Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Cookies and Candy

Eufaula, AL Gazebo

Good evening, ya'll. Come in where it is warm and sit a spell. It was a beautiful day here with sunshine, not too cold. I cleaned out a flower bed, cut back my rosemary bush and made a wreath with the trimmings. It had gotten huge and large parts of it had turned brown so it was time to prune. Now it will come back nice and green from bottom to top.

Rosemary grows into a shrub here in the South and makes the yard smell so good when you brush past it. I took most of the green cuttings and put them in 3 pots of potting soil to root. The other limbs were woven into a wreath to hang on a fence section behind the flower bed. I will take a picture tomorrow to show you. When it dies it will will be lovely dark grey and make the spot smell good. I just couldn't throw away the limbs I cut and if half of the cuttings root, I will have lots to share and I want to plant several around the pond.

Speaking of the pond, with all the rain we have had this week, our new, front yard pond is full and ready for the fish. We are getting the fish through the Georgia Extension Department and we are waiting on them to let us know when to pick them up. We will go up to the fish hatchery up close to Fitzgerald and bring our bream to their new home. Then next year we will add some bass. Then, the long wait until they are ready for me to catch, clean, fillet and fry. Oh boy is that good. Add some hush puppies, cheese grits and slaw and you have a Southern feast fit for royalty. If it is summer we will have some fresh sliced tomatoes and corn on the cob and maybe a peach cobbler. Maybe ya'll can come on over and have some.

Well, it is almost Christmas day and I still have to wrap my presents. They are piled on the bed in one of the bedrooms waiting expectantly to be wrapped up in pretty paper and decorated with ribbon. This is a job I don't especially enjoy but can do a pretty good job when I get around to it. They have to be wrapped by Monday night for we are leaving to go to Camden to the home place for Christmas. This was a request by our children and so off we will go. If you are in the area drop by for a slice of pie and some hot coffee.

I have a few more recipes to share with you that I made this week. They turned out pretty good so I can share. You will never know how many I mess up and don't share but that is between me and the trash can. I have a chocolate cookie recipe using a sugar cookie mix and a method of making a roll cookie which I adapted from Food TV. The candy is my own concoction and it was enjoyed at the choir party and it is quite easy. Cooking is so much fun now that I have the time to experiment. If you have any questions about the recipes just message me and I will be glad to help or if you try one, please let me know how you liked it.

CHOCOLATE NUT COOKIES

1 pouch sugar cookie mix
4 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg slightly beaten
Dark chocolate chips and finely chopped pecans

Mix the sugar cookie mix and cocoa until blended. In a smaller bowl combine the egg and the melted butter and pour over the cookie and cocoa mixture. Blend well until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the butter and egg. If you don't have enough liquid, I add about 1 tbsp. of cold coffee. Shape into a roll, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour.

After it has been chilled, roll into a rectangle and sprinkle the chocolate chips and pecans over the dough leaving about an inch at the top and bottom edges. Using the wax paper as a helper, roll the dough into a tube and take your hands and mash the dough up and down the roll to squeeze the chocolate chips and nuts into the dough. Reshape into a roll, wrap in wax paper and chill for about an hour or overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, lightly spray cookie sheet or line with parchment paper. Slice the cookie roll and place the slices on the cookie sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 7-9 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute and remove to rack to complete cooling and then store in a tight container. These are crispy and good.

I didn't measure the chocolate chips or the nuts but just sprinkled about 1 cup of chips and about 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans. These are really good. Just use as many or as few as you like.

WHITE CHOCOLATE WITH CHEERIOS AND CRAISINS CANDY

6 squares white chocolate
1 cup cheerios
1 cup craisins

Melt white chocolate in glass bowl in microwave following directions on the package. When melted add the cheerios and craisins, mix and drop by spoonfuls on waxed paper. After they have cooled, store in tight container. These were an experiment and are quite delicious. My friends had a hard time believing I had used cheerios and not nuts and craisins add add a sweet, slightly tart flavor I like. You can add more or less cheerios or craisins if you like.

These would also be good in the dark chocolate. I found some Ritz bits with chocolate peanut butter in the center and dipped those in white chocolate also and they are good.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and they will make great Christmas presents. Put in a pretty tin or try a quart canning jar with a pretty ribbon tied around the top. They will be enjoyed by all your friends and even your enemies. Happy cooking.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach
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