Zack likes to do something special for his employees each holiday.
He asked me to make some goodie bags for them and he cooked them a big breakfast.
I spent all day (up until 1:30 am) working on their goodie bags, because I wanted them to be perfect.
I was so happy with the way everything turned out and I REALLY hope they like them.
I also hope Zack’s breakfast part of it turned out good. He was making them bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy. I hope they all appreciate all the extra things that Zack goes out of his way to do for them.
Also, today is Christmas Eve! I have been looking forward to the holidays for months. This is my favorite time of the year. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas.
South of the Border Mix
– 6 T butter
– 1 pkg (1.25 oz) taco seasoning mix, dry
– 1 T Worcestershire sauce
– 1 t hot pepper sauce
– 8 c Toasted Rice or Corn Cereal, or combination
– 1 c peanuts
– 1 c pretzels
– 1 c bite-size cheese crackers
– 2 T American cheese food powder, optional
In preheated 250 degree oven, melt margarine in open roasting pan. Stir in taco seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce. Gradually add cereals, peanuts, pretzels and cheese crackers; stir to coat evenly. Bake 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on absorbent paper to cool. If desired, sprinkle American cheese food powder over warm mix. Store in airtight container. Makes 11 cups.
Prep: 25 minutes. Chill 2 hours. Bake 7-8 minutes.
– 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
– 1 c butter
– 1 t vanilla
– 1/2 t almond extract
– 1 large egg
– 2 1/2 c AP flour
– 1 t baking soda
– 1 t cream of tartar
– granulated sugar
Beat powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract and egg in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed. Stir in remaining ingredients except granulated sugar. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet with shortening on spray with cooking spray.
Divide dough in half. Roll each half 1/4″ thick on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes with 2 1/2″ cookie cutters. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Place about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.
Bake 7-8 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Candy Cane Cookies
– 1 c butter, softened
– 1 c confectioners’ sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 t almond flavoring
– 1 t vanilla
– 1/4 t peppermint flavoring
– 2 1/2 c AP flour
– 1 t baking powder
– 1 t salt
– 1/2 t red liquid food coloring
Beat first 6 ingredients in large bowl until light and creamy.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Add to butter mixture. Stir until sift dough forms. Divide dough into 2 equal portions.
Knead food coloring into 1 portion of dough until evenly tinted. Roll about 1 t of each color dough into 5 1/2″ rope. Lay side by side. Pinch ends together. Twist and form into candy cane shape. Repeat with remaining dough. Arrange, about 2 inches apart, on greased cookie sheets. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until just golden. Let stand on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool. Makes about 4 1/2 dozen cookies.
Melted Snowman Nutter Butter Cookie Balls
Prep: 30 minutes, plus refrigerating. 48 balls
– 1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
– 24 nutter butter cookies, finely crushed (~ 3 cups)
– 2 pkg (6 squares each) white chocolate, melted
Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well blended. Shape into 48 (1-inch) balls; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. Freeze 10 minutes. Melt chocolate.
Dip balls in chocolate mixture, allowing excess chocolate to pool at bottoms of balls. Return to baking sheet. Before chocolate coating firms up, decorate balls with decorating icings for a face. Let stand until chocolate is firm. Keep refrigerated.
White Chocolate Cookies ‘n’ Cream Fudge
– 1 c sugar
– 3/4 c butter
– 5 oz can evaporated milk
– 2 12-oz pkgs white chocolate chips
– 7 oz jar marshmallow creme
– 25 chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely crushed and divided
– 1/8 t salt
Line a greased 9×9 baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing 2-3 inches to extend over sides; set aside.
Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add white chocolate chips, marshmallow creme, 2 c crushed cookies and salt. Stir until chips melt.
Pour fudge into prepared pan. Sprinkle remaining one cup cookies over fudge, gently pressing cookies into fudge. Cover and chill until firm (about 1-2 hours)
Lift uncut fudge in aluminum foil from pan; remove foil and cut fudge into squares. Makes 4 pounds.
Candy Cane Marshmallows
– 2 c sugar
– 1 T light corn syrup
– 4 packages (1/4 oz each) unflavored gelatin
– 3/4 t peppermint extract
– 2 large egg whites
– 2 t red food coloring
Coat an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray; line bottom with parchment paper. Coat the parchment with cooking spray, and set pan aside. Put sugar, corn syrup, and 3/4 c water in a small saucepan. Cover over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stop stirring; let mixture come to a boil. Raise heat to medium-high; cook until mixture reaches 260 degrees on a candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 c water in a heatproof bowl, let stand 5 minutes to soften. Set the bowl with the gelatin mixture over a pan of simmering water; whisk constantly until gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat, and stir in extract, set aside.
Beat egg white in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Whisk gelatin mixture into sugar mixture; with mixer running, gradually add to egg whites. Mix on high speed until very thick, 12-15 minutes.
Pour mixture into lined pan. Working quickly, drop dots of red food coloring across surface of marshmallow. Using a toothpick, swirl food coloring into marshmallow to create a marbleized effect. Let marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Cut into squares.
Peanut Butter Fudge Balls
– 1/4 c butter
– 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
– 1/4 c milk
– 3 2/3 c powdered sugar
– i t vanilla extract
– 1 1/2 c special dark chocolate chips or semi sweet
– 1 1/2 t shortening
– 3 c finely chopped peanuts
Line an 8 or 9-inch square pan with foil; butter foil.
Cook butter, peanut butter and milk in large saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is melted. With wooden spoon, gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Remove from heat; pour into prepared pan. Cool completely. Mixture will appear dry, but softens when rolled into balls.
Line 2 trays with wax paper. Spread chopped peanuts on one tray; set aside. Roll peanut butter mixture into 3/4″ balls and place on second tray. If necessary, refrigerate peanut butter balls until firm enough to handle for coating.
Melt chocolate chips and shortening. Cool slightly.
Dip peanut butter balls completely into chocolate mixture, one at a time, with fork. Gently tap fork on side of bowl to remove excess chocolate. Immediately roll in chopped peanuts; gently reshape if necessary. Place candy balls into small paper candy cups or return to wax paper lined tray. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Store in cool, dry place.
Prep: 10 minutes. Bake: 30 minutes. Yield: 2 cups.
– 1 T slightly beaten large egg white
– 2 c pecan halves, unblanched whole almonds or walnut halves
– 1/4 c sugar
– 2 t ground cinnamon
– 1/4 t ground nutmeg
– 1/4 t ground cloves
Heat oven to 300 degrees.
Mix egg white and pecan halves in medium bowl until pecans are coated and sticky.
Mix remaining ingredients and spinkle over pecans. Stir until pecans are completely coated. Spread pecans in a single layer in ungreased jelly roll pan.
Bake uncovered about 30 minutes or until toasted. Cool completely, or serv warm. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 weeks.