Monday, December 26, 2011

Spudnut Donuts

I am actually going to be giving out a secret family recipe. Well...maybe not secret but this is one of our Christmas Traditions. We have made donuts every Christmas since I can remember...and they are amazing. We would try to give them out as neighbor gifts...but usually we ate most of them. Just thinking about them makes me hungry....yum!

Spudnut Donuts
2 Tbsp Shortening (no Wesson Oil)
1 Egg, beaten
1 Cup Warm Milk
3 tsp Yeast or 1 1/2 pkg Yeast
1/4 Cup Mashed Potatoes
1/4 Cup Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Vanilla
3 cups Flour

Dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cup warm water. Put the potatoes through a sieve. Scald the milk, add sugar and salt and cool to luke warm. Add the remaining ingredients. This makes a very dry, sticky-like dough. Let rise double in bulk, then roll out o to lightly floured board. Cut with a donut cutter and fry in deep fat until golden brown.

*You can refrigerate the dough, just make sure it had already risen twice before you do so.

2-3 Cups Powdered Sugar
1-2 Oranges, squeezed for juice
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tbsp Milk
1/2 Cup Margarine

Mix the ingredients. Should be thin. Dip the donuts in the glaze while hot and drain off the excess in a bowl.
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Caramel and Chocolate Covered Pretzels (A great neighbor gift!)

My newest holiday treat addiction are these delectable little nuggets of sweet and salty deliciousness. The picture above is missing the chocolate and M&M...but still look yummy!

Caramel & Chocolate Covered Pretzels

1 bag Kraft caramels, individually wrapped, about 50 count
(45 after you have snitched a few)
-or if you are ambitious-
your own homemade caramel, probably around two cups?

Around 45-50 mini pretzel twists or Snyder's pretzel squares

About a cup of melting chocolate
about half a bag of chocolate chips, unmelted

45-50 M&M's

Down to business:
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, place pretzels about 1 inch apart on the pan. Top each pretzel with unwrapped caramel square. Bake 8-10 minutes at 300 degrees or until caramels are rounding and soft. OVERBAKING will cause caramel to harden! While still warm, using the flat of a butter knife, press down caramel to cover pretzel.
*If you are using homemade caramel, fill pretzel holes and coat surface.
To chocolate your caramel:
If using chocolate chips, drop 3-5 chips onto the warm caramel and pop back into the oven until they are soft. Using your trusty butter knife again, smush the melty chips and cover the top of the pretzel.
If using melted chocolate, drop a healthy dollop on top of the caramel.
Place one lovely little M&M on the top and allow the treats to cool.
Happy entertaining!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shorthand Sugar Cookies

Alright, who hasn't fallen victim to the demure yet enticing call of the sugar cookie this time of year?
That's right.
No one can resist.
I am no exception. The only issue I take with these sweet yet subtle cookies is the recipes I own. They are complicated and time consuming. (That possibly sounds like a seriously lame excuse for someone who writes on a cooking blog, I understand.)
Truth be told...baking and me; not such wonderful friends. I am a novice at best when it comes to baking. My sisters got that genome, not me.
My solution? This awesome recipe I ganked and modified from
Seriously. Easy. Sugar cookies.

The Players:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda

The Directions:
beat softened cream cheese, margarine, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add baking soda and flour slowly. Mix well.

If doing cookie-cutter cookies, chill dough until firm-ish. Take half the dough and roll on floured surface to desired thickness.
If doing rolled cookies, ball dough and flatten slightly before baking.

Bake 12-19 minutes depending on thickness or until slightly browned on edges. Cool 2-5 minutes before removing from pan.
Frost, decorate, sprinkle with powdered sugar, do what you want with these lovely, simple cookies!
Happy Holidays!
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