Friday, December 30, 2011

Cookie Plates!

Every year, we make cookie plates for a few friends and have fun delivering them around Christmas time! This year was no different! We had fun delivering cookies to some of our new friends and as Christmas presents for family!! Maddy got to help me make some of these delectable treats, and I made some stuff I have never made before!! Included on the cookie plates were:

Russian Tea Cakes
Coconut Snowballs
Peanut Brittle (Recipe below)
Biscotti Toscani (Recipe below)
Rocky Road Fudge (Recipe below)

They were plates of yumminess!! I already included the recipe for coconut snowballs in another post (link below), but I will give you the recipes for the Biscotti, which I hadn't made before, and the peanut brittle, which was a new adventure as well! I have made fudge before, but I have never made Rocky Road fudge. As long as you have a sweet tooth and like chocolate, nuts, and marshmallows together! It was really good, and this recipe is below as well!
These Biscotti were really fun to make, and a fun treat instead of just making all cookies. Here is the recipe!

Biscotti Toscani

1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
2 tsp. orange zest
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup toasted almond pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a large baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and zest. Combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Stir into the creamed mixture until just blended. Mix in almonds. Divide dough into two pieces. Form into long flat loaves about 1/2 inch tall and 12 inches long. Place the two loaves about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until a light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
4. With a serrated knife, cut diagonally into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Lay the slices flat on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, turning once. Cool on a wire rack.
5. Place chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Melt chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds until smooth. Use a spatula to smooth chocolate onto one side of each cookie. Let stand at room temperature until set. Store at room temperature in an airtight container.

Maddy helping to make the Peanut Brittle!

Peanut Brittle
The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
1 cup salted peanuts
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet.
2. In heavy 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, water, and butter; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar has dissolved and syrup is bubbling.
3. Set candy thermometer in place and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until temperature reaches 300 to 310 degrees (hard-crack stage), 20 to 25 minutes. (Once temperature reaches 220 degrees, it will rise quickly, so watch carefully.) Stir in peanuts.
4. Remove from heat and stir in baking soda (mixture will bubble vigorously); immediately pour onto prepared sheet. With two forks, quickly lift and stretch peanut mixture into 14 by 12 inch rectangle.
5. Cool brittle completely on cookie sheet on wire rack. With hands, break brittle into small pieces. Layer between waxed paper in airtight container. Store at room temperature up to 1 month. Makes about 1 pound.

Seriously, such an easy recipe!!

Rocky Road Fudge

1 (12 oz.) package of semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups miniature marshmallows
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Line a 13 by 9 inch baking pan with foil and grease lightly.
2. Microwave morsels and sweetened condensed milk in large, microwave-safe bowl on high (100 percent) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10 to 20 second intervals, stirring until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract. Fold in marshmallows and nuts.
3. Press mixture into prepared baking pan. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Lift from pan; remove foil and cut into pieces.

So, if you haven't already made cookies for friends and family, or you just want some yummy recipes to try while you are still on Christmas break, then give one of these a try!

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