Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Christmas Delight and Cherry Oatmeal Bars recipes

Christmas Delight
(from Debby G, served at our Holiday Party)


Description: This old-fashioned, chewy candy is filled with dried fruit and nuts. The snowy confectioners' sugar coating makes it look holiday-festive. They're by no means "gourmet;" but for us "regular folks”, these little gems are a delight.

Ingredients:
1 cup Blanched, slivered almonds
1 ¾ cups Mixed Salted Nuts
4 cups Chopped Dates
1 cup Shredded Coconut, sweetened or unsweetened, toasted or not
1 cup Candied Red Cherries
8 cups Regular Marshmallows or 5 ½ Cups Mini Marshmallows
Confectioners' Sugar, for coating


Directions:  
Lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan. Line with parchment, and grease the parchment. If you don't have parchment, use waxed paper or plastic wrap.
1) Place the nuts, dates, coconuts, and cherries in the work bowl of a food processor, and process until finely chopped, but not puréed. You may also do this using an old-fashioned food grinder.
2) Melt the marshmallows in a double boiler on the stovetop, or in a microwave. Stir till smooth.
3) Place the chopped nuts and fruit in a bowl, and stir in the melted marshmallows. Use your hands to thoroughly combine marshmallow and fruit/nuts. This will be a very sticky business; it helps to rinse your hands with cold water frequently, then plunging back in with them wet, not dried off.
4) Press the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the top as best you can.
5) Cover with plastic and let set till cool, preferably overnight.

6) Next day, cut the candy into 1" squares. 7) Place the squares, 6 or 8 at a time, into a plastic bag with confectioners' sugar. Shake to coat with the sugar. 

Chewy Cherry Oatmeal Bars
(from Shelley N, served at our January 2014 meeting)


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups regular rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 12 ounce jar (1 cup) cherry preserves

Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with foil, extending foil over the edges of the pan. Grease foil; set pan aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add brown sugar and baking powder. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and almond extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour, the oats, and almonds.
  3. Remove 1/2 cup of the dough and set aside. Press the remaining dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Spread with preserves. Crumble the remaining dough evenly over preserves layer.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven about 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Using the edges of the foil, lift the uncut cookies out of the pan. Cut into bars. Makes 36 bars.
  5. To Store: Place bars in a single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.


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