12/4/16

No Bake Fruitcake Bars - Christmas Baking Classic

Repost from 2012



  The term fruitcake in the name of this recipe will turn a lot of people off of it - even though it isn't really a fruitcake.  Our family has tried to think of a good name for them that doesn't have the word fruitcake in them, since many of the kids friends or adult guests will say;  "Oh, I don't like fruitcake" - but we always resort to their name;  fruitcake bars, as that is what they are!  I've been making these bars for about 20 years and although I don't make a traditional 'fruitcake', there is no way I can skip making these.  They are unbaked, with a base of marshmallows and graham crackers.  So good!





No Bake Fruitcake Bars

1 lb. butter
1 lb. mini marshmallows
3/4 c evaporated milk
1 lb. pecans
1/2 lb. walnuts
1/2 lb. whole green candied cherries
1/2 lb. whole red candied cherries
1 lb. raisins
1 lb. graham cracker crumbs

Melt the butter, marshmallows and evaporated milk in a pan on the stove over low to medium heat.  In a very large bowl mix the rest of the ingredients.  Add the melted marshmallow mixture.  Stir and mix well.  Press into a greased or foil lined 9X13" pan.  Press flat and freeze or refrigerate overnight.  Thaw a bit before slicing to make it easier.  Slice into 3 long sections or rows and slice each row into thin slices to serve.

**I've been using a little less butter over the past few years (perhaps 3 1/4 sticks instead of 4) and it's been perfectly fine.  Feel free to cut back a bit on the butter if you want to try it that way.
You can also change the amounts of the nuts, raisins and cherries, etc. I've used craisins some years, and doubled the red cherries and halved the green cherries, etc.  You can play with this recipe a bit.  






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You might be interested in these related products available through Amazon:

Candied (Glazed) Red Cherries. 16 oz bag
Candied (Glazed) Green Cherries. 16 oz bag
Nordic Ware Classic Metal 9x13 Covered Cake Pan
ExcelSteel 298 5-Quart Stainless Steel Non Skid Base Mixing Bowl


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12/1/16

How to Make Chocolate Leaves At Home



I know sometimes a wonderfully delicious or awesome recipe is posted and then I post a couple more that day or the next and if a reader is only stopping in every couple of days they might miss a great recipe as it's further down the page. Wanting my readers to give chocolate leaves a try this season, I'm reposting an old post that is a favorite. I hope you give it a go!




How to make chocolate leaves;


Take a walk through your yard to see what non-poisonous plants and tree's you have that may offer you beautiful small leaves with a lot of character and 'veins' on their undersides.



Clean leaves that you know have not been treated with chemicals are a must. I like to get them from my own garden and back yard as I can be sure of their chemical-free history.



Using melted white or dark chocolate or even almond bark, use a butter knife or a small, new paint brush or makeup brush to 'paint' the under side of the leaf.



Try not to get any melted chocolate on the top of the leaf, just paint the bottom in a nice thick, even layer.


Lay the leaves on foil, parchment paper or wax paper. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes to help the hardening process.



When the leaves are chilled the chocolate will be hardened and ready to peel off the leaf.


Gently and slowly peel the leaves off the chocolate and lay the chocolate leaf down. Sometimes the leaves can be used a second time if they are a bit sturdy but for the most part, plan to use each leaf only once.



Peel slowly and carefully.

Use your leaves to decorate cakes, desserts, cupcakes, cookies and more. The more veins the leaf has, the better and remember to only paint the under side for the best results.



Chocolate cupcakes need very little decor to make them scrumptious looking!












If you enjoy visiting An American Housewife, please consider using this affiliate link if you are planning to shop for anything (seriously, anything!) at Amazon.  - American Housewife at Amazon 




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Perfect Homemade Molasses Cookies - Holiday Baking Inspiration!



Did anyone else out there not realize today is December 1st!? I'm a day behind... I even thought today was Wednesday.
Today is not only Thursday - it's the FIRST OF DECEMBER! Let the cookie baking commence.



Perfect Molasses Cookies

6 c flour
3 c sugar
1 T baking soda
1 T baking powder
1 T ground ginger
1 T ground cinnamon
1 t ground nutmeg
3/4 t ground cloves
1/2 t ground allspice

Mix the above dry ingredients in a very large bowl with a wood spoon or wire whisk. When completely mixed divide the mixture evenly into 3 large ziplock baggies with 3 cups of the mix in each. Make one ziplock at a time.

When you are ready to make cookies;

Add;
3/4 c soft butter (real)
1 egg
1/4 c molasses

to each 3 cup dry mix in your ziploc. Roll into 1 inch balls and roll in plain white granulated sugar. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes until the edge is firm and the top is cracked. Cool on the pan for 1 minute before moving to wire racks.



Previously, after posting this recipe on An American Housewife in 2008, I had this comment mailed to me.  I want to include it here as well.

I just wanted to let you know that you are so right about those molasses cookies. I made the whole batch and kept the dry and it was perfect. I went to a Christmas cookie swap and took those and they were a hit. I saw the hostess tonight at a school function and she told me how great they were and how she kept them from the rest of her family!

Anyway, thanks again. The recipe rocked!
Julie
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