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December Recipes

CHOCOLATE CHIP-PRETZEL COOKIES

3⁄4 Cup  Butter (softened)

3⁄4 Cup  Granulated Sugar

3⁄4 Cup  Firmly Packed Dark

Brown Sugar

2 Large Eggs

11⁄2 tsp.  Vanilla Extract

21⁄4 Cups  Plus 2 Tbsp. All-purpose Flour

1 tsp.  Baking Soda

3⁄4 tsp.  Salt

11⁄2 (12-oz.) Packages Semisweet Chocolate Morsels

2 Cups  Pretzel Sticks (coarsely crushed)

Parchment Paper

Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter and sugars at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.

Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl; gradually add to butter mixture, beating just until blended. Beat in morsels and pretzel sticks just until combined. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake at 350° for 10 to 14 minutes or until desired degree of doneness. Remove to wire racks, and cool completely (about 15 minutes). Yield Makes about 5 dozen

Bake 10 minutes for a soft and chewy cookie or up to 14 minutes for a crisp cookie.



TURKEY SALAD WITH WILD RICE

The flavor increases if you make this a day in advance.

6 oz. Wild Rice

4 oz. Fresh Sliced Mushrooms

1 Cup Fresh Torn Spinach

3 Green Onions (with tops, thinly sliced)

2 Cups Cubed Cooked Turkey

Tomato Wedges or Slices

Dressing:

1⁄4 Cup Salad Oil

1⁄4 Cup Vinegar

1 tsp. Salt

2 tsp. Sugar

Cook rice according to directions; cool. Add mushrooms, spinach, onions, and turkey to the rice. Arrange in serving dish, with tomato wedges for garnish. Mix all dressing ingredients; pour over salad. For best flavor, refrigerate dressed salad and serve the next day. Serves 6 to 8.


MACADAMIA NUT CHEWIES

2  Cups Brown Sugar

1 Cup Molasses

11⁄2 Cups Butter

1⁄2 Cup Sour Cream

3 Eggs

4 tsp. Vanilla

2 tsp. Almond Extract

6 Cups Flour

11⁄2 tsp. Salt

3⁄4 tsp. Baking Powder

3⁄4 tsp. Baking Soda

4 Cups Macadamia Nuts (chopped)

2 Cups White Chocolate Chips

Grease cookie sheet and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream brown sugar and molasses. Add butter and blend. Add sour cream and blend. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and almond extract. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and slowly add to butter/molasses mixture. Add nuts and chocolate chips to above. Scoop or drop by spoonfuls onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes: 5 dozen


MAPLE WALNUT SQUARES

For The Crust:

11⁄2 Cups All-purpose Flour

1⁄4 Cup Brown Sugar

1⁄2 Cup Butter or Margarine

For The Filling:

2⁄3 Cup Brown Sugar (packed)

1 Cup Maple Syrup

2 Large Eggs (slightly beaten)

1⁄2 tsp. Vanilla

2  Tbsp. All-purpose Flour

1⁄4 tsp. Salt

1 Cup Walnuts (chopped)

To make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x13x2 inch baking pan. Combine flour and sugar, cut in butter until crumbly. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes; let cool.

To make the filling: Combine brown sugar and maple syrup in small saucepan, simmer 5 minutes. Place beaten eggs in a mixing bowl; slowly pour syrup over beaten eggs, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla, flour and salt. Pour over baked crust. Sprinkle walnuts over top. Bake in a 350 oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan on a wire rack, cut in 13⁄4” squares. Makes about 30.

Recipe From: Phyllis


MELTING MOMENTS COOKIES (Snowballs)

11⁄2 Cups All Purpose Flour

1⁄2    Cup Cornstarch

1⁄4    tsp. Salt

1⁄4    Cup Powdered (confectioners or icing) Sugar

1    Cup Unsalted Butter (room temperature)

1    tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

Topping:

1    Cup Powdered Confectioners Sugar (sifted)

In a medium sized bowl whisk together the flour, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour or until firm.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

When dough is firm, form into 1 inch balls and place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets spacing about 1 inch apart. Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes or until the edges of the cookies start to brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, line another baking pan or tray with parchment or wax paper. Sprinkle about half of the confectioners (powdered) sugar onto the bottom of the pan and then place the slightly cooled cookies on top of the sugar. Put the remaining sugar in a fine strainer or sieve and then sprinkle the tops of the cookies (or you can just roll the cookies in the sugar).

