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Topic: Christmas Cooking in a Dorm-easy goodie recipes  (Read 1827 times)
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« on: November 26, 2007 09:43:04 PM »

I posted this under cooking as well because I was unsure which board would be more appropriate.

So as small gifts for all my friends, I want to make a small assortment of candy and baked goods to tie up in pretty clear plastic bags.

Unfortunately, since i live in a dorm and live in a meal plan, I don't have food staples such as flour and sugar on hand and since I'm on an extremely tight budget I don't want to go buy 10+ ingredients to make these gifts.

So here is where you wonderful cooks come in! I need ideas for holiday bakes that are relatively cheap and use few ingredients, ie peppermint bark.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011 10:33:47 AM by alteredmommy » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2007 10:18:16 PM »

This is a recipe for some candy my mom makes every year. the flavoring isn't really expensive but its not cheap either (comes in a 4 pack in the cake decor. section at michaels, cherry, peppermint, spearmint, and cinnamon) its like $6 but it makes two cookie sheets worth of candy each bottle. and that is a CRAP load of candy. Just make sure you follow the recipe exactly. after the candy has hardened for a few hours, my mom sprinkles powdered sugar over it, and its so pretty. it looks like stained glass when its all finished.

4 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water
1 tablespoon desired flavored extract or 1 teaspoon flavoring oil
Food color, as desired
Line a 15 x 11-inch baking pan with foil and lightly grease or sprinkle evenly with a light coating of powdered sugar. Set aside.
In a medium pan combine sugar and corn syrup with water and cook over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
Boil rapidly until candy thermometer registers 300*F (150*C), hard-crack stage.
Immediately remove from heat and stir in flavor extract and food color.
Pour into prepared pan. Let cool completely.
When hard, remove from pan. Break into pieces with kitchen mallet.
Note: For multiple flavors and colors, divide candy mixture after cooking; flavor and color each as desired.

Makes 2 1/2 pounds candy.

« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2007 11:31:47 PM »

Super Easy Peppermint Bark
For every 1lb white chocolate
add 1/2 cup smashed candy canes

Melt your white chocolate in a double broiler (if you don't have one stack two pots and put water in the bottom pot just be carefull not to get water into your chocolate)
add smashed candy canes to the melted chocolate , stir .
pour onto a cookie sheet that has been lined with wax papper .
Place into refrigerator to cool , once cool break into pieces .

hint :the smaller candy canes are easier to smash , place them into a zip lock baggie and wrap a towel around the bag ... go to town with your hammer Wink

My daughter had to make some baked good for school and she made these recipes from the hershey site
Sorry you'll have to use their search feature to find the recipes as they don't have a direct link

Double Peanut Clusters (peanuts , peanut butter chips , shortening and made in the microwave )
these were super easy to make and tasted similar to a payday bar

Butterscotch Nut Fudge (sugar , marshmellow cream , vanillia , butter , butter scotch chips , nuts , evaporated milk - made on the stove and doesn't require a candy thermometer to make them )
These tasted great and everyone that tried them raved about them

Both recipes were easy for my daughter who has very little cooking experiance to follow and she really didn't need my help (other than making sure she didn't catch my kitchen on fire =P )

« Last Edit: November 26, 2007 11:42:14 PM by Lil_Birdie » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2007 11:34:28 PM »

I'm making chocolate covered cherries for people this year- you could totally do this in a dorm. This is a bit time consuming, but they are sooo good.
Recipe is here


    * 8 tablespoons melted butter
    * 6 tablespoons corn syrup
    * 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    * 3 pounds confectioners' sugar
    * 3 (10 ounce) jars maraschino cherries, drained
    * 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
    * 1/2 tablespoon shortening


   1. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, corn syrup, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and sugar. Knead dough, and form it into balls with a cherry wrapped in the middle. The balls should be approximately the size of walnuts. Place balls in the freezer to chill.
   2. In a double boiler, melt chocolate chips and shortening together. Dip the cooled balls in the chocolate, let cool on parchment paper.

