Guest Author - Jenny Derden
Right after Thanksgiving was over, many people started gearing up for the Christmas and Hanukah festivities. Here in the south, we have traditional treats that always show up at our parties and tucked away in our gift boxes that we enjoy giving to our friends, neighbors and far away loves Decorate your treat table with red and green candles, table cloth, holly, gold ribbon and fresh pine branches placed neatly around the edge of the table.
Try a few of these scrumptious recipes.
Bettyes Neiman Marcus Bar Cookies
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, melted
Mix and press into a 9 x 13 inch pan.
Mix the following together and pour over cake mixture in pan:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. flaked coconut
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Let cool and then cut into bars.
Neiman Marcus Famous Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)
2. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.
3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.
4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
Triple Chocolate Cake
1 box Devils Food Cake mix or Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix.
1 small box of instant chocolate pudding.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream (light works just fine, if you prefer)
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and then dust with flour a bundt or tube pan.
In your mixing bowl, pour your cake mix, instant chocolate pudding, eggs, sour cream, water and oil and beat on low speed for about a minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and then turn the speed to medium and beat for 2 to 3 minutes.
After stopping the mixer, add the chocolate chips and stir with your spatula until evenly blended with the batter. Pour the batter into your cake pan and bake for 60 minutes. Take out at the end of baking time and place on a rack to cool.
After 30 minutes, circle the cake with a knife to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Place on a plate and get ready to make an easy chocolate glaze.
Shiney Chocolate Glaze
8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
5 tablespoons of light corn syrup
2 and 1/2 tsp. of water.
In a saucepan over low heat, pour your chocolate chips, corn syrup and butter and stir until the butter has melted. Add the water slowly. Remove from the stove and spoon the glaze over your cake.
That's it! Its easy and no one will know you did not measure and sift flour, adding sugar and all the other ingredients of a scratch cake. The cake is as moist as anyone could ever ask for and the glaze makes it beautiful. Decorate the edge of the plate with raspberries and fresh flowers to give it that extra southern flair.
Devils Food Pound Cake
1 package Devils Food Cake Mix
1 package (small) chocolate instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water and oil in a large bowl. Beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 2 minutes. Pour into a bundt or tube pan that you have greased and floured.
Bake in your 350 degree oven for 55 to 60 minutes.
After the caked is done, let it cool in the pan for about 25 minutes. Then, invert on a heat resistant plate to cool completely.
1/2 cup of canned frosting (you pick the flavor)
Heat the frosting in the microwave for 15 seconds or in a small sauce pan over medium heat stirring constantly until thin.
Drizzle glaze over cake.
Now how easy is that? I promise, guests and family will think you spent many minutes's over a "from scratch" pound cake and glaze. The cake comes out scrumptiously delicious and the glaze, shiny and fast!