These cookies store very well. Place in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper and they will keep a couple of weeks. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


CHOCOLATE-PECAN MACAROONS

2 1/4 Cups  Powdered Sugar (sifted)

1/2 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa

2 Tbsp. Flour

1⁄8 tsp. Salt

3  Large Egg Whites

1  tsp.  Vanilla Extract

3/4 Cup  Chopped Pecans (toasted)

Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 325°.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add egg whites, one at a time, beating with a mixer at medium speed until combined; scrape bowl occasionally. Add vanilla, and beat well. Fold in pecans. Drop batter by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 325° for 15 minutes or until dry on the surface and centers are soft. Remove from oven; cool on wire racks for 15 minutes or until cookies can be easily removed with a spatula. Cool completely on wire racks. Yield 26 cookies.

Recipe From: Phyllis


GREEN BEANS WITH TOMATOES AND HERBS

1 Tbsp. Olive or Canola Oil

1 Clove Garlic (finely chopped)

1 Small Onion (finely chopped)

1 Can (14 oz.) Crushed Tomatoes

1/4 tsp. Dried Basil

1⁄8 tsp. Pepper

1 lb. Green Beans (fresh or frozen)

Rinse fresh green beans under cold water, then snap off and discard the stem ends as well as the tail ends, if you like. Small green beans can be cooked whole, and large ones can be cut into halves or small pieces.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring, about 5 minutes, until softened and golden.

Stir in the tomatoes with basil and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes longer

Stir in the green beans so that they are all coated with the tomato mixture. Cover the skillet and cook about 6 minutes, until the beans are crisp-tender. Makes 4 servings.


CRANBERRY PUNCH

2 Cups Cranberry Juice

2 Cups Pineapple Juice

1 Cup Orange Juice

3/4 Cup Triple Sec (optional)

1 Pint Strawberries (hulled and sliced)

1 Lime (thinly sliced)

4 Cups Ginger Ale (chilled)

This sparkling red punch is a good choice for a buffet at holiday time with a citrus bite. For a less sweet punch, substitute seltzer or club soda for the ginger ale.

In a large glass container, combine ingredients and chill thoroughly. Just before serving, slowly stir in the ginger ale. Pour into a punch bowl or large jug and add ice cubes. Makes about 11⁄2 quarts.
 

SPICED NUTS

2 Tbsp. (1/4 Stick) Butter or Margarine

1 Cup Pecan Halves

1 Cup Whole Almonds

1 Cup Dry-roasted Unsalted Peanuts

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 tsp. Chili Powder

1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt

1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Preheat the oven to 300°. In a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, place butter; set the pan in the oven to melt the butter. Remove the pan from the oven; add pecans, almonds, peanuts, and Worcestershire sauce to the melted butter. Stir until well mixed.

Bake the nut mixture until it is toasted, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Remove the nuts from the oven and sprinkle the mixture evenly with chili powder, garlic salt, and cayenne pepper. Toss until well mixed.

Transfer the warm nuts to a bowl and serve immediately, or let cool and store them at room temperature in an airtight container until ready to serve. Makes 3 cups.
 


CREAMY SHRIMP DIP

2 3 oz. Pkg. Cream Cheese (softened)

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 Tbsp. Green Onion (chopped)

Few Drops Hot Sauce

1/2 tsp. Paprika

1 Envelope Ranch Dressing Mix (.4 oz.)

Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)

6 to 8 oz. Small Shrimp (drained and chopped)

Beat cream cheese with sour cream until well blended. Blend in the green onion, hot sauce, paprika, dressing mix. Stir in shrimp. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, if desired. Chill until serving time.


HERB AND CREAM CHEESE FONDUE

A cream cheese fondue recipe is a little out of the ordinary, but gets rave reviews every time.

3 Cloves Garlic (minced)

2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp. Fresh Parsley (chopped, or 1⁄2 Tbsp. dried)

1 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano (chopped, or 1⁄2 Tbsp. dried)

1 Tbsp. Fresh Basil (chopped, or 1⁄2 Tbsp. dried)

3 8 oz. Packages Cream Cheese (softened)

1 to 1 1/2 Cups Light Cream

In a large, heavy, nonstick skillet, sauté the garlic in the olive oil, just until tender. Add the cream cheese, and continue cooking on low heat, stirring, until the cheese is smooth and melted. Gradually stir in the cream, a little at a time, until the mixture reaches the right consistency for dipping. (It thickens as it cools.) Add the parsley, oregano and basil, and continue cooking for two or three minutes to let the herb flavors blend. Transfer to a warm ceramic fondue pot.

Serve with cooked, shelled shrimp (prawns) and/or scallops, tortellini and crusty French bread, cubed.

