I found this recipe a very long time ago, altered it slightly, and have been making it every year at Christmas. It's one of my most favorite cookie recipes.
2-1/3 c all-purpose flour
2/3 c packed light brown sugar
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
12-oz package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c coarsely chopped nuts (I use pecans)
1 can (12 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1-3/4 c English toffee bits (I use Heath bars, chopped up in my food processor)
Preheat oven: 350*. Grease 13x9x2" baking pan (glass or metal). In a small bowl, combine the chocolate chips and nuts; set aside. In a large bowl, stir flour, brown sugar. Cut in butter with pastry knife until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add egg, mix well. Stir in 1-1/c of the chip-nut mixture. This will be the crust mixture. Reserve 1-1/2 c of the crust mixture in a small bowl; set aside.
Press remaining crust mixture onto the bottom of the baking dish, trying to get it spread evenly on the bottom. Bake for 10 minutes.
Pull out of oven, pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over hot crust. Top with 1-1/2 c toffee bits. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture and remaining chip-nut mixture over top. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.
Pull out of oven, sprinkle remaining toffee bits on top. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Makes about 36 bars, depending on how big you cut them. When storing them, make sure you put a sheet of waxed paper between each layer of cookies.
My husband's maternal great-grandmother made these by the basketful at Christmastime.
In a heavy saucepan, combine:
2 c sugar
1-1/2 c light corn syrup
2 sticks butter (unsalted)
1/2 pint heavy cream
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
Cook and stir over medium heat to firm ball stage (use a candy thermometer for this) -- 245 F, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Pour into a buttered 9x9 pan. Cool and cut into squares. Wrap each square in wax paper.
This cake has been a traditional cake in my family for about 28 years. I cannot remember where I found the recipe, but I've altered it a bit here and there. I hope your family likes it as much as mine. I always make this on December 23 and have it on Christmas Day. The two days gives it time to meld all the flavors together and age a bit. Store in a cake carrier in the refrigerator until ready to slice and eat. Give it time, though, as it's better at room temperature.
3-1/2 c sifted cake flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 c pecans, chopped
1/2 c dried cranberries, lightly chopped
1 c butter (unsalted), at room temperature
1-1/2 c sugar
4 large eggs
1-1/4 c buttermilk
2 tsp orange extract
grated zest of 3 oranges (or 5 tbl)
Grease and flour a Bundt cake pan, or use a baking spray. Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350*.
Sift together: flour, baking soda, salt. Set aside. Combine pecans and cranberries in bowl and toss with 1/4 c of the flour mixture. Set aside.
In large bowl of electric mixer, cream together butter and sugar until very light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each.
With mixer on low, add flour mixture to egg/sugar mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Beat in the orange extract. Stir in grated zest and nut-current mixture.
Spoon into pans. Bake 55-60 minutes. Toothpick test.
5 tbl butter (unsalted), room temperature
3 c sifted confectioners sugar, divided into 1 c portions
3 tbl orange juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp orange extract
1 tbl grated orange zest
3 tbl of peeled orange zest (long peelings)
In large bowl of mixer, cream butter until creamy and smooth. Add 1 c of confectioners sugar at a time, alternating with a tablespoon of orange juice, lemon juice, and orange extract. Stir in the zest. Store in refrigerator unless cake is cool and ready to be decorated.
When cake is completely cool, use a small spatula to put the icing on the cake, on each side and top, and in the center. Use a smaller spatula to make swirls in the icing. Put the long orange zest peelings on the top of the cake in a pretty way. Enjoy!
As soon as the leaves begin to turn, my kids ask me to bake these. Pumpkin Chip Muffins are a staple in my house, particularly for breakfast on Thanksgiving morning (made the night before).
2 c. flour
2c. light brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree (NOT "pumpkin pie mix")
2 c. chocolate chips (your choice, semi-sweet or milk chocolate. I find the regular size works better instead of the mini chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, mix together oil, pumpkin and eggs. Make a well in dry ingredients and stir in pumpkin mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon into muffin tins lined with paper cups. Fill to top. Bake 15-20 minutes for mini muffins, and 20-25 minutes for the regular muffin size. Cool on racks.
TIP: Once you put the muffin paper cups in the tins, spray the tin and the papers lightly with spray olive oil. It will make clean-up of the tins easier and the muffins will come out of the papers easier, too.
Cranberry Relish is a staple at my Thanksgiving table. I usually serve it in a decorative jelly bowl with a petite spoon. The effect is rather elegant. This is a great dish for older kids to make.
One 12-oz package fresh cranberries (approx. 3 cups)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
2 tsp. grated orange zest (preferably fresh)
1/3 c. orange juice
Wash the cranberries and pick through them, discarding any blemished ones. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then immediately turn it down to a simmer. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat until the cranberries pop open and the relish is thickened, approximately 7-10 minutes.
Let cool and serve, but it's much better if refrigerated for up to 2 days.
Yield: About 2-1/2 cups