Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Cookies Day #4

This recipe has been made so many times and different ways. But I always come back to this one recipe, it is so good!
I have told this story before, but it is one my Christmas memories. When dad would bring in the Christmas tree, mom would start making this recipe along with the Chocolate Surprise Cookies. Decorating the tree and eating these cookies, was part of the beginning of the Christmas season, for me.

Sugar Jumbles

Cream together:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 shortening
1 cup sugar
Stir in:
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift together and stir in:
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Chill dough. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls about 2" apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until set but not brown. Bake at 400 degrees F, 8-10 minutes.
Makes 4 dozen 2" cookies.
Can sprinkle with sugar before baking or can iced after the come out of the oven and sprinkle with colorful sprinkles.
We glazed them with white frosting and sprinkle with red and green sugar, or sprinkle with the multi-colored little balls.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Cookies Day #3

These are the cookies we make every year, along with Sugar Jumbles. But we call them Chocolate Surprise Cookies. Hope you enjoy them!

Chocolate Marshmallow Drops

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup milk
24 large marshmallows, cut in half
Sift together flour, soda, salt and cocoa, set aside.
Cream shortening, sugar, egg and vanilla until fluffy. Add dry ingredients, alternately with milk.
Add nuts. Drop by teaspoonful onto greased cookie sheet. Bake in pre-heated 375 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove and top each cookie with a marshmallow half, cut side down. Return to oven and bake 4 minutes longer. When cool glaze with cocoa glaze.

Cocoa Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted with 1/2 cup cocoa.
Gradually stir in 4 to 6 tablespoons hot milk until soft enough to spread easily.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Cookies Day #2

Another page from the same newspaper as yesterdays. Los Angeles Times Dec 1995! Cookie recipes are Chocolate Macaroons; Macadamia and Coconut Bars. These recipes come from a cookbook by Maida Heatter. I google searched her name and read some fun things about her cooking skills.

Chocolate Macaroons
1 1/3 cups blanched almonds
1 ounce semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch salt
3 egg whites

  • Toast almonds in shallow pan in 350-degrees oven for about 10 or 12 minutes, shaking pan or stirring nuts once or twice. Set aside to cool.
  • Chop 12 almonds into small pieces and set aside. Grind remaining almonds in food processor with chocolate, sugar cocoa and salt until fine, about 30 seconds. With motor running, add egg whites through feed tube and process until mixed.
  • Shape mixture into round cookies about 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper of aluminum foil. Either use pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain round tube or drop from teaspoon. Sprinkle tops with chopped nuts.
  • Bake at 350 degrees, reversing sheets top to bottom and front to back once during baking, until macaroons feel soft but dry, not sticky, about 10 minutes. Do not overbake.
  • With metal spatula, transfer macaroon to rack to cool. Store in airtight container or loosely covered.
Makes about 20 macaroons.

Macadamia and Coconut Bars
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted flour
1 1/2 cups salted macadamia nuts
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla 2 1/2 cups shredded coconut, lightly packed

  • Wet inside of 13x9-inch pan and line with aluminum foil. Butter foil. Chill pan in freezer or refrigerator.
  • Beat butter until soft. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and beat until well-mixed. Beat in 1 egg and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and then, beating on low speed, add 1 1/4 cups flour and beat only until incorporated.
  • Place mixture by very small spoonfuls all over bottom of cold pan. Then, with floured fingertips, carefully, patiently and slowly spread dough in even layer all over bottom of pan, re-flouring fingertips often. Bake at 350 degrees until set, about 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let stand. Do not turn off oven.
  • Shake nuts gently in wide strainer to remove excess salt; set aside.
  • Sift together 2 tablespoons flour, pinch salt and baking powder; set a side.
  • Beat remaining 2 eggs, vanilla extract and remaining 1 cup brown sugar until thoroughly mixed. Beat in sifted ingredients. Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups coconut (reserve remaining) and nuts.
  • Place mixture by tablespoon evenly over top of bottom layer. Then, with bottom of spoon, spread into smooth, very thin layer. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup coconut.
  • Bake at 350 degrees, reversing pan front to back once during baking, until top is richly browned and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  • Cool, then cover with baking sheet and turn upside down. Remove pan and carefully peel off foil. Cover with wax paper and another baking sheet or cutting board and turn upside down again, leaving cake right-side up.
  • Refrigerate for a few hours or more or place in freezer for about 1 hour. Cut into 32 even bars. Wrap each bar in either clear cellophane or wax paper, or place bars in airtight container with wax paper between layers.
  • Makes 32.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Cookies Day #1