That's the actual recipe, but I changed it a little bit- I only did 1/8th of the recipe, and I didn't actually measure much.

Just take 1 tbsp melted butter, squirt in about 1 tbsp corn syrup, pour in roughly 1/8th a can of condensed milk, and a little bit of vanilla or almond extract (I also did this without the extract, it turned out fine). Mix that up well, and pour in a little bit of powdered sugar. Mix and repeat, until it's quite doughy. Lay it out on the counter and mix in more powdered sugar until it's not sticky at all anymore.

Before you mix up the fondant, take about 1 can of cherries, pull them out of the jar, and try to dry them off as best as you can. Stick these in the freezer (it's fine if they touch each other, you'll be able to get them apart easily).

Wrap a thin layer of fondant around each cherry and put it in the freezer. (if the fondant is too sticky to work with, add more powdered sugar) Repeat until you run out of fondant or cherries, you'll probably run out of cherries first.

Then melt the chocolate chips (you really don't need the shortening, you can use butter), take a spoonful of chocolate and gently spin the frozen fondant covered cherry in chocolate until covered. Set on parchment paper to dry. Repeat until you're done.

This is kinda time consuming, but fun, especially if you get a friend to help. They are sooo worth the work, they're amazing right away but if you manage to let them sit a week to 2 weeks, the centers get gooey and liquidy like the box cherries.
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2007 12:07:44 PM »

Chocolate covered pretzels are super easy. All you have to do is dip pretzels in melted Almond Bark.

You can also dip peppermint sticks in the Almond Bark and it is really good. I found soft chewy peppermint sticks at Walmart and they were a big hit last year. If you like you can also sprinkle on chopped walnuts after dipping the sticks in chocolate.

« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2007 07:01:55 PM »

oh thanks guys! These are all great ideas!
Where do you find almond bark? I was at the kind of run-down Food Lion today and could not find any.
Will I have to head out to a nicer grocery store to find it or do I have to wait for Christmas season to pick up?

« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2007 07:58:40 PM »

you could just make some simple sugar cookies... basic ingredients like flour, sugar, etc aren't too expensive (especially if you buy the store brands!!)... or you could try my FAVORITE brownie recipe... it's really, really easy, too. 
You will need:

1 box of chocolate cake mix
1 small can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix... actual pumpkin)
And that's all!

Follow the temperature directions on the back of the cake mix box... but keep in mind that it will take a little bit longer to bake than what it says! The pumpkin takes longer, for some reason. Also remember to grease your cake pan.

It yields a 9x13 pan of chewy, tasty (low-fat) brownies! No eggs, no oil, no water required!

You can get a generic cake mix for like a dollar....the same for the pumpkin...  you can ice them too, if you want. 

A pretty twist would be to sprinkle powdered sugar on top... you could put a few in a baggie and tie it with a pretty ribbon. Be creative! I'm sure you'll come up with something really great Smiley
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007 08:05:38 PM by HeatherDelaCruz » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2007 09:05:21 AM »

One of my favorite treats Grandma makes every year for Christmas is chocolate covered ritz peanut butter sandwhiches. Just makes some sandwhiches of two ritz crackers and peanut butter, did into melted almond bark.
Hmmmm, I also made some smores on a stick last year, take a 2 large marshmallows on a stick (I used a bamboo skewer cut in half) dip into melted almond bark and then roll in graham cracker crumbs.

Also, I melt almond bark in the microwave with no problems at at all, I use a large pyrex measureing cup, and heat 30 seconds at a time, stirring well between each interval.
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2007 11:15:39 AM »

Do you have access to a stove or hot plate? I make "fake fudge" and it always get scarfed down. I've always made it on the stove but I don't see why it wouldn't work in a microwave.

Melt together
1 and 3/4 bags (12 oz bags) of chocolate chips (sometimes I use PB  chips instead of all chocolate)
1 can condensed milk
stir until smooth
add 1 teaspoon vanilla (after you take it off the heat)
and crushed nuts (optional I leave them out, hubby doesn't like nuts) pour into a greased casserole dish.  It sets up quick! Raisins are good in this too.
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