The holidays are filled with gatherings, and with gatherings come many homemade delicious treats. At a joint shower with my cousin early this fall, we both received recipe books filled with recipes from our family members. I continue to add to with new things made for parties, and now am adding five new recipes from five of my favorite people-my bridesmaids! I've asked them for their favorite thing they make this time of year and let them share their recipes with you! I'll share my friends for a moment…
Whitney's Cranberry Tea:
1 gallon water
3 cups sugar
6 regular tea bags (or 3 family size)
3 tsp whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
1 6oz cherry jello
1 quart cranberry juice
1 cup lemon juice
1 6oz orange juice (frozen)
1 quart apple juice (Instead of a quart of each apple and cranberry juices, I use a 2 quart Cranapple juice)
Bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat. Put in tea bags for 6 minutes. Remove bags and put in spices (I use a tied up coffee filter, but you can use a spice strainer) for 30 minutes.
Add jello and juices.
If you use a gallon jug of water and the 2 quart Cranapple, the entire amount should fit perfectly into those two containers and leave just enough leftover for one serving immediately. :)
My dad makes this every year when it gets cold and has been a tradition in both of our families…it's amazingly Christmas.
Julie's Reindeer Poop:
6 squares of white almond bark
2 cups of Kix cereal
2 cups of mini pretzels
1lb Peanut M&Ms
Melt almond bark on low heat stirring frequently. Once completely melted fold in pretzels and Peanut M&Ms. Add in Kix last. Place spoonfuls of the mixture onto wax paper to cool. Once hardened, remove. Enjoy and share with friends!
Holly's Millionaire Shortbread Bars:
3/4 cup (1 1/2 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x9 pan with butter. With a mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract, then add in flour and salt and beat until dough comes together. Press into the bottom of the pan and bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool while you make the filling.
1-14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
Pour the milk into a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 60-90 minutes or until milk has thickened and turned a caramel color. Remove from heat and beat until smooth. Pour the caramel over the shortbread and leave to set.
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Melt the chocolate and butter either in the microwave oven or in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Pour the melted chocolate evenly over the caramel and leave to set.
You can either cut the shortbread into pieces using a sharp knife OR make the layers in mini cupcake liners to cut down on the mess and have adorable little servings.
Kendra's Sausage Croissants:
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner roll
1 lb pork sausage
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (8 oz)
Heat oven to 375°F. For crescent rolls: Unroll 1 can of dough into 2 long rectangles. Place in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish; press over bottom and 1/2 inch up sides to form crust. Cook sausage over medium heat, stirring frequently. To same skillet, add cream cheese. Cook over low heat until melted. Add cooked sausage; stir to coat. Spoon evenly over crust in baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Unroll second can of dough on work surface. Press to form the dish and place over cheese. Bake 21-26 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and cut into small squares.
3 cups pineapple juice
3 cups apple juice
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon whole allspice
Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot on the stove and simmer for as long as you like. Add the water only if it is too strong. You can also add a little orange juice and/or orange peels to infuse some orange oil in the drink. Serve with a cinamon stick for extra cuteness.