December 2005

Hello Everyone!

It's winter out there this morning as I write this, we're expecting about 8 - 10 inches today. So much for finishing my Christmas shopping! I guess I'll bake cookies again today and enjoy the outside from the inside....

This newsletter is all about Christmas Cookies, Candies and Mixes in a Jar. Next weekend I'll do one with holiday appetizers and dinner suggestions.

For those of you making Food Gifts for Christmas don't forget about our newest site - Food Gifts From the Kitchen  There are recipes for mixes, mixes in a jar, breads, fudge, gourmet popcorn, candy, truffles, cakes, muffins, pancakes and more. Our Recipe Message Board is getting lots of holiday recipes on it also. Come on in and share a few of your favorites.

     Mary Ellen        

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RECIPES FOR DECEMBER - CHRISTMAS COOKIES

WHITE CHOCOLATE MACADAMIA NUT WONDERS

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white chocolate chips OR 12 ounces white chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 cups chopped macadamia nuts
1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut

Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats, parchment paper or foil. In a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add flour, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips, nuts and coconut and mix until just blended.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place 1 ½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 9 to 12 minutes, until light golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. The cookies will keep in an airtight container up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 2 months. Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

AMARETTO SHORTBREAD BARS

1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg, separated
1/4 cup amaretto
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
3/4 cup sliced almonds

Coat a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Put sugar and flour in a food processor and pulse to combine. In a small bowl, stir egg yolk together with 2 tablespoons amaretto. Put butter on top of flour-and-sugar mixture and pulse until crumbly. With machine running, add yolk mixture through feed tube and turn machine off as soon as mixture begins to come together. Spread in prepared pan, pressing down dough to make it about ½-inch thick. Make sure layer is compact and doesn't appear crumbly.

Beat together egg white and remaining 2 tablespoons amaretto in a small bowl and brush over shortbread. Sprinkle top with almonds, then sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven until almonds are golden brown, about 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool in pan 10 minutes.

Cut shortbread into 2-inch squares with a sharp knife and let cool completely in pan. Makes about 40 (2-inch) squares.

DO-AHEAD: Store in a airtight container up to 3 days or freeze up to 2 months.

CRANBERRY WALNUT RUGELACH

Cream Cheese Dough
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened about 1 hour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour

Spiced Cranberry Walnut Filling:
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 cup (about 5 ounces) dried cranberries, chopped
1 teaspoon ground allspice
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten, for glazing

For the dough, beat butter, cream cheese and salt in large bowl of electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Add sugar and mix until fluffy, 1 minute. Add flour, blending until all flour is incorporated, about 45 seconds. (Dough will be soft and sticky.) Divide dough into 2 pieces; form each into a ball, then flatten into a 6-inch disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

For the filling, mix sugar and cinnamon in medium bowl. Remove 3 tablespoons and set aside. To the rest of the sugar mixture, add walnuts, cranberries, allspice and butter.

Position oven racks in middle and upper third of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove 1 disk of dough from fridge and unwrap. Cut into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a smooth ball. Lightly flour rolling pin and surface. Roll one piece into a circle 10 inches across, then trim evenly around the edges to about 91/2 inches across. Cut into 8 wedges. (A pizza cutter is good for this.) Leaving a 3/4-inch border, put 1 teaspoon of filling on each wedge. Roll tightly from the wide end to the point and place, seam side down, about 11/2 inches apart on a prepared baking sheet. Bend edges to slightly curve them, forming a crescent shape. Repeat with remaining dough to form 64 rugelach. Brush each with beaten egg and sprinkle with reserved cinnamon sugar.

Bake 20 minutes, until tops are golden. Halfway through, move baking sheets from front to back and from top to bottom. Slide a metal spatula under the baked rugelach to loosen, then immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container. Rugelach can be wrapped in plastic wrap in twos, bottoms touching, and frozen up to 3 months. After thawing, heat in a 225-degree oven for 10 minutes to revive the fresh taste.

Makes 64 rugelach.

