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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Monday, November 06, 2006
It's Here....Sharing Gifts from the Heart


I hope that this list gets added to as we approach the holidays. Please bookmark and visit often!

I love to give gifts that I've made myself. I've done crafty things in the past, but my strength is in the kitchen. I usually do a lot of baking, but I've also made cheese spreads, jellies, candy, and more. I'll share a few of my favorite recipes and hope that you will share yours.

Please tell us your recipe or idea in parenthesis by your name when leaving your link, and don't forget to leave a comment.

Happy Holidays!

Banana Bread

1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 1 cup of mashed banana)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Sift flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. Wisk eggs & vanilla together, set aside. Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the butter mixture and mix until incorporated. Add the vanilla. (The mixture will appear curdled.)

With a spatula, mix in flour mixture till just incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts, then pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Note: I actually get two loaves out of this recipe. You could also use the mini pans and include this on a tray with other goodies.

Chocolate Covered Cherries

3 T butter, softened
3 T corn syrup
½ t vanilla
¼ t salt
2½ c sifted confectioners sugar
2-10oz jars of maraschino cherries with stems, drained
2 c milk chocolate chips
3 T vegetable shortening

In a small bowl, combine butter, corn syrup, vanilla and salt. Gradually add the confectioners sugar, and beat well. (If mixture becomes too thick, knead fondant until sugar is well combined.)

Divide fondant in half and roll into two 7 " logs. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1-1½ hours or until firm. Cut logs into 1" pieces, and then cut each piece into 4 quarters.

Place quarter piece of fondant in palm of you hand and flatten it. Evenly wrap it around each cherry to cover. Place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet; cover, and freeze for 30 minutes.

Using a double-boiler, melt chocolate morsels and vegetable shortening; stir until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth.

Dip cherries into chocolate, shaking off excess. Place on waved paper-lined cookie sheets in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Makes approximately 4 dozen. If you have left over chocolate, re-dip after first coating has set.

Note: I made these one year with my nieces. We made a huge batch of these, plus we dipped mini Oreos and Ritz Bitz. Since I didn’t want to keep melting chocolate and I didn’t want the girls working over the stove, I melted the chocolate in my crock pot. I kept it on the lowest setting. It kept the chocolate melted until we had finished dipping everything, yet wasn’t too hot for the girls to work with.

Hot Pepper Jelly

Makes 7 cups

2 c finely chopped peppers (red or green)
¾ c finely chopped jalapeno peppers (approximately 6 med jalapeno peppers), leave seeds in for hotter flavor
1½ c cider vinegar
6½ c sugar
1 T crushed red pepper
1 pouch Certo Liquid Pectin

Measurements must be exact.

Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Drain well before using
Fill small saucepan with water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and place flat lids in hot water and let sit until needed.

Place chopped peppers and vinegar in 6- or 8-qt pot. Add sugar. You may also add ½ t of butter or margarine to reduce foaming.

Bring to a full rolling boil on high heat while stirring constantly.

Add crushed red pepper and pectin. Return to full boil and boil for exactly one minute, stirring constantly.

Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8-inch of tops. Wipe rims and threads clean, and cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands on tightly. Turn upside down for 5 minutes and then right-side up.

Jars will seal as they cool. You’ll hear them popping.

To test, press the center. It should be depressed. If it gives, place the jar in the refrigerator and use first.

Notes: These directions came from the Certo insert. They also include directions for processing in a hot water canner and a method for re-doing if it doesn’t set properly.

Jelly Cookies

These are my husband’s favorite cookies. He will tell you I don’t make them often enough for him, and he’s right.

1 cup powdered sugar
3 sticks softened butter
2 cups flour
1 cup corn starch

Cream butter and sugar in food processor. Slowly add dry ingredients. Mix until dough forms. If the dough is too soft, you can chill slightly.

Add dough to cookie press and press cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 325° for 10-13 minutes. They will not brown.

After the cookies have cooled, spread one with seedless blackberry jelly, top with another cookie, and sprinkle with powdered sugar. You may use any flavor jelly, you prefer.

Lemon Squares

Bottom
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar

Topping
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
A pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Cut the butter into the flour and confectioners’ sugar and press into a 9-inch square pan. Bake 20 minutes or until light brown.

In the meantime, combine the topping ingredients. Pour the lemon mixture over the bottom immediately, and continue baking for about 25 minutes.

