Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas Treats the Kids will Love

By Brandi M. Seals

Think back to when you were little. Was there a certain treat that you absolutely loved? I had several of them and I have provided the recipes for you. Perhaps your or your kids will love them just as much as I do.

Caramel Corn

3.5 quarts plain popped popcorn
1 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place the popcorn into two shallow greased baking pans. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, margarine and salt in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it is well blended. Time the mixture once it begins to boil. Allow it to boil for 5 minutes while stirring constantly.

Remove the mixture from the heat, and stir in the baking soda and vanilla. Do not be surprised if the mixture looks light and foamy. That is normal. Pour the mixture over the popcorn in the pans, and stir it until the popcorn is well coated.

Now bake the coated popcorn for an hour in the preheated oven. Be sure to stir the popcorn every 15 minutes while it bakes.

Put down waxed paper on the counter top. When the popcorn is done baking, dump it out onto the paper and loosely separate the pieces. Let the popcorn cool completely before eating or storing.

German Chocolate Fudge

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
12 -1 ounce squares German sweet chocolate
7 ounces of marshmallow cream
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons butter
12 ounces of evaporated milk
1/8 teaspoon salt

Combine chocolate chips, German sweet chocolate and marshmallow cream in large bowl. Set aside.

Combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk and salt in a heavy skillet. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 6 minutes after boil is achieve, making sure to stir constantly.

Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate mixture. Stir the mixtures together until it is smooth.

Spread the combined mixture in a buttered 10x15 inch pan. Let the fudge stand until firm and then cut into squares.

Peppermint Fudge

2 cups milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
Dash salt
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
3/4 cup crushed hard peppermint candy

Melt chocolate chips in a saucepan over low heat with the sweetened condensed milk and salt. After the mixture has been thoroughly heated and smooth, remove it from the heat. Stir in the peppermint extract.

Pour the fudge in a lined 8 inch square pan. Sprinkle the fudge with smashed peppermint candies.

Chill the fudge for at least 2 hours or until it is firm. Remove it from the pan and cute into squares.

Spiced Nuts

1 egg white3 cups almonds, pecans, or walnuts1/3 cup sugar2 teaspoons cinnamon1/2 teaspoon allspice1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

Beat the egg white until it is foamy. Stir it into the selected nut, making sure the nuts are well coated.

Combine sugar, cinnamon, allspice, seasoned salt and nutmeg in a separate bowl.

Toss with nuts with the seasoned mixture in a plastic bag until they are well coated.

Spread the nuts on a greased baking sheet, making sure they are in a single layer. Bake them in the preheated oven for 1 hour.

Molasses Cookies

1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup molasses
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon salt

Melt the butter and add in the sugar, eggs, and molasses. Beat the mixture until it is well combined. Combine the baking powder, flour, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt together in a separate bowl and then add it to the butter mixture. Combine the two mixtures and chill the dough for at least 3 hours. Overnight is better.

Roll the dough into golf ball sized balls. Roll the balls in the granulated sugar and place them on a greased cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart.

Bake the cookies at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes.

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