Thursday, December 20, 2007
Christmas Kitchen report and recipes
Yesterday in the Christmas kitchen I made up some hot chocolate mix and also the double-decker chocolate peanut butter fudge we call “Heavenly Delight” in our family. I also baked a cranberry coffee cake for some friends who have a houseful of family visiting. Perhaps others might like to try these. Any of these would be delicious any time of year, not just at Christmas.
Here is my hot chocolate mix recipe:
HOT CHOCOLATE MIX
5 cups instant nonfat dry milk
2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups instant chocolate drink powder (like Quik)
1 cup malted milk powder, chocolate flavor
1 cup malted milk powder, malt flavor
1 cup non-dairy powdered creamer
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
*And here are two optional ingredients*:
2 cups of miniature marshmallows
1 to 2 teaspoons powdered vanilla (you can find this in the King Arthur catalog, probably other places too)
Using a very large bowl, mix all ingredients together thoroughly. I like to use a slotted spoon for mixing. Transfer to one or more airtight containers. A jar filler type of funnel works well for the transfer to jars. I often use clean instant coffee jars to package the mix, but tins also work.
Include these directions with mix:
* Place 1/3 cup of mix in a large mug. Fill mug with hot water and stir to dissolve. *
And here is the recipe for Heavenly Delight:
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups sugar
7-ounce jar marshmallow fluff
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1 tsp. vanilla
Line an 8-inch square pan with foil, extending the foil over the edges of the pan. Measure the peanut butter chips into a small bowl, and measure the chocolate chips into a second small bowl. Set aside. In a heavy 3-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, fluff, evaporated milk, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils. Boil and stir 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
Immediately pour half of the hot mixture into the peanut butter chips. Stir until the chips are completely melted and incorporated into the hot mixture. Quickly pour the peanut butter mixture into the prepared pan. Stir the remaining hot mixture into the chocolate chips until they melt and are completely blended in. Quickly spread this mixture over the peanut butter layer.
Cool the fudge completely before removing it from the pan. Lift the fudge out of the pan by the foil, put it face down on a plastic cutting board and peel off the foil. Cut the fudge into 1-inch pieces.
This terrific recipe is also from Cook & Tell. Its actual name is "Double-Decker Peanut Butter Fudge". But when Esther, my daughters' college roommate and friend, tasted this, she promptly named it "Heavenly Delight". And so it has been, ever since.
CRANBERRY COFFEE CAKE
3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
16-ounce can whole berry cranberry sauce
Chopped nuts to taste
In a large bowl cream the margarine and sugar. Add unbeaten eggs one at a time, beating after each on medium speed of mixer. Beat in the flavorings. Mix together the dry ingredients (I prefer to sift them) and add them to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
Pour half the batter into a greased 13x9-inch pan. Stir the cranberry sauce with a fork and scatter about half of it over the batter. Swirl gently with a knife. Sprinkle on a few nuts. Repeat layers.
Bake in preheated 350º oven for 55 minutes or a bit more, until toothpick comes out clean.
This recipe is adapted from one that was given me years ago by a dear friend of our family. It is rich-tasting and so pretty for Christmas!
That’s it for today’s kitchen report. Hope all of you are having fun in your own Christmas kitchens today!