Food Gift Idea a Day – 2009

Emilie’s Chocolate Christmas cookies
For Cookie:
1 C sugar
1/2 C margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 squares (1 oz each) unsweetened chocolate (melted and cooled)
1 C flour (all purpose)
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar, margarine, vanilla, egg and unsweetened chocolate. Stir in flour and salt. Drop by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with greased bottom of glass dipped in sugar. Bake for about 8 minutes. Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet and cool completely.

For Peppermint Frosting:
2 1/2 C powdered sugar
1/4 C margarine, softened
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Mix all ingredients for frosting until smooth and of spreading consistency. Spread over each cooled cookie.

For Chocolate Drizzle:
1/4 C margarine
2 T corn syrup
1 package (6 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips

Heat ingredients for drizzle over low heat stirring until margarine and chocolate are melted. Drizzle over each frosted cookie. Let stand 1 hour.

Betty Murrell cookie
1 cup vegetable oil
1 small box of vanilla instant pudding mix
1 box yellow cake mix
1 egg
nuts (pecans work best)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all together. Roll into balls and bake at 350 degrees until brown (shouldn’t be more than 10 minutes).
Drew said Libby mixes the pecans into the batter, but Drew’s mom would just put one pecan on top of each cookie before baking.

Crispy Peanut Butter Chocolate Treats
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups light corn syrup
1 1/2 cups chunky (or smooth) peanut butter
6 cups crisp rice cereal
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels

Cook first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until blended and mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Combine cereal and chocolate morseles in a large bowl. Stir in hot peanut butter mixture until combined. Spread mixture into a 13″ x 9″ pan lined with plastic wrap. Cool completely. Lift out of pan. Cut into start or other shapes, using 2″ cookie cutters or cut into squares.

Praline Pecans
4 1/2 cups pecan halves (1 lb)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Lay two 12″ sheets of aluminum foil side by side lengthwise. Coat foil with cooking spray. Combine sugar and next 4 ingredients in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; cook, stirring constantly, 6 minutes. Pour pecans onto prepared foil. Gently separate pecans using 2 forks. Cool completely. Store pecans in an air tight container or zip-top plastic bag at room temp or in the fridge up to 1 week.

Muffin Brownies
Use your favorite brownie mix and pour them into muffin tins.  Put two or three brownie muffins in a cute Christmasy bag and hand them out!  Also the brownie muffins are like getting an edge piece every time!

**Click here to see the brownie pan that gives you an edge piece every square!

2 cups white sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 pinch salt

In a saucepan bring sugar, cocoa, milk and butter or margarine to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in oats, coconut, nuts and salt. Drop quickly from teaspoon on wax paper. Let cool.

Jodi’s Famous Snack Mix
1 can of cocktail peanuts
1 big bag of plain M&M’s
1 big bag of peanut M&M’s
1 large box of raisins
1 bag of semi sweet chocolate morsels

Mix even amounts of all ingredients in large bowl.  Enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Pecans

2 cups pecan halves
2 T melted butter
1 1/2 T sugar
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t ground red pepper
1/8 t salt
Toss pecans in butter, combine all ingredients and sugar tossing to coat all ingredients. Spread on baking sheets; bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally!

Chex Mix Puppy Chow
9 cups Chex cereal
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Put cereal in large bowl. Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a sauce pan. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over Chex cereal, put into a large paper bag with powdered sugar and shake well to coat. Spread mixture evenly on wax paper and allow to cool.

Emilie’s sister’s praline recipe
1 c. white sugar
1 c. brown sugar (1/2 light and 1/2 dark)
1 dash salt
1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. white Karo syrup
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c/ pecan halves

Mix sugar, salt, milk and Karo Syrup in heavy 3 quart pan and cook to soft ball stage. Add butter and vanilla. Beat until cool. Add pecans and drop by tablespoon onto wax paper. When firm store in closed container. Make approx. 2 dozen pralines.

**Be careful! It hardens very quickly!

Jodi’s Pumpkin Bread
It’s that time of year! If you haven’t made Jodi’s pumpkin bread yet, you should do it soon!
Click here to watch Jodi make this pumpkin bread!

2 cups canned pumpkin
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Heat the oven to 350. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pumpkin, sugar, water, vegetable oil and eggs. Beat until well mixed. Measure the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and ground cloves into a separate bowl, then stir until combined (great job for the kids). Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, beating until smooth.
Grease two 9- by 5-inch loaf pans and dust them with flour. Evenly divide the batter between them. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pans by inverting them into a rack and tapping the bottoms. Slice and serve plain, buttered, or with cream cheese.

Spicy Goldfish Snacks

18 ounces cheddar cheese goldfish crackers
1 ounce ranch dressing mix
3 teaspoons dill weed
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2/3 cup vegetable oil

Place crackers in a large bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients. Drizzle over crackers and toss to coat evenly. Transfer to a large baking pan. Bake at 250 degrees for about 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Five minute fudge
2 T butter
2/3 cup undiluted evaporated milk
1 2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups (4 oz) miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cp (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate pieces
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Combine butter, evaporated milk, sugar and salt in saucepan over medium heat – stirring occasionally. Bring to full boil. Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows, chocolate pieces, vanilla and nuts. Stir vigorously for 1 minute (until marshmallows melt and blend). Pour into 8-inch square buttered pan. Cool. Cut in squares.

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