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Dec 22

Holiday Treats

Posted on December 22, 2020 at 8:22 AM by Michael Lang

From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, food is the gathering force, a way to show care and love to those around you. This season may be a little different due to circumstances beyond our control, but we can still share the foods and treats with friends and family through recipes and cooking together, even though we may be far apart. To get ideas, we’ve gathered cookbooks about holiday and seasonal desserts.

We care so much for all of you, our patrons, and so, here are some recipes from members of the Kansas Talking Books staff. May they find their way into your home and heart during this holiday season. And so, season’s greetings and warm wishes for a merry, bright, safe, and warm holiday season from all of us at Kansas Talking Books to you and yours.

Happy reading…and eating!
--Kansas Talking Books staff

Holiday Cookbooks
DB 42591 Beatrice Ojakangas’ great holiday baking book by Beatrice A. Ojakangas
Offers 250 recipes for savory and sweet baked treats to make holidays more memorable. While many of the recipes are for Thanksgiving and Christmas, there are also some for Labor Day, April Fools' Day, and other celebrations, some obscure. Includes historical backgrounds for the various observances.

DB 54501 Cookies for Christmas by Jennifer Darling

Collection of more than one hundred Christmas cookie recipes from the Better Homes and Gardens test kitchen. Includes cutout, shaped, sliced, dropped, and bar cookies that feature old world favorites and new cookie ideas with a flavor twist. 1999.

DB 63535 Chocolate holidays: unforgettable desserts for every season by Alice Medrich
Triple winner of the Cookbook of the Year award presents more than fifty recipes for chocolate desserts, for each holiday of the year and special occasions. Designed to follow the calendar, the recipes include chocolate pecan pie, breakfast Valentines, Passover brownies, chocolate Easter baskets, and chocolate-dipped strawberries. 2001.

DB 64150 Betty Crocker Christmas cookbook by Betty Crocker

Collection of more than 250 recipes for Christmas treats from appetizers to main dishes, and from breads to desserts. Also includes holiday decorating tips, make-ahead ideas, food gifts to give, and new twists to standard recipes. 2006.

DB 65761 Christmas with Paula Deen: recipes and stories from my favorite holidays by Paula Deen
Television chef presents recipes for the Christmas holiday including ideas for giving gifts of food and for hosting an open house. Also covers baking traditional cookies and preparing breakfast and dinner on the special day. Shares her memories of celebrating the season with family and friends. Bestseller. 2007.

DB 97298 My drunk kitchen holidays!: how to savor and celebrate the year by Hannah Hart
Guide to celebrating fifty inclusive holidays throughout the year, from the well known--New Year's, Independence Day, and Hanukkah--to the offbeat--I Am in Control Day, Be a Millionaire Day, and Left-Hander's Day. Includes reasons to celebrate, suggested food to serve, and decoration ideas. Contains some strong language. Commercial audiobook. 2019.

Recipes from Kansas Talking Books
Amanda – Microwave Fudge
2 packages semisweet chocolate, milk chocolate, OR peanut butter chips (*or 1 package and a couple of pieces of almond bark/vanilla candy coating)
1 stick butter (or half a stick if you want to cut down)
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Put chips, butter, and sweetened condensed milk in large glass mixing bowl. Use wrapper from butter stick to grease a foiled 8x8” or 9x9” pan. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir together. Microwave a minute and stir each time until completely melted. Beat well, stirring mixture until shiny. Pour into greased and foiled pan. Put in the refrigerator to cool and set, about 2 hours. To serve, cut into pieces with chef’s knife.

Note: If you want to chunk up your fudge, you can add a couple pieces of almond bark/vanilla candy coating to melt with the chips, even if using 2 packages of chips.

Michael – Candied Pecans

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
12 ounces (about 3 to 3/12 cups) raw pecan halves
1 egg white, briefly whisked

Prep oven and baking sheet. Heat oven to 300°F. Line a large baking sheet (a real big one) with parchment paper.

Mix the cinnamon sugar mixture. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, salt and cayenne to a small mixing bowl and whisk until evenly combined.

Toss the pecans. In a separate large mixing bowl, add the pecans and whisked egg white and gently toss until the pecans are evenly coated. Add in the sugar mixture and gently toss until the pecans are evenly coated.

Bake. Spread the pecans out in a single even layer on the baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, then remove the nuts and give them a brief stir. Bake for 20 minutes more or until the pecans are fragrant and the sugar coating is cooked. (Note that the sugar coating will continue to harden and dry once the pecans are out of the oven.)

Cool. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire cooling rack and let the pecans cool to room temperature (WAIT! YOU WILL BURN YOUR MOUTH IF YOU JUST POP A HOT ONE IN YOUR MOUTH). Serve and enjoy, or transfer to a sealed container to store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Dylan – Oreo Balls

1 (14 ounce) package chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreo®), crushed
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, at room tempature
1 (12 ounce) package vanilla-flavored almond bark, or as needed

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix cookie crumbs and cream cheese together in a bowl; roll into balls and arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Freeze cookie balls until solid, about 1 hour.

Melt almond bark in the top of a double boiler over simmering water, stirring frequently and scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching.

Dip cookie balls in the melted almond bark, removing balls using 2 forks to allow excess bark to drip back into double boiler. Arrange coated cookie balls on the baking sheet; refrigerate until coating is firm, about 10 minutes.

Maggie – Cranberry Orange cookies
1 box yellow cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 canola or vegetable oil
1 cup dried cranberries*
1 cup white chocolate chips*
1 cup rolled or old fashioned oats*
1/4 teaspoon orange extract – or – 1 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, and oil. Add in dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, oats, and orange extract or orange zest. Mix until evenly distributed.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop, place on parchment paper about 1 inch apart.

Bake about 12 minutes. Remove from baking sheet to cooling rack.

Makes about 3 – 4 dozen cookies.

* Use 1/2 cup each of dried cranberries, white chocolate chips, and oats if you like a cookie with less add-ins. I like a lot, so that’s what my recipe calls for. What’s great about cake mix cookies, you can customize to get your favorite flavors.