12/18/17

Christmas Treats

There are few things in this world I enjoy any more than producing delicious treats from my kitchen during the holiday season and sharing them with all the people I love.

Friends, family, coworkers, neighbors. It is so richly satisfying, and honestly, Mom and I enjoy it more and more each year!

This year consisted of both sweet & savory treats including family favorite, our own version of classic “Chex Party Mix” as well as my Chocolate Pecan Fudge, a tradition I have continued for 7 years now! My coworkers start asking about the fudge by end of October, ensuring that it is still on my holiday to-do list in early to mid December.

And, of course, it always is. And the amounts increase every year as well, but I don’t mind. That just means our circle is expanding, and that’s always a good thing!

So, this year, that meant 8 very large recipes of delicious fudge!

I use a classic, old-time recipe for Chocolate Cheese Fudge. And yes, I know what you are thinking… Cheese?!? No one can believe how delicious and insanely creamy this homemade fudge is, and furthermore, no one can guess what secret ingredient makes it so… Velveeta! So, before you judge this recipe, whip up a batch of this Chocolate Cheese Fudge for yourself and share with the ones you love. Or enjoy a plate of it all for yourself.

No judgement.

Chocolate Cheese Fudge 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of Velveeta Cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped & toasted pecans (walnuts are also a great alternative)
  • 2 boxes Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 1/2 heaping cup Unsweetened Cocoa powder

Directions:

Spray lightly the bottom of a 9 by 2-inch square pan with a nonstick spray. You won’t need too much, there is plenty of delicious butter in the fudge itself.

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the cheese and butter together, stirring constantly until smooth. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and nuts.Stir to combine.

In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and cocoa until thoroughly blended and light.

bread-1

This was just one box of powdered sugar of many. Very, very many.

Pour the cheese mixture into the sugar and cocoa mixture and stir until completely mixed. The candy will be very stiff.

Using your hands, remove candy from bowl and press evenly and firmly into pan.

Because of the amount of butter in this recipe, pat the top of the candy with a paper towel to remove the excess oil. Place pan in refrigerator until candy is firm.

fudge1

To serve candy, cut into blocks or squares. Airtight and wrapped up ready for distribution.

fudge2

For personalized gifts, I cut into 4 equal, large squares (if using a 8×8 or 9×9 square pan or into 6 squares if using a 9×13 pan), wrap in cling wrap, and tie with a beautiful bow, a gift tag, or even a tree ornament for extra flourish.

And now, moving on to the Savory…

My Family’s Favorite Chex Party Mix

Ingredients: (per recipe, yields 1 sheet tray of party mix)

  • 3 cups Rice Chex
  • 3 cups Corn Chex
  • 3 cups Wheat Chex
  • 2 cups Cheerios
  • 2 cups mixed nuts
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks or twists
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter
  • 1.5 tsp Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Mix all dry cereals, nuts, and pretzels in a very large bowl. Toss to combine and to ensure you have the distribution you want.

In a small sauce pan, combine the butter, Worcestershire sauce, and salt, over low-medium heat until the butter is melted and the seasoning has incorporated.

Pour the warm butter & seasoning mixture over top of the cereals and toss to combine thoroughly.

Spread out the cereals on an un-greased sheet tray, or rimmed cookie sheet, and bake for a total of 1 hour, stopping to toss the mixture 3 times, at each 15 minute increments throughout baking time.

Allow to cool completely and then wrap up in clear plastic bags and attach a personalized gift tag to each.

I don’t know anyone who would turn this away! It’s crunchy and spicy and extremely snackable and perfectly craveable! It honestly is one of my very favorite holiday treats, and there are so many variations you could try. Get inventive by adding Cheez Its, or Oyster crackers, or even Crispix Cereal in place of one of the Chex for a different shape. The important thing is to have fun with it and make it your own!

It’s the holiday season after all and they don’t call it “the most wonderful time of the year” for nothing! Share something delicious from your kitchen, and more importantly from your heart, this Christmas season!

xoxo…

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