The Sweet Life
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Pull out your mixers, spatulas, and cookie sheets—the baking season is here! We’ve pulled together a collection of cookie and candy recipes, from tried-and-true to something new. Whether you are baking for an office party, family gathering, or gift-giving, you’ll find an array of easy-to-prepare recipes to add to your holiday collection.
Colorful sprinkles transform meringues into the perfect confection no matter the season.
3 egg whites
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
½ teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 250°. Line two cookie sheets with foil. In a large bowl, whip egg whites with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Continue mixing and add sugar, a tablespoon at a time. Add cream of tartar and vanilla. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spoon mounds (about 2 tablespoons) onto foil lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle with decoration.
Place both cookie sheets on the middle rack of the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Then turn off oven and leave oven door closed for 10 minutes.
Remove from baking sheet and store in an airtight container.
Yield: 2 dozen
It’s a good thing these macaroons are simple to make…it’s hard to keep your hands off them.
14 ounces sweetened shredded coconut
14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, room temperature
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 325°. Combine the coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed with an electric mixer until they make medium-firm peaks. Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.
Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.
Yield: 3 dozen
Candied Orange Peel
Simple yet elegant—serve this candied fruit with a cup of holiday tea, as a garnish on your favorite dessert or enjoy all by themselves.
4 large oranges, tops and bottoms cut off
4 cups sugar, divided
3 cups water
Cut peel on each orange into 4 vertical segments and remove from orange. Cut into strips. Cook in large pot of boiling water 15 minutes; drain, rinse, and drain again.
Bring 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water to boil in medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add peel. Return to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 45 minutes. Drain. Toss peel and 1-cup sugar on rimmed baking sheet, separating strips. Lift peel from sugar; transfer to sheet of foil. Let stand until coating is dry, 1 to 2 days.
Yield: 3 cups
Crisp on the outside and moist on the inside these simple, spiced cookies are a modern take on an heirloom recipe that is sure to be passed on for generations to come.
12 tablespoons margarine
2½ cups sugar, divided
½ cup molasses
3¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cloves
2 teaspoons ginger
Preheat oven to 325°. Cream margarine and 2 cups of sugar together. Beat in eggs, add molasses and sifted dry ingredients, and mix well. Roll into 1” balls and dip into remaining ½ cup granulated sugar. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
Yield: 7 dozen
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge
Fudge is a holiday mainstay that satisfies everyone’s sweet tooth.
3 cups sugar
1½ cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon margarine
1 cup peanut butter
Combine milk and sugar. Bring to a boil and boil until mixture forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water. Remove from heat and add margarine, vanilla, and peanut butter. Mix well and pour into a platter greased with margarine.
Yield: 24-36 pieces
Frosty Star Mints
These mint candies are a refreshing after-dinner treat.
1 package cream cheese
3½ cups powdered sugar
½ teaspoon mint extract
Assorted pastel food coloring
½ cup sugar
Using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add mint extract. Knead dough until it begins to form a ball. If the dough is too dry, add ½ teaspoon water.
Divide dough into 3 equal parts and put 3 drops of different food coloring onto each section. Work color into each section of dough. Pinch off 2-inch piece of dough
and form a ball. Roll the ball in the sugar. Flatten out dough and cut out into assorted shapes with small 1-inch cookie cutters. Store in the refrigerator.
Yield: 4 dozen