Simple [Sim-puhl]

Simple [Sim-puhl]
1. easy to understand, deal with, use, etc.
2. not elaborate or artificial; plain
3. not ornate or luxurious; unadorned

Monday, December 17, 2012

Homemade Holidays

I added a few new recipes to my holiday baking this year. I have traditional family recipes I use every year for Pumpkin Bread and Gumdrop Bars, but I had not found just the right Gingerbread Men recipe until this year. I found a recipe on a blog I have recently started following and made some additions. My sister-in-law gave me a recipe for gingerbread houses a few years ago and I loved the spice mixture in that recipe so I adjusted the new recipe to include 1 tsp of vanilla and an extra tsp of cinnamon. Now I am addicted! These Gingerbread Cookies are soft and delicious and get even better as they age.
Another new thing I decided to try this year was Brittle. Last Christmas my mother-in-law bought a big bowl of half peanut brittle and half cashew nut brittle. The cashew nut brittle disappeared, but the peanut brittle lasted quite a while. I found this recipe for Cashew Nut Brittle on a blog I have followed for years. It looked so easy so I decided to try it. Love it! It's so delicious and so easy to make! My only complaint is it doesn't make more; but since it is so easy to make, whipping up another batch is no problem!
Another recipe I'll be making this week is Santa's Thumbprints Cookies. They are my Dad's favorite and I am a little sad I have only made them once before for him. It'll be a real treat! Thoughtful homemade gifts are the best after all.

Santa's Thumbprints
By Quaker Oats and Crisco

1 1/2 cups Butter Flavor Crisco (I hate that it's artificial! I used butter and 1/4 cup more flour.)
1 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Vanilla
2 1/2 cups Quaker Oats (I use Old Fashioned)
2 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Salt (optional)
1 3/4 cups Nuts, finely chopped (peanuts are great)
2/3 cup Fruit Preserves (Raspberry jam is my first choice, but Gooseberry tastes the best!)

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Beat Crisco and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add combined oats, flour and salt; mix well. Form 1-inch balls; roll in nuts. Place 2-inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Press centers with thumb; fill with preserves. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove to wire rack; cool completely. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen.

Note- DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO EAT COOKIES  BEFORE THEY HAVE COMPLETELY COOLED! HOT JAM IS LIKE MOLTEN LAVA.  It will burn all your taste buds off! (This is the voice of experience.)

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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