First Tuesday Recipes for December

This is my final recipe post for 2020 and I’m going all-out with a holiday baking edition. So no matter what holiday you celebrate, or even if you don’t celebrate, gather your ingredients and get ready to make some delicious goodies to share this season.

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Peanut Crisp Bars

(with thanks to my mom)

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. light corn syrup

1 c. peanut butter

2 c. crispy rice cereal

1/2 c. butter

1/4 c. brown sugar, packed

1 T. milk

1/2 t. vanilla

1 1/4 c. powdered sugar

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and a dash of salt. Cook and stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in peanut butter and then stir in cereal. Pat mixture evenly into a greased 8×8″ or a 9×9″ square pan.

In a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat; add milk and vanilla. Stir in powdered sugar and beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

Spread butter mixture over cereal mixture; chill. Cut into bars.

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Cherry Bonbon Cookies

(with thanks to my dad)

For the cookies:

1 1/2 c. flour

1/8 t. salt

1/2 c. butter, softened

3/4 c. powdered sugar

2 T. milk

1 t. vanilla

24 maraschino cherries, drained well and patted dry

For the glaze:

1 c. powdered sugar

1 T. butter, melted

2 T. maraschino cherry juice

additional powdered sugar

Make the cookies:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. In another mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add milk and vanilla to the butter mixture and beat well. Gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until well blended.

Divide dough into 24 portions. Shape each portion around a cherry, forming a ball. Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a baking rack.

Make the glaze:

Combine 1 c. powdered sugar, butter, and cherry juice until smooth and a little runny. Add more cherry juice if too thick.

Drizzle glaze over cookies; dust with additional powdered sugar if desired.

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Coconut-Macadamia Nut Bars

Bottom layer:

1 c. flour

1/2 c. packed brown sugar

1/2 c. butter, softened

Top layer:

1 c. packed brown sugar

2 T. flour

1/2 t. baking powder

1 1/2 c. shredded coconut

1 t. vanilla

1 c. diced macadamia nuts

2 eggs

Combine ingredients for bottom layer in a medium bowl. Beat well and press into 9×9″ pan. Bake for 12 minutes.

Mix ingredients for top layer until well-blended. Spread mixture over hot bottom layer and bake for another 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Amy

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Recipes Inspired by The Worst Noel

As you may know, I have a new book coming out on December 5th. It’s called The Worst Noel and it’s part of a 12-ebook set featuring Christmas-themed cozy mysteries. This is my first cozy mystery, and I have to tell you that I really enjoyed writing it.

One of the characters in my story, Noley Appleton, is a recipe developer for a magazine. Her job requires her to do a lot of cooking and Lilly (the main character) and her family are Noley’s happy guinea pigs.

This week I’d like to share some of the recipes that you’ll see mentioned in the book and a couple you won’t. The 12-book set comes with a bonus recipe book, but if I remember correctly, I only submitted one recipe–the rest I figured I could post here.

These are recipes that my family enjoys throughout the holiday season. I hope you enjoy them!

 

Maple Butternut Squash (adapted from The Red Lion Inn Cookbook)

3 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped (if you cut the squash in half and microwave it for a few minutes it’s easy to chop)

1/2 c. butter, at room temperature

1/4 c. brown sugar

2 T. maple syrup

1 t. salt

1/2 t. nutmeg

1/4 t. pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Boil the squash until tender, about 20 minutes; drain well.

While still hot, beat the squash with the remaining ingredients until smooth.

Spoon mixture into prepared baking dish; cover and bake for about 15 minutes.

 

Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

2 lbs. 16-20U shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on

1 T. olive oil

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan with foil and spray foil lightly with cooking spray. Toss shrimp with olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread them on the foil in a single layer. Roast for 8 1/2 minutes until just-pink and cooked through.

Serve at room temperature with your favorite cocktail sauce.

 

Sausage Bread

1 loaf frozen bread dough

1 lb. bulk Italian sausage

1 egg, divided

handful grated Parmesan cheese

Thaw dough in microwave or in refrigerator; bring to room temperature. While doing that, brown sausage in a medium skillet over medium heat.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

On a floured surface roll out the dough into an oblong shape, about 14 inches long and 8 inches wide (these are just approximations). Sprinkle with the sausage. Smear with egg white (this works best if you use your hands). Sprinkle with cheese.

Roll up the dough starting with a long edge. Cut in half and place each half on a greased baking sheet. Brush each half with the egg yolk.

Bake for 30-35 minutes.

 

Cranberry Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 envelope onion soup mix

1 can whole cranberry sauce

French dressing to taste (I use about 1/3 of a bottle)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Place chicken pieces in baking dish. Sprinkle the soup mix over the chicken. Spread the cranberry sauce over the chicken. Drizzle with French dressing.

Bake, uncovered, for about 90 minutes.

 

Enjoy! Until next time,

Amy

P.S. If you’d like to pre-order a copy (or ten) of The 12 Slays of Christmas for just 99¢ (and ALL the proceeds from the sale of the set go to animals in need), visit www.12slaysofchristmas.com and click on your reader of choice to order!