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Before and after, with recipes

The before shot

Before

Here sit my good intentions. In most years, by the first week in December, all of my baking and candy making has been done, wrapped and ready for delivery. Not this year. I kept thinking tomorrow, I’ll get to it tomorrow. Well, tomorrow is here, and I have the ingredients. Time to get to work.

Christmas time in my home growing up always involved lots of food prep. So I associate family and fun with food. Mom and my dad’s mom were amazing cooks. They had distinct favorites and passed them on to us. They also had weaknesses. My grandmother didn’t think it was fit to put on the table if it wasn’t fried. She more than gladly let Mom prepare Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys. Mom didn’t like – or maybe didn’t know how to make – cranberry sauce. She purchased the canned jellied kind. Ugh. However, in all fairness, everyone in my family but me, loves the stuff!

Here are recipes from me to you, personal favorites I hope you enjoy.

FANTASY FUDGE
(A Kraft recipe, commentary mine)

3 cups white sugar
3/4 cup margarine (It’s better with butter)
2/3 cup evaporated milk  (I prefer Carnation brand)
1 (12 ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme (Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I prefer real vanilla)

After

Here is the result of a five-hour marathon of baking. You would think there’d be more product, wouldn’t you? Anyway, these are some of my favorites. Recipes follow.

  1. Butter a 9×13-inch pan.
  2. Mix sugar, margarine, and evaporated milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. (You want it to reach soft ball stage. Sometimes 5 minutes is not enough.)
  3. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted and thoroughly combined. Beat in marshmallow creme, walnuts, and vanilla extract. Transfer fudge to the prepared pan and let cool before cutting into squares.

 

CRANBERRY FUDGE
(A variation on Fantasy Fudge)

3 cups white sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup Carnation evaporated milk
1 (12 ounce) package white chocolate morsels (Nestle is good)
1 (7 ounce) jar marshmallow creme (Jet-Puffed Marshmallow Creme)
1 cup Craisins
1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Butter a 9×13-inch pan.
  2. Mix sugar, margarine, and evaporated milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Bring mixture to a full boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. (You want it to reach soft ball stage. Sometime 5 minutes isn’t enough.)
  3. Remove from heat and stir in white chocolate morsels until melted and thoroughly combined. Beat in marshmallow creme, Craisins, and vanilla extract. Transfer fudge to the prepared pan and let cool before cutting into squares.

 

APPLESAUCE DATE NUT BREAD

3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup chopped dates
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons Crisco shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups flour

  1. Mix walnuts, dates, soda and salt. Add shortening and applesauce. Let stand for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 9″ loaf pan.
  3. Beat eggs and blend in vanilla, sugar and flour until combined.
  4. Mix with date mixture until well blended. Pour into pan and bake 2 hour 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  5. Cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove to wire rack to complete cooling.
  7. Wrap in foil and store in refrigerator overnight before slicing. (Freezes well)
  8. Serve plain or with cream cheese or butter.

Variation: Substitute dried candied fruit for the dates. Tasty at Christmas.

You can make mini-cakes with this recipe but be careful of the timing. It usually takes about 30 minutes baking time.

goodies

Apricot balls, Fantasy Fudge and Cranberry Fudge

 

NO COOK APRICOT BALLS
(Betty Crocker Cookbook, 1978)

1 package (8 ounces) dried apricots ground finely or cut up
3 1/2 cups flaked coconut
3/4 cup Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
2/3 cups finely chopped nuts (you may need more)

  1. Mix apricots, coconut and evaporated milk.
  2. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls.
  3. Roll balls in chopped nuts.
  4. Let stand until firm. (About 2 hours.)

Variation: Mix nuts into apricot-coconut mixture then roll in powered sugar.

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Categorised in: Cookbook, food, Holidays, Lifestyle

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