oz each) packages chocolate chips

1. Melt chips in eight cup glass measure in micro at 70% of power for two to four minutes, stirring every thirty seconds or so, until thoroughly melted. (Do not overheat.)

2. When melted, stir in peanuts.

3. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto foil.

4. Let dry.

                                     Best White Frosting for Cookies

Even years when we bought frozen shaped cookies at the restaurant supply store (instead of making them) due to time crunches, we always still used our own icing recipe. This has lots of extra flavors, but those are what make this frosting delicious. Definitely not your typical powdered sugar/butter icing!

2 cups Crisco 4 lbs. Powdered sugar

1 cup hot water 2 tsps. white vanilla

4-6 drops lemon extract 1 tsp almond flavor

2 tsp clear butter flavor ½ tsp salt

1. Mix all but powdered sugar in mixing bowl and whip until all is mixed.

2. Add powdered sugar a cup or two at a time until frosting is desired texture. (May add more hot water or more powdered sugar, as needed.)

3. Use on cookies as needed. May keep at room temperature between cookie baking as long as well covered.

4. Very delicious icing!

                                       Butterscotch Brownies

These chewy brownies are good year round. They’re easy and feed a crowd.

1 ½ cup oil 6 cups brown sugar

6 eggs, beaten 4 ½ cups all purpose flour

6 tsp. baking powder 3 tsp salt

3 tsp vanilla

1. Blend oil and brown sugar in mixing bowl until well blended.

2. Stir in beaten eggs.

3. Sift all dry ingredients together in separate bowl.

4. Add to wet mixture one cup at a time until well blended.

5. Stir in vanilla at end.

6. Pour into three 9 x 13 glass baking dishes sprayed with PAM.

7. Bake in convection at 350’ for 16-22 minutes or regular oven for 24-30 minutes. Do not overbake!

Note: This is one of the few treats that I have made healthfully with very good results. Some have even thought the healthy version was better tasting! For the healthy counterpart , substitute egg whites for eggs (two egg whites for each egg), sucanat for the brown sugar, and part white/part whole wheat flour for the all purpose (or all whole wheat pastry). Follow same instructions. Still pretty heavy on the sweetener, but very good.

                                            Butterscotch Pudding

There’s nothing like homemade butterscotch pudding. We use this for pies, occasionally, but more often than not, we use it for “banana pudding.” It is a hit everywhere we take it---layer pudding, vanilla wafers, banana slices, walnuts, and real whipped cream—then repeat. Everyone raves about it.

2 cups brown sugar 4 TBSP sugar

1 stick butter 3 eggs

6 TBSP water 4 cups milk

¼ tsp salt 2 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup cornstarch/flour mixture

1. Put brown sugar, butter, and water in pan.

2. Boil for about five minutes until syrup is light brown.

3. Add milk and heat until just about boiling.

4. Combine flour/cornstarch mixture, salt, sugar, beaten eggs, and just enough extra milk (0-4 TBSP) to pour easily.

5. Cook on medium heat until thick, stirring constantly with wire whisk. (Watch closely or it will stick or scorch.)

6. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

7. Makes 10-12 servings or enough filling for two pies.

                                          Choc-Full Oatmeal Cookies

We got this delicious cookie recipe from a friend named Suzy, so for the longest time, we called them “Suzy’s Best Cookies”---because everyone liked them so much.

4 eggs 2 cups brown sugar

2 cups regular sugar 2 cups shortening or butter (We use ½ of each.)

3 cups flour 6 cups oatmeal

2 tsp salt 1 cup coconut

1 cup nuts 2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp baking soda 1-2 cups butterscotch chips or M & M’s

1. Cream shortening and sugars in mixing bowl.

2. Beat in eggs.

3. Mix all dry ingredients in large bowl. (You will have nuts, butterscotch chips or candies, and vanilla remaining.)

4. Stir in vanilla.

5. Stir in nuts and chips/candies by hand.

6. Drop onto greased cookie sheets.

7. Bake at 350’ convection for 8-12 minutes or regular oven for 10-14 minutes.

8. Makes nine dozen plus.

                                       M and M Holiday Cookies

This is our regular chocolate chip cookie recipe. It is Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies without the coconut. When sugars and butter are thoroughly whipped, these are the best chocolate chip cookies ever.