Christmas Cookies are really any cookie recipe that you make special for Christmastime. I will put at least 7 days worth of recipes here from my mom's recipe box. Hope you bake at least one of them this Christmas season. So many memories of our past Christmastimes.

Here is an interesting recipe from the box. I google search Billy Goats Cookies trying to find out how this recipe came about. Someone suggested that it is a recipe from possibly the 1940’s or 1950’s. Because they are bumpy and look somewhat like a bumpy goat. I was hoping to find that some mother was reading to their child the story of the ‘3 Billy Goats Guff’. As she was reading, had these delicious date cookies in the oven and called them ‘Billy Goat Cookies’. Well I can imagine can’t I ??? Where ever the name comes from, I really don’t know, but they sure sound like a good cookie. I love dates!

In this article Tracey says she got the recipe from her Aunt Betty and her grandmother before that. This article was from 1995. So I could see where this recipe would at least had to of been from the 1950’s.

Billy Goats (about 3 dozen cookies)

½ cup butter

1 ½ cups brown sugar, packed

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups flour

Dash salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 cup chopped dates

½ cup chopped walnuts

  • Cream butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, and vanilla extract.
  • Sift together flour, salt and baking soda and add to butter mixture. Stir in dates and walnuts.
  • Drop rounded teaspoons of batter onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350˚F until light brown on top, about 10 minutes.


On the back of this article was some cool recipes for Hanukkah. So to all of my good friends who celebrate Hanukkah, these are for you! I see Hanukkah is spelled with one 'k' or 2 'k's'. Click on the paper to make it bigger to read. Enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Candies Day #7

Last day of putting on some of the recipes collected by my mom of candies. I don't know who is Doris of my mother's friends. So this must of been a lady she worked with at one of her jobs.
Does anyone know if mom made this recipe? Sounds super rich.

Almond Bark Sqaures
24 ounces white almond bark
4 heaping tablespoons peanut butter (1 pound jar) -see note
Heat together in large bowl in microwave until melted. Mix and cool.

4 cups mini marshmallows
4 cups Rice Krispies
1 pound jar dry roasted peanuts
Mix well and put on buttered cookie sheet.

Note: it seems 4 heaping tablespoons could equal 1/3 cup.

Did google search this recipe and found many different versions of the recipe, here is just one of the sites:

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Candies Day #6

If you google search fantasy fudge you will see many, many recipes and different ways to make this candy. So here is the one recipe of Fantasy Fudge that was in mom's recipe box!

Fantasy Fudge
Prep time: 10 minutes
3/4 cup margarine (1 1/2 sticks, I use butter)
3 cups sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 package (12 0unces) chocolate chips
1 jar marshmallow creme
1 teaspoonBold vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

Microwave cooking time: 12 minutes

  • Microwave margarine in 4-quart microwave-sage bowl on HIGH 1 minuted or until melted. Add sugar and milk; mix well.
  • Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil, stirring after 3 minutes. Mix well; scrape bowl. Continue microwaving 5 1/2 minutes; stir after 3 minutes.
  • Stir in chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased 9-inches square pan or 13x9-inch baking pan. cool at room temperature; cut into squares. Makes 3 pounds.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Candies Day #5

Here are the best home-made chocolates I have ever tasted!!! Of course, I might think this because I grew-up eating these! Mom got the recipe from our neighbor, Audrey (who just happens to be my best friend's mom). Boy, in the 60's we sure had good foods! By that I mean good comfort foods and special goodies for the Christmas season. Hopefully, most of you are still carrying on your family traditions and baking! If not, start something you enjoy making just for your family and see if it will continue on.
I hope you will enjoy making and eating these delicious chocolates. They are a lot of work, but well worth the effort.

