Holiday Goodies

In between semesters is when I do the most cooking, and I am usually making sweet stuff. :) These are some of my favorite things to make this time of year, especially for Christmas:

Mint Brownies

One of everyone’s FAVORITES is my mint brownies, and they’re probably one of the easiest, too: Take your favorite plain, fudge brownie recipe and make it just like you always do (or you can use a box mix;)) Ten minutes after the brownies come out of the oven, put one (4.67-oz) pkg. of Andes creme de menthe thins (mints) on the brownies so that they are more or less evenly spaced. Five minutes later, take a spoon and swirl the chocolate mint around until it evenly covers the brownies. Then let it cool (and don’t forget to lick the spoon).

Petits Fours

Not quite as easy, but still simple are Brownie Petits Fours: Again cook some plain brownies. After they have cooled, cut them in to 1 1/4-inch squares. (It helps if you line the pan with foil or parchment paper, so it is easy to lift them out of the pan for cutting.)

Even as we get older, as my brother and sisters and I sit around decorating these, there are still some CRAZY looking pictures that come out :) But they still taste good <3

You also need:
1 (16-oz) pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
1 (16-ox) can chocolate fudge frosting
1 t vanilla
several colors of decorator frosting

In a medium saucepan, melt chocolate chips over very low heat, stirring constantly. (I use a double boiler for this, mostly because I hate stirring anything constantly.) Add frosting and vanilla; mix well till combined. Heat for a minute or two more, then remove from heat. (Keep it on the heat if you’re using a double boiler. It will give you more time to work; just keep it on low once everything is melted.)

To coat each brownie with icing, place it on a fork over the pan and spoon icing over it. If the icing thickens, heat it over low heat until it is back to the right consistency (this is also why I like the double boiler). Let them cool on a wire rack. (Any icing you don’t use can be put on parchment paper to cool and be eaten later as fudge.) Then grab the kids or a friend and decorate your petits fours. (Feel free to eat a few, too.)

These are fancy but easy treats, and I haven’t found anyone that doesn’t like them. ;D

Glazed Sausage

2 pounds pork sausage links (I usually am lazy and get the cooked stuff, but it doesn’t matter)
2 large tart apples, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, cut (cubed or strips, depending on if you want your kids to pick them out or not)
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
(I’m not sure that I have ever used these exact measurements, but it is a good guideline.)

If your sausage is uncooked, cook it according to package directions. Add onions, apples, water, and brown sugar. Over medium heat and stirring occasionally, cook for 5-8 minutes or until the the sugar turns to syrup. (It always seems to take longer. :P)

One more: Caramel-Pecan Bars

Preheat oven to 350 F. Cut up 1 (18-oz) pkg. refrigerated sugar cookies and place in a 13×9-inch greased pan. Press dough into one big cookie, making sure to get the corners. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. (You’re looking for a golden brown.)

1 (12.25-oz) can caramel ice cream topping (yes, of course that 0.25 is important :P)
2 T all purpose flour
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup flaked coconut (this can be omitted, but I don’t see why you would want to)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (ya, like that’s enough…)
(I always end up adding more of the pecans, coconut, and chips. If you leave the coconut out, make sure to replace it with a little extra other stuff.)

When the crust comes out of the oven (I should probably say that it will be hot), sprinkle pecans, coconut, and chips over it. Mix caramel and flour together, and drizzle it over the bars as evenly as you can. Bake for another 15-20 minutes or until bubbly. I know this is hard, but let it cool for at least an hour and a half before cutting and eating.

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1 Comment

  1. Yummy! I can’t wait for you to get started. Why does RCC need a finals week, anyway? Cookies are surely more important!!!


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