Sweet Treats

As the holiday season grows near, stress builds with the never ending list of party-planning, baking and gift-giving. Take a load off of your shoulders with these recipes which can help ease the well-known burdens that come with the holiday season. Food is a great idea to pull a party together, to hand out as gifts and to simply share your favorite treats.

Frozen Peppermint Delight

From Taste of Home December/January 2006

Yield: 12-15 servings

1 package (14 ounces) cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed

½ cup butter, melted

1 gallon peppermint ice cream, slightly softened

1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

1 jar (11-3/4 ounces) hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed

Crushed peppermint candy

In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. dish. Spread ice cream over crust; top with whipped topping. Cover and freeze until solid. It can be frozen for up to 2 months. Just before serving, drizzle with hot fudge topping and sprinkle with peppermint candy.

Chocolate Dipped Oreos

Yield: 30-40 cookies

1 package of Oreos

White Dipping Chocolate

Decorator Frosting Pens

Microwave the dipping chocolate, stirring regularly until completely melted. Dip each Oreo into the chocolate, completely covering the cookie. Set on wax paper and let harden. If needed, place them in the fridge for 15 to 20 minutes. After they have cooled, use the frosting pens to draw holiday pictures on the face of each cookie. Voila!

Oreo Truffles

1 package Double Stuffed Oreos

4 oz cream cheese, softened

White or brown dipping chocolate

Chop Oreos up finely in a food processor. Save some of the finely crushed Oreos for garnish later and set aside. You don’t need too much.

With hands, mash softened cream cheese and crushed Oreos until well combined. Roll into 1” balls and place on a wax covered cookie sheet. Put in freezer for 15 minutes.

While balls are in the freezer, melt chocolate in the microwave, stirring often.

Pull the Oreo truffles out of the freezer and dip into the chocolate. Garnish with reserved Oreo crumbs before the chocolate hardens. Let the chocolate set, refrigerate and enjoy!

English Toffee

1 cup sugar

1 cup (less) almonds or walnuts

1 cube butter

3 TBS water

1 cube margarine

Chocolate Chips

Place sugar, butter, margarine and water in heavy pan. Place on high heat and stir constantly until light brown in color and slightly smoking. Add nuts immediately and pour onto greased sheet. While still hot, pour chocolate chips on top and spread. Sprinkle with more nuts.

Cookie Dough Truffles

From Taste of Home December/January 2005

Yield 5-1/2 dozen

½ cup butter, softened

¾ cups packed brown sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

½ cup chopped walnuts

1-1/2 pounds semisweet chocolate candy coating, chopped.

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, milk and vanilla; mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Shape into 1-in. balls and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or until firm.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt candy coating, stirring often until smooth. Dip balls in coating and place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. If desired, re-melt remaining candy coating and drizzle over candies. Store in the refrigerator.

Kim Lender, Staff Writer kim.lender@yahoo.com