This issue "Christmas Edition"  
12-12-2011 

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I hope you enjoy the recipes!

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Index
1. Almond Crisps with Amaretto Glazed Almonds
2. Baked Apple Crisp Gift
3. Chocolate Wreath Fudge
4. Christmas Eve Casserole
5. Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole
6. Christmas Morning Strata
7. Eggnog
8. Fudgy Crinkle Cookies
9. Homemade Peppermint Oreos
10. Peaches Foster Glazed Ham
11. Peppermint Swirl Cheesecake
12. Reindeer Fudge
13. Spiced Chocolate Eggnog
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1. Almond Crisps with Amaretto Glazed Almonds

Hey almond lovers! Here is a quick recipe for delicious sugar cookies that pack a huge almond flavor punch in every bite!


Yields: 30

Cooking Time: 9 min

Ingredients
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
1 cup flour
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1/2 cup sugar
1  small egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons Amaretto liqueur
1 cup sugar
powdered sugar, optional
Instructions    
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
        
Melt butter in heavy small skillet over medium heat.
        
Add almonds and Amaretto and stir until almonds are golden brown, about 5 minutes, then cool on paper towels.
        
Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.
        
Sift 1 cup flour with salt into small bowl.
        
Using electric mixer, cream butter with 1/2 cup sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy.
        
Blend in egg and Amaretto. Add flour and mix until dough binds. Dough will be sticky.
        
Divide dough into 30 pieces. Roll each between palms into balls, dusting hands with flour if necessary.
        
Set on baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.
        
Fill small bowl with water. Mound sugar on plate.
        
Dip bottom of 2-1/2" round glass into water and then into sugar. Press glass down onto 1 dough ball, flattening into 2-1/2- to 3-inch round. Repeat with remaining dough.
        
Sprinkle rounds lightly with sugar.
        
Gently press several glazed almond slivers into each round in flower pattern.
        
Bake until edges of cookies are golden brown.  Cool on rack.
        
Just before serving, dust cookies with powdered sugar if desired.
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2. Baked Apple Crisp Gift      
            
This delicious dessert cooks in a Ziploc® VersaGlass™ Container.

This terrific dish can be a treat for your family or a tasty present for a friend. Gift the crisp in a Ziploc® VersaGlass™ Container which can be reused long after the crisp is eaten. Be sure to include our downloadable recipe card that explains how to finish making the crisp.    
                                           
Total Time : 50 minutes
Prep Time : 10 minutes
Bake Time : 35 minutes
Cool Time : 5 minutes
Servings : 6
                                   
           
Ingredients

Filling

5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup apple juice Topping
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup shredded sweetened coconut

Directions
                   
Baked Gift Option


step 1
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large (8-by-8-inch and 3 inches deep) Ziploc® VersaGlass™ Container with 1 Tablespoon of butter; set aside. (Note: You can also use a regular 8-by-8-inch oven-safe glass or metal baking dish.) Cut the remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter into small chunks; set aside.
step 2
To make the filling, add the following ingredients to a large nonstick skillet: cubed apples, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, the nutmeg and ground cloves, 1/4 cup sugar, cranberries and apple juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until slightly softened and syrupy, about 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.
step 3
For the oat topping, combine the remaining 4 Tablespoons of butter with the flour, rolled oats, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, pecans and coconut in a small bowl. Use a pastry cutter or a fork to work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
step 4
Pour the apple mixture into the prepared Ziploc® VersaGlass™ Container and sprinkle the oat topping mixture evenly over the apple filling. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the topping is lightly browned and crispy. Allow the crisp to cool for 5 minutes and then serve warm or at room temperature. You can also cool the crisp completely, cover with the lid and give it as a gift, or refrigerate it for up to 2 days.


           
chef's notes

To serve a refrigerated crisp, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the lid and place the crisp in the oven for 15 minutes or until heated through.

For a special treat, top individual servings of crisp with whipped cream or vanilla or caramel ice cream.

To give as a gift, package the dry ingredients for the filling and the topping separately. For the filling, mix together 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg and ground cloves, 1/4 cup sugar and the cranberries in a Ziploc® Brand Storage Bag with the Smart Zip™ Seal. Label it "Filling." Then for the topping, combine the flour, rolled oats, remaining 1/4cup sugar, remaining 1/2teaspoon cinnamon, the pecans and coconut and transfer the mixture to a second Ziploc® Brand Storage Bag labeled "Topping." Place both bags in an ungreased Ziploc® VersaGlass™ Container along with 4 whole apples and include our downloadable recipe card for instructions on how to assemble and bake the crisp.
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3. Chocolate Wreath Fudge

Not only does this Chocolate Wreath Fudge taste delicious, but it looks beautiful, too. It will add to your table decor until it gets eaten!
Yields: 24 pieces

Chilling Time: 3 hr

Ingredients
2  (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk
1  (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1  (12-ounce) package milk chocolate chips
  Red and green candies to decorate
Instructions    
Coat an 8-inch or 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray.
        
