Monday, December 9, 2013

Holiday Treats and Delights

  Celebrating great times during the holiday season creates so much fun with all of the fanciful desserts and treats that we love to dive back into for second and third helpings. It is also a great time for trying out new recipes. Then we can in turn invite family and friends over to share our new discoveries. Here are some fun holiday dessert recipes to try. They look really delectable! Don't you agree? The Christmas holiday season has a way of skipping the diet and adding on a few extra pounds.. O.K... maybe just for the holidays!

Kisses Candy Cane Blossoms
48 Hershey’s Kisses Candy Cane Mint Candies
½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all- purpose flour
14 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
Red or green sugar crystals, granulated sugar or powdered sugar.
Heat oven to 350 F. Remove wrappers from candies.
Beat butter, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Stir
Together  flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with milk to butter mixture, beating
Until well blended.
Shape dough into 1- inch balls. Roll in red sugar, granulated sugar, powdered sugar or a combination of any of the sugars. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookie is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press a candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. About 4 dozen cookies.

                                                          Hazelnut Crunch
1 ½ cups sugar
1 cup water
½ cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup dark corn syrup
2 ½ cups coarsely chopped toasted hazelnuts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Line a heavy baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir the sugar, water, light corn syrup, and dark corn syrup in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and boil without stirring until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and boil without stirring until a candy thermometer registers 260 degrees F, or about 20 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium-low. Mix the hazelnuts, butter, and salt (the mixture will be thick and nutty), and cook until the thermometer registers 295 degrees F, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Quickly stir in the baking soda. Immediately pour the caramel onto the prepared baking sheet, spreading it as thinly as possible. Let stand until hard. Break the brittle into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature. If desired, serve over your favorite ice cream.

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