Favorite Treats for the Holiday Season

Today we started making our favorite Holiday cookies and breads for this year and I thought I would share a few of them with you.  Most of them have chocolate in them, which to me is the most important ingredient =)  And some of them we have fun doing as a family…

My husbands favorites:

No Bake Chocolate Dreams

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup milk

Bring all of the above to a boil and boil 1 minute and then add

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter
  • 3 cups of quick oats

Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and allow to cool.  I always use regular oats and this turns out fine.  I have also used guilt-free chocolate in place of the cocoa powder, which is more expensive, but it tastes sooo delicious.

Chocolate Crinkles: (his mom does the best job of making these, I always mess them up, so I call them chocolate flops)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 2/3 cups raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • powdered sugar

Thoroughly cream the butter, sugar and vanilla.  Beat in eggs, then chocolate.  Sift together dry ingredients; blend alternately with milk.  Add nuts.  Chill 3 hours.  Form into 1 inch balls and roll in powdered sugar. (this is my favorite part because it gets all over your hands and then you have to eat it off =)

Place on greased cookie sheet 2-3 inches apart and bake at 350º for 15 minutes.  Cool and remove from the pan.  Makes 4 dozen cookies.

This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens.  Mine is not spiral bound, but I think it is the same book as this Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook on Amazon.

Monster Cookies: from my dear friend, Tina

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups raw sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon karo
  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 cups peanut butter
  • 9 cups oatmeal
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips
  • 1/2 pound of m&ms

First mix the eggs, sugars, vanilla, karo and butter thoroughly and then add the peanut butter.  After that is mixed well, add the rest of the ingredients and drop onto a cookie sheet.  Refrigerate the sheet of cookies for 30 minutes before baking at 350º for 12 minutes.  These cookies are really moist and yummy! This recipe makes a LOT of cookies.

Cut Out/Shape Cookies:

Refrigerator Butter Cookies

I’m not a big fan of butter cookies that have lemon rind or other extra flavors in them, so I really like these!  This is the recipe my grandmother and then my mom always made and now we make them every year too.  Usually the whole family gets involved decorating the cookies.  I even have photos of my dad and my grandfather helping us over the years!

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Mix sugar, butter, vanilla and eggs. Mix in remaining ingredients.  Refrigerate 4 hours. Divide dough into 3 equal parts. Roll each part out and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes.  Decorate with sprinkles, cinnamon candies, and other cookie decorations or wait until they come out and frost them instead. Bake at 400º for 8-10 minutes.  Remove immediate from cookie sheet and EAT.  Makes about 7 dozen cookies.

Treats to share with Neighbors

Holiday Banana Bread

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup maraschino cherries
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Stir in mashed bananas, and  mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix, and finally mix in the chocolate chips, cherries and nuts. Bake in 2 greased and floured loaf pans for 45 minutes at 350º

This makes a beautiful loaf as well as a very tasty one. To share with neighbors, make it into muffins or smaller loaves and set into wooden baskets with colorful bows and homemade tags.

I found this great book too that I am thinking about getting.  It talks about how to use the cookies you bake to reach out to people.  It’s called The Gift of the Christmas Cookie. I visited the site of the man who makes this kind of cookie molds and they are so beautiful.  I talk about it on my post about St Nicholas They are spendy, but he does have a page with “seconds” that are a little less expensive.  I think I’m going to save up for next year.

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