Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cookie Swap!

Mindy here. It's no secret that Christmas is my favorite time of the year. And one of my favorite parts of this holiday season is the food. It's a time when we dust off cherished recipes we only make once a year. So today I thought we'd have a little fun. A virtual cookie/candy swap, if you will. So grab a hot beverage along with your favorite time-honored recipe and join me in the kitchen.

Of all the treats I make throughout the month of December, my Butter Toffee is my family's favorite. It can be a little tricky, but it's definitely worth the effort.
  • 1 Cup salted butter
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup finely chopped pecans
  • Chocolate bars

In a heavy saucepan, bring butter, sugar, and pecans to a boil over medium heat. Stir mixture constantly until it reaches the hard crack stage (295-310 degrees). Immediately pour mixture onto pizza pan or cookie sheet (I prefer the pizza pan because of the lip around the edge). Using the back of a large metal spoon, quickly spread candy into an even, thin layer. Break chocolate bars (I use Hershey's Milk Chocolate) into pieces and dot over candy. As chocolate melts, spread over toffee with a knife. Cool candy in refrigerator for at least one hour. Break into pieces and enjoy.

Okay, now it's your turn. I can't wait to hear your favorite recipe.

Happy Tuesday!


  1. Oh, wow!! I just love toffee and have never tried to make it. I will definitely try this. Thanks for sharing, Mindy! Yum.

    I hate to admit I don't bake cookies unless they're slice and bake. So, go buy some dough, slice, then bake as directed! LOL (I know, I'm sooo bad! My poor kids...)

    However, I did print off a recipe for the peanutbutter cookies with the Hershey's Kiss in the middle. I haven't made it yet, but will let you know how it goes. :)

  2. Missy, the Peanut Butter Blossoms are awesome. All but one of my kids refuse to eat peanut butter cookies. But throw a Hershey kiss in the middle and they're all over it. Go figure.

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  4. Mindy,
    your recipe sounds fabulous. I have a fav holiday recipe---bread pudding...but don't turn your nose up people---it's delicious.

    You start with Panettone Bread and crumble that into bite size pieces in an 13/9/2 pan. Then in a large bowl mix 8 eggs-1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream-2 1/2 cups whole milk-1 1/4 cups sugar. You whisk that until combined then pour over the bread and push bread down until all is soaked. Then let stand for 30 minutes. Then cook about 45 minutes at 350 or until center is done. Cool slightly.

    Then there's a cinnamon syrup to pour over it.
    Boil 1 cup water with 1 cup packed brown sugar over high heat until the sugar dissolves. Boil until syrup reduces to 1 cup (about 10 mintues) Remove from heat and whisk in 2 tblspoons whipping cream and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon.

    I think I'll have some right now. I made some Saturday.
    When I take it places I call it Breakfast Dessert.
    (No one wants to eat bread pudding!)
    Thanks for this fun post Mindy!

    December 15, 2009 10:04 PM

  5. Oooo, Lindi. I LOVE bread pudding. We could have a ball at Mimi's Cafe together, just ordering dessert. I'm printing this recipe off to add to my file. Yum.

  6. Oh. My. Word. Lindi, that must have six gazillion gloriously yummy calories!! :) I'll have to try it.

    Mindy, we have a Mimi's Cafe that opened about a year ago, but I've never eaten there. Now I have to! :)

  7. Missy, Mimi's food is wonderful. And they have a bread pudding that is to die for. They have awesome breakfasts too. You need to try it.

  8. Um, Lindi, what's pannatone bread???

    My family's favorite is homemade chewy carmel corn. Not candy style, chewy. The trick is NOT to bake it. We have friends who save their containers and return them for a refill each Christmas! Too funny, but we oblige since it means so much that they return the container and ask!

    One huge bowl of popcorn, about 12 cups. Make sure you butter the bowl and the long handled spoon!
    We usually send someone to the movies and have them bring back a bunch. Then we have to pop some too, lol. Movie popcorn makes the very best caramel corn. Just sayin' ;-)

    2 Cups DARK brown sugar
    1/2 cup light karo corn syrup
    1/2 cup butter
    pinch of salt

    Melt and stir all together in a heavy sauce pan. The heavier the better. Mine is also non-stick. Low boil for 5 minutes.

    Turn off heat and add:
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp vanilla

    Watch fun science experiment as you stir these. The caramel will foam up and turn a lighter color.

    Pour over top of popcorn in buttered bowl. (It's easier to keep stirring to coat if the bowl has also been warmed on extremely low heat in the oven while caramel cooks.)

    Coat by stirring really well.

    Turn out on wax paper or butcher paper. Keep breaking up as it cools.

    Storing is best in a tin popcorn canister. But for easy clean up, I line that with foil.

    Once cooled, serve and enjoy. Store the remainder in your canister.

    Angie (who hasn't made it yet and is starting to hear about it, lol.)

  9. Bread pudding fans!! Oh, I should have known. And yes, it has a gazzillionnnnnnnn calories, but that's why I make it once a year.

    And Ang, the bread is a brand name that comes in a red box usually only sold during the holidays. You can probably buy online the rest of the year though. But because of the gazzzzilllionnnnnn calories I haven't looked for it.
    And I've never heard of Mimi's Cafe? Missy, are there more in the ATL area?

  10. Yes, Panatone is an Italian Christmas bread. I like to toast a slice for breakfast or just eat it because. It's a mildly sweet bread with some nuts and candied fruits, but not near as dense as fruitcake. Much lighter. It's pretty easy to find this time of year. World Market carries it and so does Sam's, plus lots of other places.
    Angie, that sound yummy. I'll definitely have to give that a try.