Friday, January 27, 2012












EASTER EGGS


Crack the egg and then put into the die. Would look great for deviled eggs for your Easter dinner

Thursday, January 26, 2012

SOTHWESTERN EGG ROLLS

Southwestern Egg Rolls with Avocado Ranch (makes 48 mini rolls, or 24 regular rolls)
Ingredients:

For the egg rolls:
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1-15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-9 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry with paper towel
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
1-7oz can diced green chiles, drained
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 package of egg roll or wonton wrappers

Preheat oven to 425F. Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
In a large bowl mix together corn, beans, spinach, cheese, chiles, onions, cumin, chili powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Using a small spoon, scoop a small amount of filling onto the wrapper. Starting at a corner, carefully start to roll the wrapper. When it’s slightly rolled, tuck in the two side and continue rolling to the last point. Wet your finger with water and dab a bit on the corner to seal the egg roll. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling, placing them slightly apart on the baking sheet.

TACO RING


Ingredients:
1 lb. ground beef
1 package (1.25 oz) taco seasoning mix
1 c. (4 oz) shredded cheddar cheese
2 T. water
2 8-oz packages refrigerated crescent rolls
1 medium green bell pepper 
1 c. salsa
3 c. lettuce, shredded (we used more — (1 head)
1 medium tomato, diced
¼ c. onion, chopped
½ c. pitted ripe olives
sour cream
Directions:

–Preheat oven to 375°. Brown the ground beef, then drain. Add taco season and simmer

–Unroll the crescent dough; separate into triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle on a pizza pan with the wide ends toward the center of the pan, overlapping each other. It will look like a large sun with the points hanging half off the pan.
There should be a 5 or 6 inch opening in the center. Spoon the meat mixture evenly onto widest end of each triangle. Bring points of triangles up over filling and tuck under wide ends of dough. (Filling will not be completely covered). Bake 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.

–Cut off the top of the bell pepper. Discard top, membrane, and seeds. Fill pepper with the salsa.

–Shred lettuce, and dice tomato and onions. Slice the olives. Place the bell pepper in the center of the taco ring, and arrange other salad items around the green pepper.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CINNABUN POPCORN

  
From the kitchen of RIGHT AT HOME

Cinnamon Bun Popcorn
12 C popped popcorn (about 1/2 C kernels)
1 C pecan halves, roughly chopped
1 C brown sugar
3/4 t cinnamon
1/4 C karo syrup (or honey makes a good substitution)
1 stick real butter (1/2 C)
1t vanilla
1/2 t baking soda

3 squares almond bark (about 4 oz)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees

Place popcorn and chopped pecans in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a 2 liter capacity microwave safe bowl. Mix well. Chop butter into chunks and place on top of sugar mixture. Pour corn syrup over the top of everything. Microwave on high for 30 seconds and then stir to combine. Return to microwave and heat for 2 minutes. Remove and stir and then microwave for 2 minutes more.

Remove from microwave and add in vanilla and baking soda. Stir to combine. Mixture will foam and rise. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and pecans and stir very well so everything is well coated.

Spread popcorn mixture onto a foil-lined jelly roll pan. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and spread out on a large piece of parchment, waxed paper, or foil.

Melt almond bark according to package instructions. Drizzle over popcorn mixture. When almond bark is hardened and popcorn is cool, break into chunks and enjoy!

FRESH BLENDER SALSA

Ingredients:

  • 1- 14 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1- 10 oz can orginal Rotel
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2-1 jalapeno, seeded or not (depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • small to medium size handful of cilantro, washed
  • juice of 1 lime

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in the base of a food processor or good blender and pulse to combine for 30 seconds or so until all the ingredients are finely chopped and salsa is desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve with chips or over tacos.

CAKE POPS

Materials:
Cake: any of your favorite recipes should work - though I will caution you, super oily cakes may be problematic - read, the oil may escape the chocolate/crack the chocolate, etc. I prefer using butter cakes for cake pops, or I'll cut down on the amount of oil in an oil-based recipe.
  • Buttercream (or cream cheese icing, chocolate ganache, etc): keep in mind that frostings with perishable ingredients will need to be refrigerated. I've never had problems refrigerating cake pops.

