Wanted to share the list of sweets and treats we made for the holidays this year... Unfortunately I neglected to take photo of everything, but at least you can get the recipes if you want them (and next year I can look back and remember exactly what I made!)
White Chocolate Fudge with Pecans
This is a recipe I found on the Ghiradelli website. It's very easy, very tasty, and makes quite a few pieces of fudge! (I think this was my Dad's favorite this year- I found him poking around in the tin of fudge quite frequently!)
I've made this Martha Stewart recipe for caramels with gingerbread flavoring (molasses, ginger, cinnamon) 4 or 5 years in a row now. And every year I complain about the most tedious part- wrapping each one individually in squares of foil or waxed paper. This year's batch came out somewhat softer than usual- I must have been off in my cooking temperature by a couple of degrees. They're not sticky, but certainly aren't holding their shape as well as they did in past years. This recipe makes more than 100 candies.
If you decide to try them out (really, it's pretty easy - the hardest part is honestly wrapping them - which isn't really hard, just time consuming. I recommend a LARGE glass of wine for this step) use the LARGEST pot you have as it does boil up quite a bit. I think this year was the first time I actually took my own advice (penciled onto the recipe last year) and used our largest pasta pot , which makes it the first year that I didn't panic halfway through and frantically pour molten sugar from one pot into a larger one...
I think I used a Martha Stewart recipe for these. They were fine- nothing special. We decorated them, and about 20 minutes into decorating swore we'd never bother decorating cookies again as neither Paul nor I have the patience for it.
Candied Ginger Shortbread
These, I think, are my favorite cookies. They're a Martha Stewart recipe that I've made for several years now. The only thing I do differently is that I roll the dough into a log and slice it into rounds- you get more cookies out of the recipe than if you bake it in wedges like she suggests. They're yummy, butter shortbread with chopped up candied ginger, ground ginger, and pepper added to the mix.... A little savory and a little sweet!
Peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. I'd never heard of these before I met Paul, but knew I'd fit right into the family when he told me they were a tradition for his family at Christmas time. After all, peanut butter + chocolate = my favorite combo ever!
In past years we've used his mom's recipe, which makes a TON of buckeyes and uses a TON of sugar and butter. This year we tried a version from the Smitten Kitchen blog (a fantastic blog with fabulously yummy recipes!) that uses less butter and sugar and adds crushed graham cracker to the mix. The recipe makes less than our old recipe, and they're not quite as sweet. We've decided this will probably be our go-to recipe in the future, and Paul's mother even asked us for a copy!
These are tasty- the recipe was easy, made a lot of candies, and they taste just like York Peppermint Patties. Will I make them again next year? Eh. Maybe. If someone requests them.
This is a recipe from Ming Tsai, which adds dried Thai chiles to the marmalade. It didn't turn out very spicy, but it's delicious. We used some one night to make a version of orange chicken which was very tasty!
This is the second year in a row that I've made Paula Deen's pepper jelly. As you can see from the photo I had a little trouble during the canning process- all of the pepper bits floated to the top before it set up into jelly. It's still tasty though. Yum yum yum! Delicious on crackers with cream cheese!
When I saw this recipe featured on the Tasty Kitchen website, I knew I had to try it. It calls for 3 pounds of jalapeno peppers- I think I used about 2 1/4 pounds. People at the grocery store were looking at me like I was NUTS as I completely filled one of those plastic produce bags with peppers.
We just opened the first jar on New Year's Eve and boy, is this some yummy stuff! Like the pepper jelly these candied jalapenos are delicious on crackers with cream cheese but are also great on sandwiches. And the syrup that they're cooked in is very tasty brushed onto grilled meat....
Gingerbread Cake with Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce
To sum this up in two words: HOLY MOLY! Paul actually chose this cake recipe and made it for Christmas dinner. It's a recipe from Emeril and is the moistest, most scrumptious cake ever. Seriously- you have to try this. Even the non-gingerbread lovers at the table loved this cake.
The original recipe calls for a Spiced Creme Anglais Sauce, but we realized at the last minute that we were out of ground cinnamon and ginger (used it all up in the cake I think). I ran to the internet and pulled up Pioneer Woman's Whiskey Maple Cream Sauce, hoping we had all the ingredients. We did, and the sauce was amazing (she made this sauce when she was on the Thanksgiving Feast: Throwdown with Bobby Flay episode on the Food Network). I HIGHLY recommend both of these recipes....
So there's the run-down of our sweets and treats this past holiday season. There are definitely a few on this list that I'll be revisiting long before the holidays roll around next year!