Saturday, December 25, 2010

Turley Christmas Baking

Well this is a post on the work that's been taken me away from organizing my portfolio, etc.

Here's a simple plate from left to right, Butterscotch Squares, Gingerbread (Grandma's), Traditional Short Bread, and Rocky Road Squares

My traditional soft ginger bread in the making.

Homemade ginger bread Christmas Trees, my version.

Grandma claims to use the same recipe as I do, so I'm not sure why hers is thin and crispy, while mine are fluffy and soft.

Most of these recipes come from my mother's old recipe cards.  My grandmother couldn't cook or bake if her life depended on it, she fried everything when she cooked and she never baked.  My mother learned to bake at school and then from trial and error with recipes.  I vaguely remember her using alot of Kraft Recipes so the squares may be found on the Kraft Recipe site.  I know that the recipe she used for short bread actually came from a Club House Recipe years ago.

I'm going to post a recipe for a dessert that my mother called, "Strawberry Dessert" I know it comes from Kraft because everything that is used is from Kraft.  The recipe is so old that Cool Whip didn't exist when it was first printed.  I've seen this recipe with Cool Whip and have tried it.   I prefer real whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries though.

This is a perfect dessert for after a heavy meal as it's light, but rich enough in taste not to fall flat after a great meal.

Strawberry Dessert

1 fresh angel food cake torn up (don't use stale stuff in this recipe)
1 pound fresh or frozen(drained) strawberries
1 pkg of strawberry jello(sugar-free works too
2 cups whipping cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbl sugar or splenda

Step 1: Take jello powder and add it to 1 1/2 cups HOT water. (Do not follow jello directions. Add no cold water.)  Place in refridgerator. Do not let jello solidify.  It is needed as it's beginning to thicken.

Step 2: Whip 2 cups whipping cream until stiff.

Step 3: You will know when the jello is thick enough as a small amount sticks to the side of the bowl.  While you wait, in a serving dish add a layer of angel food cake and then a layer of randomly placed strawberries.

Step 4: When jello is ready fold it into the whipped cream and a layer of it.  Repeat layers until serving bowl is full.  I often have left over angel food cake.

Step 5: Chill for 1 to 2 days.

Step 6: Before serving whip the 1/2 cup of whipping cream until stiff, add vanilla and sugar. 

Step 7: Decorate dish with whipped cream and add decorations (Strawberry slices, Chocolate Chips, Chocolate shavings, cocoa powder, sprinkles, nuts.  Really whatever you believe will work for the crowd you're serving.)

Step 8: Serve and enjoy.  This recipe even has picky eaters coming back for seconds.

Note: Now with all the jello flavours on the market, you can play with the fruit also.  Try to stay with berries or fruit that stays firm over time.  This recipe does freeze also for short periods of time.  But I don't recommend doing this though, sometimes the jello will divide from the whipping cream if it's not set properly.

Butterscotch Squares

1 cup Peanut Butter
2 tbl Margarine/Butter
1 cup Butterscotch Chips
2 cups Mini Marshmallows
1/4 cup Crushed Salted Peanuts

In a double boiler, melt Margarine, Peanut Butter, and Butterscotch Chips until smooth.  Combine Peanuts. Add Marshmallows and stir constantly until the marshmallows have melted and combined.  Take off heat and tip into an 8" x 8" baking pan, use back of a spoon or fork and press firmly into pan.  Refrigerate over night.  Cut into squares.

Traditional Gingerbread Cookies

Recipe from contributed by Joyce Johnson

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 large egg
1 cup molasses
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp warm water
1/4 cup raisins for decorating

1. In large bowl, cream shortening, sugar, egg and warmed molasses.  Dissolve baking soda in warm water and add to egg mixture.  Beat until smooth.  Mix in flour, spices and salt until well blended.  Cover and chill for 24 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease cookie sheets.  Roll out dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch on a floured surface.  Cut out gingerbread men using cookie cutters and place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets.  Use raisins to make eyes, noses and buttons.

3. Bake 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until firm.  Let cool on wire racks.

Short Bread Cookies

4 1/2 cups Flour (Best results use  Blending Flour that's commonly used to make gravy.)
2 1/2 cups Butter (Don't use margarine here, it's just horrid.)
1/4 cup Rice Flour
1/4 cup Quick Dissolve (Fruit) Sugar or Splenda
1 tsp Vanilla

Bring butter to room temperature and blend until smooth.  Combine sugar, rice flour, and vanilla.  Slowly add flour.  Work the dough as little as possible, it's crumbly and you may need the warmth of your hands to soften the butter further for the dough to combine properly.  Decorate cookies as you like, if using decorative sugars, sprinkles, raisins, or chocolate chips decorate before baking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.  Altitude and your stove type will affect the baking time.  Watch for the bottoms of the cookies to begin to lightly brown and then remove from stove and place baking racks to cool.

Rocky Road Cookies

10 Graham wafers
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Margarine
1 Large Egg
1 cup Icing Sugar
2 cups Mini Marshmallows
1/2 cup Chopped Walnuts

Line an 8" x 8" square baking pan with graham wafers, cutting to fit pan.  Combine chocolate chips, margarine and egg in sauce pan.  Stir over medium heat until melted & smooth.  Remove from heat.  Stir in icing sugar. Cool slightly.  Stir in marshmallows.  Spread evenly over wafers in pan.  Sprinkle with nuts, press down gently.  Chill until firm.  Cut into bars.  Store, covered in the refrigerator. Makes about 20 bars.

I hope some of you will try these recipes and enjoy them.  I know they aren't chef worthy, but they are home baked worthy.

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