Christmas

Homemade Peppermint Patties

On my second day of Homemade Christmas I have for you chocolate and peppermint treat. Classic flavors of the Christmas season! I have loved peppermint patties for as long as I can remember. When I discovered a recipe to make my own I knew I had to try them. Added bonus is they are less than 5 ingredients and the recipe is super simple. Simply combine the peppermint filling, form into patties and dip into melted chocolate. There is no need for a candy thermometer or any special equipment. The hardest part is melting the chocolate.

These candies are sure to impress and your friends and family will fall in love with them! They will think you spent much more time on them than what you actually did. They are perfect to give as gifts as well at the perfect addition to any holiday cookie and candy platter. Well, that is if they make it out of the kitchen.

homemade peppermint patties | Country Girl Gourmet

 

Homemade Peppermint Patties
 
Author:
 
An easy to make chocolate and peppermint confection!
Ingredients
  • 1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar, plus additional for kneading filling
  • 1 (16oz) bag of dark chocolate chips
  • 1TB shortening
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk and peppermint extract. Add 5 cups sugar; beat on low speed until smooth and well blended. Turn mixture onto surface sprinkled with powdered sugar. Knead lightly to form smooth ball. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on wax paper-lined baking sheets. Flatten each ball into a 1½-inch patty.
  2. Let dry 1 hour or longer; turn over and let dry at least 1 hour. In microwave carefully melt chocolate chips with tablespoon of shortening. With fork, dip each patty into the melted chocolate (draw fork lightly across rim of pan to remove excess coating). Place onto wax paper-lined baking sheets; let stand until firm. Store covered at room temperature or in refrigerator.

Adapted from Peppermint Patties on Allrecipes.com

Hot Cocoa Mix

The weather is getting cooler and  some people have even seen snow, all things that make what I have for my first day of Homemade Christmas perfect.  Hot Cocoa Mix is something that is a must have when it gets cold out and especially on snowy days. There is nothing better than coming in from the cold and have a nice, warm mug of Hot Cocoa. Sure you can go to the store and pick up a box but homemade Hot Cocoa Mix is so much better and easy to make. An added bonus is Hot Cocoa Mix makes perfect gifts. You can put it in a jar or for an individual serving size you can use cake decorating bags and make hot cocoa cones. With the jar just layer some of your favorite chocolate and marshmallows on top (Homemade Marshmallows work wonderfully!).  Just add some candy canes for stirrers and tie it up with a pretty ribbon and voila you a wonderful homemade gift. That is perfect for family and friends. Being a mom of special needs kiddos who have a ton of teachers and aids this hot cocoa mix has always been perfect for teacher gifts. I know my kid’s teachers have always raved about how good it is.

Try this hot cocoa mix for yourself and see. I am sure you will convert from the store-bought box stuff to homemade. Homemade is always so much better anyways. You will love it and so will your friends and family!

Hot Cocoa Mix | Country Girl Gourmet

Hot Cocoa Mix
 
Author:
 
The perfect Hot Cocoa Mix to have on hand for when the weather cools off
Ingredients
  • 10 cups dry milk powder
  • 6 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1¾ cups powdered non-dairy creamer
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine milk powder, confectioner's sugar, cocoa powder, and creamer. Stir till thoroughly combined. Run hot cocoa mix through the food processor to make it powdery fine. Store hot cocoa mixture in an airtight container. Makes about 15 cups mix, or enough for about 45 servings.
  2. For 1 serving, place ⅓ cup cocoa mixture in a coffee cup or mug, and add ¾ cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Top with dollop of whipped cream or a few marshmallows, if desired.
  3. *If desired use different flavor creamers for different flavors of hot cocoa mix*

Adapted from Hot Cocoa Mix from Allrecipes.com

12 Days of Homemade Christmas

It’s that time of year again Christmas time! Seriously, the year has just flown by how can it be time for Christmas again! I have been working hard to bring you my 12 Days of Homemade Christmas again this year. I have made a list, and have checked it more than twice. Heck, i’m still going back and forth with a few of the recipes. I only have a few more days until I start my list but it is coming and you will be able to find links to all 12 days here after they are posted. Just like last year the recipes range from super easy to others that take a little bit of patience and time. There will be cookies and candy and more!