Note: A cream cheese fondue recipe can be made a day ahead and refrigerated, but you will need to add more cream before serving; it invariably thickens when chilled. Shrimp and scallops cook quickly and dry easily when overcooked, however, so it’s best to prepare them shortly before serving this fondue recipe. Serves 6.
 

CRAB AND CHEDDAR CHEESE FONDUE

More than the sum of its’ parts, each ingredient in this cheese fondue recipe works with the others for a perfect blend.

20 oz. Sharp Cheddar Cheese (shredded)

3 Tbsp. Flour (scant)

1 Cup Beer or Hard Cider

4 tsp. Lemon Juice

1⁄2 tsp. Sugar

8 oz. Flaked Crab meat

1 tsp. Caraway Seed (lightly toasted)

3/4 tsp. Salt

1/4 tsp. Cayenne

Shred the cheese and toss together with the flour. Set aside.

Heat the beer or cider, lemon juice, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, reduce heat immediately and slowly stir in cheese mixture until melted. Add the remaining ingredients. Transfer to a warm ceramic fondue pot.

Serve immediately with loaves of crusty, cubed, French bread. Serves 6 


PRETZEL SNACK

18 oz. Broken Pretzels

1 Pkg Hidden Valley Dry Ranch Dressing

1 tsp. Lemon Pepper

1 tsp. Garlic Powder

1 tsp. Dill Weed

1 Cup Oil

Spread pretzels on cookie sheet and pour oil over. Mix the dry ingredients and sprinkle over the oiled pretzels.  Mix thoroughly.  Heat oven to 325  and bake for 15 min stirring every 5 minutes. (The pretzels can be put into a zip lock bag, pour in the oil and mix till coated, then add the mixed dry ingredients and shake. It makes it easier and less messy to mix.)

Recipe From: Roselyn


VEGETABLE TORTILLA TRIANGLES

1 Can (103⁄4 oz.) Campbell’s Condensed Cream Of Celery Soup

1 Medium Tomato (chopped,about 1 cup)

1 Small Green Pepper (chopped about 1⁄2 cup)

2 Green Onions (sliced)

1 Jalapeno Pepper (seeded and finely chopped, about 1 Tbsp., optional)

8 Flour Tortillas (8-inch)

1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Mix soup, tomato, green pepper, onions and jalapeno pepper. Place tortillas on 2 large baking sheets. Top each tortilla with 1⁄3 cup soup mixture.

Spread to within 1⁄2 inch of edge. Top with cheese.

Bake at 400 F. for 10 minutes or until tortillas are crisp. Cut each into quarters. Makes 32 appetizers.


SAUSAGE STUFFED MUSHROOMS

24-32 Large Mushrooms (wiped clean)

1 lb. Italian Sausage (hot or mild)

1 Small Onion (minced)

1⁄2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

1⁄4 Cup Seasoned Bread Crumbs

1 tsp. Fresh Garlic (minced)

1 tsp. Fresh  Parsley (chopped)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a tsp. hollow out mushrooms, carefully scraping out the inside. Be careful not to break the mushrooms. Reserve scrapings. In a medium skillet, brown sausage, onion and mushroom scrapings. Drain, and return to skillet. Add cheese, crumbs, garlic and parsley to pan and mix well. Remove from heat. Stuff mushrooms with mixture, mounding slightly. Place on sheet pan and bake about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese.


CHINESE CHICKEN WINGS

11⁄2 Pounds Chicken Wings

1⁄2 Cup Red Plum Jam

3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce

3-4 Drops Hot Pepper Sauce

2 Tbsp. Prepared Horseradish

1 Tbsp. Prepared Mustard

Disjoint the wings and discard the wingtips (save for soup stock). Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place wings in a single layer on a baking sheet. Combine remaining ingredients and brush over the wings. Bake 15-20 minutes, basting frequently. Serve with Chinese hot mustard.


HERBED POTATO SKINS

3 Medium Baking Potatoes, Scrubbed

Oil

4 oz. Feta Cheese (crumbled)

11⁄2 tsp. Oregano

1/2 tsp. Basil

1/4 tsp. Rosemary

1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Prick potatoes and rub with oil. Bake 1 hour or until done. Cool slightly.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Leaving a 1⁄4 inch shell, scoop out pulp, (save for another use). Cut skins in half lengthwise again, then cut in half crosswise. Place skins on baking sheet and brush with oil. Bake 5 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients. Remove skins from oven and top with cheese mixture. Drizzle with more oil. Broil 2-3 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Makes 24 skins.

Recipes From: Brenda Hyde