Sunday, November 13, 2011

Caramel Corn........Week #7 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies

I'm a little late this week getting my post up for The 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.  But here it is.  Not a cookie but a sweet snack worthy for any Christmas tray or Christmas food gift.  

I just love, love, love caramel corn.  Much of my childhood was growing up in Ocean City, MD and one of my favorite childhood memories is eating Fisher's Popcorn from the boardwalk.  Making your own caramel popcorn at home is easy.  Your family and friends would love to get a container of this classic favorite.  I guarantee they will ask for more.

Caramel Corn
Recipe slightly adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook


7 to 8 cups popped popcorn
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons light-colored corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla


1. Put popped popcorn into a 17x12x2 inch baking pan. (such as a large rimmed cookie sheet) 
2. To make caramel mixture, in a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture boils.  Continue boiling at a moderate, steady rate, without stirring, for 5 minutes more.
3.  Remove saucepan from heat.  Stir in baking soda and vanilla.  Pour caramel mixture over popcorn; stir gently to coat.  Bake in a 300 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Stir mixture and bake 5 minutes more.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Store tightly covered for 1 week.

Make a foodie gift: package your popcorn in a Christmas themed box or container.  They may just return it for a refill.

The blog hop is below.  For more great cookie and treat ideas, check out the individual links below.

My husband decided to sneak a few pieces as I was trying to take my photos.  He has a huge sweet tooth and is really benefiting from all my baking.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  I used about 1 and a half bags of popped microwave popcorn.  Use any type of popcorn you like to make.      


Friday, November 4, 2011

Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookie Bars.......Week 6 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies

It has been such a busy crazy time for me.  I'm sure many of you can relate.   But I still had time to bake something this week.  It needed to be quick and it needed to be easy.  But it still had to be a yummy dessert.  You will find it in these Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.  The addition of Macadamia nuts elevates it to something extra special and extra delicious.  

Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Cookie Bars
Recipe by Ghirardelli

Yield: 16 bars


12 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat butter with brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and eggs.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing on low speed until combined.  Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.  Gradually add to egg mixture while mixing on low speed.    Fold in chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.  Spread batter evenly into a 13" x 9" pan. (I suggest spraying lightly with cooking spray)

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Cut into squares.

It's Week 6 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.  Halfway there.  For more ideas, see what other bloggers are baking up with the blog hop below.


Mom's Cooking Club Lesson:  When you want to bake homemade cookies but pressed for time, try making cookie bars.  One pan and less work with all the delicious flavor of freshly baked cookies.

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