Holiday gift ideas- Cookie & Bread recipes forums

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May 3, 2004
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Holiday gift ideas- Cookie & Bread recipes

Giving gifts is one of the great joys of the Holiday season, however buying and deciding what to give your friends and loved ones can often be hard. Sometimes the best gifts and the most cherished ones, are not the ones that have cost a great deal of money but rather are the ones that have had a little more thought put into them or have been made especially for them by the gift giver. What better way to warm the hearts of those you love then a gift from your own kitchen, be it cookies or maybe even homemade bread, here are some delicious recipes that are sure to bring joy to everyone on your list. I hope you all will feel free to add your favorites too!

Apricot, Orange, Cranberry Bread

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=570 border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD class=bodytext width="100%">3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

2 large eggs

2/3 cup orange juice

2/3 cup milk

2/3 cup finely chopped apricots

2/3 cup chopped walnuts

3 cups cranberries, picked over and chopped in a food processor

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the orange zest and eggs, 1 at a time. Add the orange juice and milk and beat until mixed thoroughly. It will appear curdled.

Add the flour mixture and beat until it is just moistened. Stir in the apricots, walnuts, and cranberries.

Place baking rack in middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 5 (5 3/4 by 2 1/4-inch loaf pans.

Pour the batter into the pans. Bake for 45 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick - it should come out clean. Remove the bread from the pans, transfer to a wire rack, and let them cool on their sides.

Cook?s note: These breads, wrapped well in aluminum oil and plastic wrap, keep for 1 week in the refrigerator or frozen for a month.

Brother Rick Curry, The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking, HaperPerennial, 1995


Christmas Morning Cinnamon Buns

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=570 border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD class=bodytext width="100%">1/2 cup vegetable shortening

2 cups milk, scalded

2 large eggs, beaten

1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup mashed potatoes, unsalted

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons active dry yeast

1/2 cup lukewarm water

7 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup raisins

1 cup chopped walnuts

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Dissolve the vegetable shortening in the milk in a bowl and cool to lukewarm. Stir in the eggs, 1 cup sugar, potatoes, and salt. Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and stir onto the potato mixture. Stir in the flour, raisins, and nuts. Mix thoroughly for 5 minutes by hand. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Roll into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle and spread with the butter. Sprinkle with the 1 remaining tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon. Roll like a jelly roll and slice 12 equal slices. Place slices flat in 12 by 8-inch baking dish. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until double in bulk, about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Brother Rick Curry, The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking, HaperPerennial,


<!-- Begin Recipe --><TABLE style="WIDTH: 571px; HEIGHT: 432px" cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=571 border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD width=305><!-- Begin Recipe Header -->Almond Snowball Cookies

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=570 border=0><TBODY><TR vAlign=top><TD class=bodytext width="100%">3/4 cup sliced almonds

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup unsalted butter, sliced and softened (1 1/2 sticks)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon almond extract

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1 cup confectioners' sugar

Pulse the almonds and sugar in a food processor until very finely ground. Add the butter and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape the dough off the inside of the bowl, if needed. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and pulse to combine. Add the flour and salt and pulse to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a large piece of waxed paper and roll into a log about 15 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the chilled dough into 1/2-inch pieces and roll by hand into balls. Space the cookies evenly on the prepared baking sheets and bake until slightly golden, rotating the sheets once, 15 to 20 minutes. Put the confectioners' sugar in a pie plate. Briefly cool the cookies on a rack, then gently toss in the confectioners' sugar until evenly coated. Return to rack, cool to room temperature, and then toss again in the confectioners' sugar.

Food Network Kitchens



Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

1 (16-ounce) container dark chocolate frosting

1/2 stick butter, room temperature

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

1 cup very finely ground almonds

48 chocolate kisses, unwrapped

Beat chocolate frosting and butter in large bowl until well blended. Mix in graham cracker crumbs and almond extract. Place almonds in a pie pan or other shallow bowl. Shape chocolate mixture into 1-inch balls. Roll each ball in very finely ground almonds to coat. Place balls on cookie sheet. Using a finger, make deep indentation in center of each ball. Fill indentations with chocolate kisses. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until cold.

Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Desserts, Miramax Books, 2003

ooh, those almond snowball cookies sound good. have you made them? do they turn out more like a butter cookie, or more like a mexican wedding cookie type of thing?

Originally Posted by haloinrverse ooh, those almond snowball cookies sound good. have you made them? do they turn out more like a butter cookie, or more like a mexican wedding cookie type of thing? Don't they sound good? I have been going through my Moms huge recipe collection trying to find some good ideas for me to make for Christmas and share on here, this one does remind me of the Mexican Wedding cakes, I love those things. I'm going to look for some more recipes and put them on here, my Mom was a great cook so I know anything she had in her collection is going to be good, we are talking the ultimate 60's Betty Crocker here, she could whip up a delicious meal in no time.

heh heh. i have copies of my great grandmothers recipes. when i was little i thought they were *the best* (and they still are) but its stuff like sweet and sour italian green beans with bacon and chopped ham balls with brown sugar and pineapple. very retro. there was a lot of cool whip in that house. lol.

BF loves mexican wedding cookies/cakes, so i think ill have to make those for him! thanks for much for the recipe.


Banana-Nut Bread

Use very ripe bananas for the best flavor in this recipe.

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening

2 large eggs

3 small bananas, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Beat sugar and shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, banana, and vanilla, beating well.

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to banana mixture, beating until combined. Stir in chopped walnuts.

Pour into a greased and floured 8-inch loaf pan.

Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes; remove loaf from pan, and cool completely on wire rack.

