Holiday Favorites


  The following recipe is a combination of several I found online, with some modifications I’ve added over the years.

2 Cups powdered milk

2 ½ Cups fat-free non-dairy creamer

1 ½ Cups sugar or Splenda/sugar mix

1 ½ Cups unsweetened instant iced tea  (I use caffeine-free)

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cloves

2 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom


Mix together all but the vanilla.  To a mug of hot water add several drops or 1/4 tsp. vanilla.  I usually use 1/2 Cup dry chai tea mix for 8 oz. hot water, but play around until you find the right amount.  I make up a double batch and store in a large, air-tight canister, and with it I store a separate bottle of vanilla and an eye-dropper.

(Often, when I make up this recipe, I add about half a Cup of Mystic Chai Tea Mix to the whole batch.  It adds a flavor I like, but is not too sweet as Mystic is by itself.)






            1 pound confectioners sugar

            ¼ Cup unsweetened cocoa

            1/3 Cup margarine or butter

            1/3 Cup light corn syrup

            1 teaspoon peppermint extract

Sift together confectioners sugar and cocoa.  In large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat margarine, corn syrup, and extract until well blended.  Gradually beat in 1 to 2 cups of the cocoa mixture until well blended and smooth.  With wooden spoon, stir in remaining cocoa mixture.  With hands, knead until mixture is well blended and smooth.  Using 1 teaspoonful of chocolate mixture for each, shape into balls.  Flatten into patties.  Store in tightly covered container in cool place or in refrigerator.  Makes about 4 dozen mint patties.


                                                           *  *  *


          3 eggs

          1 Cup sugar

          2/3 Cup canned pumpkin

          1 tsp. lemon juice

          3/4 Cups flour

          1 tsp. baking powder

          1 tsp. cinnamon

          1/4 tsp. salt

          1/2 tsp. nutmeg

          1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat eggs at high speed 5 minutes.  Gradually add sugar.  Sitr in pumpkin and lemon juice.  Sift together all dry ingredients and fold inot pumpkin mixture.  Add vanilla and nutmeg.  Line a jelly roll pan with waxed paper.  Spread mixture evenly and bake in a 375 oven for 15 minutes.  Let cool 5 minutes.  Turn onto a flour sack towel heavily dusted with powdered sugar.  ROll together with towel and cool completely.  Unroll, remove towel, spread filling, reroll and chill.


          1 Cup powdered sugar

          8 oz. cream cheese

          4 Tbsp. melted margarine or butter

          1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat together on high speed until light and fluffy.


                                                              *  *  *


          1/2 Cup butter

          1 Cup powdered sugar

          1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

         1 3/4 to 2 Cups flour

         1/2 Cup milk

Mix butter, vanilla and powdered sugar.  Add in flour and milk and mix well.  Butter and chill a cookie sheet.  Spread mixture over sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes at 325 degrees.  Cool and cut into squares.


                                                              *  *  *



This is a Pillsbury recipe I prepared for a baby shower.  I would use more chocolate chips in the bottoms of each tart and even add chips to the tops with the drizzled chocolate…but then, I love lots of chocolate!

          1 box (15 oz.) Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box

          1/2 Cup milk chocolate [I use semi-sweet] chocolate chips

          4 oz. cream cheese, … softened

          1/4 Cup packed brown sugar

          2 Tbsp. caramel topping

          1 egg

          1/2 tsp. vegetable oil

          2 Tbsp. finely chopped pecans [I think peanuts are better]

1. Heat oven to 450 F. Remove 1 crust from pouch; unroll on work surface.  Roll lightly with rolling pin.  Cut 12 rounds from crust with 2 1/2- to 2 3/4-inch cookie cutter.  Press rounds in bottom and up sides of 12 mini muffin cups, with edges extending above cups about 1/8 inch. Repeat with remaining pie crust.  Place about 5 of the chocolate chips in each crust.

2. Bake 6 minutes.  Leave crusts in pan.  Reduce oven temperature to 375 F.

3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, caramel topping and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.  Spoon evenly over chocolate chips, about 1 1/2 tsp. for each tartlet.

4. Bake at 375 F 10 to 12 minutes or until cheesecake is set.  Cool 10 miniutes.  Remove from pan to cooling rack.

5. In small custard cup or other small microwavable bowl, place remaining chocolate chips and the oil.  Microwave uncovered on High 30 seconds; stir.  Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until melted; stir.  Drizzle over each cheesecake; immediately sprinkle with pecans.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  Cover and refrigerate any remaining tartlets.


One bit of advice: be sure these don’t dry out by baking them too long.

Leave a Reply