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring sweetened condensed milk to a rolling boil. Remove from heat and add semisweet and milk chocolate chips, stirring until smooth.
        
Cover sweetened condensed milk can with plastic wrap and place in center of cake pan. Pour chocolate mixture in pan around can.
        
Chill 3 to 4 hours, or until firm. Remove can, then remove fudge to a plate.
        
Decorate with your favorite red and green candies to look like a wreath. 

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4. Christmas Eve Casserole

Many breakfast casserole recipes are called christmas morning casseroles, but I like to call this a Christmas Eve Casserole because you make it the night before you enjoy it!

Serves: 12

Cooking Time: 1 hr

Ingredients
24 ounces hot turkey sausage, cooked and drained
3 cups skim milk
3 cups reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
9  eggs or equivalent egg substitute, well beaten
3  slices whole grain bread, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Instructions    
Spray a 9x13-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
        
Mix all ingredients together in baking dish.
        
Refrigerate overnight, or at least 3 hours.
        
Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour.  
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5. Christmas Morning Breakfast Casserole

The perfect way to start Christmas is with a delicious breakfast. This casserole is so easy to make ahead that all you have to do is heat it up on Christmas morning for a warm, flavorful breakfast that the whole family will love.

Cooking Time: 1 hr

Ingredients
16  slices white bread, with crusts removed
16  slices Canadian back bacon or ham
16  slices sharp cheddar cheese
6  eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup green pepper, finely chopped
1  to 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
3 cups whole milk
1  Dash Tabasco (red pepper sauce)
1/4 pound butter
Special K or crushed Corn Flakes
Instructions    
In a 9" x 13" buttered, glass baking dish, put 8 pieces of bread. Add pieces to cover dish entirely.  Cover bread with slices of back bacon, sliced thin.  Lay slices of cheddar cheese on top of bacon and then cover with slices of bread to make it like a sandwich.
        
In a bowl, beat eggs, salt and pepper.  To the egg mixture add dry mustard, onion, green pepper, Worcestershire sauce, milk and Tabasco. Pour over the sandwiches, cover and let stand in fridge overnight.
        
In morning, melt butter, pour over top.  Cover with Special K or crushed Corn Flakes. 
        
Bake, uncovered, 1 hour at 350 degrees F.  Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Notes
Serve this with fresh, cut-up fruit and hot Cinnamon Rolls.
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6. Christmas Morning Strata

Christmas Morning Strata won't only be enjoyed for Christmas morning, because we guarantee you'll want it all-year-round.

Serves: 8


Cooking Time: 3 hr 30 min

Ingredients
1 pound ground pork sausage
6 cups cubed French bread
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
3 cups milk
6  large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Instructions    
Brown sausage in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink; drain well.
        
Place bread cubes in a lightly greased 5-quart slow cooker; sprinkle sausage and cheese over bread.
        
In a medium-bowl, combine milk and remaining 6 ingredients. Pour over bread in slow cooker. Remove insert from slow cooker; cover insert, and chill 8 hours.  Return insert to slow cooker, and let it stand at room temperature 20 minutes.
        
Cover and cook on low setting 3 1/2 hours.

This recipe is from The Best of Mr. Food Cookbook Series © Oxmoor House, Inc. If you would like more recipes like this, click here.
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7. Eggnog

Everyday Food, December 2003                                                                                           
Prep Time 30 minutes                                         
Total Time 1 hour                                                
Yield Serves 6  

Ingredients

4 cups milk
1 1/3 cups sugar
12 large egg yolks
1/2 cup bourbon, (optional)
1 cup chilled heavy cream
Grated nutmeg, (optional)  
                                     

Directions

In medium saucepan, whisk milk and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks. Whisking constantly, pour hot mixture into yolks in a slow and steady stream.
Return mixture to pan; cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, 20 to 25 minutes; do not let simmer. Quickly strain into a bowl. Stir in bourbon, if desired, and cream. Cool completely; cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate until chilled. Garnish with  nutmeg, if desired.
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8. Fudgy Crinkle Cookies

MAKES: 5 dozen cookies                 
PREP TIME:  10 minutes                 
COOK TIME:  12 minutes                                           

           
INGREDIENTS                                                                
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® All Purpose Sticks
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
                       
DIRECTIONS                       
Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

Beat I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!® All Purpose Sticks, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs. Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk until combined. Chill dough 1 hour or until firm.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Grease baking sheets; set aside.

Scoop dough into balls using small ice cream scoop or measuring spoon, then roll in confectioners sugar. Arrange cookies on prepared sheets, 2 inches apart.

