Sunday, December 21, 2008

A good day to be in the kitchen

One batch of toffee; check.
One batch of Rich & Chewy Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies; check.
One batch of fudge; check.
One batch of snickerdoodles; check.

It's been the perfect day to stay at home and bake/make goodies, viewing the icy whiteness from hearthside, so to speak. When a mix of freezing rain and snow started falling this afternoon, I switched into high gear, hoping to finish all my projects before the power went out. The power quit once with loads in washer and dishwasher and cookies in the oven, but came right back on and has stayed on since. Once I get this posted and take a shower, that snow- and ice-laden tree (or twenty) can go ahead and fall on the power lines down the road!

Rick is going to be my "little" Christmas elf and drop off a couple plates of goodies for the neighbors on his way to work tomorrow morning. It doesn't look like Brian and I will be venturing out in the Honda any time soon, and the snow is up over the tops of our boots. So we will stay home and do homeschool and violin practice, maybe make another recipe or two, play Uno, and keep the woodstove stoked.

Below are the recipes I used today. Everyone probably has a Snickerdoodles recipe, but just in case, I didn't want to leave it out. Enjoy (while I go hit the treadmill)!

(from the "Stir Ups" cookbook of the Junior Welfare League of Enid, OK)
1 lb. butter
1/4 cup water
2 cups sugar
6 oz. pecans, chopped (I used roasted, salted almonds; many times I omit nuts)
10 3/4 oz. milk chocolate bar (I always use semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Spread nuts in jelly roll pan. Break apart chocolate bar and set aside. Cook butter, water and sugar, stirring constantly, until 300 degrees. (Mixture will be a rich caramel color - but use thermometer.) Pour over nuts. Sprinkle chocolate on top. Spread with spatula when soft. Cool completely and break into pieces.

Rich & Chewy Cranberry White Chocolate Cookies
(origin not noted)
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon each salt, cinnamon, baking soda
1 cup each dried cranberries, white chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts or pecans

Mix in the usual way and bake 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Easiest Fudge
(found on the internet; really good!)
3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I prefer walnuts)

Carefully melt chocolate chips and butter in microwave. Stir in vanilla and condensed milk and stir until smooth and glossy. Stir in nuts and spread in greased 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Cool and cut into delectable pieces.

(my friend Debbie's recipe)
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix in the usual order, then roll balls of dough in a mixture cinnamon and sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for nine minutes.

That's it for now from . . .


shadow mountain jacobs farm said...

It all looks really good. I bet your house smells great. Will you add a scratch and sniff link to your blog for all your wonderful goodies?

Vegemommy said...

Yay, I've been looking for a good fudge recipe. My last batch bombed. And..I love toffee! I'll definetely have to try that recipe. Thanks for sharing.

Becky Utecht said...

Oh toffee, my favorite! I'll be making some this week for sure.

Laura said...

The cran. cookies look yummy! Thanks for sharing the recipes.


Kathleen said...

No fair. I think I gained 10 pounds just reading this post. I WANT FUDGE. NEED FUDGE. I think I need to get myself to the supermarket post haste for ingredients.

Sharrie said...

I'd love to be snowed in at your house.

clink said...

Michelle --- I needed a "goodie" for my husband's work snack event for tomorrow. Thank you for posting the recipe for the fudge. I had everything in the house -- no trip to town and the recipe was super simple. Thank you! I needed that tonight!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

So glad to have helped a little, Clink! Hope you got a piece, too. :-)

MiniKat said...

Those all look so incredibly good! I might have to try a couple of them out on my husband's office-mates.

Lois said...

How I wish that I were even remotely near a kitchen this year...I would love to be baking...sigh. The toffee and the cranberry cookies look especially wonderful!!! Ymmmm...glad that you shared the recipes ;-)

MiniKat said...

It's official. The cran-white chocolate cookies rock! I just baked two batches of them. Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. Merry Christmas! :-)

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Thanks, MiniKat! So glad you like them! Merry Christmas!

Kim Nikolai said...

Hey Michelle!
I tried your toffee recipe this weekend and it didn't quite turn out for me. I did use a thermometer and got it up to 300 degrees but it failed to harden up. Could it be that it was missing some corn syrup? I found other recipes online that included it. Yours looked so yummy!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Kim, I've made this toffee for years and never had it fail, even when I haven't used a thermometer, so I don't know what to tell you! I certainly wouldn't add corn syrup if I were you. The butter (REAL butter!), sugar and water should do it.

Kim Nikolai said...

Well, I did use real butter that I get from a dairy farm. I wonder if it could be because it wasn't homogonized or pasturized.... It didn't get hard. It's the first time I've tried to make candy with it. Oh well, it still tastes good even though it doesn't crunch!