Thursday, December 18, 2008

Keeping Creative Kitchens: Cookie & Candy Edition

Welcome to the cookie & candy edition of Keeping Creative Kitchens!

Baking has been one of my favorite hobbies for several years. The holidays are the time I do the most (we love having everyone for our annual open house - it's my excuse to bake way more than we could possibly eat :)). I just love the smell of fresh baked cookies and the beauty of homemade candy. But the taste? The taste can't be beat.

I had wonderful plans to take pictures of my cookies and candy but alas, you'll have to settle with recipes today and the assurance that they not only taste good but they look good, too! :) I'm going to share three favorite holiday treat recipes with you.

Sugar Cookes (BEST EVER!)
We've been making this recipe for as long as I can remember!
1 c. butter
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
3 Tb. cream or milk
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, cream and vanilla and mix until blended. Add dry ingredients. Divide into 3 or 4 rounds and roll out. Cut with seasonal cookie cutters. Bake at 400 degrees for 5-8 min. until barely golden. Ice with your favorite frosting and top with sprinkles. Make 5-6 dozen.

Butter Pecan Fudge
This is from Taste of Home. I first made it maybe 2 or 3 years ago and now we make it every year - it's very rich but absolutely delicious!
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped

In a large saucepan, combine the butter, sugars, cream and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Stir in confectioners' sugar until smooth. Fold in pecans. Spread into a buttered 8-in. square dish. Cool to room temperature. Cut into 1-in. squares. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 1-1/4 pounds.

Double Chocolate Fudge
This is my version of another recipe. It makes SO much - great for giving as gifts. I often cut the nuts in half and only add them to half the mixture so I have with and without nuts.
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup butter, divided
2 3/4 c. milk chocolate chips
4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1 jar marshmallow creme
1 can evaporated milk
4-1/2 c. sugar
2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans

Line a 13-in. x 9-in. pan with foil and butter the foil with 1 tablespoon butter; set aside. In a large heat-proof bowl, combine the chocolate chips and marshmallow creme; set aside. In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the milk, sugar and remaining butter. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil and stir for 4-1/2 minutes. Pour over chocolate mixture; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in walnuts. Pour into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm. Store in the refrigerator. Makes 6 pounds.

Hope you enjoy these holiday treats!

Happy Thursday, everyone! Thanks for stopping by Keeping Creative Kitchens! I'm looking forward to all your great ideas, recipes, and resources. Feel free to grab the button for your post - you don't have to know me to play along and you don't have to participate to comment or ask questions! :)

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2) Your entry can include a new recipe (either your own creation or a new-to-you-recipe), favorite recipe, success, tablescape/centerpiece, short-cut, ingredient, tradition, book, magazine, tool or gadget, food photos, recipe website or any thing else that keeps you inspired in your kitchen.
3) Please link back here in your participating post.

Hope you have fun, meet new people, learn a few things, feel encouraged, and find inspiration as you prepare meals, care for your family, and entertain!


Heather L. said...

I will attest that ALL your goodies are delicious and look terrific! Can't wait to taste them again!

stephanie said...

I put up a few "recipes"...

Wish I could be there tomorrow night.

Mama10EE said...

Well, I found out today that the "secret" to peanutbutter fudge is follow the recipe on the Marshmallow Creme jar and use reeces peanutbutter CHIPS (2 bags) for smooth fudge. Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. It's nuts...we leave for FL tomorrow afternoon, I have to work in the morning, and NOT ONE THING is packed! AAAHHHHHH!

AudreyO said...

We love sugar cookies. We have a whole drawer full of sprinkles and other goodies that go with sugar cookies. Baking is so much fun.

Paula said...

That sugar cookie recipe looks awesome. I'll have to try that.
Have a very happy Christmas!