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Holiday Food Recipes

Updated on October 1, 2014

Holiday Food is Special

Christmas is a special time of year. It is a celebration of the birth of Jesus. A time when families and friends are gathered together and the atmosphere is of love, joy and giving. It is a time of inviting family and friends to gather at your table and it is a time of gift giving.

I have always loved Christmas and the traditions that belong to Christmas and to Christmas only. Food has always been part of the tradition in our family. Maybe it is because I love to be in the kitchen especially when it comes to baking.

There are so many wonderful kinds and types of food that are perfect for gift giving. I have collected so many recipes over the years I won't know where to begin when I start to share some of them but thought this lens might be a perfect beginning. Some of these recipes will be great for gift giving and some will look absolutely gorgeous on your table for that special occasion.

Peanut Brittle

Done in the microwave

This is a quick and easy recipe for making Peanut Brittle. This recipe stores well in an air tight container so when you are ready to gift it you can put it into beautifully wrapped boxes. It is a wonderful gift for your Pastor, teacher of neighbor.

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1 cup salted peanuts

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup corn syrup

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

In 2 quart measurer stir sugar and syrup. Microwave full power for 3 minutes

Stir in peanuts. Microwave full power for 3 minutes. (until golden in color)

Add butter and vanilla, blending well. Microwave 1 to 2 minutes more. Peanuts and syrup will be very hot.

Add baking soda and gently stir until light and foamy.

Pour mixture onto lightly greased cookier sheet.

Let cool for about an hour and then break into pieces and store in air tight container until ready to eat or gift wrap!

Speaking of gift wrap. A wonderful way to wrap peanut brittle for gifts is to use colored or clear plastic wrap. Tear off a big piece and place your peanut brittle in the center, bringing up all sides and tie with ribbon. Very easy and pretty too.

Chocolate Meringue Stars

Wait til you hear the oohs and aahs

These cookies package beautifully and look like you have taken all day. So, if you are a good actress you can pretend you slaved in the kitchen all day to make these special cookies. A bonus is the fact that they package so beautifully they'll look like they came from the expensive candy store.

Ingredients:

3 egg whites

3/4teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup baking cocoa

Glaze: 3 squares ( 1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon shortening

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and vanilla until soft peaks form. Gradually add the sugar, about 2 tablespoons at a time, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the cocoa.

Place in a pastry bag with a large open star tip. Line baking sheets with ungreased parchment paper. Pipe stars, about 1 1/4 inch diameter, onto parchment paper or drop by rounded teaspoonfuls. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from parchment paper; cool on wire racks.

In a microwave dish or heavy saucepan melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip the cooled cookies halfway into glaze; place on waxed paper to set.

Yield about 4 dozen.

Choco Bon Bons

Children Love These!

You will want to make a double batch of these Choco Bon Bon's because they disappear real fast. These are also great to give as gifts to families with children. They store great in an air tight container kept in the refridgerator. These will become a favorite year round.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup Peanut Butter

3 cups chocolate chips

1 cup powdered sugar

2 cups rice krispies

In heavy saucepan melt butter, then add powdered sugar and peanut butter; mix until smooth and creamy. Stir in rice krispies and mix well. Form into balls. You can choose the size. I prefer golf ball size balls.

Place on cookie sheet and put in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will give everything time to set and freeze.

Melt chocolate chips. Prepare cookie sheet with buttered wax paper.

Dip frozen balls in chocolate and place on prepared cookie sheet. Freeze again until chocolate has set.

Tip: I used a toothpick in the frozen ball to dip in the chocolate.

Love, Peace & Joy

THESE ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS. AFTER THAT COMES FOOD, FRIENDS AND LAUGHTER, NOT NECESSARILY IN THAT ORDER!

Baking cookies happens around the world!

Peppermint Meringues

Melt in your mouth goodness

Egg nog, candy canes and Peppermint Meringues are just part of the holiday fare. These Peppermint Meringues are unique, easy to make and look beautiful boxed as a gift or in a candy dish. These are going to become a favorite of yours and you will be pulling out this recipe year after year.