The list is now complete! Check out my 12 days of Homemade Christmas! What treats will you be making for your family? I’d love to see your pics of my treats! Just use the tag #countrygirlgourmet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

12 Days of Homemade Christmas | Country Girl Gourmet

Country Girl Gourmet’s 12 Days of Homemade Christmas

Day 1: Hot Cocoa Mix

Hot Cocoa Mix | Country Girl Gourmet

Day 2: Homemade Peppermint Patties

Homemade Peppermint Patties | Country Girl Gourmet

Day 3: Bacon Pralines

Bacon Pralines |Country Girl Gourmet

Day 4: Gluten Free Red Velvet Cookies

Red Velvet Chip | Country Girl Gourmet

Day 5: Gluten Free Snow Flakes Spritz 

Snow Flakes Spritz | Country Girl Gourmet

Day 6: Melt in your Mouth Toffee

Melt in your Mouth Toffee | Country Girl Gourmet

Day 7: Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies | Country Girl Gourmet

Day 8: Gluten Free Gingerbread Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream | Country Girl Gourmet

Day 9: Peppermint Bark

peppermint bark |CountryGirl Gourmet

Day 10: Caramels

Caramels | Country Girl Gourmet

Day 11: Peppermint Meringues

Peppermint Meringues | Country Girl Gourmet

Day 12: Cranberry Orange White Chocolate Chip Cookies (gluten free)
Cranberry Orange Chip Cookies | Country Girl Gourmet

From my Family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Country Girl Gourmet

Buckeyes

With my 12 days of homemade Christmas I guess I should add something that is a must have for my husband, Buckeyes. Every year starting at Thanksgiving he tells me how he needs Buckeyes, it is not Christmas without Buckeyes… he needs Buckeyes now. For those of you wondering what Buckeyes are they are what those in Ohio call peanut butter balls. For those of you going huh, the state tree of Ohio is the Buckeye tree and the peanut butter balls are made to look like Buckeye nuts.

Buckeyes

Buckeyes are a delicious combination of peanut butter and chocolate that some call candy while others call a no bake cookie. They are a bit time consuming but are very easy to make. Your friends and family will love getting these Christmas treats!

Buckeyes start off by mixing softened butter and peanut butter. The quality of your buckeyes will be determined by your quality of ingredients so use good peanut butter. Once well combined you add powdered sugar and some vanilla and form your dough. A mixer is helpful for this step. I remember working at Pizza Hut many years ago and allowing one of my employees to use our huge Hobart mixer to mix up her peanut butter dough.
Buckeyes

Once you have your dough  you will need to form it into balls. I use a cookie scoop so all of my balls are the same size.
Place the balls on a wax paper lined cookie sheet and refrigerate . This is a hard step in my house because that is when the peanut butter balls start to disappear.
Buckeyes

When you are ready to dip you add a bit of shortening or paraffin to your chips and melt.Remember the quality of your chocolate will also determine the quality of your buckeyes. Use good chocolate.

Buckeyes

Then you are ready to dip

Buckeyes

I use toothpicks because that is what works best for me.

Buckeyes

and once you dip shake off excess… I twirl back and forth a bit.

Buckeyes

and place back onto your wax paper lined cookie sheet

Buckeyes

and repeat until all your peanut butter balls are dipped.

Buckeyes

Then you are left to wait for your chocolate to harden up. To speed this up you can place your Buckeyes back in the refrigerator or your freezer..

Buckeyes

and there you go delicious Buckeyes to share with friends and family.

