Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Have Yourself a Yummy Little Christmas

'Tis the season for making, giving away, and eating Christmas goodies. Emphasis on the eating. Sooooo much eating going on here. I make a lot of different treats during the holidays, but my top three favorites are: candied almonds, marshmallow popcorn, and candy coated pretzels. These sweeties are so good, my neighbors, quite frankly, are lucky that we share ;)

Candied Almonds

(These are 10,000 times better than the ones you get at the mall... so good you'll never buy the hard-as-a-rock ones ever again... no matter how good they smell.)

1 cup water
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 lbs almonds, with skins

Bring water, sugar and cinnamon to a boil in a large skillet, stirring constantly.
Add almonds and toss to coat.
Remove almonds with slotted spoon. Do not discard extra syrup.
Arrange on a large baking pan sprayed liberally with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, basting & stirring twice (at the 10 & 20 minute mark) with reserved syrup. Cool before eating (I'm not joking... wait!! You'll want to eat one right away. Resist the temptation. You WILL burn your tongue. Don't ask me how I know this).

Marshmallow Popcorn (Recipe from my Sis Debbie)

(Make this highly addicting popcorn at your own risk. It's just so good... I ate it for breakfast this morning. Don't judge).

2 bags plain microwave popcorn, popped (un-popped kernels removed... I make my plain popcorn using the brown bag popping method... try it, it costs pennies, and it really works!)
1/4 c butter, melted
7oz jar marshmallow creme
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 t salt
Food coloring (optional)
Nonpareil sprinkles (optional)

Place popped popcorn in large mixing bowl. Melt butter in separate bowl, add marshmallow, microwave 30 seconds. Add vanilla and salt. Add food coloring if you'd like. Mix well. Drizzle over popcorn & mix carefully, evenly coating the popcorn. Spread out on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lined with kitchen parchment. Put in 250 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring once after 15 minutes. Add sprinkles directly upon removing from oven if you so desire. Cool, and break into pieces before serving. Store airtight. I doubt you'll have any leftover though... the snitching that goes on at my house makes it necessary for me to make 3 batches, and that's still not enough. 

Candy Coated Pretzels

(Okay, this isn't really a recipe... I feel slightly silly even putting directions for these on here... But maybe there's someone out there in cyberspace who doesn't know how to make candy coated pretzels, and we can't have that. My mom made ccp's every Christmas for our neighbors... making them always reminds me of her.)

1 lb Almond Bark
Pretzels (rods or twists)

Melt almond bark in the microwave for 20 second intervals (stirring between) until smooth. Dip pretzels, and place on cookie sheet lined with kitchen parchment. Top with sprinkles immediately. Place dipped pretzels in refrigerator for 10 minutes to set up. You can let them set up on the counter, but that takes longer, and you won't get to eat them as soon.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. Much love,

Becky :)

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