Ok, We’re close to the holidays, but not too close to prevent experimenting with some holiday treats!!! I’m calling it a Holiday Treat Meme…and I’m tagging a bunch of you to share – Gia-Gina, American Girl in Italy, Re-boot, Whatever it Takes, Better than Ice Cream, Writing To Reach You, and Laurie, you can put it in the comments (you need your own blog!) Anyone else, feel free to participate, too, leave your answer in the comments or link to your blog!
But first, I want to spread the word about A Menu For Hope II. I’m not going to repeat everything that is thoroughly explained at Chez Pim, but I thought I’d pick out some highlights and tell you why I think it’s pretty cool.
- It’s helping a good cause…to support the victims of the devastating earthquake in the Kashmir region of India and Pakistan, which I think has definitely been overlooked. They just had another earthquake recently.
- The list of prizes is really long, and cooking-oriented which is much better than a gift certificate to the dentist or a free dog wash.
- Every $5 gives you a chance to win. And, they will ship the prizes anywhere in the world!
- It’s REALLY EASY! Online Donations are handled by Just Giving, a 3rd-party organization.
Holiday Treat Meme
List 5+ Holiday treats (with significance and/or origin, if applicable), 1 Recent Favorite, and 1 Family recipe (Share with us one of those closely-guarded secrets of your family)
My Top 5 Holiday Treats
- Egg Nog – An egg/milk concoction, sometimes with liquor. It’s so bad for you, but there are some light versions out that reduce some of the guilt.
- Chocolate Fudge – Now I make it with my mom’s recipe…walnuts and marshmallow creme are important!
- Scotch Cake (a mix between pound cake and fruit cake) My grandmother and now my mother makes this dense cake that has candied cherries and walnuts in it. I’m not sure if this is the real name or something my family calls it (we’re part Scotch).
- Pandoro This “golden bread” is free of distracting fruit as in the panettone, and you empty a pouch of powdered sugar in the bag and shake it like crazy, so it’s entertaining, too! It’s good before/after a meal, with coffee in the morning, with milk at night. Sante’s mom also makes her own custard which she inserts in the layers of the pandoro!
- Candy Canes – I like all shapes and sizes! I experimented with cherry and other flavors, but I like the peppermint ones the best, the minis! My favorite used to be the Lifesaver Story Book (who remembers that?).
New Favorite: Chocolate Almond Clusters, as done by my mother-in-law. Last year’s cause at least 5lbs of holiday weight gain. So easy, you wonder why we pay for it…just toast the almonds, melt chocolate in a double boiler, and dip!
Family Recipe: Iced Sugar Cookies
My friends used to beg me to ask my mom to send us some at university. I think the icing is the best part. I don’t think I’ll ever be too old! PS> It’s all about the vanilla…make sure you’re using the good stuff!
Sift together into bowl and set aside:
2 3/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Put 3/4 cup soft (not runny or whipped) butter or margarine in large mixing bowl
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or a combination of vanilla and almond extract
Beat with mixer or wooden spoon until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in flour mixture, blending until smooth.
Chill one hour or so until firm. Then, roll a small amount of dough at a time on floured board to 1/8-inch thickness. Keep remaining dough in refrigerator until ready to use. Cut into desired shapes with floured cookie cutters. Put on greased cookie sheets and bake in preheated (375F) oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until pale brown.
Remove to wire racks to cool. Decorate with tinted confectioners’ sugar icing and sprinkles. Makes about 4 dozen 3-inch cookies.
Icing: 1/4 cup or half stick of softened butter (or margarine), 2-3 cups of confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla, and a few tablespoons of milk. Mix sugar/milk alternately until smooth. You can add food coloring and scoop into plastic bags with the corner cut if you don’t have an icing bag!