Simple Treats to Make and Give at Christmas
Recipes for Christmas Gift Giving
Christmas is coming. It's less than three months away. I like to give edible treats to family and friends and keep some around our home during this wonderful season. Following are some loved family recipes that we have enjoyed for many Christmases. Most of these the children can help you make.
Cinnamon Apple Chips
2 cups unsweetened apple juicce
1 cinnamon stick
2 Washington Red Delicious apples
In large skillet or saucepan, combine apple juice and cinnamon stick; bring to a low boil while preparing apples. With paring knife, slice off 1/2 inch from tops and bottoms of apples and discard (or eat.) Stand apples on either cut end; cut crosswise into 1/8 inch thick slices, rotating apple as necessary to cut even slices. Drop slices into boiling juice; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until slices appear translucent and lightly golden. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 250 degrees. With slotted spatula, remove apple slices from juice and pat dry. Arrange slices on wire racks, being sure none overlap. Place racks on middle shelf in oven; bake 30 to 40 minutes until slices are lightly browned and almost dry to touch. Let chips cool on racks completely before storing in airtight container. This makes about 40 chips.
Tip: There is no need to core apples because boiling in juice for several minutes softens core and removes seeds. (Recipe courtesy of Washington Apple Commission.)
1 box lemon cake mix
2 cups Cool Whip
Mix all ingredients except powdered sugar. Drop by teaspoon into a bowl of powdered sugar. After rolling in powdered sugar to coat, place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. (Recipe courtesy of FoodDownUnder.)
Combine over low heat: 2 cups sugar, 2/3 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 cup water
Cook without stirring to just past the crack stage (to 310 degrees on candy thermometer). Remove syrup from heat. At this point, if you want to make different colored lollipops, divide the syrup into separate bowls. Add food coloring to bowls of syrup. Flavor with1 teaspoon fruit flavor extracts, vanilla, peppermint, ect. It's really fun to mismatch the flavors and colors like making an orange sucker taste like vanilla. Pour syrup by the Tablespoons onto a greased sheet. Press stick into each one. Let sit to harden.
Peanut Butter Fudge
1 bag of vanilla creme drops
1/2 cup peanut butter
Melt together in microwave. Stir and pour into a square dish. Refrigerate. Cut into sqaures.
Russsian Tea Mix
Combine 2 cups Tang, 1 cup sugar, 2 packages lemonade mix, 3/4 cup instant tea, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon cloves. This is wonderful on a cold night and just smells like Christmas. This is also great year round for sore throats.
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups pecan halves
Butter or spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Combine the egg white and cold water in a mixer bowl. Beat until foamy. Add the salt, sugar, and cinnamon gradually, beating until stiff peaks form. Add the pecans, stirring until well-coated. Spread the pecans on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake at 225 degrees for 45 minutes or until the pecans are dry and golden brown, stirring frequently.
Strawberry Freezer Jam
4 pints strawberries
lemon juice from 2 lemons
1 box (2 ounces) MCP pectin
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
Wash and rinse plastic containers with tight fitting lids. Use 1-to-2 cup size containers. Set aside. Wash and remove stems from strawberries. In a bowl, crush berries 1 cup at a time with a potato masher. Measure exactly 3 1/4 cups crushed berries into a large bowl. Add lemon juice. Gradually stir pectin into fruit and mix thoroughly. Set aside for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to dissolve pectin completely. Pour corn syrup into the fruit mixture and mix well. Measure the sugar into a separate bowl. Gradually stir the sugar into the fruit mixture, stirring constantly and adding in small amounts until the sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy.
Pour jam into prepared containers, leaving a 1/2 inch space at top for expansion during freezing. Cover. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set. Yields 7 cups. Use immediately, refrigerate up to 3 weeks, or store in freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator.
To make different flavors, substitue the following in place of the strawberries and lemon juice.
3 cups finely chopped apricots and 1/2 cup lemon juice
3 1/2 cups crushed boysenberries
3 cups finely chopped sweet cherries and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 cups finely chopped peeled peaches and 1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups finely chopped unpeeled plums and 1/2 cup lemon juice
1 1/2 cups crushed strawberries, 1 3/4 cups crushed raspberries and 1/4 cup lemon juice
(Recipe courtesy of Everyday Cheapskate.)
White Trash Snack Mix
Melt together 1 cup peanut butter and a 12 ounce bag of chocolate chips. Add 6 cups corn chex. Add 1/2 cup each of raisins and peanuts. Put cereal mixture in gallon size bag with 2 cups of powdered sugar. Shake to coat. Store in airtight container.