Christmas goodies are part of what makes the season special. Here are favorites from a few of the staff members at the Park Rapids Enterprise. Please share your family's favorites for recipe columns in the new year!
This recipe from Better Homes and Gardens is a favorite of Jayne Merila, who works in special projects, and her family.
1-3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
1/2 cup cooking oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup demerara sugar or turbinado sugar
In a large bowl, combine eggs, granulated sugar, melted chocolate, oil, baking powder, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours or until dough is easy to handle. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a large cookie sheet; set aside. Place demerara sugar in a small bowl. Shape one portion of dough into 1/2-inch balls. Shape the remaining portion of dough into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in demerara sugar to coat generously. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Bake small cookies in the preheated oven about 8 minutes or until edges are set and tops are dry. Bake large cookies about 10 minutes or until edges are set and tops are dry. Do not overbake cookies. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. (Cookies will deflate slightly upon cooling.) Makes about 72 small or 36 large cookies. To store, layer cookies between waxed paper in an airtight container and cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
Luanna Lakes from our design team shared this recipe that came from her mom, Gladys Frahm.
2 cups sugar
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
1 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup nuts
Boil sugar, syrup and half of the milk and cream to 229 degrees. Then add remainder of milk and cream and boil to 238 degrees. Beat lightly and add nuts and vanilla. Pour into a buttered pan approximately 9 by 11 inches. After caramels have cooled, cut and wrap in wax paper squares.
These are a favorite from reporter Robin Fish, made by his step-mom Cheryl Fish for holiday gatherings when he was a teenager.
Crème de Menthe Bars
10 ounces of butter, divided
1/2 cup cocoa
3-1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup crème de menthe
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
In a saucepan, combine 4 ounces (1 stick) butter and the cocoa. Heat and stir until smooth. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, egg and vanilla. Stir in graham cracker crumbs. Press into 9-by-13-inch pan. Melt 4 ounces of the butter with the crème de menthe. With a mixer, whip in the remaining 3 cups of powdered sugar. Spread evenly over graham cracker crust. Chill for 1 hour. In a saucepan, melt the remaining 2 ounces of butter and the chocolate chips. Spread over the other layers. Refrigerate for 24 hours. Allow to stand at room temperature before slicing. Cut into squares.
*A variation on this recipe is to skip the graham cracker crust and use a brownie crust instead. Use a cooled pan of fudgy brownies as the crust and follow the directions from there.