Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Too Many Treats

So for the past few days I've been trying to get all the baking I planned to do finished. Theo decided that the Peanut Butter Balls were so good he would like some to take to work. On those I've waited until the last minute to avoid them going "missing" before they reach his office. I also made some spiced nuts and another type of cookie called a Surprise Package Cookie. I recommend both as they are delicious and addictive.

Sweet and Savory Spiced Nuts
recipe from Family Fun Magazine 12/06

2 cups Pecan Halves

Spice Mix:
2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon Allspice
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

1 Tablespoon water
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Canola or Corn Oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the pecans evenly on a baking sheet and toast them for 6 minutes. In a medium bowl stir together spice mix ingredients.
In a saucepan combine the glaze ingredients and bring them to a boil over medium heat whisking constantly. Stir in toasted Pecans and continue to cook and stir until liquid is absorbed and nuts are shiny. Place into bowl with spice mix and stir to coat. Spread out onto baking sheet again and return to oven and bake for 4 minutes. Watch carefully so the nuts don't burn.

* I omitted the cayenne pepper as I plan to serve it to my kids and I didn't want them too spicy. I also used a combination of Pecans and Walnuts to make a greater batch. I still used the measurements above just did 1 cup of each type of nut.

Surprise Package Cookies
recipe from Taste of Home's Cookies and Candies 12/05
submitted by Loraine Meyer

1 cup butter softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
65 mint Andes candies

In a bowl cream butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time beat well after each addition. Beat in Vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Shape about a Tablespoon of dough around each of 42 candies forming rectangular cookies. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks. In the microwave melt down remaining Andes mint candies and drizzle over cookies.

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