TRIPLE NUT CARAMEL BARS

1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
1 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Dough:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Caramel layer:
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup (½ stick) butter
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups (12 ounces) butterscotch morsels, or a mixture of 1 cup butterscotch morsels and 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with aluminum foil, letting foil overhang the two narrow ends by about 2 inches. Spray the foil with nonstick spray.

Mix the nuts, spread on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool and set aside. (Leave oven on.)

To make the dough: In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix the flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until the mixture is the consistency of cornmeal. Sprinkle the cream over the flour mixture. Lightly stir to mix in. Gently knead until the mixture holds together. (The dough can also be done in a food processor.)

Press the dough in an even layer into the baking pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. When the crust layer is done, set it aside to cool while you make the caramel layer.

To make the caramel layer: In a heavy saucepan, thoroughly stir together the cream, corn syrup, butter and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Reduce the heat to a simmer and insert a candy thermometer into the mixture, being careful that the tip does not touch the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until the thermometer reads 245 degrees.

Immediately remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the vanilla and 2 cups of the nuts (reserve 1 cup for sprinkling over the top later) then immediately spread the caramel nut mixture evenly over the baked crust, all the way to the edges.

Immediately sprinkle the morsels evenly over the caramel layer. Let the morsels melt, then, using a table knife, spread the melted morsels over the caramel layer. Sprinkle the remaining nuts over the melted morsels, pressing in lightly.

Refrigerate until completely cooled. Using the overhanging foil as handles, transfer the slab to a cutting board. Carefully peel off and discard the foil. Using a large knife, cut the slab into 48 bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 1/2 weeks.

Makes 48 bars

CHOCOLATE ALMOND THUMBPRINT COOKIES WITH SOUR CHERRY FILLING

Filling:
1/2 cup finely chopped dried sour cherries
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon brandy
1/4 cup berry or cherry jam

Dough:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 eggs, separated
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups (about 8.25 ounces) finely chopped sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the filling first so that it can cool while you are making the cookies.

To make the filling: In a small saucepan, heat the dried cherries, water, lemon juice, sugar, brandy and jam over medium-high heat. Cook slowly for about 6 to 8 minutes or until cherries are plumped and filling is nice and thick like jam. Set aside to cool.

To make the dough: In a mixer bowl, cream butter, sugars and vanilla with a paddle attachment until very fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and mix until incorporated. Add the egg yolks (reserve the whites) and mix for 1 minute more.

In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Gradually beat flour mixture into butter mixture, stopping to scrape down bowl as needed, until well combined.

Whisk the egg whites with a fork in a small bowl. Set aside. Put the chopped nuts in another small bowl. Using your clean hands, roll balls of dough (about 2 teaspoons per cookie). Dip balls into egg whites, shake off any excess, then roll in the nut mixture, coating well with nuts. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. (Use separate hands for wet and dry or a buddy system to do this so that you don't bread your fingers!) Press your thumb gently into the center of each cookie to make an indentation for the filling.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until set. Cool. Then fill each cookie imprint with about 1/4 teaspoon of the filling.

64 cookies

CHERRY PISTACHIO COOKIES

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, separated
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
1 8-ounce container candied red cherries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup coarse or sanding sugar

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream together butter, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Beat in egg yolk; mix well. Add flour and pistachios; blend on low speed until just combined. Remove dough from mixer and, with a strong spoon or your hands, mix in cherries. Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a log about 12 inches long; wrap in plastic and chill overnight.

Adjust the oven rack to the center shelf and preheat to 350°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (or grease lightly); set aside. Pour coarse sugar onto a piece of waxed paper or aluminum foil. Lightly brush egg white over the surface of the log; press and roll log onto sugar; transfer to a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, slice log in 1/2 inch slices; transfer to cookie sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container or freeze.

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

PECAN BRICKLE BARS

For the crust:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon cream, more as needed

For topping:
3 cups chopped pecans
3/4 cup butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 tablespoons cream
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Generously grease a 13-by-9-inch baking pan or coat with nonstick spray.

