Buckeyes

Buckeyes are another recipe I had never heard of until I was asked if I knew how to make them.

Now I make them so much I make them from memory because they are so simple to make.

You can really make as few or as many as you want if you can keep the proportions locked into your head or written down somewhere.

You just need 1 part butter to 3 parts peanut butter.  Then add 1 1/2 parts the total of butter and peanut of powdered sugar.

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Caramel Apple Pie Ice Cream Sauce

I can’t even remember what recipe I was trying to make when Caramel Apple Pie Ice Cream Sauce was born.  Maybe bananas foster without bananas since this is similar to those, only with way more yummy sauce and the addition of walnuts.

I prefer to use sweet apples when I make this, but Granny Smith would work just not as sweet perhaps.  I use have used Red Delicious, Gala, Honeycrisp and Fuji successfully, but Fuji is my favorite.  Probably because it is the sweetest.

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Caramel Apple Pie Ice Cream Sauce is best eaten hot to warm and served over ice cream.  This creates the perfect marriage of hot and cold, one of my favorite ways to eat desserts and midnight snacks.  Or more realistically like the cute little girl on TV says a 10:43 snack.  I rarely have my eyes open at midnight these days.

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Dirty Buckeyes

Dirty Buckeyes! No, I am not calling names at any NCAA sports team or school, even though we are SEC fans and might be caught talking smack about other divisions.  Go Dawgs!!  Imagine having to admit that right smack in the middle of Big 12 territory…….

Dirty Buckeyes are simply buckeyes covered in crunchy bacon bits.  No, not the pinkish red salty smoky little rocks out of a jar, real bacon.  Bacon that has been cut into small pieces, fried until crispy, drained, cooled, then fried again.  Once you are done with them, they look like buckeyes that have rolled around in the dirt and dried leaves.

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Cream of Coconut Cake

I have been making one version or another of this cake for so long now that I couldn’t even begin to tell you where or when the idea originated.

Coconut Cream Cake is a fairly rich dessert.  It’s similar to a tres leche cake, except it uses cream of coconut as one of the components.  This one is also served right from the pan you baked it in, which can be a blessing for folks like me who can hardly get a small cake out of a pan in one piece.

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Pecan Pie Bars

Pecan pie bars turned up in my holiday recipe rotation out of necessity.  It was necessary to avoid any further embarrassments served out of my kitchen.

Let me explain.  I had a neighbor in Mississippi that thought I was a great cook.  This alone should have been enough to keep me happy, but the truth of the matter was his mother also thought I was a great cook.  That made me do some internal cartwheels, you really wouldn’t want to see this old body do a real cartwheel.

When I was asked to make some pies for their Thanksgiving dinner I was honored.  After all, a true southern family wanted my cooking.  In addition to the pecan pie, I think I made them a chocolate pie.

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I was so proud to send the pies next door for him to take to his family function.  Imagine my horror when the reports came back that it wasn’t set up when they cut into it.  I am probably sitting here with that some shocked face I had when I heard it.  I was so devastated that I have had a mental kitchen block about pecan pies since then that I have yet to attempt one again.

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Peppermint Crunch

Everyone needs an easy go to Holiday treat recipe.  One that requires minimal ingredients and minimal time to make.  Peppermint Crunch fits that bill.

It only has 3 ingredients.  4 ingredients if you decide to add peppermint flavoring to either chocolate layers.

Just like spiced crackers, this recipe makes great hostess gifts.  It cost a bit more than crackers, but who doesn’t love chocolate and peppermint during the holidays.  This is probably why we gain up to 5% of our weight over the holidays.  I don’t deny that nuts, caramel, and cinnamon flavored treats are part of the problem.

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Cinnamon Vanilla Candied Peanuts

Cinnamon Vanilla Candied Peanuts are another recipe that make great hostess gifts for all those holiday gatherings you’re invited to.  Pecans can be substituted, but unless you find a special deal on pecan halves, you might blow through your entire holiday cooking budget on them.

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As these cook you might feel like you have done something wrong.  The glaze will start to look gummy or stringy.  It’s all good, just keep cooking and stirring.

It will be difficult to stir near the end and might feel like it’s just too gooey.  That’s OK too.  Just keep stirring and cooking until it is dried up.

The peanuts will separate and become more sugar coated.  Eventually there will be no liquid left on the bottom of the pan.  This is the time to turn off the heat and get it onto your baking sheet.

If you decide to taste one now, expect it to still be kind of soft.  Everything will come together in the oven.  They will be crispy and delicious once they cool after this final cooking step.

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Holiday Green Jello Salad

Green salad was at every holiday meal my mom was involved in. I can’t remember a holiday at her house, or anyone else’s for that matter where this dish wasn’t present. She loved green salad and if no one else was making it, you were guaranteed she would. It had never been any other color until her later years when she started substituting cranberry or cherry jello for the lime. When I was younger I preferred mine with pecans in it, and surprise cream cheese chunks that didn’t completely dissolve into the mix. Now I am a puritan in the nut arena. I also prefer to eat this made with cranberry jello, and cherry is a close second.

I don’t make this in my kitchen anymore. It was more of a tradition at my house rather than a “craving” for me, you know, one of those things that you were expected to put on your plate but kind of pushed around. However, this is now a part of Ron’s holiday traditions so it should be his cookbook version that appears in this post.  Thus is not a dish he pushes around his plate.  He loves it!

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Candy Acorns

Candy Acorns are a cute edible addition to the kids’ table at holiday meals.  This is an idea I have seen all over the internet.

They also make nice finishing touches to pumpkin pies and many other fall desserts.

The flavor can be changed by changing the flavor of chips used for the end of the acorn, as well as changing the flavor of the candy kisses use for the big portion of this decoration.

I have seen these made with milk chocolate kisses and pumpkin spice kisses.  I used caramel filled kisses for mine and butterscotch chips for the ends as well as the “glue” to hold it all together.

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DoubleTree Cookies

In my previous life, I spent a lot of time on the road and in hotels.  Once a year a week was spent in Louisville, Kentucky at the Seelbach Hotel.  If memory serves me right, it wasn’t a convenient location to our daily destination, but I think the co-workers and I wound up there year after year for the turndown service that included a cookie.  Since this is a Hilton, and DoubleTree is “by” Hilton, I figured any cookie called the DoubleTree was worth a try.

The ones at this hotel were the thickest chocolate chip cookies I had ever seen.  They weren’t gooey like most thick chocolate chips cookies, they were cakey.  I don’t really remember there being any oats in them, but perhaps they were able to grind their oats into a much finer powder than my handy dandy food processor can.

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