By Wendy Bentien:
Let me first start by saying I LOVE this time of year. Yeah, yeah getting presents is wonderful and all and I do like watching the excitement in my kids eyes on Christmas morning, but I have a small confession. I am slightly obsessed with the sugary concoctions that people start making and passing around right after Thanksgiving. Everyone has their favorites, rum balls and even fruitcake (is that still around?). It is the only time of year in which it is actually frowned upon if you don’t partake in dessert. At least that’s how it is in our house. I am the one frowning at you if you don’t join me and make me feel less guilty.
I have a slight problem with my obsession though; as much as I love to cook I am not so wonderful at baking. What is the difference between baking powder and baking soda anyway? Maybe it is the fact that you have to be exact with the measuring. I think my measuring spoons are trapped in back of that “drawer” in the kitchen. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the one that houses everything from the oyster shucker you have never used to the old soy sauce packets from the take out food that you kept just in case you had an emergency in which dousing something with salty liquid would save your life.
It is a great thing that I have a mom who just so happens to live for baking treats. I mean she is REALLY good at it. if your crack comes in a cookie, cheesecake or pie form then she is your dealer. She always just shows up with things “for the kids” she says. Whatever, I know bribery when I see it. Well my husband, Fritz, and I usually hide them from the kids and fight over who gets them first.
My mom has taught me how to make a few things here and there. She gave me three easy (no baking required) Holiday sweets recipes that she assured me “a monkey could make”. Thanks for your confidence, Mom! This is when I like to remind her that Nachos don’t count as dinner!
First are these cute little Santa cookies that you can make with your kids. Basically you are just decorating (my favorite part). My five year old told me this is what she is leaving out for Santa because “who wouldn’t want to eat a cookie that looks like them?” The kid is brilliant!
Santa Claus Cookies
16 oz package of White Chocolate Candi Quick, melt as directed
1 pkg Nutter Butter cookies
Red colored sugar
32 Vanilla or white chocolate chips
64 mini semi sweet chocolate chips
32 red hot candies
Melt white chocolate Candi Quick and dip each end of cookie into chocolate.
Place on wire rack. Then sprinkle red sugar for top of hat. Press one vanilla chip
for pom-pom. With a drop of melted chocolate attach semi sweet chips for eyes and red hot for the nose. Yields 32 cookies (unless some get eaten during the process)
Christmas Bark (this was gone in 2 days, you just can’t stop eating it!)
1 12 oz pkg of dark chocolate chips
(3) 2oz Butterfinger candy bars chopped into pieces
(3) 1.4 oz heath bar candy bars chopped into pieces
(8) 0.55 oz peanut butter cups broken into pieces
-or any combination of your favorite candy bars. Enough to cover melted chocolate
¼ cup chopped peanuts
1 bag (12 oz ) red and green M&Ms
Melted white chocolate Candi Quick.
Line baking sheet with foil. Melt chocolate chips in microwave and pour onto foil. Spread to ¼ inch thickness (about a 12×10 inch rectangle). Sprinkle with chopped candy bars and nuts. Top with M&M’s. Dip spoon into white Candy quick and making sweeping side to side drizzles over the bark creating a zig zag. Chill until firm, approximately 30 minutes and break into irregular pieces.
Chocolate Covered Graham Crackers
24 Graham crackers (I LOVE the ones from Trader Joes)
1 16 oz pkg of white chocolate Candy Quick (Melted per package instructions)
1 16 oz Chocolate Candy Quick (melted)
Dip Grahams front and back into Candy Quick. 12 white and 12 chocolate. Place on parchment lined baking sheets to dry. Drizzle remaining chocolate over the white dipped grahams and vice versa. Allow to dry and try not to eat one right away, I dare you!
Well, I am no monkey and these turned out pretty darn tasty and I didn’t even have to fish out my measuring spoons. May your Holidays be filled with sugar covered happiness!