Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Cooking Favorites

Above is MK with our "famous" scones.  This recipe is in my recipe section of the blog and they are so good and so easy (not really just for Christmas but I love this picture taken with my cell phone : )

Anyway, there are a few things that I just make over the holidays.  Here are few of them that are so easy and so good.  My absolute favorite this time of year (and my kids' too) is toffee.  The original toffee is the best but the cracker toffee is easier and my kids like it better.  Anna can even make it now by herself.  Below are both recipes.............

Cracker Toffee
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2 1/2 sleeves saltine crackers placed on 2 cookies sheets
Bring to boil over medium heat 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 4 sticks butter.  Boil for 3 minutes.
Pour over crackers and bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and top with 3 cups chocolate chips.
Cover pans with other cookie sheets so chocolate melts for a few minutes.
Spread chocolate over top and put in freezer (or outside if it's pretty cold) for about 20 minutes to harden up.
Break into bars and eat!

Original Toffee
Bring to boil 3 cups brown sugar with 2 cups (4 sticks) butter.
Grease 2 9x12" pans with butter and sprinkle 2 cups of chopped nuts over each pan (I like pecans the best but walnuts or almonds work as well)
Boil butter and sugar for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until it just begins to smoke.
Pour over nuts.
Sprinkle 1 cup of chocolate chips over each pan.  Cover with other cookie sheets so chips melt.  Wait a few minutes then spread chocolate around.
Place in freezer or outside for 30 minutes or so until hardens.
Break into bars and enjoy!

Both these recipes make great gifts.  I'm giving them to teachers, neighbors and my husband's co-workers for Christmas gifts this year, but I'm also putting some of my healthy granola in with it (that recipe is in my recipe section.)

These aren't necessarily "holidayish" but they are fun this time of year when I seem to keep finding bell peppers on sale.  You could make them with red and green peppers to look really festive.  They are so nice and warm and cozy when it's cold outside and my kids think they are really cool.  They also remind me of my childhood.  These are really easy and kind of  a tex/mex version.

Stuffed Bell Peppers
5-7 bell peppers with tops off and insides cleaned out.
Brown 1 pound lean ground meat
When browned, add 1 medium jar of salsa or picante sauce.
Then add 1 teas. salt and a small can of stewed tomatoes.
Add 2 cups cooked rice.
Stuff bell peppers with the above mixture.
Top with grated cheddar cheese.
Bake in 350 oven for 25-30 minutes.

Grandmother's Famous Cranberry Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teas. baking powder
1 teas. salt
1/2 teas. baking soda
1/4 cup butter
1 egg beaten
3/4 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cup golden raisins (or you can use brown or currants or a combination, whatever you have on hand)
1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

Preheat oven to 350F
Whisk together dry ingredients
Next, cut in butter and mix until crumbly
Add egg and OJ
Fold in raisins and cranberries.

Pour into buttered loaf pan (I doubled the recipe to make the large one pictured above).
Bake for 60-70 min, until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Cool in pan slightly and then pop out onto wire rack.

Sugar Cookie Cutter Cookies

After years of trying numrous recipes, I finally found one I love that doesn't stick everywhere or puff up way too much in the oven.  It's the Martha Stewart vanilla cookie recipe.  You can google it if you're interested.  We always have so much fun every year making these and I'm not a perfectionist so I just let the kids cut them out and decorate with a simple powder sugar butter cream icing!  I love these!


  1. Yum, love stuffed peppers. I will have to make some soon since I saw they have been on sale.

  2. Everything looks delicious. My kids love toffee but I've never made them. I think I will try this recipe and see how it goes. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Love your photos! The "gingerbread" house is great!!! We may have to try that one. Though I need to find something other than peanut butter to use (allergies).

    Would love to get together some time if you want to! It's been too long! Let me know if you want to meet up - maybe after Christmas. I don't have much of anything planned! :-)


  4. Everything looks wonderful!

    We make the cracker toffee too! My kids love to make it and we all love to eat it! so easy and yummy!!!!!

    christmas baking is so fun!

    Your stuffed peppers look delicious! I hope I can find this post again when I want to make them! i also make stuffed peppers with a Greek twist called My Big Fat Greek Stuffed Peppers! they are sooooo goood! (recipe on my blog in the Recipe section!)


Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.