I was born and raised in Kansas and learned to cook alongside my mother. Now, along with my wonderful husband, I have taken the plunge into the city life in New York. These are my food adventures: in my own tiny kitchen, and in the many restaurants of the city.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday Candy Making

For years now I have wanted to get together with a group of friends around the holidays and spend the whole day making candy. Every year, though, the season passes in a whirl of busy days and next thing I know the holiday has passed. This year a few girlfriends and I finally nailed down a date that we were all (relatively) free in the crazy weeks before Christmas and got down to business making candy.

We decided to each choose 2 recipes and bring the ingredients we would need for those. We also brought 3 copies of each of the recipes so we could all take them home. We ended up with mounds and mounds of lovely treats. Plus it was a great excuse to get together, chat, drink far too much coffee and prosecco (which, when combined with far too much sugar, causes some crazy reactions). For lunch we had a spread of cheeses, meats, crackers and tapenade.

The bounty:
Analisa Cookies (recipe below)
Pecan Clusters (recipe below)

Peanut Brittle
Apple Cider Caramels 
Oreo Truffles
Spiced Pecans
Christmas Biscotti

I had a wonderful time and am hoping that we can make this an annual tradition.

Analisa Cookies
(recipe from my friend Mary's family)
1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. real butter
1 egg
2 tsp. almond extract
3 1/2 c. sifted flours
chopped slivered almonds

2 1/2 TB very soft butter (not melted)
1 1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
1 1/2 TB milk
1/2 t. almond extract

Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg and almond extract. Beat well. Stir in flour, mix well. Refrigerate overnight, or until dough is stiff.
Roll the dough out to 1/8" thickness (using flour when working the dough). Cut with two cookie cutters (one slightly larger than the other. You will want 1/2 slightly larger and 1/2 slightly smaller cookies). Place the larger cookies on ungreased cookie sheets and add a small amount of lingonberries to center. Put the smaller cookies on top and lightly seal the edges. Bake at 375 degrees until slightly brown, 5-8 minutes. Cool before frosting.
Mix the frosting ingredients together. Use to frost the cool cookies, then sprinkle with slivered almonds.

Pecan Clusters/Pecan Critters
(recipe also courtesy of Mary's family)
1 (11 1/2 oz) Pkg. chocolate chips
1/4 c. butter
1/8 t. salt
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
2 c. coarsely chopped pecans
pecan halves

Over medium heat melt chips and butter with sweetened condensed milk and salt. Remove from heat once melted and stir in nuts and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto wax paper lined baking sheets. Top each one with 1 pecan half. Chill. Store tightly covered in a cool area.


J.D. said...

What a nice way to spend time with friends. I've been trying to get Melissa to make biscotti. How did the Christmas Biscotti turn out?

Erin said...

What a fun idea! I might try to gather a couple girlfriends to do that next year. I love holiday baking, and it would be great to share the experience with friends!

That Girl said...

What a great new holiday tradition!

Sarah said...

JD, sorry about the delay in response, but the Christmas biscotti was wonderful! I actually will definitely be making it again throughout the year.

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