During the week leading up to Christmas, the making of batches upon batches of baked goodies to share with others has long been a family tradition going back to when I was a teen. I remember all too well sitting down with my mom and making the list of what we were going to make that year. There were goodies that we would make every year that were "staples" for our family. You know those "staples" that you only make once a year for the holiday time. Then there were those recipes that we had found over the coarse of the year that we wanted to try for the first time. Then we had to make sure that we were not making a bunch of the same flavoring of goodies there has to be balance to the plate. Not all chocolate and not all peanut butter or mint!
I have tried over the years to keep this family tradition going with my kids. I will admit that some years have been better than others. There have been a few different years like the year that two days before Christmas my hubby had major surgery on his leg that goodies have been the last thing on my mind to do. Then there are years like this year where my daughter is able to do the majority of the baking with a bit of coaching from me on some of the recipes.
So this year, my daughter and I along with my youngest boy set out to make a some goodies to share with our neighbors. Here is a list of the things we made this year:
- Chocolate Cookies N Cream Cookies
- Chocolate Andes Mint Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies using 1 1/2 bags of the Hershey's Reese's Baking Cups and Pieces.
- Oreo Balls
- Peanut Butter Balls
1 stick margarine
3 cups Rice Krispies-crushed
3 1/2 cups powdered sugarPlace on wax paper and refrigerate.
2 cups of peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
Mix all together. Make into balls. Freeze for 10 minutes or until firm. If the mixture is too dry add a little more peanut butter or 1/2 stick margarine.
Take 2-8oz Hershey candy bars and a bag of chocolate chips. Melt in microwave candy bar and chips and dip balls in it.
My notes...I made these without the margarine and just added more peanut butter (like 1/4 cup) and they taste fine. I also have used just Hershey candy bars (at least 3-8oz bars). I have used just chocolate chips (2-12oz bags) and put 2-4 tbsp shortening mixed in with chocolate chips. I use peanut butter over margarine if mixture is too dry.
- Sugar Cutout Cookies with homemade icing...my daughter found a recipe and did it up. This recipe is also one that you don't have to chill the dough before cutting out the cookies.
1/2 cup shortening(Crisco)1 cup sugar1 egg1 1/2 TSP. baking powder1/2 TSP. salt1/2 cup milk1 1/2 tsp. vanilla3 1/4 + 3-4 TBLSP. flour (shake and then level off with a knife)Extra white sugar or colored sugar or frosting or icing(optional)Sprinkles(optional)Cream the shortening and sugar together. Add the egg, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Mix. Add the milk. Mix. Add about 1 cup of the flour at a time to the creamed mixture. Mix as much flour in with the mixer and the remainder by hand. Add extra if needed. Roll the dough using a rolling pin. Cut cookies to be about 1/4 to 1/3 inch think. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 8 to 10 minutes or until the bottoms are slightly golden brown or firm on the tops. (It will take longer for bigger cookies). Sprinkle white or colored sugar on top before baking or frost the cookies after they are baked and cooled. Makes about 56 cookies. Note: These cookies should be soft. If you know your cooks darker, reduce the cooking time or lower the temperature to 375 degrees F.