I just talked to Debbie and she thinks her mom got the recipe from her mother-n-law. So that would be on the Palmquist side. Pretty cool!
The flavors we enjoyed are coconut, wintergreeen, black walnut, vanilla, chocolate, lemon and strawberry extracts. Mom made a few with cherries in them. There is one basic recipe. You can add the flavors you like best. You can't go wrong with any of them.
Enough thinking on it, here is the recipe:

Hand Dipped Chocolates

1/2 pound butter (soft)
2 pound powdered sugar
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
nuts, candied cherries (plain vanilla for cherries), coconut, any liquid extracts

Work butter and sugar together like pie crust. Add can milk; beat by hand until smooth. Divide for flavors (up to 3 bowls is just right) and add nuts or coconut, or any liquid extracts (small drops - depending on how many times you divide the dough for different flavors, anywhere from 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon). Mix in your flavors and put each into separate bowls. Refrigerate the small bowls for 2-3 days**; covered.
On the second or third day, roll or shape using powdered sugar on hands while shaping. Size of a small walnut. Take the ball and put onto cookies sheets lined with wax paper. Cover and refrigerate again for a couple of days. Put in freezer on morning of dipping. Melt semi-sweet chocolate (or can use almond bark chocolate) over hot water.
To package of chocolate add 2 tablespoons melted paraffin wax, (of course we don't do this any more, that is why I suggested using almond bark or I like to use the Wilton brand of light chocolate disks.)
Can you believe we use wax to dip chocolates in?
Dip candy in chocolate and place on waxed paper lined cookie sheets.
**I shorten this time wise just by refrigerating in bowl on day one, rolling out day 2 and putting in freezer. Then dipping on day 3. After dipping, keep candies refrigerated.**
Today we have many different types of chocolates, light, dark or even white chocolates. Experiment and see which chocolates you like best.

Thanks Debbie for the memories!
Depending on how many flavors you want, you might need to make this twice. Each recipe does 3 good flavors. I have on my recipe that we started making around 1965.

I also decided to add this recipe here as it is also a great candy! These taste close to the See's coconut candy. Notice I said close to, because you can't copy See's candy, they are the best! I don't know how this recipe got it's name, but it sure is a good one. Also received this from a great lady when I lived in Houston, back in 1975.

Martha Washington Chocolate Covered Candy
3 cups nuts
1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups coconut
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2 pounds powdered sugar
Combine ingredients; roll in small balls and cool on waxed paper in refrigerator.
On day 2 dip in your favorite melted chocolate. Drain and cool on wax paper lined cookie sheets. Keep refrigerated until you serve them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Candies Day #4

Today I am going to put on Granny Mahakian's recipe of Peanut Brittle. Even though we all made this, Granny, just seemed to make it the best. Too many times mom failed, just wasn't her thing. But luckily I caught on and can make it!
This card was in mom's recipe box and as you will notice it is a card Granny gave to mom. It is in my mom's handwriting, as Granny always asked us to write on the cards ourselves so we could read our own writing.
As I read these instructions I don't think you might totally understand it, so I will be showing you how Granny sent me the instructions when I lived in Texas. Granny made peanut brittle ever since I can remember every Christmas. I starting making it from the early 1970's.

Peanut Brittle

2 cups sugar
1 cup clear corn syrup
1/2 cup water
Boil until it spins a thread - add 2 cups peanuts - cook until nuts pop open and syrup turned light golden brown. Turn out fire - add 1 teaspoon vanilla - 1 tablespoon butter - 2 teaspoon soda.
Stir quick and pour out on buttered pan or table - so it will have room to spread.