Yield: 1 loaf

Snow-Covered Almond Crescents

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=3 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened </TD></TR><TR><TD>3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, softened </TD></TR><TR><TD>1 cup granulated sugar </TD></TR><TR><TD>2 tsp. vanilla </TD></TR><TR><TD>1/2 tsp. almond extract </TD></TR><TR><TD>2-1/4 cups flour </TD></TR><TR><TD>1/2 tsp. baking soda </TD></TR><TR><TD>1 cup finely chopped PLANTERS Slivered Almonds </TD></TR><TR><TD>3/4 cup powdered sugar </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

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<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=3 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>BEAT cream cheese, butter, granulated sugar, vanilla and almond extract in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add flour and baking soda; mix well. Stir in almonds; cover. Refrigerate 30 min. </TD></TR><TR><TD>PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Shape 1-inch balls of dough into crescent shapes; place, 2 inches apart, on baking sheets. Flatten slightly. </TD></TR><TR><TD>BAKE 10 to 12 min. or until lightly browned. Cool slightly on wire racks. Sprinkle with powdered sugar; cool completely.


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Chocolate-Peanut Butter Truffles

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=3 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>1 pkg. (8 squares) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate </TD></TR><TR><TD>1/2 cup peanut butter </TD></TR><TR><TD>1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP or COOL WHIP Extra Creamy Whipped Topping, thawed </TD></TR><TR><TD>Suggested coatings, such as powdered sugar, unsweetened cocoa, finely chopped PLANTERS Peanuts, multi-colored sprinkles, BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut, finely crushed NABISCO Cookies, grated BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate

<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=3 border=0><TBODY><TR><TD>MICROWAVE chocolate in microwavable bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. </TD></TR><TR><TD>ADD peanut butter; stir until well blended. Cool to room temperature. Gently stir in whipped topping. Refrigerate 2 hours. </TD></TR><TR><TD>SCOOP truffle mixture with melon baller or teaspoon, then shape into 1-inch balls. Roll in suggested coatings. Store in refrigerator. </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>



Fruit Infused Honey Vinegars

These sweet vinegars in a decorative bottle will make a delicious gift this Holiday season, serve with french bread or drizzle over fresh salad greens.

Prep time:5 minutes

Cook time:30 minutes

2 Cups white wine vinegar

2/3 Cup honey

Combine vinegar and honey in medium saucepan, then stir in one of the flavor additions below.

Apricot: 2/3 cup apricot jam

Pear: 2 (15-ounce) cans pears, drained and diced

Raspberry: 1 (6-ounce) basket fresh raspberries mashed

Fig: 2 cups dried Mission figs, quartered

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes. Let cool, then pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove any solids. Store, tightly covered, in refrigerator up to 2 months.

Another suggestion for banana bread: My mom makes a basic banana bread recipe, but instead of using nuts, she substitutes mini chocolate chips! It is the best stuff ever! (She also insists on using super-ripe bananas -- she waits til they get all brown and mushy, but not black!)

Originally Posted by girl_geek Another suggestion for banana bread: My mom makes a basic banana bread recipe, but instead of using nuts, she substitutes mini chocolate chips! It is the best stuff ever! (She also insists on using super-ripe bananas -- she waits til they get all brown and mushy, but not black!) I'm waiting now for some banana's to get just right so I can make bread, I wait for them to get reeeeeeeally ripe also, the riper the banana the sweeter the bread. Thanks for the choc. chip idea, I will definetly give that a try, I bet it's really good fresh out of the oven when the chips are still melted.
Chocolate-Raspberry Truffles <TABLE borderColor=#ffffff cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=2 width=95 bgColor=#ffffff borderColorLight=#000000 border=1><TBODY><TR><TD noWrap align=middle>chocolate</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

20 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

6 tablespoons corn syrup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 to 7 tablespoons raspberry liqueur, such as framboise

Cocoa powder, for dusting

Put 12 ounces of the chocolate in a bowl. Whisk together the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate and whisk until thoroughly combined and smooth. Whisk in butter until smooth and glossy. Add the raspberry liqueur and mix well.

Pour the chocolate into a deep pan and chill. When the chocolate is firm, scoop out small truffle balls, using a melon baller or other small scoop. (Dip scoop in very hot water before each scoop, patting each time onto a towel to avoid getting water into the chocolate mixture.) Chill truffles slightly, and then perfect the circular shape by rolling quickly in palms of your hands. Store the truffles in the refrigerator until ready to finish.

To finish the truffles: Melt the remaining 8 ounces of chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Set the bowl aside and let cool slightly, stirring occasionally, until just cooler than body temperature. Put enough cocoa powder in a bowl to form a small pile. Wearing rubber gloves and working with 1 truffle at a time, rub some of the melted chocolate all over the truffles and roll quickly in your hands until smooth. Drop the truffles into the cocoa powder, roll to coat completely, and transfer to a platter. Store in a cool, dry place.

I got this recipe from a friend a few years ago, these cookies are easy to make and are delicious.

Chocolate Thumb Prints

Cookie dough

3 Cups Flour

1 tsp. salt

1 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar, packed

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup milk

12 0z. package chocolate morsels

Powdered sugar

Sift flour and salt. Blend brown sugar, vanilla and butter, add to flour mixture. Add the milk and 1/2 of the chocolate morsels. Shape into balls, plase on ungreased cookie sheet and make depression in center with thumb. Bake at 375* for 10 to 12 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar while still warm.

Chocolate sauce

1 and a 1/2 cups chocolate morsels

2 TBLS. Shortening

1/4 cup light corn syrup

2 tsp. vanilla

2 TBLS water

Combine chocolate chips and shortening over hot water in double boiler and melt. Remove from heat and stir in corn syrup, vanilla and water. Fill cooled cookies with the chocolate sauce.