Baking for the Holiday Gifts Packages

It’s getting to be that time to start thinking about what baked goods I’m going to make to add the the Christmas Gift Packages this year…my jams and soap are all made, now I have to figure out which cookies and candy to make.

I think I’ve decided on Peppermint Bark, Gingersnaps, Peanut Brittle, and Pecan Snowballs (or Russian Tea Cookies).

So….what is your favorite cookies/candy to make to give out during the Holidays?

DARK CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT BARK

This is a real easy recipe…I make them in small batches on jelly roll cookie tins lined with parchment paper.

Ingredients: one bag of your favorite Dark Chocolate Chips, one bag of White Chocolate Chips or White Chocolate Bar, a box of small Candy Canes…smashed.

In a double boiler (or you can use a large 6 cup glass measuring cup in a pan of water) melt your dark chocolate and then spread over the parchment paper. Melt the white chocolate and pour over the dark chocolate layer. Sprinkle on the crushed candy canes and lightly press into the chocolate. Place in the freezer…when cold, pick it up and give it a whack like you would making Peanut Brittle.

GRANDMA McDONALD’S PEANUT BRITTLE
Mix together in a large pot the following and bring the mixture to 240F (this is high altitude degrees)…250F for lowlanders.
3 Cups Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 Cup White Syrup

Add 1-1/2 pounds of Raw Peanuts and STIR CONSTANTLY to 290F (high altitude degrees)…300F for lowlanders, then take off heat.

➡ NOTE!!!! ❗ You’ll have to have your lipped cookie tin buttered and ready to go NEXT to you for this next step…OK? Are you LISTENING?! Get your tin READY! And get two ready, just in case. 😀

Stir in:
1/4 tsp of salt
1 TBSP butter
1 tsp vanilla
1-1/2 tsp Baking Soda
(the reason to have that tin all buttered up and right next to you! Bah-WOOSH goes the mixture!)

Spread mixture onto the greased cookie tin and let cool. Break when cooled.

GINGERSNAP COOKIES

2/3 C Canola Oil
1 C sugar
1 egg
4 TBSP Molasses
2 C flour
2 tsp soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ginger
sugar for dipping

Mix oil with sugar, add egg and beat well. Stir in molasses. Sift dry ingredients together and add to egg/molasses mixture. Form balls ~ drop and roll in sugar. Bake in a 350F oven for 10-15 minutes (depends on if you want them soft or crunchy…I like them sorta hard on the outside and chewy on the inside so I take them out around 10 minutes).

These freeze very well.

PECAN SNOWBALLS ~ or Russian Tea Cookies

1 Cup softened Butter (no substitutes!)
1/2 Cup powdered Sugar
1 tsp pure Vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
1-3/4 Cup Flour
3/4 Cups finely chopped Pecans

In a large mixing bowl, mix butter and sugar until well blended, about 1 minute. Add vanilla and salt. Stir in flour on low speed until combined, add in nuts. You can place in refrig for an hour for dough to set/blend flavors.

Heat oven to 325F and then roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet (I use parchment paper). Bake for 10-12 minutes, firm to the touch but not brown. Do not over bake. While still warm, roll cookies into extra powdered sugar and cool.

These freeze very well.