Christmas Baking

Nothing culinary can quite compare to the aromas of a holiday kitchen. This Christmas, try these recipes in yours while there’s still time!

Tutti-Frutti Surprises

2 large eggs

1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1 cup pitted dates, finely chopped

3/4 cup finely chopped, mixed candied fruit

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, melted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Heat oven to 300 F. Grease an 8-by-8-inch metal baking pan. Line pan with foil; grease foil.

2. In large bowl, with mixer at medium-high speed, beat eggs with 1 cup confectioners’ sugar until pale yellow and foamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low; add walnuts and remaining ingredients and beat just until blended, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. (Mixture will be very wet.)

3. Spread mixture evenly in pan. Bake 45 minutes or until lightly golden and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

4. When cool, cut into 8 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 4 pieces. Place remaining 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar in small bowl; roll each cookie in sugar to coat. Store cookies in tightly covered container up to 2 weeks.

  • Each serving: About 100 calories, 4g total fat (1g saturated), 13mg cholesterol, 70mg sodium, 15g carb., 1g fiber, 1g protein.

Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels

Pretzels dipped in sweet, chocolaty candy coatings are super simple to make (and even easier to eat!). Create different varieties of pretzels by mixing up the types of chocolate bars you use.

16 mini Hershey’s chocolate bars

12 medium pretzels

1. Roughly chop one variety of mini Hershey’s chocolate bars. Melt, dip half of each pretzel into the chocolate, then transfer to a wax paper–lined rimmed baking sheet; refrigerate until set. Repeat with other varieties of chocolate.

Recipe courtesy Woman’s Day Kitchen.

Greek Christmas Cookies

1 cup butter or margarine (2 sticks)

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk

2 cups blanched almonds, ground

About 1 cup red candied cherries, each cut in half

1. Heat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter with confectioners’ sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until light and creamy. At low speed, beat in flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt and egg yolk. Knead in almonds.

2. Roll dough into 1-inch balls (dough will be crumbly). Place balls, 2 inches apart, on ungreased large cookie sheet. Gently press a cherry half on top of each ball. Bake 15 minutes, or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned.

3. With wide spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining dough and cherries. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

  • Each serving: About 75 calories, 4g total fat (1g saturated), 1g protein, 9g carb., 3mg cholesterol, 40mg sodium.