Fluffy Dinner Rolls

The not-so-secret ingredient is mashed potatoes.  IF you have any left-overs from the holiday meal but not enough potatoes to go around, this is the best way for everyone to enjoy them.  (Besides… waste not, want not.)

Ingredients: 

1 c. milk
2/3 c. butter or margarine
2/3 c. sugar
1 TBsp. salt
2 cups chilled mashed potatoes
2 pkgs. yeast
1/2 c. lukewarm water
2 eggs
6-8 cups flour

Don’t forget to knead bread and then let rise prior rolling into balls in a lightly greased pan.

Bake: 375° F for 15 to 20 minutes.

Buddy the Elf’s Snowball Fight

The Warner Brothers movie “Elf” is a modern-day holiday classic filled with humor and heart.

Buddy the Elf from the Warner Brothers movie "Elf" prepares for a snowball fight.

Buddy the Elf from the Warner Brothers movie “Elf” prepares for a snowball fight.

Take the experience one step further by engaging in a snowball fight via the computer. Click here to enjoy…. just don’t hit Santa! (You’ll be instantly added to the “Naughty” list if you do!)

Buddy the Elf gets hit by a snowball.

Even Buddy the Elf gets hit with a snowball now and then.

Have fun playing!

Golden Santa Bread from Taste of Home©

“A friend of mine shared this fun idea. She made it with purchased frozen dough, and I use a family bread recipe. The finished loaf looks complicated. but it’s actually simple to create.” —Vicki Melies, Elkhorn, Nebraska

Golden Santa BreadYield: 1 loaf or 16 to 18 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 4-1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 raisins
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 to 3 drops red food coloring

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat milk, water and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Beat in eggs until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into two portions, one slightly larger than the other.
  4. Shape the larger portion into an elongated triangle with rounded corners for Santa’s head and hat.
  5. Divide the smaller portion in half. Shape and flatten one half into a beard. Using scissors or a pizza cutter, cut into strips to within 1 in. of top. Position on Santa’s face; twist and curl strips if desired.
  6. Use the remaining dough for the mustache, nose, hat pom-pom and brim. Shape a portion of dough into a mustache; flatten and cut the ends into small strips with scissors. Place above beard. Place a small ball above mustache for nose. Fold tip of hat over and add another ball for pom-pom. Roll out a narrow piece of dough to create a hat brim; position under hat.
  7. With a scissors, cut two slits for eyes; insert raisins into slits. In separate small bowls, beat egg each yolk. Add red food coloring to one yolk; carefully brush over hat, nose and cheeks. Brush plain yolk over remaining dough.
  8. Cover loosely with foil. Bake 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-12 minutes longer or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Originally published as Golden Santa Bread in Country Woman Christmas Annual 2007, p73

 

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Photo by Taste of Home

  • 17 chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookies, crushed
  • 1/4 c. butter, melted
  • 1 TBsp sugar

FILLING:

  • 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  •  3 TBsp. baking cocoa
  •  2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  •  1 bottle (1 ounce) red food coloring

FROSTING:

  • 1 package (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  •  1/4 cup butter, softened
  •  2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: 

  1. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, butter and sugar. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, buttermilk, cocoa and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in food coloring. Pour over crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
  4. Bake at 325° for 60-70 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan.
  5. For frosting, in a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost top of cheesecake. Refrigerate until serving.

Yield: 16 servings.

Originally published as Red Velvet Cheesecake in Country Woman December/January 2012, p42

Candy Cane Cheesecake

Candy Cane Cheeseckae

Candy Cane Cheesecake
This cheesecake is another great way to enjoy Candy Canes this holiday season. Click here for recipe.

Yield: 16 Servings
Prep: 50 min.
Bake Time: 55 min. + chilling

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. melted butter
1/4 c. sugar

Filling:

  • 5 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Topping:

  • 1c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 c. confectioners sugar (also known as powdered sugar, icing sugar or sucre glace)
  • Additional crushed peppermint candies or  candy canes

Directions:
Place a greased 10 inch springform pan on a double thickness of  heavy duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan. In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan.  Place pan on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 or until set.  Cool on a wire rack.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Beat in the sour cream, flour and vanilla.  Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in crushed candies or candy canes and, if desired,  a few drops of red food coloring. Pour over crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to large pan.

Bake at 350° for 55 to 65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen.  Cool 1 hour longer.  Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan.

In small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners/icing sugar/sucre glace.  Beat until stiff peaks form. Pipe around edge of cheesecake and sprinkle with additional crushed candies.

©Taste of Home 2012

Delicious Uses for Candy Canes

Candy canes aren’t just for sucking… to give one fresh breath in a pinch before meeting the (future or present) in-laws and/or greeting the folks at church.

Candy Cane Cake

Candy Cane Cake

Have your cake and candy canes… Eat them too!

Take an angel food cake….”frost” it with whipped cream and top it with crushed candy canes. YUMMY! (And, a way to impress a few of your family members at the holiday meal without a lot of effort…. but don’t tell them that!)

Another idea…

Sprinkle your crushed candy canes like it was “fairy dust” on goodies like cookies and brownies… making your favorites more festive.

…yet another idea…

Candy Cane Ice Cream

candy cane ice cream

Candy Cane Ice Cream….fast and easy!

If you’re late in getting to the grocery store to grab the “Special Edition” peppermint ice cream, no worries. Crush some candy cane “dust” to top a scoop (or two) of  vanilla ice cream…. or mix it up with chocolate ice cream.

Place Settings for the Holiday Feast… or anytime

It’s not to late to find some great pieces to add a bit of panache to your holiday table this year.

Even better, this is a GREAT place to complete your china set…. or find some treasures such as Christmas tree ornaments, Disney collectibles, Waterford glassware and silver flatware — just to name a few.

Great-Great-Grandma Kringle left a set of china to ol’ Kris.  There were a couple of chips in some of the plates (probably from a rambunctious elf who had a bit too much of the Holiday Spirits, if you know what I mean)… but no problem… Replacements.com were able to find the pieces we needed to replace to keep the set complete.

It is more than China… it is a memory of that wonderful woman and the good memories around her table.

Here is a sample of blown glass Christmas tree ornaments found at Replacements.com. These Santa ornaments were created by Merck Family’s Old World Christmas. The site also features Hallmark and works by Christopher Radko.

Take a peek at all the goodies at Replacements.com  In this case, it’s okay to look before Dec. 25.  But hurry!