Sprinkle top with confectioners’ sugar.

Outrageous Brownies

I made these last year for the first time, and they’re wonderful. They should be kept refrigerated. I froze them and placed them on cookie trays. This worked perfectly. The recipe makes a huge amount, so you can keep the extras stashed in your freezer.
Recipe By : Barefoot Contessa
Serving Size : 20

1 pound unsalted butter
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces bitter chocolate
6 extra-large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.

Melt together the butter, 1 pound of the chocolate chips, and the bitter chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture.

Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven self to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake!

Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.

Notes: Flouring the chips and walnuts keeps them for sinking to the bottom. It is very important to allow the batter to cool well before adding the chocolate chips, or the chips will melt and ruin the brownies. This recipe can be baked up to a week in advance, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated.

Rib Room Cheese

The Rib Room is the name of the restaurant at the Royal Orleans Hotel in New Orleans. It is where my father worked when we moved to New Orleans. I was three; we left when I was seven. When I was 19, I moved back to New Orleans and got a job in the sales department of the same hotel. It’s still a magnificent place. This cheese is served in a ramekin with crackers to all diners as they wait for their food to arrive.

10 oz port wine cheese, softened
1 oz cream cheese, softened
1 oz butter, softened
1 drop Tabasco
2 drops Worcestershire sauce
¼ t horseradish

Mix all ingredients together.

Notes: The year I gave this away, I found these great mugs that I used to hold the cheese spread. Wrap them in plastic wrap and tie on a ribbon. You could also put them in a basket with crackers, etc…

Strawberry Preserves

Makes 8 cups

4 c lightly crushed strawberries (measure after crushing)
7 cups sugar
1 pouch Certo Liquid Pectin

Measurements must be exact.

Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Drain well before using
Fill small saucepan with water and bring to boil. Remove from heat and place flat lids in hot water and let sit until needed.

Place strawberries in 6- or 8-qt pot. Add sugar. You may also add ½ t of butter or margarine to reduce foaming.

Bring to a full rolling boil on high heat while stirring constantly.

Add pectin. Return to full boil and boil for exactly one minute, stirring constantly.

Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8-inch of tops. Wipe rims and threads clean, and cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands on tightly. Turn upside down for 5 minutes and then right-side up.

Jars will seal as they cool. You’ll hear them popping.

To test, press the center. It should be depressed. If it gives, place the jar in the refrigerator and use first.

Notes: These directions came from the Certo insert. They also include directions for processing in a hot water canner and a method for re-doing if it doesn’t set properly.

Three Chocolate Bark with Spiced Pecans and Dried Cherries

Recipe Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse
Yield: 4 pounds of bark
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours

7 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups pecan pieces
Salt
Cayenne
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon
1 pound semisweet chocolate, cut into pieces
1 pound milk chocolate, cut into pieces
1 pound white chocolate, cut into pieces
2 cups dried cherries, rehydrated and chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large sauté pan, melt 4 tablespoons of butter.
Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves and is bubbly. Add the pecans.
Season the pecans with salt, cayenne, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar starts to caramelize and coat the pecans evenly. Cook for about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and spread the pecans over a parchment lined baking sheet. Place the pan in the oven and roast the pecans for about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool completely. Break the pecans into small pieces.

Fill three small saucepans half way up the pan with water. Place the pans over medium heat and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. In three separate mixing bowls, add each type of chips into the individual bowls. Place the bowls over the saucepans. After about 2 minutes over the heat the chocolate will start to melt. Stir each chocolate until totally melted. Remove the chocolate from heat and stir 1 tablespoon of butter into each bowl of chocolate.

Pour each type of chocolate over the marble or a large parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the pecans and cherries over the chocolates. Using a metal spatula, spread the mixture out evenly back and forth to about 1/4-inch thick. Either place the marble in the refrigerator or allow to sit out until set, about a couple of hours. Break the bark into medium pieces and serve.

Notes: This made a huge amount of candy. I layered this in a quart-size canning jar with peanut butter fudge and chocolate fudge. I then trimmed a square of holiday fabric and placed it between the lid and screw band of the jar.



16 Comments:

Blogger Kate said...

