LET’S HEAT UP THE KITCHEN…it’s beginning to smell like Christmas! – Part 1

Ok…it’s time!  Time to share some of my most favorite holiday recipes with you.  The only fair thing to do, would be to post the recipes now, and then I can go back and add pictures as I blend and stir and whip and dip.  You might not get all my treasures, if you have to wait for me to roll and cut and crush and rush!
I’m sure none of you out there are sitting on your thumbs waiting………but just in case, here are my favorite Christmas recipes. Many of these recipes have previously been posted, and some with complete tutorials.  Search for these recipes if you want the pictures and helps right now. I just thought it might be of help to you to have them all in one place! (2 parts actually)
Happy Baking, Candy making and a little bit of tasting.  Well…..maybe a lot of tasting!  For anyone who has shared these recipes with me, throughout our many years of baking and candy making…..Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!
One of two
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/8 cups canola or Crisco Oil
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp. poppy seeds
2 teaspoons good vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons butter flavoring

1 1/2 teaspoons almond flavoring

3/4 Cups white granulated sugar
1/4 cup Orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring

1/2 tsp. almond flavoring


Preheat oven to 350.  In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.  In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, oil and flavorings, eggs and beat well for 2 minutes.  Alternate adding in flour mixture and the milk and mix until thorougly combined.  Add poppy seeds and mix again.  Pour into prepared pans (5 mini or 2 large loaf pans, and bake 35 to 40 for mini pans, and 1 hour for large pans.  If you need to, cover top of loaves with foil during last part of baking time to prevent them from getting too dark.  When done, place on cooling rack for about 10 minutes.  While they are cooling, prepare the glaze ingredients. Mix until sugar has dissolved.  Drizzle over loaves and allow to harden.

You can place these in cellophane goody bags (found in the cake decorating section of Walmart or Craft Stores, and then tie with a pretty ribbon for gift giving.  Try not to package these in cellophane until ready to deliver.  The moisture will condense in the bag, and the perfect delicious sugary crust on the bread will liquify.


4 eggs
2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 cup Crisco or Canola Oil
1 cup buttermilk (don’t substitute)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup coconut
2 teaspoons coconut extract

Bake at 325 degrees for about 1 hour and 5 minutes.  Cool in pans.  Makes 2 loaves.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon coconut extract
2 tablespoons Butter (not margarine)
Combine ingredients, and boil 5 minutes. Poke a few toothpick holes through the bread.  Spoon all of it over the bread.  (With this bread, I leave it in the pans to glaze, and then remove to a wire rack to cool)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
2 1/4 cups white sugar
6 eggs
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. soda
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
1/2 to 3/4 cups chopped maraschino cherries
1/2 to 3/4 cups chopped almonds
*I use raw almonds
Cream butter until light and fluffy, then add the sugar gradually.  Continue to beat until very light in color and fluffier.  Add eggs…..one at a time!  Beat well after each egg.  Sift your flour, salt and soda….add to batter alternately with the sour cream.  Add all flavorings, and mix again.  (This batter is extremely delicious…so don’t eat it all with a spoon)
Grease pans heavily.  You can use 2 large loaf pans, or one large bundt pan.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until done.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool.
1 Quart Cranberry juice
1/2 cup red hots candy
3 1/2 cups sugar
6 whole cloves
4 Quarts water
The juice of 3 oranges
The juice of 3 lemons
Heat Cranberry juice, red hots, sugar and cloves together in large pot, over  low heat, until the red hots and the sugar are all dissolved.  Then turn down heat to low/ simmer, and add the water and the juice of the oranges and lemons.  Serve warm at your holiday parties.  It’s scrumptious!  It’s perfect with Nuts and Bolts….(Chex Party Mix) 


(One of our best family favorites)
*I always double this recipe
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar

3 eggs whipped frothy

1 cup chopped dates
*note:  Don’t buy the sugared chopped dates

buy the whole dates in the box and chop them yourself.