To make the crust: In medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar and salt. Using a pastry blender or forks, cut the butter until the mixture is the consistency of fine meal. Sprinkle cream over the flour mixture. Lightly stir to mix. Gently knead until the mixture holds together. If necessary, add up to 3 teaspoons more cream until the mixture holds together but is not wet. Press the dough in an even layer into baking pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°.

Bake in middle of oven for 10 minutes or until just tinged with brown at the edges. Cool until warm, about 5 minutes.

To make topping: Spread the pecans in a baking pan in a single layer and toast in the 350° oven for about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir occasionally. Make sure they are nicely browned, but be careful not to burn. Immediately turn into a medium bowl and let cool. Set aside.

In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, salt, corn syrup and cream. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla and 2 1/4 cups of the pecans.

Spread the topping evenly over the crust.

Bake for 20 to 24 minutes, or until the topping is bubbly, golden brown and just slightly darker at the edges. Cool until just warm. Sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over the top. Let stand until chips melt, then spread the melted chips over the topping. Sprinkle the remaining 3/4 cups pecans over the chocolate. Let stand until cool. Using a sharp knife, cut the slab into 32 bars. Note: Bars are small, but cookies are rich.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or freeze for up to 2 months.

Makes 32 bars.

CHOCOLATE MINT SUGAR COOKIE DROPS  

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 10-ounce package Andes crème de menthe chips

In medium bowl, combine 1 cup sugar and oil; mix well. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate morsels. Shape into balls using rounded teaspoonfuls of dough. Roll in remaining 1/4 cup sugar.

Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks. Makes 3½ dozen.

NUTELLA NUGGETS 

1 cup Nutella spread
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 large egg
Powdered sugar

With a mixer or in a food processor, mix Nutella, crumbs and egg. Form into 1-inch balls and place 1 ½ inches apart on a greased cookie sheet or Silpat. Let rest 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake 8 minutes. Let cool in pan on rack. Before removing, dust heavily with powdered sugar. Makes 3 dozen.

PER SERVING: Calories 56 (46% fat) Fat 3 g (1 g sat) Cholesterol 6 mg Sodium 19 mg Carbohydrates 7 g

SANTA'S REINDEER COOKIES

1 20-ounce package Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1/4 cup flour
Prepared vanilla frosting
Tiny twist pretzels
Raisins or chocolate chips
Candied or plain maraschino cherries, cut into quarters; cinnamon red hots; red M&Ms

Cut roll of dough in half; unwrap one half and refrigerate other half until needed. Coat sides of dough with 2 tablespoons flour; roll dough to 10-inch square, using additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut dough unto 2 1/4-inch-wide strips. Cut strips into triangles. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 6 to 8 minutes or light golden brown. Cool 1 minute then remove to rack. Repeat with remaining dough and flour as needed. Spread frosting over baked cookies. Press pretzels into top two corners for antlers. Position raisins for eyes and cherry piece for nose. Let stand until frosting is set.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen.

NUTRITION INFORMATION (1 cookie): 100 calories; 3 grams fat; 2 gram saturated fat; 1 milligram cholesterol; 260 milligrams sodium; 20 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 2 grams protein.

CHRISTMAS MICE

For the cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
1 large egg

For decoration:
Sliced natural almonds
10 feet of red or black licorice laces (thin, spaghetti-like strands), cut into 3-inch lengths
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and kept warm

Whisk flour and salt together in a small bowl. In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter until creamy, about two minutes. Add sugar gradually, beating until light and fluffy, about three minutes; beat in extract. Beat in egg. Add about one-third of flour mixture and mix on low speed. Gradually add remaining flour, mixing just until blended.

Scrape dough into a large piece of plastic wrap and cover completely with wrap. Refrigerate until firm enough to roll into balls, at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Roll pieces of dough between your palms into 1 and one-fourth inch ovals. Slightly elongate one side to form nose. Gently pinch bridge of nose to form eye sockets. Place two sliced almonds behind eye sockets; do not press almonds too far down or the head will crack during baking. Place mice 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.