Ingredients:

2 egg whites

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sugar

2 candy canes (finely crushed)

Beat egg whites until foamy. Sprinkle with salt and cream of tartar. Beat to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed. This will take about 7 minutes

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes.

Bake at 225 degrees F. for 1 1/2 hours. Turn oven off but leave the cookies in the oven with door ajar for 1 more hour or until cookies are cool.

Store in airtight container until ready to serve.

Kitchen Sink Crunchers

Something like a loaded brownie

Are you going to a Christmas party and need to bring something? Here is the perfect little something. You can adapt this recipe to meet the needs of all tastes. Change the pecans to walnuts or almonds, change the coconut to peanut butter chips or leave it as.... you'll have people asking you for this recipe, I always do!

BTY, I found this recipe in a Family Circle Magazine

Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup toffee pieces

3/4 cup sweetened flake coconut

3/4 cup chopped pecans

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with foil; coat with nonstick cooking spray.

In medium-size saucepan melt together butter and brown sugar. Let cool slightly.

Whisk egg and vanilla into butter mixture. In medium-size bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Whisk into butter mixture. Stir in toffee bits, 1/2 cup coconut, 1/2 cup pecans and all of the chocolate chips.

Spread into prepared pan.

Press remaining coconut and chopped pecans evenly into top of bar.

Bake until set in center, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan to rack; let cool completely. Once cool cut into 24 bars.

Food Gift Packaging

To me, part of making and giviing a food gift is in the presentation. Find a pretty box or tin to put your cookies or candy in or wrap a plain box with beautiful paper and then make a beautiful bow. It shows the person you are giving the homemade goodies to that you have put some time and thought into your gift.

Egg Nog

If you love it, you'll love this recipe

My mother gave me this recipe and I have been making egg nog for all of our family gatherings for as long as I care to remember. Even if you don't normally like egg nog you might want to give this recipe a try I have personally converted several people from being " anti egg nog' to " I love this egg nog may I please have some more".

I know it contains raw egg but I have never had a problem in the 50 years I have been making it. Maybe it is because I use eggs fresh from the store and not eggs that have been in my refrigerator for a long time. I'm not sure, all I know is that I have never had any problems with this egg nog recipe.

Ingredients:

1 dozen eggs

2 quarts of milk ( I use skim but you could also you whole milk)

1 gallon of premium vanilla ice cream, (don't skimp here)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup sugar

nutmeg for sprinkling

Get ice cream out of the freezer while preparing eggs.

Separate egg yolks from egg whites. Putting egg yolks in large punch bowl and egg whites in large electric mixer bowl.

With wire whisk beat egg yolks until light yellow and creamy. Add vanilla extract and milk. Mix until well blended and set aside.

Beat egg whites in large mixer bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add the sugar and beat until well blended. Until soft peaks are formed.

Carefully add the egg white mixture to the egg yolks mixture and stir until well blended. It is all right if you have some small chunks of ice cream.

Serve with nutmeg sprinkled on top. This is the traditional way of serving. Or mix it up by using a cinnamon stick instead of the nutmeg. I've also had chocolate sticks on hand so that people can select what the perfer.

Drop Sugar Cookie

Perfect for Santa.

Are you looking for something great for Santa's snack on Christmas Eve? Here is a wonderful old fashioned sugar cookie recipe that is easy to make, has simple ingredients and tastes good too. These cookies will bring back memories of grandma's kitchen.

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1/4 cup sugar plus additional sugar for topping

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and mix well.

Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended. Add sugar, oil, vanilla extract and lemon zest and mix well. Stir the dry ingredients into egg mixture until blended. Chill, covered, for 30 minutes or longer.

Drop the cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.

Mist the bottom of a 3 inch flat bottom glass with water and dip glass in additional sugar. Press the top of each cookie lightly with the glass to flatten, misting glass with water and dipping in sugar before pressing each cookie.

Bake at 400 degrees F. for about 8 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on baking sheet before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

SUBSTITUTION: You can substitue 3/4 cup brown sugar for the 3/4 cup sugar and then eliminate the lemon zest. These will give the cookies a butterscotch flavor. Also, you can use colored sugars in place of the granulated sugar.

