ALL Recipes in Category : Holiday Treats


    Daughter Beth made these cookies while we were in Michigan last June, 2013. I baked them this past Christmas not only because the were delicious–but I also had an abundance of Michigan cherries–dried.  Beth and Paul brought the cherries to Maui when they visited us over Thanksgiving.

    • 1 & 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 cup softened butter
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 & 1/2 cups semi- sweet chocolate chunks
    • 1 & 1/2 cups dried cherries
    • additional granulated sugar

    1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

    2.  Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; set aside.  Beat butter, 1 c. granulated sugar and brown sugar in a large bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy–about 2 min.  Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended.  On low speed of mixer, gradually beat in 1/3 of flour mixture at a time, until all is used.  Scrape sides of bowl down between additions of flour mixture.  Stir in chocolate chunks and cherries.  REFRIGERATE COVERED DOUGH FOR AT LEAST ONE HOUR.

    3.  Roll chilled dough into golf ball sized balls.  Roll the balls in the additional granulated sugar. Space balls three inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet.  Gently press each ball with bottom of glass—you can dampen a hankie to stretch over the bottom of the glass.

    4.  Bake 13-15 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes; transfer to wire racks.  Cool completely.

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    Holiday Sweet Potato Casserole

    • 3 pounds sweet potatoes, baked until just tender
    • 2 pears, cut lengthwise into eights
    • 2 golden delicious apples, cut as the pears
    • 1/4 cup lemon juice tossed with apples
    • 1/4 pound butter
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 2 Tablespoons rum
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    Cook, in a sauce pan, the butter, brown sugar, honey, rum and cinnamon on the stove until the sugar dissolves. 

    Peel and slice potatoes diagonally, 1/4 inch thick. Arrange the fruit and potatoes standing up in a 13 inch pan.  Spoon sauce over all. Bake in a 400 degree oven 20 minutes, basting, until bubbling.  Brown under a broiler if desired. You can garnish with orange zest. 

    I give Sharon Walters credit for this recipe.  Always a winner that can be prepared– up to the baking part– in advance.

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    Serves : 12                   Preparation Time : 1 hour


    • 1 1/2 cups                          flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons                baking soda
    • 1 1/2 cups                          sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon                    salt
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons                ground cloves
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons                ground cinnamon
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons                ground nutmeg
    • 1 1/2 cups                          chopped nuts
    • 1 1/2 cups                          seedless raisins
    • 3   tablespoons                 butter
    • 3                                          beaten eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups                           grated carrot
    • 1 1/2 cups                           grated potato

    Oil a 1  1/2 quart mold. Sift four with soda, salt, sugar and spices. Stir butter into eggs in a large bowl. Stir in flour mixture and remaining ingredients. Mix well. Turn into a mold, fill 1/2 to 1/3 full. Cover tightly. Place on a trivet in a kettle. Fill with water until 1/2 way up the side of the mold. Simmer for 2 hours. Cool until lukewarm, turn out of the mold. Store in fridge. Reheat to serve

    Serving Ideas : See Sauces for the recipes for both the ORANGE DESSERT SAUCE and the Vanilla Pudding Sauce.

    NOTES  : I’ve has this recipe for almost 40 years. Marie was my former mother-in law’s good friend. She and her husband had a working farm in  Yerington, Nevada where they sold fresh eggs, chickens and goodies that Marie ‘put up’ each year.

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    Serves : 8


    • 1  1/2  cups                              Flour
    • 2  teaspoons                            baking powder
    • 1/4 cup                                     unsalted butter, softened
    • 3/4 cup                                     sugar
    • 1/2 cup                                     milk
    • 1 teaspoon                               vanilla
    • 1                                                 egg
    • +                                                apples,peeled and thinly sliced Macintosh (sp)
    • For the Topping
    • 1 teaspoon         cinnamon
    • 1/4 cup               butter
    • 1/3 cup                 sugar

    Preheat oven to 375 degrees

    Sift together the flour and the baking powder. Set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar and beat in the egg. Add the milk and vanilla and stir in the flour. Pour the batter into a greased 8 x 8 ” pan. Press the apple slices into the batter, standing up in rows. Top with the mixture of cinnamon, butter and sugar. Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees

    NOTES : This is a coffee cake best served shortly after it comes out of the oven. My earliest memories of Mother’s baking is of this cake. I’ve been serving it Christmas morning as we open gifts, prepping as much as possible the night before.

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    • 1/2 CUP                          sugar
    • + 4  1/2 tablespoons      sugar
    • 1/2 TSP                           table salt
    • 3/4 CUP                          whole almonds
    • 4 TSP                               pure vanilla extract
    • 1/4 TSP                           pure almond extract
    • 3 CUPS                            bleached all-purpose flour
    • 1  1/2 CUPS                    butter, unsalted (3 sticks), cut in chunks and softened
    • 1/4 CUP (or more)        turbinado (or granulated or raw) sugar

    Process the sugar and the salt in a food processor until it looks powdery and a little finer, 40-60 seconds. Add the almonds and process until they’re finely chopped, about 20 seconds.  Add the butter, vanilla and almond extracts. Pulse until the butter is smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Add the flour and pulse until a soft ball forms around the blade.  Transfer the dough to a large bowl and stir briefly with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s evenly mixed.  Portion the dough into equal thirds. If you have a scale, weigh each third; each should weigh 10-1/2 to 11 ounces.  On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a log about 6 inches long and 1-3/4 inches in diameter.  Wrap the log in waxed paper or foil or plastic wrap.  Chill the dough at least 2 hours but preferably overnight.

    Put the 1/4 cup sugar on a flat surface such as a tray or clean counter top.  Roll the log of dough in the sugar, pressing so the sugar adheres.  Cut the log int 1/4- inch slices and arrange them at least 1 inch apart on an ungreased or foil lined cookie sheet.  Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350 degrees.  Let the cookies sit at room temp. while oven heats.  Bake until the edges are golden brown, 12-15 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back about halfway through the baking.  Let the cookies sit on the sheet for a minute or two before transferring to a rack with a metal spatula…Let cool completely before storing airtight.

    NOTES : I use raw sugar

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    Serving Size  : 1                                           Preparation Time : 10 minutes


    • 1   cup                         sliced almonds or pecan halves
    • 1/4  cup                      sugar
    • 1/2  teaspoon            cayenne pepper

    Put all ingredients in a 10″ skillet.  Using low heat and not stirring too often, cook until sugar caramelizes and nuts brown. Turn onto a cookie sheet, foil or parchment paper to cool. Break apart to use as a salad topping.

    NOTES : If the sugar doesn’t quite caramelized, but the nuts are getting too brown for comfort, stop cooking and turn the nuts the nuts out of the pan. These nuts are still tasty in a salad even if the sugar hasn’t all melted.
    I use these nuts in any salad that I’ve put fruit in, like the Pear and Feta Salad. It’s always a good idea to toss the salad and then put the nuts over the dressed greens.

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