Here is the copy of the recipe in Granny's handwriting to me:

2 cups sugar
1 cup clear corn syrup (Karo is the kind we like best)
1/2 cup water
Boil all this together until hard cracked stage or until it spins a thread when you hold the spoon up and let the syrup run from the spoon. Now add 2 cups raw peanuts and stir and cook until the syrup turns just the slightest ting of amber color. Turn off fire and put in: 1 tablespoon butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir and then add 2 teaspoons baking soda and just stir until it foams, don't stir too much or you will ruin it. Just two or three stirs after you put in the soda. Pour out onto a buttered foil paper, the wide kind (meaning heavy duty foil). I think this is the trick is to not stir too much, although I will say I have stirred about 4 to 5 times before I pour it out. Just stir fast and get it poured out if you like the foam. Good luck!

Granny had a nice counter top that she would butter and pour this onto. I buttered a jelly roll pan heavily and this works for me, to be able to crack the brittle once it cools down.
I know that I have posted Granny's copy before, but I just wanted to show how sometimes when we copy down a recipe we write our own way, so we can understand the recipe. Also when I watch someone cook something, I will write down the recipe as I saw it being done.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Candies Day #3

Making peanut fudge has been long done in our family, every Christmas since I can remember. Granny made the best peanut butter fudge and her recipe is here: http://mymomsfilebox.blogspot.com/2009/11/peanut-butter-divinity.html
The other recipe of my mom's is also there.
And my favorite one that I make, is also posted but I will put it here so that you won't have to keep clicking to the different spots. But first two more recipes that I have found in my mom's recipe box.

Now I realize that this recipe says divinity, but to me when my mom made it for the first, it tasted close to Granny's peanut butter fudge recipe, only a little fluffier. Yummy!
Peanut Butter Divinity
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites
1/2 cup chunky peanut butter (mom used creamy)
In 2-quart saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to boiling. Cook to hard ball stage (260 degrees F), stirring only till sugar dissolves. In large mixer bowl beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Gradually pour syrup over egg whites, beating at high speed on electric mixer. Add peanut butter and beat till candy holds its shape, about 3 to 4 minutes. (Test candy by spooning a small amount onto waxed paper; mixture should "mound" rather than flatten out.) Quickly drop from a teaspoon onto waxed paper. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.

Peanut Butter Fudge
4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups milk or half & half
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
few grams salt (less than a pinch of salt)
Combine sugar, salt, milk and corn syrup in a saucepan. Cook to soft ball stage (236 degrees F). Cool to lukewarm and add peanut better and vanilla. Beat until creamy and pour into lightly buttered 8" square pan. Cut into squares when cool.
Makes approximately 1 pound.

This is my recipe I made before it came onto the marshmallow creme jar or the peanut butter chips bag. But it is like the chocolate fudge from the marshmallow creme jar, except I add extra peanut butter. I have made this recipe every Christmas time since Dec. 1991.

Peanut Butter Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 package (10 ounces) peanut butter chips
2-4 tablespoons peanut butter
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
1 teaspoon vanilla
Stir together butter, sugar and milk in heavy 3 quart saucepan, bring to full boil stirring constantly. Boil 5 minutes over medium heat or until candy thermometer reaches 234 degrees F, stirring constantly to prevent scorching. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in peanut butter chips and peanut butter until melted.

Add remaining ingredients mix until well blended.

Pour into greased pan 9x13". Cool at room temperature, cut into squares. Makes about 3 pounds candy.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmas Candies Day #2

I don't remember mom making English Toffee, but she must have, as these recipes look like they have been used a lot. Maybe she did when I was already out of the house and made them for Karen and Kevin, or she just made and ate it when we weren't around, hmmm.....just kidding, mom. The second recipe is from a neighbor who lived across the street from us, during the late 60's and early 70's. Mary Jane and her family lived there while I was in 8th grade, high school and a few years after I moved out.

