Sunday, December 19, 2010

christmas goodies

The cookie exchange yesterday was a success.  Only 5 of us total, but this time of year, that's pretty good!

Pretty good loot, no?

And when I arrived home, the candy-making commenced.

3 batches of peanut brittle, 2 batches of fudge and 1 batch of truffles.

Each of my hubby's 21 employees plus my boss and our secretary will get a tin like this in the coming week.

And, as promised, recipes!

Microwave Peanut Brittle

Mix in glass bowl:
1 cup sugar
1 cup raw peanuts
1/2 cup white corn syrup
1/8 tsp. salt

Microwave 4 minutes.
Microwave 3-5 minutes more, until light brown.

1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla.

Microwave 1 minute.

1 tsp. baking soda

Mix thoroughly.

Spread on lightly greased cookie sheet (or aluminum foil).

I've made this dozens of times and it always comes out well.  And as for that 3-5 minutes, in my new 900-watt, .9 cubic foot microwave, 4-5 minutes was about right.  I have a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup and that worked PERFECTLY for this...the handle was a lifesaver!


1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter or margarine
6 cups sugar
2 cans (5 oz each) evaporated milk (or 1 1/3 cups)
2 packages (12 oz each) chocolate chips
1 jar (13 oz.) marshmallow creme
2 cups chopped nuts (optional)
2 tsp. vanilla

In 4-5 quart heavy pan, mix butter, sugar and milk.  Bring to full rolling boil on medium heat, stirring constantly.  Continue boiling 5 minutes (or until candy thermometer reaches 234F), stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add chocolate chips.  Stir until melted.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.  Pour into TWO lightly greased 9x13 pans (or 3 9x9 pans).  Cool at room temp.

I've made this for years and my mom has made it for longer and we NEVER use the candy thermometer and we've NEVER had a bad batch!  It originally was on the container of one of the ingredients (marshmallow creme?) but no longer is.  It's delicious and creamy.  I've made it with peanut butter chips and with white chocolate chips (plus a little Kaluha!) and it's also yummy.  Semi-sweet chips give a darker fudge than milk chocolate, but both taste fantastic!

This is also a good recipe to have a big strong man help with, as stirring in those chocolate chips and marshmallow creme wears my arm out!

The truffles recipe can be found here.  It's super easy and I made about 75 and still had dough left over.  (Maybe I made my balls a little small?)  I rolled 1/3 in powdered sugar, 1/3 in cocoa powder and 1/3 in chopped pecans.  Well, the hubby rolled them in sugar and cocoa, if we're being honest here.  :)

And since we're talking about Christmas goodies, I tortured my hubby to get a photo of the whole, finished Christmas quilt this morning.  (You know, biddy stuff can kill a man, right?)  It's a grey day, but with the snow, the lighting was much better outside!

It's called "Trees for Sale" by Pieces from My Heart.  I used the same fabric as the original pattern, Crazy Eight by (I think) Sandy Gervias.  And no, that border is not's printed (because one of you asked). 

And the back, because it's too cute!

The colors don't quite match the front, but it's a cozy flannel and perfectly whimsical for my tastes!

And now the hubby had to run into work, so I'm going to haul out his quilt and hope to get that binding finished!

Happy quilting!


Beth said...

Great looking goodies! You have been very busy.
Love your tree quilt. The backing looks perfect.
Good luck getting the hub's quilt binding done.

Marsha B said...

Mmmm, the candy and cookies sound so yummy! I love the tree quilt, both front and back. For a busy season, you have accomplished so much. Can't wait to see hubby's quilt all finished!

Ruth said...

The quilt is so cute! And I'm going to keep the peanut brittle recipe for future use (since we're not home now). I used to receive it from a friend every year (her mother made it) and love it. It looks easy enough to make!

---"Love" said...

Your cookies and candy are both beautiful, and no doubt delicious! Who wouldn't love such goodies?! That quilt is so cute, and to me, the backing looks perfect for it! Wish I had your energy this week! ---"Love"

Liriopia said...

Mmm, cookies and candy. Me love cookies and candy! Love the quilt, too.


canuckquilter said...

Sounds yummy! I love the penguins on the back of the quilt. Good luck with the hubby's quilt.

ann hermes said...

I love your Christmas tree quilt. And the goodies look wonderful.

Sandy said...

All your goodies look delicious -- I might have to try the Peanut Brittle.
Your quilt, front and back, is beautiful. Flannel is a great choice for a 'winter' quilt back.
Merry Christmas, Katie.