  • Chocolate: I love Chocoley chocolate. It tastes a million times better than candy melts. I use the dipping and enrobing formula for cake pops. Chocoley sells special candy coloring for chocolate as well, so you can get as fancy as you like with colors!

  • Lollipop sticks

  • Baking sheet, lined with parchment or a silicone mat

  • Styrofoam block, or anything with lollipop stick sized holes in it. Be careful not to poke ALL the way through your styrofoam block; you want the stick to be able to stand up right, but not be so deep that the cake is too close to the styrofoam (it'll be really hard to place without disturbing wet chocolate).

  • A small, deep, microwave-safe bowl. You need to be able to stick a cakpop into the chocolate straight and have it all be covered. Things turn into a mess quickly when you don't have enough chocolate in the bowl, and you need to tip it in order to cover your cake pop. Steps:
  • Crumble your cake into uniform crumbs. A food processor can be helpful here, but it's pretty easy to use your hands as well.

  • Mix in enough frosting so that the cake holds together when squeezed. You should be able to roll a firm ball that holds its shape. I tend to add a different amount of frosting depending on what recipe I use; add slowly and test the consistency frequently.
  •  pop into the chocolate straight and have it all be covered. Things turn into a mess quickly when you don't have enough chocolate in the bowl, and you need to tip it in order to cover your cake pop.
    1. Crumble your cake into uniform crumbs. A food processor can be helpful here, but it's pretty easy to use your hands as well.

    2. Mix in enough frosting so that the cake holds together when squeezed. You should be able to roll a firm ball that holds its shape. I tend to add a different amount of frosting depending on what recipe I use; add slowly and test the consistency frequently.

    1. Refrigerate the cake balls until firm, or place in freezer. A word of caution - you do NOT want to dip frozen cake balls into chocolate! The cake will expand as it defrosts, and it will crack the chocolate coating. Firm is ok - frozen is not. If you are having problems with cracking cake pops - they are likely too cold and/or your chocolate too hot.

    2. Melt a small amount of chocolate, and dip a lollipop stick in about 1/2". Stick at least half-way into cake ball (make sure you don't poke all the way through!). Repeat with remaining cake balls.

    3. Refrigerate until chocolate is firm around the lollipop stick.

    4. Melt chocolate in your microwave safe bowl, according to package instructions. Make sure that you melt enough chocolate so that you can submerge the entire cake pop without tilting the bowl, and without hitting the bottom.

    5. Dip cake pop into chocolate, so that it is completely submerged (make sure to cover the chocolate around the lollipop stick!). It's really important that the entire cake ball is covered with chocolate - otherwise, the cake will escape from any and every tiny hole in the chocolate (trust me, it's not pretty).
    6. Once cake pop is completely covered, lift it out of the chocolate.

    7. Once removed from the chocolate, excess coating will start dripping off of the pop. Hold the cake pop in one hand, and gently tap your hand to help remove excess coating, turning the pop as you go so the excess will come off evenly.
    1. When you have no drips left, hold cake pop upside down for a few seconds to allow coating to dry a bit before inverting. If you are going to dip your pops twice, dip it again now. I do like to dip twice when using the Chocoley dipping and enrobing chocolate. If you are adding sprinkles, sanding sugar, or other decorations, wait until the cake pop is about halfway dry before you start. If the coating is still too wet, the weight of the sprinkles or other decorations may displace the chocolate.