Fudge

Pudding Fudge

I always make lots of fudge at Christmas time and very seldom make it the rest of the year. I don't know why that is because I love fudge. I very seldom buy fudge although there are some good products out there.

This is a recipe that is quick and easy to make. It is unusual because you use chocolate pudding. This is also an excellent recipe if you have grandchildren in the kitchen with you.

Ingredients:

1 package (8 squares) semi-sweet baking chocolate (divided)

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, divided

1/3 cup water

1 package (4 serving size) Instant chocolate pudding ( I use Jell-o brand)

3 cups powdered sugar

Micorwave 4 of the chocolate squares, 6 tablespoons of the butter and water in large microwavable bowl on High for 2 minutes or until butter is melted; Stir. Add dry pudding mix. Stir until well blended.

Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring until well blended after each cup is added.

Press into foil-lined, lightly buttered, 8 inch square pan.

Microwave remaining 4 chocolate squares and 2 tablespoons of butter in large microwavable bowl on High 1 1/2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Spread over pudding mixture.

Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.

Cut into 48, 1 inch squares or 24, 2 inch squares.

Nut Balls

Perfect for Gift Giving

My mother use to make these all the time. I couldn't get enough. It was like eating popcorn or peanuts, you just wanted to keep popping them in your mouth. They are terrific with a hot cup of coffee.

If you are going to a Christmas party and you wish to bring something to the host, this is the perfect little something. Find a pretty tin or decorative box, line it with foil or tissue paper and you are good to go.

Ingredients:

1 cup butter, softened ( 2 sticks)

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/ 1/2 cup flour

3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

More powdered sugar for dusting.

Blend butter and the 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar. Add vanilla and salt and mix well. Add flour, in small amounts until well mixed then add the nuts.

Shape into 1 inch balls and place on ungreased baking sheet.

Bake 375 degrees F. for 12 to 14 minutes. Nut balls will be lightly browned.

Remove from oven and roll in powdered sugar while hot.

Let cool completely. Store in air tight container.

Magic Bars

Delicious bar treat

Magic Bars have been around for awhile and I see the recipes everywhere but I had to add the recipe for several reasons:

#1 they are delicious

#2 they are easy to make

#3 they look pretty on a plate

I recently made them to bring to church and when they came out of the oven my husband wanted to eat one, just one. You know, to make sure they were good enough to bring to church! I told him he could wait until tomorrow and he could have one with the rest of the people. Well, that didn't work out so well. By the time we got to the room where the snacks were being served the Magic Bars were all gone. You might want to make 2 batches.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

1 (12 oz) package semisweet chocolate morsels

1 1/3 cups flaked coconut

1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. (325 degrees for glass dish).

In 13 x 9 inch baking pan, melt butter/margarine in oven. Once melted sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over butter, pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over graham cracker crumbs. Sprinkle chocolate morsels, coconut and nuts evenly over the condensed milk and press down firmly.

Bake 25 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Store loosely covered at room temperature.

I'm sure this will be one treat you will be making again and again.

Amazing Grace

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Peanut Butter Fudge

3 Simple Ingredients

Don't you just hate it when you are in the mood to make something and when you get to the kitchen you find out you don't have enough, or any, of one of the ingredients. It doesn't happen to me that often but it does happen.

Here is a peanut butter fudge recipe with 3 simple ingredients and is very tastey. You can add nuts if you like the crunch but I find using the peanut butter is enough nut taste for me.

Ingredients:

2 Sticks of Butter

1 cup of Peanut Butter

3 cups of powdered sugar

Melt the butter in a sauce pan then add the peanut butter stirring until smooth and creamy.

Add the powdered sugar and mix well.

Put in buttered 8 x 8 pan and refrigerate until set. This is really yummy.

Note: I have also added about 1 cup of chocolate chips after adding the powdered sugar. My grandchildren loved it!

If you have a family tradition at Christmas time please share it here.

Christmas Traditions

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