Bake until light golden brown on bottom and around edges, about 15 minutes. Place pans on racks and immediately insert skewer into mouse's round posterior, going in about half an inch. Remove skewer and insert length of licorice for tail as far as it will go. (It will wedge in and adhere to the still-warm cookie).

Place melted chocolate in a plastic sandwich bag and snip tiny opening at corner. Pipe small chocolate eyes and nose in appropriate places. Place sheet in refrigerator until chocolate has firmed up.

Store at room temperature in airtight container in single layer up to two weeks. Makes 40 mice.

LEMON POPPY SPRITZES

1/2 cup lard or shortening
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder

In a large mixing bowl, cream lard and brown sugar. Beat in egg, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest and poppy seeds.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and baking powder. Gradually stir flour mixture into the creamed mixture until combined. Cover bowl with plastic and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill cookie press with chilled dough and press onto ungreased baking sheet, leaving about an inch between cookies. Bake for 7 to 9 minutes, until edges just begin to turn golden brown. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool.

Place in airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. These cookies also freeze well.

Makes 48 to 52 cookies.

Christmas Cookies at That's My Home
Christmas Cookies at Razzle Dazzle Recipes

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CANDIES AND FUDGE

PECAN BRITTLE

1 cup pecan halves
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir together the sugar, syrup, and salt in a 1 1/2 quart bowl. Cook on high for 5 minutes. Add pecans, stir well. Cook on high for 2 minutes.

Add butter and blend. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes or until pecans start to toast.

Add soda and vanilla and stir until mixture turns a light caramel color. Quickly pour onto a lightly buttered cookie sheet. Cool and break into pieces.

Rub butter on the inside of empty bowl. Mixture is not as likely to sugar and mixture pours out easier.

MICROWAVE PECAN PRALINES

1 box of brown sugar
1/2 pint of heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of pecan halves
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Microwave brown sugar and whipping cream for 13 minutes on HIGH in a 5 quart container. Add butter, pecan halves and vanilla.

Mix and drop by spoonfuls onto aluminum foil. Let cool and start eating!

CROCKPOT SUGARED PECANS

16 ounces pecans or walnut halves
1/2 cup melted unsalted butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Turn slow cooker to HIGH about 15 minutes in advance. In hot slow cooker, stir together the nuts and butter. Add the powdered sugar, stirring to blend and coat evenly. Cover and cook on HIGH for 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to LOW and remove lid; cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 3 hours, or until the nuts are coated with a crisp glaze.

Transfer the nuts to a bowl.

In another small bowl, combine the spices; sift over the nuts, stirring to coat evenly.

Let cool before serving.

LEMON CRUNCH BARK

22 ounces vanilla candy coating (aka almond bark)
1 cup coarsely crushed lemon drop candy

Completely line a 15-by-10-by-1-inch jellyroll pan with foil. Smooth away wrinkles. In a microwave-safe dish, melt candy coating. Stir until smooth. Add crushed lemon drop candy. Stir well. Pour into prepared pan. Using an offset metal spatula, spread evenly in pan. Tap pan firmly on countertop. Cover tightly with foil and let chocolate harden. Once completely firm, break into irregular pieces. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

DARK CHOCOLATE FUDGE

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8 tsp. salt
6 ozs. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tbls. unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

Line an (8x8-inch) pan with aluminum foil and butter the foil well.

Combine sugar, corn syrup, half-and-half, cream and salt in a heavy-bottomed pan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Brush down sides of pan with a pastry brush dipped in warm water and remove from heat.

Stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Brush down sides of the pan again, then set pan over medium heat, place a warmed candy thermometer in pan and cook, without stirring until it reaches 238 degrees.

Remove from heat. Add, but do not stir in, the butter and vanilla. Cool the candy to 110 degrees by placing the bottom of the pan in cold water to stop the cooking.

When cool, stir with wooden spoon just until it "snaps" and begins to lose its sheen. Stir in nuts.