    2. Invert cake pop, and place in your stand to dry completely. Enjoy!!



    SLUTY BROWNIES

    Found this on Pinterest...looked amazing so I am sharing

    Yield: 1 9x9 brownie pan
    Serving Size: 10 brownies per recipe
    Ingredients
      For the Brownie layer:
    • 10 tbsp unsalted butter
    • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
    • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup AP flour
    • For the Oreo layer:
    • 1 package of Oreo (regular stuffed or double stuffed)
    • For the Cookie Dough layer:
    • 1 cup unsalted butter (at room temp)
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cup AP flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Instructions
    1. For the Brownie layer:
    2. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the sugar and cocoa powder once the butter is melted. Whisk to combine and remove from heat. Add the salt, vanilla and eggs and continuously whisk until the eggs are combined. Add the flour and continue to mix. Set batter aside.
    3. For the Cookie Dough layer:
    4. Cream together the butter and sugars in a mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla, making sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on low until everything is incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips. Set dough aside.
    5. Assembly:
    6. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
    7. Line the bottom of a 9x9 baking pan with tin foil and then spray the tin foil with a layer of baking spray.
    8. Layer 1/2 of the cookie dough on the bottom of a 9x9 baking pan, pressing down to form the bottom of the slutty brownies. Reserve the remaining cookie dough to be used to make cookies later in the day.
    9. Layer as many oreos that will fit on top of the cookie dough. No need to overlap. One single layer will do.
    10. Pour the brownie batter on top of the oreo layer and make sure it's evenly layers on top.
    11. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Test with a knife to see if the center is done. If the knife comes out clean, let the brownies rest before serving. If the knife comes out with batter still on it, allow the brownies to bake about 5 minutes more.
    12. Serve with ice cream :)

    JALAPENO BITES

    makes 24

    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 2 teaspoons onion powder
    • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon Old Bay
    • Pinch of Salt
    • 12 Jalapenos, halved & seeded
    • 24 – six inch pieces of bacon, uncooked

    Preheat oven to 350F.

    Combine cream cheese and spices in small bowl.  Spoon mixture into each pepper half, until level.  Wrap each in bacon, and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 40-45 minutes.  Remove and enjoy!

    PEANUT BUTTER BITES


    Ingredients

    1 cup creamy peanut butter

    2 tbsp softened butter

    1/2 cup powdered sugar (maybe more)

    3/4 cup brown sugar (maybe more)

    Pretzels

    1 bag  semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Combine peanut butter and softened butter in a large bowl with a fork or whisk, or in a stand mixer.  Add the sugars and mix to combine.  At this point if the filling will roll easily into balls without sticking to your hands you’re ready to go.  If not, add a little more of each sugar until you reach a consistency that is easy to roll

    Use a teaspoon measure to scoop the filling.  Roll each portion into a small ball, then sandwich them between two whole pretzels.  When all the balls are rolled and successfully sandwiched, stick the whole tray in the freezer for about half an hour.

    Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and heat at 30-second intervals, stirring occasionally until completely melted.  Remove the pretzel sandwiches from the freezer and quickly dip each half-way into the melted chocolate.  Return to the tray and repeat with remaining sandwiches.  When all are dipped, return the tray to the freezer to set up completely.  Store the sandwiches in the refrigerator until serving time.

    HAM FRIED RICE


    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    HOT DOGS N' NOODLES

    CUT VEGETABLES IN A CUP

    This looks like a great way to keep everyone from crowding around the table for the veggy tay. LOVE this.

    TEDDY GRAHAM CANDY BAR TREATS FOR KIDS

    3 MUSKATEERS miniture candy bars
    Box of TEDDY GRAHAMS
    Bag of M&M's

    Make a slit in the candy bar and push carefully a teddy bear in the slit. I would melt some chocolate chips and dip the teddy graham in the melted chocolate first then put in the slit to keep it from falling when it cools.
    Dip each m&m in the melted chocolate and attach to the bar for the wheels.
    note*** When I found this idea on Pinterest I could not find the directions. It looked pretty easy to me so I just thought this is the way I would put it together. I'm sure there are many ways for putting these together, just have fun.

    Monday, January 23, 2012

    CAJUN CHICKEN SPAGETTI


    2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
    4 ounces linguine, cooked al dente (I used whole wheat linguine)
    2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
    2 tablespoons butter
    1-2 cup heavy whipping cream (I used half 1% milk and half whipping cream)
    2 tablespoons chopped sun-dried tomatoes
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon dried basil
    1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
    1/8 teaspoon garlic powder (I used fresh minced garlic)
    1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Place chicken and Cajun seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat. In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté chicken in butter or margarine until chicken is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce heat add green onion, heavy cream, tomatoes, basil, salt, garlic powder, black pepper and heat through. Pour over hot linguine and toss with Parmesan cheese.

