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Christmas Almond Cookies

Christmas Almond Cookies

Christmas Almond Cookies

Whether it’s for a cookie exchange, to share with family and friends, or to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve, nothing is better at this time of year than a batch of home-baked cookies.

Sure to be well received, these flavor-packed cookies are easy-to-prepare and are perfect for folks of all ages. One thing is certain; when it comes to celebrating the holidays, these festive cookies will help make the season bright.

Enjoy!

CHRISTMAS ALMOND COOKIES

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
Almond Frosting
Holiday candy sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar; beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Add egg, milk, and extract; beat until combined. Gradually beat in salt and as much flour as possible; stir in the rest. Shape dough into 1 1/4-inch balls; place 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake until set and bottoms are light golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Cool completely. Dip tops of cookies into Almond Frosting. Sprinkle with candy sprinkles. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.

ALMOND FROSTING

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 to 1/3 cup milk

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, extract, and 1/4 cup milk. Mix until smooth, adding more milk as necessary to reach desired consistency.

For more easy holiday recipes, order a copy of Cooking, Baking, and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons

Apple Pear Sauce

Apple Pear Sauce

Apple Pear Sauce

Homemade applesauce is always welcome at the table, but why not put a tasty twist on tradition with the addition of pears.

This combination is good enough on its own, but by cooking them in cranberry juice cocktail along with a couple sticks of cinnamon, it’s easy to make a seasonal treat. It’s just as easy to double or triple the recipe and share with family and friends.

And if you like the idea of making simple hand-crafted items to complement your home, then pick up a copy of Cooking, Baking, and Making: 100 Recipes and DIY Ideas for All Seasons and Reasons and learn how to make easy No-Sew Placemats like these that will be the perfect addition to your fall table.

No-Sew Placemats

No-Sew Placemats

Apple Pear Sauce

3 medium cooking apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cranberry juice cocktail
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 (3- to 3 1/2-inches each) cinnamon sticks

In a medium saucepan, combine apples, pears, sugar, cranberry juice cocktail, water, lemon juice, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, partially covered, until apples and pears are tender, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Remove cinnamon sticks. Mash with a potato masher to desired texture. Serve warm or chilled. Makes about 2 cups.

Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

Fudgy home-baked brownies will add a sweet touch to any occasion. A time-honored treat, they’re the perfect choice for a summertime gathering.

Whether it’s a backyard get-together, a family reunion, or a picnic by the lake, these crowd-pleasing goodies are simple to make and are easy to transport.

One thing is certain: old-fashioned goodness never tasted so good.

FUDGE BROWNIES

Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon brewed coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil, letting ends extend beyond edges on 2 sides. Coat foil with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk together butter, vegetable oil, and sugar. Add eggs, coffee, and vanilla; whisk to combine. Add flour and cocoa powder; stir until smooth. Spread into prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove brownies by lifting foil ends; peel off foil. Place on a cutting board and cut into squares. Makes 16 brownies.

Easy Rocky Road Candy

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife Easy Rocky Road Candy

Easy Rocky Road Candy

Easy Rocky Road Candy

Short on time but still want to make homemade treats for those near and dear? Then grab a bag of chocolate chips, miniature marshmallows, and chopped walnuts and you’ll be on your way to crowd-pleasing confections in no time.

Simply melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, stir in the marshmallows and walnuts, and refrigerate until firm. Cut into squares and store, covered, at room temperature for up to one week.

You can substitute milk chocolate chips in place of semisweet chips, and chopped peanuts for walnuts, if desired. However you make it, this quick and easy recipe will help make the season bright.

EASY ROCKY ROAD CANDY

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil, letting ends extend beyond edges on 2 sides. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips in the microwave according to package directions. Stir in marshmallows and walnuts. Spread into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Remove candy by lifting foil ends; place on a cutting board. Remove foil; cut into squares. Makes 24 candies.

Butterscotch Caramel Apple Dip

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife Butterscotch Caramel Apple Dip

Butterscotch Caramel Apple Dip

Butterscotch Caramel Apple Dip

Savor a taste of the season by whipping up a flavorful dip that pairs perfectly with orchard-fresh apples. Prepared with minimal ingredients, this recipe can be made in minutes and is filled with the taste of autumn.

It’s a yummy after-school snack and a delightful choice for fall gatherings. It also is ideal for making ahead. Prepare up to two days in advance and store, covered, in the fridge.

When it comes to enjoying the goodness of apples, this recipe makes it easy.

BUTTERSCOTCH CARAMEL APPLE DIP

1 (8-ounce) package regular or reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup butterscotch caramel ice cream topping
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Apple wedges, for dipping
For dip, in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, ice cream topping, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Serve with apple wedges. Makes 12 servings

Easy Lime Pound Cake

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 The Harried Housewife Easy Lime Pound Cake

Easy Lime Pound Cake

Easy Lime Pound Cake

If you’re pressed for time but still want to bake a homemade treat, grab a box of pound cake mix, pick up a couple of limes, and in no time you’ll have a refreshing dessert that no one will guess began with packaged mix.

You probably already have the other ingredients necessary for preparation in your pantry, so it’s as simple as stirring in a bit of lime zest before baking.

One thing is certain: By embellishing packaged mix, it’s easy to savor a tangy treat fresh from your kitchen.

EASY LIME POUND CAKE

1 (16-ounce) package pound cake mix, plus ingredients to prepare it
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with shortening; dust with flour. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Stir in lime zest. Transfer to prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack set over foil. Cool 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, combine sugar and lime juice in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH just until sugar has dissolved, 10 to 20 seconds. Stir well. Poke a long skewer into the top of cake at about 1-inch intervals; brush lime-sugar mixture over cake. Cool completely. Makes 12 servings.

Strawberry Fruit Dip

As seen on WKTV NEWSChannel 2 Harried Housewife Strawberry Fruit Dip

Strawberry Fruit Dip

Strawberry Fruit Dip

Ideal for entertaining, this crowd-pleasing recipe takes just a few minutes to whip up. An excellent choice for a graduation party or any other summer get-together, it’s easy to prepare by simply combining a few packaged ingredients.

And it’s just as easy to double or triple the recipe. Serve with fresh strawberries or other seasonal fruits for a refreshing treat as welcome as a summer breeze.

STRAWBERRY FRUIT DIP

1 (6-ounce) carton non-fat strawberry yogurt
1 (6-ounce) carton non-fat vanilla yogurt
1 (8-ounce) carton regular or light frozen whipped topping, thawed
Assorted fresh fruit, such as strawberries, pineapple, grapes, kiwi, cantaloupe, for dipping

For dip, in a large bowl, combine strawberry and vanilla yogurt. Fold in whipped topping. Serve with assorted fresh fruit. Makes 24 servings.