Archive for December 2009


25 Days of Cookies: Chocolate Pecan Sandies


Once in a while I like to add a little more sweetness to pecan sandies, and this recipe works really well with some added mini chocolate chips, or a drizzle of melted chocolate on top after they’re done baking. This also works well with chopped almonds instead of the pecans, and taste even better when the vanilla extract is replaced with almond extract.

Chocolate Pecan Sandies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped pecans
1 cup chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup white sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, 1 cup white sugar and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the pecans.

Roll dough into 1 inch balls and roll each ball in remaining white sugar.

Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are golden. Remove from cookie sheets to cool on wire racks.

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Chocolate Buttercrunch


This is a recipe I came across last year that I had to try out, if only to say I had. It’s got a “secret ingredient” that you might be surprised to discover, but don’t let it fool you, these turned out really good and actually package well for gifts or shipping.

Chocolate-covered Buttercrunch Bars

24 regular saltine crackers
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13 x9 inch pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy clean up. Arrange crackers evenly in pan.

In saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Stir in brown sugar until melted and smooth. Bring mixture to a boil stirring constantly until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Boil for 2 minutes and then pour mixture evenly over crackers.

Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate pieces evenly over caramel mixture. Return to oven just long enough for chocolate to melt. Remove from the oven and spread chocolate evenly with spatula.

Place pan in refrigerator or freezer until chocolate is firm. Cut or break into pieces.

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25 Days of Cookies: White Chocolate Peppermint Bark


If you don’t have a lot of time but still want to do something handmade for gifts, this is one of the easiest recipes around. It makes about two pounds of candy and can easily be halved or doubled. You can use crushed red and green peppermint candies for an extra Christmas kick, or sprinkle crushed Oreo cookies on top if you or a recipient don’t like peppermint.

If you’re not crazy about white chocolate you can substitute with vanilla baking chips.

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Crushed peppermint candy canes or starlight peppermints, about 1 cup
2 pounds white chocolate
Peppermint flavoring, optional

Place candy canes in a plastic bag and hammer into 1/4-inch chunks or smaller. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Combine candy cane chunks with chocolate (add peppermint flavoring at this point if desired.)

Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet layered with parchment or waxed paper and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes or until firm. Remove from cookie sheet and break into pieces (like peanut brittle.)

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