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    MILKSHAKE GLASSES

    .This post is for the idea. Such a fun way to prepare your float glasses.










    HERSHEY KISS CUPCAKES



    Bake cupcakes for 5 minutes and then drop a Hershey Kiss in the center and continue baking. It sinks to the middle and makes a chocolate center! Yummmmmm

    CHEESE STICKS

    20

    Ingredients

    • 12 pieces string cheese
    • 12 egg roll wrappers
    • Oil for deep-fat frying
    • Marinara or spaghetti sauce

    Directions

    • Place a piece of string cheese near the bottom corner of one egg roll wrapper (keep remaining wrappers covered with a damp paper towel until ready to use). Fold bottom corner over cheese. Roll up halfway; fold sides toward center over cheese. Moisten remaining corner with water; roll up tightly to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers and cheese.
    • In an electric skillet, heat 1/2 in. of oil to 375°.
    • Fry sticks, a few at a time, for 30-60 seconds on each side or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve with marinara sauce. Yield: 1 dozen.

    CHOCOLATE DIPPED RED LICORICE

    Melt a bag of chocolate chips/ or melting chocolate, dark or milk. Hold both ends of the licorice and dip center into the chocolate. Let drip on a cooling rack or place on wax paper.

    STUFFED RASPBERRIES

    What a fun idea for a fruit snack at a party
    Stuff with chocolate chips, vanilla and chocolate

    JALAPENO BACON WRAPS

     
     
     
     Ingredients
    • 8 chicken tenders, flattened and cut in two
    • 3-ounce package softened cream cheese
    • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
    • 8 slices bacon, cut in half
    Directions
    1. Dab 1/2 teaspoon (more or less) of cream cheese on top of each chicken tender. Sprinkle a scant 1/4 teaspoon of peppers over cream cheese. Fold or roll chicken to enclose cream cheese mixture. Wrap each roll with one piece of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
    2. Grill until bacon is brown and crispy on both sides.
    Notes
    Be sure to wear plastic gloves when handling fresh jalapenos. The oil will attach itself to your hands and is not easily washed away. An inadvertent swipe of the hand close to your eyes could be an unforgettable experience.

    Tuesday, January 17, 2012

    AVOCADO NUT SALAD


    ⅓ cup sugar
    1 ½ tablespoons poppy seeds
    1 ½ tablespoons sesame seeds
    ½ teaspoon paprika
    2 teaspoons dried mustard
    1 tablespoon minced sweet onion
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    ½ cup white balsamic vinegar
    ⅓ cup vegetable oiL
    ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil

    Ingredients for the salad:
    12 ounces baby spinach, arugula, field greens (your choice of green)
    1 small bunch cilantro, washed and dried, leaves removed whole from stems
    2 medium avocados, peeled and halved
    ¾ cup dried cranberries
    ¾ cup cannied spice almonds

    Directions:
    1. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a pint sized glass jar and shake well to dissolve sugar.

    2. For the salad, place greens and cilantro leaves in a large bowl. Add avocado and dried cranberries and about 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss gently. Scatter candied almonds over salad and sprinkle lightly with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pass extra dressing at the table.

    6 dinner size salads, 8 side salads

     Candied Spiced Almonds
     
     Ingredients:
    5 cups sliced almonds, or a 1 pound package*
    ½ cup sugar
    3 tablespoons butter
    2 teaspoons cinnamon
    1 teaspoon cumin*
    1-1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika* - some smoked paprika are quite hot, if you don't like "hot", just use 1 teaspoon and they will be mildly spiced.
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    sea salt

    *The cumin and the smoked paprika give just a hint of mysterious, delicious flavor - even though these are savory spices, these almonds are still wonderful served with sweets like ice cream or yogurt.

    Directions:
    1. Place a large sheet of foil on a work surface. Spray with cooking spray or rub a teaspoon of oil over foil with a paper towel.

    2.  Place sugar in a large non-stick sauté pan and heat over medium heat , occasionally tipping and swirling the sugar until it is all melted into a pale golden syrup.

    3. Lower heat immediately and add butter, cinnamon, smoked paprika and vanilla. Stir until well combined and all butter is incorporated into the sugar syrup.