4 ½ cup flour 1 ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 tsp baking soda 4 eggs

2 tsp salt 4 eggs

2 cups butter and Crisco combined (half of each)

2 (12 oz) pkg holiday M & M’s or chocolate chips

1 ½ cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 375’.

2. In bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In mixing bowl, cream butter, Crisco, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla thoroughly.

4. Beat in eggs.

5. Gradually add flour mixture.

6. Stir in M & M’s or chocolate chips by hand until thoroughly mixed.

7. Bake in convection at 375’ for 6-9 minutes; 9-11 minutes regular.

8. Makes 10 dozen 2 ½ inch cookies.

                                             Pecan Pie Bars

We always used to make “Pecan Pick Ups” (also known as Pecan Tassies)—which are elegant looking for a wedding, shower, etc., but these bars are quicker---and just as tasty.


6 cups all purpose flour 1 ½ cups sugar

1 tsp salt 2 cups cold butter (no subs)


8 eggs 3 cups sugar

3 cups corn syrup ½ cup butter, melted

3 tsps vanilla 5 cups chopped pecans

1. In large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt.

2. Cut in butter until crumbly.

3. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of two greased 15 x 10 x 1 inch baking pans (“jelly roll” pans).

4. Bake at 350’ for 14-18 minutes convection; 18-22 minutes regular (until crust edges are beginning to brown and bottom is set).

5. While crust is baking, combine the eggs, sugar, corn syrup, butter, and vanilla in a large bowl for the filling. Mix well.

6. Stir in pecans.

7. Bake 28-24 minutes more (convection) or 25-30 minutes regular oven or until edges are firm and center is almost set.

8. Yield: Six to eight dozen.

                                         Pumpkin Bread

I love to have moist pumpkin bread loaves in the freezer, just like banana bread. Sometimes we add nuts to this.

1 ½ tsp cinnamon 4 ½ cups sugar

3 tsp. baking soda 1 ½ tsp nutmeg

3 tsp allspice 4 ¾ cups flour

6 eggs 1 cup evaporated milk

1 ½ cups butter 1 ½ lb (24 oz) canned pumpkin

1. Mix all ingredients together in large mixing bowl until thoroughly mixed.

2. Pour into greased and floured bread pans (two).

3. Cook for 40-55 minutes convection or one hour regular at 350’.

4. Yield four large loaves.

                            Holiday Crème-Filled Sandwich Cookies

New recipe this year. We’re anxious to try them!

Basic Dough Recipe:

2 (17.5 oz each) boxes sugar cookie mix 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 eggs


¾ cup butter, softened 1 tsp flavoring

3 cups powdered sugar 2 to 3 TBSP half and half

20 drops or so red food coloring

1. In medium bowl, blend sugar cookie mix with butter, food coloring, and egg. Mix well. (This will make a red marbling effect.)

2. Preheat oven to 375’.

3. Roll dough into balls 1” in diameter. (Be sure each cookie is the same size.)

4. Place 2” apart on ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 6-9 minutes convection or 8-10 minutes regular oven. (Do not let edges get brown.)

5. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for one minute, then transfer onto cooling rack.

6. While cookies are baking, cream butter, flavoring, and powdered sugar together. Add enough half and half to make spreading consistency.

7. When cookies are cool, place approximately 1 tsp filling in center of back of one cookie.

8. Place another cookie on top (flat side over filling), and using even pressure, press down in middle of top cookie to force filling outward to cookie edges.

                                     Chocolate Topped Toffee Bars

You can’t go wrong with Heath in anything!


2 (18.25 oz each) white cake mix ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted

½ cup packed brown sugar ½ cup milk

4 eggs 3 cups toffee chips or crushed Heath

1 ½ cup chopped pecans

Chocolate Glaze:

1 cup milk chocolate chips 4 tsps. butter or shortening

1. Preheat oven to 375’.

2. In large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, brown sugar, milk, and eggs.

3. Beat on low speed to blend, about two minutes.

4. Stir in toffee chips; then stir in pecans.

5. Spread batter in two floured and greased 9 x 13 baking dishes.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until lightly browned.

