Everyone loves the smell of cookies baking in the oven and pies cooling on the counter, what goodies will you be making for your dessert table this Christmas? Here are a few suggestions of some tried and true dessert recipes. First we will start with the cookies, this can be a great way to spend a snowy day with your children, and they will love to help you bake. A favorite Christmas cookie is the Sugar Cut-out cookie they are easy to make and lots of fun to decorate, here is a recipe for them from the food network, I use it every year and they turn out great.
4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4-cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Colored Icing, recipe to follow
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a bowl, stir together flour and baking powder. In another bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy and light. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, a third at a time to make stiff dough. Divide dough into 4 pieces. Roll out a portion of cookie dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Place on lightly greased or nonstick cookie sheets. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minute, rotating baking sheet halfway through cooking time. Cool completely on pans about 5 minutes, transfer to cooling racks and cool completely before decorating.
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons water
3 to 4 drops food coloring, plus more as needed
Colored sprinkles, optional
In a small bowl, mix sugar and water to form a thick, smooth icing. Stir in food coloring to reach desired shade. Drop icing onto cookies using a small teaspoon and smooth with the back of the spoon. Make additional bowls for additional colors.
Additional multi-colored sprinkles can be added on top of icing before it dries for more decorative cookies, if desired.
Next a Family Favorite is the Peanut butter Blossoms.
48 Hershey’s Kisses
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup creamy Peanut Butter (I always use Jiff but you can use whichever type your family prefers)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups flour
1-teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Heat oven to 375°F. Remove wrappers from chocolates. Hide them or there won’t be any left when you need them.
2. Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended. Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and the brown sugar; beat until fluffy. Add egg, milk and vanilla; mix well. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; slowly beat into peanut butter mixture.
3. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in granulated sugar, I use sugar thats been colored red and green, place on ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Immediately press a chocolate into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around the edges. Remove from cookie sheet .Place on rack to cool . This recipe will make about 4 dozen cookies.
What dessert table wouldn’t be perfect without some delicious pies? These can be the traditional pumpkin and pecan or you can add a few new ones to the bunch. Here is a great recipe for a easy Chocolate Mousse pie
1 Oreo pie crust (pre-made from store)
2 boxes instant chocolate pudding
1 tub of cool whip
Chocolate chips to garnish
Mix up pudding according to box for pie, with half the tub of cool whip with mixer.
Put into crust then cover with remaining cool whip.
Add chocolate chips on top to garnish and refrigerate till ready to serve.
You might want to consider making two of these they usually go fast.
The next dessert is for a Low Carb pumpkin Cheesecake; this would be great for your guests that are watching their weight.
Low Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake
Butter – enough to grease the pie pan
1/2 cup of ground nuts (I prefer pecans, you can probably use any nut)
1/2 tsp Splenda
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2-tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2-tsp pumpkin pie spice mix
Heavily grease the bottom and sides of pie pan.
Mix together nuts, 1/2 tsp Splenda and cinnamon
Place nut mixture into greased pie pan and swirl it around to coat the bottom and sides of pan.
Pour out any nut mixture that doesn’t stick, set pan aside.
Beat the cream cheese, Splenda, and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed.
Add eggs and beat until well blended.
Separate out one cup of batter and mix it with the pumpkin and spice.
Pour plain batter into the nut crust
Top with pumpkin batter.
Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes or until center is almost set.
Here is a great recipe for Peanut butter Fudge this can be made and placed in tins to store or given for gifts.
Peanut butter fudge
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup of evaporated milk
Few grains of salt
3/4 cup of mini marshmallows
Heaping cup of peanut butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Cook sugar, butter, milk, and salt to soft ball stage (234-238 degrees F). Add marshmallows and peanut butter and immediately remove from heat. Do not stir. Cool to room temperature. Add vanilla. Beat until mixture is creamy, thick, and will hold its shape when dropped from a teaspoon. Pour into well-buttered shallow pan. Cut in squares.
Another great candy recipe is the Oreo Balls They are great in tins and given as gifts as well.
1 20 oz package Oreo’s (crushed)
1 8 oz package cream cheese (softened)
1 package White Almond Bark
Combine crushed Oreos and cream cheese.
Shape into balls
Refrigerate to harden or 15 to 20 minutes in freezer
Dip balls in melted almond bark
Put on metal cookie sheet
Refrigerate to harden
You may want to include some different types of beverages to go with the desserts; here are some that will go great with all the Christmas goodies.
Sweet Hot Buttered rum
2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 pinch salt
3 sticks cinnamon
4 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups rum
Put all ingredients, except the rum and cream, and nutmeg into crock pot. Add 2 quarts hot water. Stir well. Cover; cook on low for 5 hours. Stir in rum. Top individual servings with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg.
Another Christmas Favorite is Hot cocoa
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups milk
Blend cocoa and sugar in a small bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat milk to scalding. Mix about 1/3 cup of the hot milk into the cocoa-sugar mixture, then pour cocoa mixture into hot milk in the saucepan; stir until well blended. Stir in vanilla. Serve with mini marshmallows and a candy cane dipped in the cup. 4 servings
These recipes along with all your family favorites will make a great dessert table at your Christmas dinner. You could also have the entire guest bring their favorite dessert and everyone can try new recipes.