Ahh Christmastime… between this time of year and Halloween, I probably eat enough sugar to kill a whale. Seriously. So why not continue with this trend, and make some cookies and fudge?! Ok, so maybe they aren’t all for me, but hey, a cook’s gotta taste-test!
I went back and forth on what kind of cookies and fudge I wanted to make this year. I usually stick to the standard Fantasy Fudge on the back of the marshmallow creme jar, but I decided to branch out this year! My mom always makes a big batch of Fantasy Fudge, so it’s not like I’d be without 🙂 This year I have decided on peanut butter fudge, butterscotch topped chocolate fudge, and peppermint bark. For the peppermint bark & chocolate butterscotch fudge, I used a pseudo-double boiler to melt everything. Just get a metal or glass bowl and put it over a pot of almost boiling water. This melts everything the easiest, but I’ve heard a microwave works well too. 🙂
A former coworker of mine made the peanut butter fudge last year and (unfortunately for my hips) I was hooked. This fudge is so creamy and completely melts in your mouth (and is SUPER easy to make too!). This recipe was from one of my favorite sites, allrecipes.com. Here is the link: Creamy Peanut Butter Fudge
First you will put the butter, evaporated milk, white sugar & brown sugar into a large pan.
Bring them to a rolling boil as shown below, and set a timer for 5 minutes.
After the 5 minutes is up, turn off the heat and mix in the vanilla, peanut butter and marshmallow creme.
Spread the final product into a buttered pan (or you can line the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil as I have done. Suggestion: if you line the pan with aluminum foil, spray it with cooking spray. The fudge will come off so much easier).
Umm… so unfortunately, I was too busy eating the peanut butter fudge to remember to take a photo of it all cut up and pretty… whoopsie. You get the point 🙂 I chose to use creamy peanut butter, but I bet the crunchy stuff would be delish too! Maybe next year!
Peppermint bark always looks so pretty, so I had to give it a try. Here’s the link to the recipe I based mine off of (it’s really a pretty basic/easy idea): Peppermint Bark Candy
I’ll admit, my favorite part was smashing the candy cane with a hammer!
Next it was time to melt the bottom chocolate layer. I did a package of semi-sweet chocolate chips and added half of a package of milk chocolate chips to cut the bitterness of the semi-sweet (just a personal preference). *SIGH* The smell of melting chocolate is so heavenly… Then, spread the melted chocolate on a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper. I chose to sprinkle a few peppermint pieces on this layer too (that way they are sandwiched between the chocolate and the white chocolate).
Place this layer into the freezer so it cools faster. Now, melt the white chocolate chips.
I sprinkled a few peppermint chunks into the chips while they were melting to enhance the peppermint flavor (a few websites I read called for peppermint extract, but I didn’t want it THAT minty). Now, if your bottom chocolate layer has hardened, spread the white chocolate over it and top it with the rest of the peppermint pieces. (I had more dark chocolate than white chocolate, so the white chocolate didn’t quite cover the bottom layer, which was fine – it looked so pretty!) Put it back into the freezer for about an hour. When both layers have hardened, take a butter knife and break it up (or I bet that hammer would come in handy again…). The pieces don’t have to be an even size – it looks better when they aren’t.
Now, on to the next! Since everyone loves chocolate (right?), I decided to use up the chocolate chips I had in my freezer and make a smaller batch of this butterscotch-topped chocolate fudge I found. That stuff turned out to be the favorite of the year! I found the recipe on Eagle Brand Condensed Milk’s website and on the allrecipes.com site too: Chocolate and Butterscotch Fudge
Again you will start with melting the dark chocolate, but this time you will add 1 cup of sweetened condensed milk. Once that is all melted, spread it into a pan (again I chose to do the foil-lined pan, but I used a pie pan this time). Cool it in the freezer while you melt the butterscotch chips with the rest of the condensed milk. After the chocolate layer has cooled, spread the butterscotch layer on top and pop it back in the freezer. When finished, it is so pretty!
Now that I’ve gained 10 pounds from taste-testing the candies… time to make the cookies!
Every year, I make Oatmeal Raisin cookies. This year was no different. I found this recipe a few years ago, and these cookies are so yummy! The trick is soaking the raisins for an hour before you mix them into the batter. They stayed moist for at least 2 weeks after baking! Here is a link to the recipe (again, allrecipes.com!): Oatmeal Raisin Cookies IV (Tip: I have tried to double this recipe, and it was kinda tough to do in a Kitchenaid mixing bowl, so if you need more than one batch you can either mix it with your hands or do one batch at a time.)
Aren’t they pretty? Too bad they’re all gone…. those look so yummy right now! Although I think I still have all the ingredients in the pantry….. hmm….
I also decided to go with the traditional sugar cookie this year. I found the recipe on another food blog, and these were probably some of the BEST sugar cookies I’ve ever had (next to Rosauers of course… some of you know what I’m talkin about… I don’t dare use that much butter though). I honestly can’t stand crunchy cookies of any sort, so when I Google cookie recipes, I include the words “soft”, “gooey”, and “chewy”. That’s how I found this one: Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies Perfect!
I decided to be festive and dipped the raw dough in red & green colored sugar first.
I was a little nervous that the sugar would burn or discolor in the oven, but they turned out so cute! And… SUCCESS! No crispy, crunchy cookies! These cookies stayed moist for over a week (aka until they were all gone).
Well that’s it! The long-promised blog post about yummy Christmas goodies! I hope it was all you ever wanted (and more)! I’m not going to do the cost breakdown on this one because honestly, I don’t remember what all I had to buy, what I already had, etc.
Now that I have this monster post out of the way, I will be better about posting new things. Promise!