1 cup chopped walnuts or Almonds

*I prefer walnuts
2 cups Rice Crispies cereal
1 teaspoon Vanilla

Flaked Coconut

In large skillet on top of stove, melt one square of butter (1 stick), and 1 cup sugar. Melt and stir together over low heat. In a medium size bowl, whip your 3 eggs – with a fork until frothy.  Stir quickly into butter mixture thoroughly, stirring constantly.  Now add 1 cup chopped dates and 1 cup chopped nuts.  Keep stirring and simmer this mixture gently for at least 15 to 20 minutes.  Don’t stop stirring….very important.  The mixture will deepen in color as it simmers on the stove and will thicken to a thick jam like consistency.  Remove from heat, and let cool for about 10 minutes.  Add rice crispies and vanilla and stir together.
Form balls the size of whole walnuts, and then roll in coconut.  Keep covered in container with well sealed lid.  I separate the layers of balls with wax paper.  These are addictive and delicious!
note:  My Son in Law who hates dates…….Loves these!
1 Cup butter
1 Cup sugar
2 (3-oz) packages slivered almonds (optional)
1 package chocolate chips or chocolate bars chopped
1 (3-oz) package sliced almonds for the top of chocolate
Grease Cookie sheet well with butter

Melt butter in a saucepan. Add sugar to melted butter and stir over low heat until sugar granules are dissolved (don’t rush this step! It takes a good five or six minutes to melt the sugar but you don’t want to move on until the sugar is dissolved). Turn the heat up to medium and continue stirring mixture until it turns golden brown. At this time add the slivered almonds.(optional…you may just choose to add nuts on top of the chocolate)

Continue stirring mixture until it becomes liquefied again and turns caramel colored. If using a candy thermometer, the temperature should be 300 degrees. Immediately take it off the stove and pour the mixture onto your prepared 9X13 pan. It should spread out on its own, but you may need to spread it a little to help it along. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and let melt (it helps to put a piece of tin foil loosely on top to keep the heat in and help the chocolate melt).Once melted, smooth with a spoon. Finally, sprinkle sliced almonds on top. Let cool in fridge, or a cool room. Once hard you should be able to easily pull candy off cookie sheet and crack into pieces.

2 Cups Sugar
1 cup light corn syrup (karo)
1/2 cup HOT water
1 tsp. salt
1 cup raw peanuts
1 cup raw whole almonds
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda


Prepare a large cookie sheet by buttering it.  Set aside and have two wooden spoons ready.  Measure out baking soda and have ready.  Combine sugar, syrup, water, and salt in a heavy sauce pan.  Bring to a full boil and add nuts.  Cook until nuts snap and syrup turns brownish.  Add butter and vanilla.  Cook until amber colored and continue cooking to a temperature of 280 degrees while stirring constantly.  (You can also do the cold water test….drop a tablespoon of mixture into a cup of cold water.  If it cracks and is very brittle….it’s most likely done)  Remove from heat and add baking soda, stir completely and quickly.  The baking soda will cause the syrup to foam up.  Pour immediately onto prepared baking sheet and pull out and spread with the two wooden spoons, to thin and cool.  You must work quickly as it cools and hardens quite fast.  Once cool, break into pieces and EAT!



2 cups cream
4 cups sugar
Stir cream and sugar together in large pot.
  Put on medium heat and while stirring,
 bring this cream/sugar mixture to a boil.
Now place the lid on your pot for 1 minute.

(This means you will not stir, because the lids on!)

Take the lid off now, and continue to cook this mixture to a Soft Ball Stage (228).  I also do the cold water test:  Drop one tablespoon of fudge into a cup of COLD Water….with a spoon, try to form a ball that will hold a ball shape in the water.

Take off the heat and add 1 cup butter that you have cut up in chunks.  DON’T Stir it in…let it sit for about one minute untouched while the butter starts to melt.

Now…pour this mixture over 3 big broke up Symphony bars (the 6.28 ounce bars) that you have placed in another large bowl.  DO NOT SCRAPE the pan of hot mixture.  Just pour it in, without scraping the sides. 

Beat this entire mixture with your hand mixer until nice and smooth and creamy.  You can add walnuts as well, once it’s creamy. Pour into greased or parchment lined 9×13 pan.  I like to line my pan with parchment paper, then it’s really easy to pull the entire slab of fudge from the pan, and cut it up nicely.  Keep between layers of wax paper, in well sealed Tupperware containers.  I keep mine in the fridge, because I like it cold.  It will keep for a long time, if kept sealed well.