Turn into pan. Use spatula dip-ped in hot waterto smooth. Let stand for at least 1 hour, then score into 1-inch squares. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 hours. Remove fudge from pan, peel off foil and finish cutting into squares. Store in an airtight container. Fudge keeps for up to 10 days at room temperature or up to 1 month in refrigerator.

Makes 1 1/4 pounds.

Recipe is from "The All New, All Purpose Joy of Cooking."

Christmas Candy Recipes at That's My Home
Christmas Candy Recipes at Razzle Dazzle Recipes
Fudge Recipes

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MIXES IN A JAR

CRANBERRY AND ORANGE SPICED TEA MIX

3 cups powdered orange flavored breakfast drink mix
3 cups instant sweetened ice tea mix
2 (4 serving size) cranberry gelatin
1 cups sweetened lemonade mix
8 packages (individual serving size) spiced cider drink mix
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger

In workbowl of food processor fitted with the chopping blade, combine all ingredients. Blend well. (Process in half-batches if necessary.) Store in an airtight container.

Makes about 8 cups.

To serve: Add 3-4 teaspoons drink mix to 1 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve.

GINGERBREAD COCOA MIX

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger
3 cups sweetened chocolate drink mix powder
3 cups hazelnut flavored non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
2 cups French vanilla flavored non-dairy powdered coffee creamer
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

In workbowl of food processor fitted with the chopping blade, combine sugar and crystallized ginger. Process until ginger is VERY finely minced. Add remaining ingredients and blend well. (Process in half-batches, if necessary.) Store in airtight container.

Makes about 9 cups.

To serve: Place 1/4 cup cocoa mix in mug. Add 1 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve.

ALMOND TOFFEE COFFEE CREAMER

3 cups Amaretto flavored non-dairy coffee creamer
3 cups hazelnut flavored non-dairy coffee creamer
2 cups French vanilla flavored non-dairy coffee creamer
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter flavoring

Makes 8 cups.

In workbowl of food processor fitted with the chopping blade, combine all dry ingredients. With machine running, add flavoring through the feed tube. Blend well. (Process in half-batches if necessary.) Store airtight.

CHICKEN AND RICE SOUP MIX

1 1/4 cups saffron seasoned rice
1 cup dried mushrooms
1/4 cup dried parsley
1/2 cup chopped dried onion
1/4 cup chicken bouillon granules
2 tablespoons dried chives
1 tablespoon dried tarragon
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup saffron seasoned rice

In a quart-size Mason jar layer first 9 ingredients in order listed. Screw cap on tightly. Give along with cooking instructions.

Cooking instructions: In a large saucepan, bring 12 cups water to a boil. Add contents of jar along with 2 cups cooked diced chicken. When water returns to a boil reduce heat to simmer, cover pot, and cook until rice is tender, about 30 minutes.

Serves 5-6.

DILLY-ONION MIX

4 envelopes original ranch salad dressing mix
1/2 cup dried minced onion
3 tablespoons dried dill weed
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

In food processor fitted with the chopping blade, combine ingredients. Process until blended thoroughly. Package and give along with the directions for use.

Dip: Add 5 tablespoons mix to 2 cups sour cream. Blend well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Spread: Beat 2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese until light and fluffy. Blend in 5 tablespoons mix. Let flavors develop at least 30 minutes.

Salad Dressing: Blend together 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup milk. Stir in 5 tablespoons mix. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes to let flavors develop.

SUGAR AND SPICE SPRINKLE

2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In food processor fitted with the chopping blade, place all ingredients. Process a couple of minutes until the sugar is finely ground. Transfer to a shaker-top container. Before securing lid, cover top of container with plastic wrap (to keep fresh and prevent spilling). Secure lid and label as follows: "Use Sugar & Spice Sweet Sprinkle for cinnamon toast, oatmeal or other hot breakfast cereal, sprinkle on French toast, waffles, pancakes, etc."

Mixes in a Jar Recipes from Food Gifts in the Kitchen
Mixes in a Jar Recipes from Razzle Dazzle Recipes
Mixes in a Jar Recipes from That's My Home

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