The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

December 12, 2012

Easy Christmas Goodies

Karen's Kitchen
Karen Freeman

TARBORO — When it Christmas time, it's time for great snacks and goodies! I use baked goods and jam and jellies as Christmas gifts. I have a few people who call each year just to make sure that I'm making their favorites.  Here are a few easy recipes that will help you get in the mood for Santa.

The first recipe uses golden Oreos. I haven't tasted those in months but I love them just the same. This treat is beautiful once it's made. You will get lots of requests for this one.

The second recipe is a white chocolate fudge that happens to also have peanut butter inside. You can make this with or without added notes.

The third recipe is super easy. It Cakesters that you have covered with Fondant. You can make them as simple or as fancy as you want them.

The next recipe is peanut butter candies. They are easy to make and almost fool proof. The kids will love helping with this one.

The next recipe is Fantasy Fudge.  It's made in the microwave so it's not too difficult for older kids. They will enjoy making the fudge and then letting it get ready to eat!

The last recipe is peppermint bark. I think it's an absolutely beautiful dish to serve ofr any occasion.

No-Bake Golden Oreo Truffles

1 package Golden Double Stuff Oreos reserve a few cookies for garnish on top

4 oz. cream cheese, you may need to add up to 8 oz. to get the consistency you want

Dipping Chocolate

Chop Oreos up finely in a food processor. Save some of the finely crushed Oreos for garnish later and set it aside. You don't need too much.

With hands (or a spoon, I just think hands are faster), mash softened cream cheese and crushed Oreos until well combined.

Roll into 1" balls and place on a wax covered cookie sheet. Put in freezer for 15 minutes.

While balls are in freezer, melt chocolate according to directions.

Pull the Oreo Truffles out of freezer, and dip into chocolate. Garnish with reserved Oreo crumbs before the chocolate sets up.

Let chocolate set, refrigerate and enjoy!

Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Fudge

11 oz white chocolate chips, 1 bag, I always use the Ghirardelli brand.

1 14 oz can condense milk

1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter

1/2 cup chopped peanuts, I used raw and unsalted

Lined a square 8x8 pan with foil paper and lightly grease it.

In a sauce pan, at low heat, pour all of the ingredients except chopped peanuts. Stir constantly until chocolate has almost melted.

Turn off heat and continue stirring until chocolate is completely melted. Add peanuts (reserve a couple of tablespoons of chopped peanuts to sprinkle over the top) and pour mixture evenly onto prepared pan.

Sprinkle the reserved peanuts and pat a bit with your hand. Let fudge cool until set. I actually place the fudge in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to speed up the process.

Remove fudge from pan and peel off the foil paper. Cut fudge into small squares and store in a sealed container at room temperature.

Easy 3 Ingredient Petit Fours

1 box (12 Oz. Box) Oreo Cakesters

1 box (24 Oz. Box) Wilton Fondant

1 container Food Coloring of Choice

You are simply covering Oreo Cakesters with rolled fondant! It's that eay.

Roll out about a quarter-sized ball of fondant for each petit four. Place it over the cakester and then smoothed it out.

After getting it as flat as possible, use a pizza cutter and cut off the excess. Tuck the edges under and decorate anyway you would like!

Peanut Butter Candies

1 one pound box Confectioners' sugar

6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

7 teaspoons whole milk

Peanut butter for spreading (crunchy or smooth)

Using a stand mixer or very strong hand mixer, mix sugar and butter until blended. Add milk one teaspoon at a time until the mixture pulls from the edge and almost makes a ball. I used 7 t. milk. Too dry and your dough will crack, too wet, it will be sticky. Roll into a ball then roll out into a 9 inch by 14 inch rectangle, between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick. It is easier to roll between two sheets of plastic wrap on top of the bottom side of a jelly-roll pan.

Using a sharp knife cut a slit down the center of the dough longways. Spread each side with a thin layer of peanut butter, not to edges. Chill for 15 minutes to help it set a bit.

With the assistance of the plastic wrap, roll the dough into logs starting with the long edges, and then seal the seams by lightly pinching and smoothing them. The dough will crack, the peanut butter will ooze and the edges may not seal, but don't worry about it, it's supposed to look rustic.

Using a sharp knife, gently cut the rolls into 1/2 inch pieces. You will get about 24-30 pieces. Place in paper candy papers on a candy dish and cover tightly with plastic wrap (they can dry out quickly) until ready to serve or store, wrapped well, in freezer up to 3 months.

Fantasy Fudge

3 cups sugar

3/4 cup Parkway margarine

2/3 cup evaporated milk

12 ounces chocolate chips

7 ounces marshmallow cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

Microwave butter in bowl on high 1 minute (or until melted).  Add sugar and milk, mix well. Microwave for 3 minutes then stir. Microwave for 2 minutes then stir.

Microwave for 3 minutes at half power; then stir.  Microwave for 2 1/2 minutes at half power  then stir. Stir in chocolate until melted. Add remaining ingredients and stir well.

Pour into greased 13x9 pan. Cool at room temperature and cut into squares.

Peppermint Bark

1 lb. dark chocolate (I used 1/2 semisweet and 1/2 bittersweet)

1 lb. white chocolate

6 oz. (1 regular package) candy canes, crushed

Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler until smooth. Spread (with an offset spatula) in an even layer on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Place in freezer to harden, approximately 30 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate over a double boiler until smooth. Spread (with an offset spatula) on top of the dark chocolate layer. Working quickly before the white chocolate sets, sprinkle the crushed candy canes on top and gently press into the chocolate. Refrigerate until complete hard and set, at least 2 hours.

Break into pieces and enjoy!