Bake 12 minutes or until edges are firm and tops are cracked. Cool on cookie sheets 2 minutes. Remove cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

Nutritional Facts
                                    
Nutrition Information per 2 cookie serving                                            
Calories: 140
Calories from Fat: 35g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Trans Fat: 0g
Total Fat: 3.5g
Cholesterol: 15mg
Sodium: 105mg                                        
Total Carbohydrates: 25g
Sugars: 16g                                        
Dietary Fiber: 1g         
Protein: 2g
Vitamin A: 4%
Vitamin C: 0%
Calcium: 2%
Iron: 4%
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9. Homemade Peppermint Oreos

By: Christy from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Peppermint Oreos are an interestingly delicious twist on homemade Oreo cookies. If you want a new recipe for Oreo cookies, this is definitely one to try. It would make a perfect Christmas cookie too!


Yields: 24
Cooking Time: 10 min

2 boxes Devil's food cake mix
4 eggs
2/3 cup vegetable oil

Frosting:
1 (8ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
sprinkles or crushed candy cane for decorating
green or red food coloring (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the cake mix, eggs, and oil with a mixer. The batter will be very stiff. Pinch of pieces of batter and roll into 1 inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets and flatten slightly with fingertips. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove immediately from the cookie sheets with a spatula and cool on a wire rack.

In a small glass bowl, combine the cream cheese and butter until completely blended. Gradually add in the powdered sugar and peppermint extract and mix until the icing is smooth. Color frosting green or red if desired. Spread half of the cookies with icing and top with remaining cookies.


Roll in sprinkles, crushed candy canes, or just leave them plain.


Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container or resealable plastic bags.  Makes 2 dozen cookies.
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10. Peaches Foster Glazed Ham

Serves: 10

1 (6- to 7-pound) fully-cooked ham
1/4 cup (1/2-stick) butter
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 (16-ounce) cans sliced peaches, drained and cut into inch chunks


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a roasting pan with cooking spray.

2. Place ham in pan and bake 1 hour.

3. In a medium skillet, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat until well mixed and almost caramelized. Stir in the peaches; mix well. Remove the ham from the oven and pour the glaze over the entire ham.

4. Bake for 25 to 30 more minutes. Remove from pan and place on a serving platter. Carve at the table and serve with warm glaze from the pan.

Notes

Sliced thinly, the leftovers make great sandwiches. If you'd like your sauce to be sweet and spicy, add 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce when you add the peaches.
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11. Peppermint Swirl Cheesecake
(from
Mr. Food Christmas Made Easy Cookbook)


Serves 6 to 8  

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
6 drops red food color
1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust
Whipped cream and miniature candy canes for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat well. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well.

3. Place 1/2 cup cream cheese mixture in a small bowl and stir in peppermint extract and red food color; mix well. Pour remaining cream cheese mixture into pie crust.

4. Drop peppermint cream cheese mixture by spoonfuls into cream cheese mixture and swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.

5. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges are firm (the center will be slightly loose).

6. Allow to cool 1 hour then cover and chill at least 6 hours before serving.

Make it holiday-festive: Garnish each slice of cheesecake with a dollop of whipped cream or whipped topping and a miniature candy cane.
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12. Reindeer Fudge

Serves: 8

1-1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter
4-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk

1. Coat a 9-inch glass pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter and butter. Microwave at 80% power for 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Remove from microwave and add remaining ingredients; mix well then press into pie plate.
Microwave at 80% power for another minute.

4. Chill in refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or until firm. Remove and cut into eight wedges. Wrap each piece in clear cellophane and decorate to look like a reindeer, as shown. It’s fun and really easy!
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13. Spiced Chocolate Eggnog

Inspired by traditional Mexican flavors, this eggnog pairs bittersweet chocolate with just a pinch of hot chile. The drink can be made a day in advance. Use the time right before serving the eggnog to make hot churros for a unique garnish.

Martha Stewart Living, December 2008                                                                                                                                             
Yield Serves 12   

Ingredients

2 quarts whole milk, plus more if needed
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod reserved
4 cinnamon sticks
12 egg yolks
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
3 ounces milk chocolate, melted
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/4 cups brandy (optional)
Whole nutmeg, for garnish
Cayenne pepper, for sprinkling   
                                     
Directions

Heat 2 quarts milk, the sugar, salt, vanilla seeds and pod, and cinnamon sticks in a large pot over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves and mixture is heated through. Remove from heat. Let stand for 30 minutes.

Prepare an ice-water bath. Whisk yolks in a medium bowl until pale, about 2 minutes. Whisk 1 cup of milk mixture into yolks in a slow, steady stream. Whisk yolk mixture into remaining milk mixture. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 6 minutes. (Do not boil.)

Remove pot from heat, add melted bittersweet and milk chocolates, and stir until incorporated. Discard vanilla pod and cinnamon sticks. Pour mixture into a large bowl set in ice-water bath, and let cool, stirring often.

Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Pour cooled eggnog into a large serving bowl, and add brandy if using. (Add more milk to eggnog if necessary to reach desired consistency.) Top with whipped cream. Grate nutmeg over top, and sprinkle sparingly with cayenne. Serve immediately with churros on the side if desired.
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Twelve Days of Cookies!
 
DAY 7: Sugar Cookies
DAY 11: Mocha Crinkles

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