December 12, 2003 at 11:57 a.m.
Let’s make some wonderful Christmas gifts in our kitchen today and in the next couple of weeks.
Do you like giving ornaments as a Christmas gift? Here’s a wonderful “make-it-yourself” idea for a chocolate lover.
8 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
3-4 T unsalted butter (no substitute)
2 T. Grand Marnier run or any liqueur or flavoring (mint extract is good)
Decorations: golden raisins, candied cherries (red and green), blanched slivered almonds, whole hazelnuts (filberts), silver nonpareils (like bebes)
12 6-inch pieces of 1/8 inch double sided satin ribbon or 1/4 inch curling ribbon, color of your choice
Line a large baking sheet (or two) with waxed paper. Put chips in the top pan of a double boiler over simmering water on very low heat. Cover and keep hot until chocolate is melted. Uncover and stir in butter and flavoring.
Working very quickly, spoon the mixture into a pastry tube fitted with a medium star point, and pipe thick wreath-shaped circles about 2-3 inches in diameter onto the lined baking sheet. Decorate with the fruit, nuts, non-pareils or cinnamon candies.
Put in fridge for one hour or until firm. Carefully peel wreaths from paper. Loop a ribbon through the center and tie a bow or knot on end.
Store wreaths between layers of waxed paper in the fridge or a cool place but DO NOT FREEZE. Will keep several weeks refrigerated.
Use wreaths to decorate Christmas packages or take them along to a tree trimming party––if you don’t eat them first.
Do you have a friend who has a dog that you just adore, and adore even more because he/she belongs to your friend? I bet if you bring the “doggie in the window” a treat at Christmas time it will be your friend forever.
1-3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. cornmeal
1/2 c. uncooked quick oats
1/4 c. rye kernels (available at health food stores)
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. salt
3 T. liver powder (available at health food stores)
1/2 c. meat drippings (from bacon, hamburger etc.) or butter, margarine or shortening
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 c. beef or chicken bouillon
Combine first seven ingredients in a large bowl. Add drippings or fat. Blend until mixture resembles oatmeal. Mix in egg and enough bouillon to form a ball.
Knead dough for 1-2 minutes; roll out on a floured board to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into bone-shaped cookies free hand or with a cookie cutter (find a cutter at a kitchen shop).
Put biscuits on an oiled baking sheet. Prick biscuits with a fork two times to make a line down the middle. Reroll scraps and make more until all dough is used. Bake biscuits at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Makes 10 biscuits.
If you have ever wondered what the children who were “nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads” were dreaming about, here is one version.
1/2 c. dried apricots
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1/4 c. dried figs
1/4 c. golden raisins
1/4 c. sweetened grated coconut
2 T. orange liqueur (Grand Marnier or Cointreau or orange extract)
1/4 c. sugar
Finely chop first five ingredients by hand or in a food processor. Blend chopped ingredients together and moisten with orange liqueur.
Shape mixture into 1-inch balls, pressing gently to make sure ingredients stay packed together. Roll each in sugar. Store in airtight containers in the fridge, with waxed paper between layers. Sugar plums will keep for a month.
I am a hot fudge freak and have tried several recipes which have not really satisfied my taste buds. I finally found this recipe and it is “mwah” . . . if that’s a word. I hide the sauce in the fridge so no one else eats it. And, it makes a wonderful gift, along with a gift certificate for ice cream to wherever it is the recipient buys ice cream.
HOT FUDGE SAUCE
3 oz. unsalted butter
6 oz. (6 squares) unsweetened baking chocolate
1 c. boiling water
1 c. sugar
1/3 c. light corn syrup
2 t. vanilla
In a heavy saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over very low heat. Add water, sugar and syrup. Stir to blend. Gently boil, without stirring, 8-10 minutes until it is very thick and smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour hot fudge into sterilized jars. It will keep, covered and refrigerated for several months. Believe me––it’ll never last that long!
NOTE: You may flavor the sauce with other extracts or liqueurs such as mint extract, Grand Marnier, Kirsch, rum, creme de menthe or creme de cacao. Not only is it awesome on vanilla ice cream, you can put a dollop on pound cake, meringues or puddings.
To use as a gift, put it in a pretty jar with a white doily hat and tie on an ice cream scoop to the lid.
Makes 3 cups of sauce.
Thought for the day: What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?
NOTE: We invite you to drive out to our home to take in our display of lights again this year. You won’t be disappointed.
Directions: 1-1/2 miles south of D.Q. on Olinda Trail to Glader Blvd., turn left 1.3 miles, left .6 miles (or 8.5 miles north of #97 in Scandia, on Olinda Trail, to Glader, turn right 1.3 miles, turn left .6 miles).
Come to the hill to see a little more, knock on the door and we’ll have hot cider or coffee. We light from 5-9:30 p.m.
Alice & Bud