Bake These Holiday Treats!

Every year, right after Thanksgiving, mom and writer Amanda Formaro fills her grocery cart with ingredients for the delectable goodies that will fill her kitchen with wonderful smells. It's the time of year when she bakes, and bakes, and bakes some more. Here are the recipes for some of her favorite holiday goodies.
Amanda Formaro

Cookie tin treats
Every Christmas for the past eight years I have made several types of homemade goodies, wrapped them carefully and sent them on their merry way. Some go to relatives, others to neighbors and some to friends.

Start with cookie tins that you saved from last year. What? You didn't save them? Never fear, most discount department stores carry these items and they are reasonably priced. You can also get them at thrift stores and from garage sales throughout the year.

What you will need:

  • Cookie tins -- varied sizes and shapes are fine
  • Color plastic wrap -- red, green, yellow or clear
  • Tissue paper -- white is fine, or use green or red with clear plastic wrap
  • Satin ribbon or bows

    After making each recipe and your kitchen is stacked full of goodies (completely cooled of course), then start wrapping bundles of treats. Using the color plastic wrap, place 2-3 treats in the center and gather the ends at the top.

    Finish it by securing each bundle with a ribbon. Line each cookie tin with tissue paper, flare out the edges for a decorative look. Then carefully place the goodies into the cookie tins, fold the edges of the tissue paper carefully over the top of the treats and secure with cookie tin lid. Adorn the top with a colorful bow.

    Irresistable Peanut Butter Cookies
    Ingredients:
    1/2 cup all vegetable shortening
    3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    1 1/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
    3 Tablespoons milk
    1 Tablespoon vanilla
    1 egg
    1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda

    Directions:
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place sheets of foil on countertop for cooling cookies. Combine shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl. Beat with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add egg. Beat just until blended.

    Combine flour, salt and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended. Drop by heaping teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet. Flatten slightly in crisscross pattern with tines of fork.

    Bake for 7 to 8 minutes, or until set and just beginning to brown. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Cool two minutes on baking sheet. Remove cookies to foil to cool completely.

    Mom's Peanut Brittle
    Ingredients:
    1 cup sugar
    1/2 cup light corn syrup
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 cup water
    1 cup shelled raw peanuts
    2 Tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
    1 teaspoon baking soda

    HINT: Have all the ingredients for this recipe measured out and ready. This recipe requires that you react quickly and you do not have time to be measuring in between steps.

    Directions:
    Grease large cookie sheet. In a heavy two quart saucepan over medium heat, heat to boiling sugar, corn syrup, salt and water, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peanuts. Set candy thermometer in place and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until temperature reaches 300 degrees F or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water separates into hard and brittle threads.

    Remove from heat; immediately stir in butter or margarine and baking soda; pour at once onto cookie sheet.

    With two forks, lift and pull peanut mixture into rectangle about 14" by 12". Cool. With hands, snap candy into small pieces.PregnancyAndBaby.com

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