7. While bars are baking, melt chocolate and butter together in small sauce pan or in glass measure in microwave on 70% power for one to three minutes, stirring every minute until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

8. When bars are cool, drizzle with chocolate glaze.

                                           Gooey Snickers Brownies

A different kind of brownie, but a yummy one!

2 (18.25 oz each) box German chocolate cake mix 1 ½ cups butter, melted

1 cup evaporated milk 8 reg. Snickers bars

1. Preheat oven to 350’.

2. Slice Snickers bars in 1/8 “ slices.

3. In large bowl, combine cake mixes, butter, and evaporated milk.

4. Beat on low speed until well blended.

5. Spread half of batter into the bottom of two greased 9 x 13” baking pans.

6. Bake for ten minutes.

7. Remove from oven, and place candy bar slices evenly over surface.

8. Drop remaining half of batter by spoonfuls over candy bars, as evenly as possible.

9. Place back in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes more convection; 20 minutes regular. (Brownies will jiggle slightly on top when you remove them.)

                                               Tiger Butter Candy

Very simple candy that is as good as it is easy!

2 pound white chocolate chips or wafers 1 cup chunky peanut butter

1 cup chocolate chips 2 TBSP half and half

1. In large glass measure, heat white chocolate and peanut butter on 70% for 2-3 minutes, stirring every minute.

2. Mix well.

3. Pour onto a foil-lined baking sheet coated with nonstick cooking spray; spread into a thin layer.

4. In another glass measure, heat chocolate chips and half and half at 70% for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute until chips are soft. Stir until smooth.

5. Pour and swirl over peanut butter layer.

6. Freeze for 5 minutes or until set.

7. Break into small pieces.

8. Yield: about three pounds candy.

                   Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread—“Monkey Bread”

When my older kids were little, I made elaborate pecan rolls for Christmas morning. This is much simpler---and almost as delicious!

Two bags (24-27 rolls each) frozen dinner rolls 3-4 cups chopped pecans

2 large pkgs non-instant butterscotch pudding 2 cups sugar

1 cup brown sugar 2 tsp cinnamon

2 sticks butter

1. Butter two angel food cake pans, bunt pans, etc.

2. Sprinkle chopped pecans in bottom of the two pans.

3. Arrange 24-27 frozen dinner rolls in bottom of each pan.

4. Combine pudding mix, sugar, cinnamon, and brown sugar, and sprinkle this mixture over the rolls.

5. Melt butter and drizzle over the rolls and powdered mixture.

6. Cover and let rise in refrigerator overnight.

7. Bake at 350’ convection for 25-35 minutes; regular oven 45 minutes.

                                                  Muddy Buddies

The yummiest cereal mix, in my opinion. Make a ton if you’re having a crowd.

16 cups Chex cereal (or Crispix cereal)

1/2 cup margarine 1 ½ cup peanut butter

2 ½ cups chocolate chips 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1. Melt together the margarine, peanut butter, and chocolate chips. (May melt in large glass measure in micro at 70% for two to three minutes, stirring every minute.)

2. Pour over the cereal and stir.

3. Add powdered sugar to coat while mixture is still wet.

4. Store in air-tight container.

                                                Cherry Delight

A delicious, creamy dish that my mom made for our holidays when I was little. You can cut the filling and cherries in half and make it in one pre-made graham cracker pie crust also.


2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs ½ cup sugar

2/3 cup butter, melted


2 bars cream cheese 16 oz. Cool Whip

3 cups powdered sugar 2 tsp vanilla

Two cans cherry pie filling

1. Mix crumbs and sugar in 9 x 13 glass baking dish or rectangular Tupperware.

2. Pour melted butter over the crumb mixture and press down into the pan evenly.

3. Cream cream cheese in mixer.

4. Add powdered sugar and continue creaming. Add vanilla.

5. Fold in cool whip until it is mixed throughout.

6. Dollup filling over crust everywhere and smooth down evenly.

7. Cover entire filling with the two cans pie filling.

8. Refrigerate and serve.

9. Serves 12+.

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