    4. Add the nuts and stir gently to coat. Don't worry if you have some clumps of caramelized sugar - they will melt as you continue to sauté the almonds. Cover and continue to cook on low, stirring every minute or so until almonds are a delicious golden brown. Watch very carefully as they can go from beautiful to burned very quickly! Turn out onto prepared foil and sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Spread out on foil to cool.


    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    SMOOTHIES

    Hints: 1 scoop – about half a cup to a cup
    Enlightened Base – found at a health food store or substitute it with juice

    ALOHA PINEAPPLE
    10 oz. pineapple juice
    1 scoop plain yogurt
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop bananas
    2 scoops pineapple sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    BANANA BERRY
    12 oz. apple juice
    2 scoops bananas
    1 scoop blueberries
    1 scoop frozen yogurt
    1 scoop raspberry sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    BERRY FULLFILLING
    4 oz. raspberry juice
    8 oz. enlightened base
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop raspberries
    1 scoop blueberries
    1 scoop ice

    BERRY LIME SUBLIME
    12 oz. raspberry juice
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop raspberries
    2 scoops lime sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    BRIGHT EYED AND BLUEBERRY
    12 oz. soymilk
    2 scoops yogurt
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop blueberries

    CARIBBEAN PASSION
    12 oz. Mango-passion juice
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop peaches
    2 scoops orange sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    CITRUS SQUEEZE
    6 oz. pineapple juice
    6 oz. orange juice
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop bananas
    2 scoops orange sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    COLD BUSTER
    12 oz orange juice
    2 scoops peaches
    1 scoop bananas
    2 scoops orange sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    KIWI BERRY BURNER
    12 oz. Kiwi juice
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop raspberries
    2 scoops raspberry sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    MANGO-A-GO-GO
    12 oz. Mango-passion juice
    3 scoops mangos
    2 scoops pineapple sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    MANGO MANTRA
    4 oz. orange juice
    8 oz. enlightened base
    2 scoops mangos
    2 scoops peaches
    1 scoop ice

    MIGHTLY CHERRY CHARGER
    4 oz. raspberry juice
    6 oz. soymilk
    2 scoops cherries
    1 scoop strawberries
    2 scoops frozen yogurt
    1 scoop ice

    ORANCE-A-PEEL
    12 oz. orange juice
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop bananas
    2 scoops frozen yogurt
    1 scoop ice

    ORANGE BERRY BLITZ
    12 oz. orange juice
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop blueberries
    2 scoops pineapple sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    ORANGE CHERRY CHEER
    6 oz. orange juice
    6 oz. soymilk
    3 scoops cherries
    1 scoop frozen yogurt
    1 scoop orange sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    ORANGE DREAM MACHINE
    6 oz. orange juice
    6 oz. soymilk
    2 scoops frozen yogurt
    2 scoops orange sherbet
    2 scoops ice

    PEACH PLEASURE
    12 oz. peach juice
    2 scoops peaches
    1 scoop bananas
    2 scoops orange sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    PINA COLADA
    12 oz. pineapple juice
    1 Tbls coconut
    1 scoop bananas
    2 scoop frozen yogurt
    2 scoops pineapple sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    RAZANATAZ
    12 oz raspberry juice
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop bananas
    2 scoops orange sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    STRAWBERRIES WILD
    12 oz. apple juice
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop bananas
    2 scoops frozen yogurt
    1 scoop ice

    STRAWBERRY NIRVANA
    4 oz. apple juice
    8 oz. enlightened base
    4 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop bananas
    1 scoop ice

    STRAWBERRY SURF RIDER
    12 oz. lemonade
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop peaches
    2 scoops lime sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    SUNRISE STRAWBERRY
    12 oz. soymilk
    2 scoops yogurt
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop bananas

    GUMMIE BEAR
    12 oz. peach juice
    1 scoop peaches
    1 scoop of each: orange, lime, pineapple, and
    raspberry sherbet and frozen yogurt
    1 scoop ice

    TANGO TROPIC
    12 oz. peach juice
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop peaches
    1 scoop raspberry sherbet
    1 scoop orange sherbet
    1 scoop ice

