Christmas Baked Goods, Candy, and Confections: Part 1


I like to watch Food Network as time allows, but mostly I listen to Food Network as I hover around the house. All the holiday food shows and competitions making Christmas baked goods, candy and confections piqued my interest. So, to my recipe drawer, I went.

I know you probably have a recipe box, drawer, binder… closet! Ha- that would be something, a recipe closet. I would like to see your recipe closet if you have one! Anyway… I was reminiscing about Christmas baked goods, candy and confections that I have made over the years and I would like to share them with you. Please enjoy!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

My favorite item to bake is Festive Fruitcake. This recipe I cut off the box of a Pillsbury Date Bread Mix. My Grandma Syens used this recipe religiously for her Christmas Fruitcake for better than 30 years. I wrote to you last year about Fruitcake. Making fruitcake is part of my celebrating Christmas and remembering family members who have gone home.

All credit is given to SMUCKERS (they own Pillsbury) for this delicious recipe. It is important to note that the Date Bread Mix sells out quickly so get ahead of the rush and order it in September- you’ll thank me later. Last year I waited till Thanksgiving to order the Date Bread Mix and it was back-ordered. GASP!

FESTIVE FRUITCAKE

INGREDIENTS

  • Pillsbury™ Baking Spray with Flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup Crisco® Pure Vegetable Oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 (16.6 oz.) packages Pillsbury™ Date Quick Bread & Muffin Mix
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 cups raisins
  • 2 cups candied cherries, halved
  • 1 cup cut-up candied pineapple
  • 1/4 cup Smucker’s® Apple Jelly*
  •  Smucker’s® Red Raspberry Syrup*
  • Additional cherries and pecans

DIRECTIONS

  1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Coat 12-cup fluted tube pan or 10-inch tube pan with baking spray with flour.
  2. WHISK water, oil, and eggs in an extra-large bowl until blended. Add a quick bread mix. Stir until evenly moistened. Stir in pecans, raisins, cherries, and pineapple. Spoon into prepared pan.
  3. BAKE 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool 1 hour longer or until completely cooled.
  4. WRAP tightly in plastic wrap or foil. Chill at least 8 hours. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  5. HEAT jelly or syrup* in a microwave on HIGH 10 to 20 seconds or until melted and smooth. Brush over fruitcake. Garnish with additional cherries and pecans, if desired.
  • *These are all new editions to the recipe compared to the early 90’s recipe that I cut off the box. I do not do the jelly or the corn syrup… instead, I like to soak the loaves in brandy. After baking and you have the loaves cooling on the counter( still IN the bread tin), while they are still warm, take your favorite brandy and pour some over top your loaf. Let them sit for 24 hours covered. The brandy really gives the loaves a nice flavor. They freeze well. A nice slice of cheddar cheese or some co-jack on top of a buttered piece of fruitcake is great as well. Enjoy!

This next recipe is like a Pay-Day candy bar crossed with a Nut Goodie. But whatever the mix… it is delicious.

Bon Bars

Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Ingredients for Base and Top layer mixture

  • 12 oz. chocolate chips
  • 12 oz. butterscotch chips
  • 18 oz. creamy peanut butter

Melt these 3 ingredients together. Spread HALF the mixture on the bottom of a jelly roll pan. Chill.

Middle Filling

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 REGULAR size (sm) cooked vanilla pudding, COOKED not instant
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar

Boil for one minute the butter, milk, and vanilla pudding. Add to it the 2 lbs of powdered sugar, stirring together well and cool. Then spread cooled middle filling over the chilled base from above.

Top layer

  • 16 oz dry roasted peanuts
  • the remaining mixture of the base

Then add the dry roasted peanuts to the remaining base/top mixture and spread it over the middle filling layer. Chill again and then cut into small squares. This recipe is another great addition to your Christmas baked goods, candy, and confections recipe collection.

Michele

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