Buckeyes

Buckeyes
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups creamy peanut butter (this a a 18oz jar)
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (1 pound)
  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening (or parrafin)
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and confectioners' sugar with hands to form a smooth stiff dough. Shape into balls using 2 teaspoons of dough for each ball. Place on prepared pan, and refrigerate.
  3. Melt shortening and chocolate together in a metal bowl over a pan of lightly simmering water. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat.
  4. Remove balls from refrigerator. Insert a wooden toothpick into a ball, and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper, chocolate side down, and remove toothpick. Repeat with remaining balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set.

recipe from my husband’s grandma and Allrecipes.com

Buckeyes

Reindeer Food

One of my favorite Christmas traditions is Reindeer Food. On Christmas Eve my kids sprinkle throw Reindeer Food all over our front yard to help guide Santa’s reindeer to our house. Santa’s reindeer are attracted by the glitter that sparkles in the moonlight and the smell of the oats. Hey, Santa get’s cookies and milk, I think the reindeer deserve a treat as well. After all pulling Santa’s sled all night long has to make them hungry.

Making Reindeer Food is simple. You only need Oatmeal, Glitter and a Jar or other container.

Reindeer Food / 12 Days of Homemade Christmas, Day 8

First add your oats

Reindeer Food / 12 Days of Homemade Christmas, Day 8

and then your glitter

Reindeer Food / 12 Days of Homemade Christmas, Day 8

and then shake

Reindeer Food / 12 Days of Homemade Christmas, Day 8

and maybe shake a little more

Reindeer Food / 12 Days of Homemade Christmas, Day 8

until the glitter is evenly distributed

Reindeer Food / 12 Days of Homemade Christmas, Day 8

If desired make up a tag for your reindeer food. I made this in Word and cut with scrapbooking scissors.Reindeer Food / 12 Days of Homemade Christmas, Day 8

Magic ReindeerFood

On Christmas Eve, Sprinkle this magic reindeer food on your lawn. The shiny glitter will spark in the moonlight and the smell of oats will guide Rudolph to your home.

Reindeer Food / 12 Days of Homemade Christmas, Day 8

Reindeer Food is perfect to package up and share with your child’s friends and classmates. If you do not want to make your own printable you can find several on Pinterest.

Reindeer Food / 12 Days of Homemade Christmas, Day 8

Reindeer Food

Ingredients

1 cup oatmeal

1 TB glitter

Directions

1. Add oats and glitter to a bag or jar

2. Shake well

3. Spread all over your yard on Christmas Eve to guide Santa.

Reindeer Food / 12 Days of Homemade Christmas, Day 8

Cinnamon Rolls

For the second day of my Homemade Christmas we have Cinnamon Rolls! Yes, you can buy them from a can, the frozen food section or a bakery but nothing beats a homemade Cinnamon Roll. I have eaten Cinnamon Rolls as part of my Christmas morning since I was little. My mother made them as did my grandma, they are a family tradition. Could be because my family is Swedish and the Cinnamon roll is presumed to come from Sweden. I am bringing them to you today so you can make them for Saint Lucia’s Day on Friday (December 13th). While it is not a tradition my family participated in it has always been something I have been intrigued with especially since I am of Swedish heritage. Traditionally Saint Lucia Buns/Lussekatter, a sweet roll flavored with saffron are served to family members by the eldest daughter who portrays “St Lucia” but other favorite sweet rolls and breads are served also.  Saffron is expensive  so the Cinnamon Roll is a cost effective alternative.

First I want to tell you there is no need to be afraid of using yeast. This recipe can be made with the use of a bread machine, using your kitchen aid or my preferred method I am going to show you, by hand.

Gather up your ingredients for the dough. They are simple flour, room temperature eggs, milk,  yeast, softened butter, salt and sugar. I like to add a teaspoon of vanilla to my dough also. The vanilla I will leave up to you.

Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

 

 If you are using regular yeast you will need to proof it. To do this you will need to warm your  milk to 110*. No more than 110*. You can do this in the microwave in under 2 minutes. If you scald your  milk  and it gets too hot allow the temp to come down. You will kill your yeast if the water is too hot. I add 1 tablespoon of sugar to the milk  and dissolve before adding the yeast. The yeast feeds on sugar and makes it happy. Let the yeast mixture sit for about 10 minutes to let the yeast get happy. You will see it get bubbly and you will smell it.

Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls
There is also fast acting yeast you do not need to proof you just toss in with your dry ingredients but remember to watch the temp of your milk. The thermometer is your friend.