Hmmm... must remember to dredge up my recipes for chocolate-covered PB balls and white chocolate bark... mental note... sometime when I'm more energetic, because right now my butt is just fused to the couch.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! It all sounds great! I love lemon squares... they're one of my favorites!

Blogger Miranda said...

All your recipes sound great!! I know I'm making the hot pepper jelly!! It's so good over cream cheese! I'm going to have to try the Outraegous brownies, yum!

Blogger Pass The Torch said...

This is so GREAT!!! This will be the year I make some gifts. I have worker bees now;) Thank you so much for sharing the outstanding ideas! Will you keep a link in your sidebar so we can easily find who's added to the list?

Maybe I'll even come up with my own idea and add to Mr. Linky. Can we do this at any time during the season? Thanks for hosting!

Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

We share a lot in common here. I LOVE to bake my heart out at Christmas and when giving a basket of goodies I like to include something I have canned - apple butter, strawberry jam...

This is another great holiday idea! Thanks for being such a great hostess :)

Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Oh, I love all the holiday baking recipes you've shared. Your button will remain on my sidebar throughout the holidays (just as you've left my Holiday Cooking, Blogger Style button on your sidebar) so I can keep checking back for more recipe ideas.

I hope you like my Fireside Coffee submission. :) It's quite yummy!

Blogger Barb said...

Hi Magi,

I hope you'll leave the link up for a few days. I plan to do this. I have several gift and party recipes. But I just did a ridiculously long post today and don't dare post again until at least tomorrow. Baby's here, too, so that cuts into my computer time.

I will be back, probably Wednesday morning, to add my favorites to your links.

My goodness, I can't believe all the wonderful recipes you've posted here. Your friends must be very happy to see you during the holidays! I'm looking forward to adding mine.

Blogger Pamela said...

Magi, you really went all out! Everything looks wonderful! I will be back to copy and paste each recipe one at a time. The Jelly cookies look so good, and the Three Chocolate Bark with Spiced Pecans and Dried Cherries sounds scrumptous!

Thanks so much for hosting, and I am sorry I am late, have an ear infection and the meds knocked me out. Thanks again! :)

Blogger Magi said...

Hi everyone!

As soon as I get home from work, I'll be visiting all your sites. I plan to keep this going all through the holidays, so feel free to visit often.

Wow!! These holiday recipes look fabulous!! I'm a "chocoholic", so I'll have to try the Outrageous Brownies!! Yum!!!

~Dawn

Blogger Larae said...

Wow, everything sounds SO delicious! Especially those chocolate cherries, brownies, cheese..okay EVERYTHING! I love port wine cheese though, so that cheese is a must-try for me THIS week. Thanks so much for sharing all of these yummy recipes & for hosting this, it was fun! =)

Blogger Kate said...

Okay. Here we go...

WHITE CHOCOLATE BARK
--------------------
1 pkg. white chocolate chips
1 jar honey-roasted peanuts (8-10 ounces)
1 bag pretzels (10-12 ounces), crushed

Melt the chips over low heat, then stir in peanuts and pretzels. Spread thin on a cookie sheet to cool. Break off into small pieces (or just leave in the cookie sheet and get out of the way).
Makes a sheetful... can be a few servings or many, depending how you break them and who you're serving to!


PEANUT BUTTER BALLS
-------------------
6-12 oz. chocolate chips
2 sticks butter at room temperature (not melted)
16 oz. confectionary sugar
8 oz. peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix last 4 ingredients in large mixing bowl - will be somewhat dry but will hold in a ball. Chill in fridge ~1 hour.
Melt chocolate chips in double boiler, remove from stove.
Form PB mixture into balls, roll in chocolate, place on waxed paper and into fridge to cool.
Store cooled, will rest at room temperature for several hours fine but the chocolate will get melty over time.
Makes about 48.

Enjoy!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have anything to add at this time, but mmmmmm... your stuff looks really yummy!

Blogger Barb said...

Whew! I finally got my Sharing Gifts done, Magi. So see what you think.

And by the way, your hot pepper jelly sounds wonderful. I can't wait to try it. :-)

Blogger Mommy Dearest said...

Wow - what a list! I'm going to have to try those chocolate covered cherries. My grandmother always made them for Christmas Eve. I've never seen a recipe until now.

Anonymous Pass the Torch said...

I totally stole my idea from Owlhaven, but it's been very fun!! Thanks so much for hosting this.

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