Holiday Baking Ideas – Cheddar and Cranberry Shortbread

Not everyone likes sweet treats and that is all there ever seems to be around Christmas. Last year while googling shortbread recipes I found this one. I made a few batches and it was a bit hit. I am looking forward to making some more this weekend.

It’s a refreshing change from all of the chocolate and sugar during the holiday season:

Cheddar and Cranberry Shortbread

(1/2 cup) butter
(1 1/2 cups) grated cheddar (the older the better)
(1 1/2 cups) white flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
1/3 cup finely chopped dried cranberries
Dash of tobasco sauce

Preheat oven to 375F

Cream the butter and cheese together on high speed. In another bowl sift flour, salt and baking powder. Stilll on high speed, add the dry ingerdients to the butter and cheese mixture. Fold in nuts and cranberries.

Place dough on a large piece of waxed paper. Roll the dough into the shape of a log, roll the paper around it and fold the ends shut. Refrigerate for 45 minutes or more.

Unwrap dough and slice the log into thin (1/4 inch) rounds . Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown. Cool and serve.

Makes two dozen.

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Last Minute Holiday Treats – Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Squares

During the holiday season I think it it’s always a good idea to have a few quick, foolproof recipes in your kitchen repertoire, just in case you are called upon to bring treats to a social event.

I used to use this recipe back in my early 20s, in the days when I only used my oven for storage. It’s really simple and great for whipping up if you burnt your sugar cookies the night before a cookie exchange or don’t just don’t like to bake. Aside from the cooling process, this recipe takes only a few minutes to prepare and the ingredients are basic – I am sure in a pinch you could even pick up everything at a convenience store.

Peanut Butter and Marshmallow Squares

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
12 oz butterscotch chips or chocolate chips
3 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Mix butter, peanut butter, and chips in a double boiler until melted (if you’re careful you could probably melt your ingredients in the microwave, but be careful, you can over melt the chips), then remove from heat. Place 3 cups miniature marshmallows in a foil lined or buttered pan and pour on warm mixture. Spread the mixture evenly and let cool. Cut into squares.

That’s all there is to it.

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My Christmas Craft Weekend Continued…

When you move, things are bound to get misplaced. Since we have been in the new house I’ve been missing my cheque book and my hot glue gun.

Yesterday, I finally unearthed both items (for some reason they were actually in the same place). I was most excited about the latter as I have several craft projects dependant on its rediscovery.

Last night I fired it up and made this. They were so fast and easy to put together, I made several more today.


Here’s what would need if you wanted to make some yourself:

hot glue gun (or craft glue – I think the hot glue holds better though)
a plain gift bag
8 or 9 buttons
green cardstock
leaf punch (mine is Martha Stewart brand from Micheals)

1. Punch out lots and lots of leaves (I used a whole page of cardstock)
2. Draw a circle on the bag (I just traced around a small saucer)
3. Using a dap of glue attach the base of the stems to the bag in a V formation, about a centimeter apart, working your way all around the circle.
4. When all the leaves are attached. Glue on the buttons.


That’s it.

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