Add your yeast mixture to the rest of your ingredients and mix it up the best you can and use your hands to lightly knead the dough.

 

Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

Place in a bowl in a warm spot and cover with a damp towel and let the dough rise. I like to use the back of my oven (preheated to 400*). This part will take an hour. Your dough should double in size. If it doesn’t rise you have 2 options, you can start over or try to proceed in hopes of the second rise. I start over but that is me.

Homemade Christmas- day 2- Cinnamon Rolls

Once your dough has finished the first rise punch down and  turn it out onto a floured counter. All ow to set  and rest 5-10 minutes  and then roll out into a large rectangle.

Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

Spread butter all over dough. About 1/3 of a cup. I eyeball this.
Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

Then sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Again I eye ball this but I have been making these for a while.

Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

Then roll up tightly, jelly roll style

Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

When done it will look a bit like this-
Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

Once rolled up, cut cinnamon rolls about 1 inch a part and place in a 9×13 pan or 2, 9inch round pansHomemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

At this point you can cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to finish rising and bake later. If you chose to bake later your cinnamon rolls will continue to rise in the fridge just slowly.  When you decide take them out to bake it will take longer than 30 minutes to rise, closer to one hour. If you are choosing to bake now place rolls back in a warm spot  and cover with a damp towel. When done rising they will look similar to the picture below.
Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

Pop your beautiful cinnamon rolls in a preheated 400*oven for 12-15 minutes.

Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

While they are baking whip up frosting or a glaze if desired. We choose a glaze over frosting. One cup confectioner sugar, a splash of vanilla and a couple tablespoons of milk or heavy cream and whip until smooth.

Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

All you have left to do then is enjoy your delicious Cinnamon Rolls!

Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

The recipe I used was The Clone of Cinnabon from Allrecipes. This recipe is almost identical to the one my mom passed down to me. The only difference is she uses the same portion of liquid but half water and half milk and a hair more butter. She uses 1/2 cup instead of 1/3 cup. I have made the recipe both ways and they are both great.The changes between the two are very minor. I do highly suggest using all butter in the recipe over margarine. Butter simply makes it better.

Homemade Christmas Day 2 Cinnamon Rolls

Clone of Cinnabon  from Allrecipes.com

Cinnamon Rolls
 
Author:
 
The perfect Cinnamon Roll!
Ingredients
  • Dough-
  • 1 cup warm milk (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup margarine, melted
  • 4½ cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • Filling-
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup butter, softened
  • Cream Cheese Frosting (optional… other glazes and frostings work well also)-
  • 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1½ cups confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.
  2. After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  3. Roll dough into a 16x21-inch rectangle. Spread dough with ⅓ cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture. Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. While rolls are baking, beat together cream cheese, ¼ cup butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Spread frosting on warm rolls before serving.

12 Days of Homemade Christmas

Country Girl Gourmet 12 days of Homemade Christmas!

Where has the time gone? It is time for Christmas again! I have been working hard to bring something special from my home to yours this holiday season. Starting tomorrow I will sharing my 12 Days of Homemade Christmas. I will have recipes for cookies and candy along with a few crafts that you can make for yourself or your family. I will be posting family recipes that have been handed down over the years to other recipes that have become family favorites. They range from being super easy to a bit more difficult but as long as you have patience you can make it too!

Day 1- Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments

Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments- 12 days of Homemade Christmas

Day 2- Cinnamon Rolls

Cinnamon Rolls

Day 3- Swedish Peppakakor

Swedish Peppakakor

Day 4- Salted Caramel Sauce

Salted Caramel Sauce

Day 5- Peppermint Chip Cookies

IMG_2897

Day 6- Sugar Cookies

IMG_3088

Day 7- Homemade Marshmallows

IMG_2738

Day 8- Reindeer Food

IMG_2949

Day 9 – Cocoa Can Fudge

IMG_2629

Day 10- Buckeyes

Buckeyes

Day 11- Peanut Butter Blossoms

Peanut Butter Blossoms

Day 12- Molasses Krinkles

IMG_2508

Merry Christmas from my Family to yours!12 Days of Homemade Christmas From Country Girl Gourmet

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