Sunday, December 18, 2005

Wandering Coyote's Christmas Faves

I'll be leaving tomorrow for my Christmas vacation with my family. I thought I'd post some of my favourite Christmas recipes for you to check out. I don't know if I'll make any of them while away, but if you try them, let me know how they turn out! In the meantime, I wish all my readers a holiday time full of good food, good fun, and good fellowship.

Christmas for me always meant having special things we never had at any other time of the year. The following two recipes were made by my mother every year, only at this time of year. I looked forward to Christmas because I loved these two particular items. They're very simple but very good.

Creamy Salmon Spread

1 can drained red salmon
1 package cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 small onion, grated
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp horseradish
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 or 2 drops tobasco sauce
salt & pepper

Directions.

Combine.

How hard is that?

Cheese Ball

8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
8 oz medium or sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 small grated onion
1 clove garlic, crushed

Directions

Mix well. Roll into a ball and roll the ball in some chopped nuts. Or, press it into a bowl.

Got it?

Christmas Chip Cookies

I can't remember where I got this recipe, but it was during my time in Ottawa. These are really good. I bought the Christmas (i.e. red and green) M&Ms or Smarties at Bulk Barn.

1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 cups M&Ms or Smarties

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg, milk, and vanilla and beat until fluffy. Sift in the dry ingredients and combine. Add the M&Ms or Smarties until mixed in. Drop onto cookie sheet and bake 8 - 10 minutes for chewy cookies or 11 - 13 minutes for crisp cookies.

Two-Tone Chocolate Shortbread

This came from the 1998 Bakefest insert that comes in Canadian Living. I love these little booklets and get lot of great recipes from them. In fact, I look forward to the Christmas edition of Canadian Living just for the Bakefest booklet!

1 cup softened butter (DON'T use margarine, for crying out loud! This is shortbread!)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 oz (or 2 squares) semi sweet chocolate, melted

1. In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Sift together flour and cornstarch. Beat into butter mixture until just mixed.
2. In a 9" square baking pan, drop half of dough in small portions, scattering randomly. Combine melted chocolate with remaining dough. Drop small chocolate portions in between white dough portions in pan. Press top lightly to flatten.
3. Bake at 300F for 25 minutes or until firm to touch in centre. Let cool and cut into squares or bars. These also freeze very well.

Nanaimo Bars

Okay - I definitely only make these at Christmas because they are so decadent and having them around the house at any other time of the year is just not a good plan. These are one of my absolute favourite food items ever! This particular recipe comes from Canadian Living magazine.

Base:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, beaten

- In a bowl, stir together all ingredients. Press into a 13x9" pan, greased or parchment-lined. Bake at 350F until firm, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. Like, completely, eh? As in cold.

Filling:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup custard powder (like Bird's)
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk

In a large bowl, beat the butter, custard powder and vanilla until light and creamy. Alternately beat in icing sugar and milk in two additions of each. Spread over COOLED base. Refrigerate for one hour or until cold.

Topping:
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp butter

- Melt chocolate and butter in a bain marie, i.e. in a bowl over a saucepan of hot, not boiling water. Spread over filling. Refrigerate until almost set. With the tip of a sharp knife, score into bars. Refrigerate until the chocolate is set. Cut into bars along lines. (NB: if this isn't working neatly, use a hot knife. Put hot water into a pitcher and dip the knife in, then cut the bar. Repeat, wiping off the knife with a clean cloth or papertowels.)

Enjoy, everyone! See you in the New Year!

4 comments:

Caroline said...

If I get around to any baking I'll try some of these!

thanks

ann said...

happy new year!

Tania said...

Mmm, I love salmon ... and this salmon spread sounds particularly wonderful and a cinch to make!

Ivonne said...

Great recipes! I have been looking for a good recipe for a cheese ball ... I shall make yours and let you know how it turns out!

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