    TROPICAL AWAKENING
    4 oz. pineapple juice
    8 oz. enlightened base
    2 scoops strawberries
    1 scoop blueberries
    1 scoop bananas
    1 scoop ice



    TURTLE COOKIES


    Ingredients

    • Cookie:
    • 1 cup Crisco® Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 4 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    •  
    • Caramel and Chocolate Topping:
    • 28 caramels
    • 2 tablespoons milk
    • 30 pecan halves
    • 1 (6 ounce) package semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    1. Cream Butter Flavor CRISCO® and sugars together. Add milk. Beat in eggs one at a time; add vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Mix into creamed mixture. Chill for one hour.
    2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
    3. Roll out 1/3 of the dough at a time, to about 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut out with 2 1/4-inch cookie cutters. Place 2 inches apart on un-greased baking sheet.
    4. Bake for 5-6 minutes, or until edges are slightly golden. Remove immediately to cooling rack.
    5. Combine caramels and milk in microwave-safe bowl. Cover with waxed paper. Microwave (MEDIUM) for 1 minute. Stir. Repeat until smooth (or melt on range top in small saucepan on very low heat). Drop rounded teaspoonfuls on top of each cookie. Place 3 pecan halves around edge of caramel to resemble turtle.
    6. Place chocolate chips in microwave-safe cup. Microwave at  (MEDIUM) for 1 minute. Stir. Repeat until smooth (or melt on range top in small saucepan on very low heat). Spread rounded teaspoonfuls over top of caramel. Do not cover the pecans. Cool completely.



    CHOCOLATE MARSHMELOW COOKIES

    Cookie:
    1 milk chocolate cake mix
    2 eggs
    1/3 cup vegetable oil

    Mix all ingredients together. Roll into 1-1.5" balls. Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for  5-6 minutes.
    Pull the cookie sheet out of the oven and place 6-7 mini marshmallows on each cookie. Put the cookie sheet back into the oven for 2-2.5 minutes (no longer!).



    The marshmallows will kind of puff up . . .

    Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool.
    Once they are cooled completely, put frosting on top.

    Frosting:
    1 cube margarine, softened
    1/4 cup milk
    1-2 tsp vanilla (depending on your taste)
    3 cereal spoonfuls of cocoa
    2-3 cups of powdered sugar

    Combine all ingredients with hand mixer. Frost tops of cooled cookies.

    CHERRY CHOCOLATE COOKIES


    Ingredients
    1 cup unsalted butter, softened, but still cool
    1 cup powdered sugar
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons maraschino cherry “juice”
    1/4 teaspoon almond extract
    2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
    Granulated sugar, for sprinkling the cookies
    36 milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped

    Instructions
    1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
    2. In the bowl  beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
    3. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting and slowly add the powdered sugar and salt.
    4. Add the cherry juice and the almond extract until combined.
    5. With the mixer still on low, slowly add the flour, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
    6. Increase the mixer speed to medium and add the cherries.
    7. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls, and place the balls on a baking sheet, approximately 2 inches apart.
    8.  Using your thumb, gently press each cookie in its center until the cookie is about 1/2-inch thick.
    9.  Sprinkle each cookie with a little granulated sugar.
    10.  Bake the cookies until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 14 minutes.
    11. Once removed from the oven, immediately press a chocolate kiss into each cookie’s center.
    12.  Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.

    RAINDEER SUGAR COOKIES

    INGREDIENTS
    3/4 cup peanut butter
    1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1/2 cup shortening
    3 tablespoons milk
    1 tablespoon vanilla
    1 egg
    1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    Chocolate-covered mini pretzels
    Mini brown M&Ms
    Regular-sized red M&Ms

    Preheat oven to 375°F.

    Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add egg; beat until just blended.

    In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.

    Form dough into 1-inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, then gently flatten with your hand. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until set or just beginning to brown. 

    Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer's antlers. Press two mini brown M&Ms in for the eyes and one red M&M for the nose (or any other color... some of mine ended up with green noses. They might be South Pole reindeer.). 

    Allow to cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel to cool completely. 

    Makes about 40 reindeer cookies.



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