English Toffee
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
1 cup butter (2 cubes)
Add later
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 - 6 ounce package semi-sweetened or milk chocolate chips
Stir sugar, water and butter together in a large frying pan.
Bring to a boil for 10 minutes or longer stirring occasionally.
Mixture should turn about the color of peanut butter.

Remove from heat, add vanilla.
Pour onto greased cookie sheet, let cool a little, sprinkle bits of chocolate on top.
Wait 5 minutes until chocolate chips are soft. Spread with knife. Cool, crack and eat!

English Toffee (from kitchen of Mary Jane)
1 cup butter melted in sauce pan
Add 1 1/3 cup white sugar, 1 tablespoon Karo (light corn syrup), 3 tablespoons water.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, watch closely.
When candy reaches 300 degrees F, remove from heat, stir in 1 cup chopped nuts.
Pour onto buttered cookie sheet (13x9").
Cool, only until candy can be handled.

Remove from cookie sheet.
Place on wax paper on back of cookie sheet.
In the meantime melt 1 - 13 ounce Hershey bar and spread over toffee.
Spread with chopped nuts.
Cool, invert with wax paper and repeat Hershey process.

This recipe seems to be like the first one (above) only with nuts. I will let you figure out my mom's writing of this recipe. I know what it says, I just thought you might enjoy reading it. Do or you mom write out recipes this way? I do, because I know what it means. I try now to rewrite some of them, so that it is easier to past down to future generations.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Candies Day #1

Wanted to get these recipes on for this Christmas season and not let another go by without them.
Merry Christmas and enjoy!

As I was getting ready to type up this recipe, I noticed that it was missing some words, as this was in two pieces. (You will noticed that I taped it up.) Well, I decided maybe, just maybe the little tiny strip of words might still be in the recipe box. Low and behold it was! So I was able to get it taped back in place and type out the recipe. I did google search this recipe and didn't find it anywhere, so I am very glad that we aren't missing any of the words. Hooray! I do remember my mom making and loving any kind of divinity. Adding a wintergreen flavor every so often was delicious! She mostly made the recipes from Granny or the C&H company. Recipes below this one. Hope you enjoy all three.

Wintergreen Divinity
3 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon wintergreen extract
1/4 cup egg whites (2 average-size eggs)
Combine sugar, syrup and water. Cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat, bring to boil. Cover; boil without stirring for 3 minutes. Uncover; put in candy thermometer (if one is used), and continue cooking to265 degrees F, or until a small amount dropped in cold water forms a very firm ball. Remove from heat. Add salt and extract to egg whites and beat until stiff but not dry. Slowly beat in hot syrup, then continue beating until mixture almost holds its shape but is still glossy. (Mom also added a drop of green food coloring to tell this apart from the vanilla flavor divinity.) Turn into an 8-inch square pan lined with waxed paper. Cool, then cut into squares with a warm knife.

This is a recipe that my mom copied from Granny's house. Granny and mom were exceptional good cooks!

3 cups sugar
1/2 cup Karo syrup (clear kind)
1/2 cup water
2 egg whites - beaten
Cook syrup until softball stage - Beat in half into egg whites on mixer - Cook rest to hard boil stage and add to egg white mixture.
Add add nuts.
*Notes: the egg whites should be beaten stiff. On the vanilla, it is 1 teaspoon. I would suggest 1 cup chopped nuts, mom liked pecans best.

C&H Divinity
2 cups C and H Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon C and H Powdered Sugar
In saucepan mix first 4 indgredients. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cook to 260 degrees (hard-ball stage). Meanwhile, beat egg whites until stiff. Gradually pour hot syrup into whites, beating constantly. Beat until candy begins to hold its shape. Beat in vanilla and powdered sugar. (This amount of powdered sugar makes a real impovement in texture.) Drop from teaspoon onto waxed paper or pour into buttered pan. Let stand several hours until firm. Store in airtight container. Makes about 50 pieces.