2010   2011 & 2011 again

The Cast of Characters this year is as follows (recipes and credit linked):

Gum Drop Candies

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I had a little bit of an issue with these, but that was my own fault.  I decided to use some gelatin that we have had from…who knows when.  Probably 40 years.  Just kidding about that part.  But it was pretty old.  Having never used it before I didnt know if it was suppose to “Smelly funny” or not.  Turns out – old gelatin and peppermint flavoring (that I used to try and mask the funny smell) didnt work in my favor.  I made a new batch – and flavored it with kool-aid and jello (cherry and lime – the peppermint just wasnt working for me) and after fighting with pans of sticky goo and finally getting it cut into little squares – they turned out pretty cute, I think.  And the second batch didnt taste too bad either.  Making them was easy.  Cutting them was difficult.  But the end result was too cute.

Tip: I used a slightly wet spatula to get the mixture out of the pan, and then a slightly wet knife to cut them into squares – dont use too much water, but it helped manage the intense sticky.

Peppermint Fudge

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This is a tried and true recipe from probably three or four years ago.  Simple yet soooo good!

Peppermint Bark

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I have always had a problem with melting chocolate.  Im not sure why, I just do.  Especially with the brown chocolate.  I did succeed last night by melting a little bit of butter, getting the pan hot and adding the chocolate chips, peppermint extract and a little bit of milk all at the same time.  Stir until melted.  I also figure out that if you wet a spoon it helps with spreading it on the pan.

Tip: I found an easier way to crush the candy canes this – instead of chopping them up and having pieces go everywhere, put them in a plastic bag and hit them with a hammer, just make sure the bag is on a cutting board of the floor and you arent hammering up the counter!  Its really quite fun, and good for a stress relief!

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

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These are a BIG hit here.  However, Amanda attempted to make them over in England and said they did NOT turn out.  Im thinking we didnt make the same thing because these are seriously so good!  I think she over did the flour (the dough will be a bit soft) and they didnt turn out because of that.  So good!  And SO easy!

Tip: I opt out of adding the extra chocolate chips, and they turned out just fine.

Sugar Cookies

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The usual suspects.  The old fashion sugar cookies topped with cream cheese frosting.  YUM!  I went looking for the recipe, and could not find it anywhere online the way that we usually make them.

Maybe its a family secret?

Either way here is a similar one.

Tip:  This can easily be halved to make a smaller batch.

Homemade Sugar Cookies:

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 cups butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

In large bowl, beat powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed.
Stir in flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.
Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours

Heat oven to 375°F.
Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface, roll each half 1/8 inch thick.
Cut into desired shapes.
Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
Bake 5-7 Minutes or until edges are lightly brown.

Happy Baking!

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