PEPPERMINT STICK COOKIES
















Did you know: It wasn't until the 1900's that the candy cane received it's red stripes.

Here's The Recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons mint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands® pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 drops red food coloring
  • 12 drops green food coloring
  • 1-1/2 cups white baking chips
  • Crushed mint candies

Directions:

  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
  • Set aside half of the dough. Divide remaining dough in half; add green food coloring to one portion and red food coloring to the other. Wrap dough separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until easy to handle.
  • Divide green and red dough into 24 portions each. Divide plain dough into 48 portions. Roll each into a 4-in. rope. Place each green rope next to a white rope; press together gently and twist. Repeat with red ropes and remaining white ropes. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Cool for 2 minutes before carefully removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • In a microwave, melt white chips; stir until smooth. Dip cookie ends into melted chips; allow excess to drip off. Sprinkle with crushed candies and place on waxed paper. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 4 dozen.



******************
Source (credit):http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Peppermint-Stick-Cookies?pmcode=ILLDP01T&_mid=2316218&_rid=2316218.922634.318867

PEPPERMINT STICK COOKIES

GINGERBREAD FUDGE RECIPE


 










American recipes usually call for fewer spices than the European recipes, and often were made of ingredients available regionally. Maple syrup ginger bread were made in New England, and molasses was used in the South. Each wave of new immigrants added their own recipes and now gingerbread can be flavored, shaped and decorated as you like it.

Here's The Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup finely chopped bittersweet chocolate or chopped chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Directions:
1. Prepare an 8x8 pan by lining it with aluminum foil and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine the sugars, molasses, corn syrup, evaporated milk, salt, and cream of tartar in a medium-large saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugars dissolve, and brush down the sides with a wet pastry brush. Insert a candy thermometer.
3. Once the mixture gets hot and starts bubbling, add the finely chopped chocolate and stir until it is melted. If you use chocolate chips, make sure that they are chopped so that they melt easily, otherwise you might end up with chunks of unincorporated chocolate in your fudge.
4. Once the chocolate is melted into the fudge, brush down the sides of the pan with the wet pastry brush, and bring the candy to a boil.
5. Continue to cook, without stirring, until it reaches 238 degrees. Remove the fudge from the heat and take out the candy thermometer. Add the butter, vanilla, and spices, and begin to stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. This is called “beating” the fudge.
6. Beat the fudge until it starts to hold its shape, becomes lighter in color, and loses its gloss. This process will take about 10-15 minutes by hand, or you can use an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you use a mixer to beat the fudge, watch it carefully as the fudge can quickly go from ready to overbeaten and stiff.
7. Once the fudge starts to hold it shape and begins to set, scrape it into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Allow the fudge to cool at room temperature for 1-2 hours before cutting. To serve, cut into 1-inch squares. Store Gingerbread Fudge in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
******************
Source (credit): http://candy.about.com/od/chocolatefudgerecipes/r/gingerbreadfudg.htm
GINGERBREAD FUDGE