And Christmas Begins

And Christmas Begins

Thanksgiving is over, most people still have a fridge full of left overs and food is the last thing we are thinking about right now. Our minds are bursting with thoughts of Black Friday shopping, what to buy for all those on our gift list, wrapping gifts, decorating and the million other things we need to do in the next few, short weeks to prepare for the Christmas holiday.

Many of your neighbors and co-workers, would like a nice homemade gift just as well or more so than a store bought item. So make a pan of fudge, a pan of cookies, a cake or any other of your favorite recipes and you will have several gifts on hand. I used to think I had to make dozens of different things to give away, that simple is not true, if you only make one item people still love receiving something homemade, add some attractive wrapping and a bow and you have a lovely gift anyone would be happy to receive. One creative way to wrap cookies or candy is in take-out food containers, (like Chinese, with or without the handles), line them with parchment or colored tissue paper and tie a colorful ribbon around them. Another suggestion is a glass container from your local dollar store, fill it with candy, tie on a bow and another gift is ready to go. Also serving platters make great gift containers, clear glass or seasonal platters are great for an assortment of goodies, tie up in a clear wrap, add a ribbon and you have a beautiful gift. Add a card to your gifts and make someone smile.

I have a couple of recipes to share with you to get you started on your holiday baking.

This rich chocolate fudge recipe is quick and easy to make, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare and about 6 minutes to cook. The recipe says it makes approximately 5 pounds or 80 servings, but, sorry I never seem to get that many servings. (Maybe, I cut too large a piece)

German Chocolate Fudge

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
12 (1 ounce) squares German sweet chocolate
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
4 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped pecans

Combine chocolate chips, German sweet chocolate and marshmallow creme in large bowl.
Combine sugar, butter, evaporated milk and salt in heavy skillet. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour hot syrup over chocolate mixture. Stir with wooden spoon until smooth. Stir in pecans.
Spread into buttered 10×15 inch pan. Let stand until firm; cut into squares.

This next recipe is not the same old chocolate chip cookie, it is rich and flavorful with a nutty flavor that you will love. I do not know the name of this recipe. We always called it the “The Good Cookies”

1 tsp. baking soda 2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp. milk or half and half
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 cups bittersweet chocolate chip

Sift together salt, baking soda and flour, in a medium sauce, melt the butter and cook on on low until the butter is browned. Stir constantly so as not to burn. When brown turn off heat, stir in white and brown sugar, put in a medium mixing bowl and cream.

Mix half the flour into the batter, add in the remainder a little at time until throughly combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cookie dough will be soft, cover with plastic wrap and chill for approximately 2 hours.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper, roll dough into balls using approximately 1 tablespoon of dough for each ball, place on cookie sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 375˚ for 10 – 12 minutes.

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2 Responses to And Christmas Begins

  1. Dan Lowe says:

    I’m guessing the lemon juice is bringing out the nutty flavor…or possibly the use of the bread flour..
    what do you think..?

    • mikied says:

      Hi Dan,
      I am not really sure what brings out the nutty flavor, I always assumed it to be the browned butter, but maybe it is a combination of the ingredients. I don’t know for sure except they are good.

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