This fudge is really simple to make, and very delicious!
*Great for Pecan logs and Princess Michelle’s and Almond Hand Rolls
The centers or balls are dipped in chocolate, and then rolled in dessicated coconut (toasted & finely crushed). Also you can make Almond hand rolls. They are creamy centers, dipped in chocolate & rolled in crushed Almonds. The trick for fabulous flavor, is to make sure that you caramelize your sugar, until it’s a golden caramel color, before adding the cream. Delicious!


1 Cup Cream
2/3 C. Milk
3 Cups sugar
1 Tablespoon butter
1/2 tsp. salt

1 Cup White sugar (caramelized)

* Caramelize in heavy skillet, 1 cup sugar, to this add 1 cup cream, and stir until it all dissolves. Add other 3 cups sugar, 1/8 tsp. salt and 2/3 Cup milk. Bring to a boil and boil to 236 degrees or until mixture is a firm ball, when tested in cold water. Butter a heavy marble slab with butter & pour on the candy. Bring edges into center with spatula, and continue this action until you obtain a creamy smooth ball.
* If you do not have a marble slab, you must pour the hot mixture into a buttered glass bowl, let cool for about 10 minutes…..DO NOT STIR DURING THIS ENTIRE TIME. Take a wooden spoon, and begin to stir, (like you would when you are making fudge)….when gloss leaves and you have a creamy texture, roll into logs, balls for later.
* TO CARAMELIZE SUGAR: In bottom of heavy skillet, shake sugar as it melts over low heat…until it melts and turns a golden caramel color.
* FOR PECAN LOGS: Make Boston Cremes – shape into small rolls then freeze in waxed paper. Make your favorite caramel recipe: (I’ve posted a great one)….Roll logs in caramel, then roll in chopped pecans. Cover with Saran wrap & foil then freeze for later.
* PRINCESS MICHELLE’S: Make Boston Cremes – shape into small balls then freeze. Dip balls into melted dipping chocolate then roll in chopped pecans. You can also just roll the balls into the pecans, instead of dipping first. This candy is also delicious just shaped in rolls and sliced.
My favorite Christmas Candy!


Licorice Caramels

*so good…try them

1 Cup or 2 sticks of butter
1 Can of Sweetened Condensed Milk
*Like Eagle Brand….do not use Evaporated Milk
1 1/2 Cups light Karo syrup
2 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon black paste color
*found in Cake aisle or Craft Stores

1 teaspoon anise or licorice oil.

Using some of the butter, coat the sides of a heavy pan.  Add milk, Karo Syrup, sugar and remaining butter.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to 234 degrees or until it reaches a firm soft ball stage.  Remove from the heat.  Add the paste and the oil.  Pour into buttered cookie sheet.  Cool and cut in 1″ pieces, and wrap in waxed paper.  YUM!

A family favorite

2 Cups Sugar

1 3/4 cups Light Karo Syrup
1/2 Cup butter (1 stick)
1/2 Cup margarine (1 stick)
1 Cup Whipping Cream

2 teaspoons good vanilla

Add sugar, Karo, butter and margarine to large saucepan, and over low/medium heat, bring to a boil.  Stirring constantly, add the 1 cup of cream….stirring constantly.  Cook this mixture to a soft ball stage.  Do the cold water test to check that it’s a firm soft ball stage.  Remove from the heat, and add the vanilla and stir well.
Stir this hot caramel over Cereal:
 (Place in large tupperware bowl the following before the caramel is done)
5 cups each of the following cereals
rice chex

corn chex

Pour out onto 2 large buttered cookie sheets to cool. 

So yummy!


…commonly known as Chex Party Mix

12 cups wheat chex
6 cups corn chex
6 cups Rice chex
1 large bag of stick pretzels
2 cans of Mixed Nuts

Mix the above ingredients together in large bowl.
I have a large metal bowl, that can go right in the oven.
If you don’t have a heat proof bowl, then after mixing
Place on two cookies sheets.

4 squares of butter or margarine
4 Tablespoons worchestershire
2 Tablespoons Seasoning Salt

In saucepan, combine above sauce ingredients.
Stir together until butter is melted.
Pour over the cereal, nuts and pretzels.

Bake at 250 degrees for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
Spread out on paper towels to cool.