Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Is a 33 Year Old Recipe Retro?

One of the reasons that we started this blog was so we would have a central place for those recipes that we had trouble finding.  Finding a recipe doesn't sound that hard unless you saw how many cookbooks I have, totes full of printed recipes, papers floating around, etc.  Well, this recipe is a real keeper.  It was in a church (ward) cookbook that I bought at least 33 years ago while I lived in West Valley.

The whole process of ward/church cookbooks may fall by the wayside with today's technology and that will be a real shame.  There was something wonderful about having a whole book of recipes that were tried and true by your neighbors.  You learned very quickly who were the best cooks and who...shall we say...were a little challenged.

Well, this recipe is a real go-to recipe.  I have used it a few times when it's my turn to take dinner at the museum where I volunteer as a docent.  It has such a fresh taste and is always a favorite.  I took it once to a company pot luck and the president of the company went back for thirds, which was unheard of!!



1 small package spaghetti ( 8 - 10 oz.)
4 medium tomatoes, diced
2 medium cucumbers, diced
cubed spam or ham as desired
1 red onion, diced
1 small bottle Italian dressing
1/2 bottle Salad Supreme (found in the spice section)


Cook spaghetti according to directions. (You may or may not break into pieces before cooking.)  Drain. Rinse.  Add other ingredients and let set 6 to 8 hours in refrigerator before serving.

Originally submitted by Naomi Telford.

Cook's notes:  Salad supreme is hard to find.  It's not a must.  I've made the salad with or without and it works great either way.  I don't think I have ever used spam, but it would work great.  Now Barelli brand spaghetti has cut spaghetti in a box.  This works great.  You don't need to break up the spaghetti, but the salad is harder to eat.

I can't stress enough how dependable this salad is for pot luck occasions.

We have posted this awhile back. You can find our original post here.

Better Than At the Restaurant!

I really love a good wedge salad.  I had never had one until a few years ago.  I don't know what intrigued me when I saw it on the menu, but I instantly fell in love.  It's most craveable and this recipe is as good as any I have had in any restaurant.  The taste is so fresh and the iceberg lettuce stays incredibly crisp.  So good!




1/2 pound crumbled blue cheese
1/4 c. sour cream
1/3 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. mayonnaise
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
1 clove garlic minced
ground black pepper to taste


1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into 8 wedges
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 pound crumbled blue cheese
*Cooked, crumbled bacon (see cook's notes)


Combine 1/2 pound blue cheese, sour cream, buttermilk, mayonnaise, vinegar, olive oil, sugar, garlic, and pepper in a bowl.  Blend using a hand mixer.  Chill until serving.

Build the salad by placing 1 lettuce wedge on each of 8 plates.  Drizzle equal amounts of dressing over each wedge.  Scatter tomatoes, onion, and 1/2 pound blue cheese over each salad.

Source:  Allrecipes.com posted by cabanagrl. You can find it here.

Cook's notes:  This really is so easy, so classic, and yet impressive enough for entertaining.  G-o-o-d! Oh, and I added cooked, crumbled bacon as it is served in most restaurants.  I don't usually add to the ingredients and post it as I found it, but this ingredient is a must.

Christmas Candy: Part 2

If you can believe it, I had even more candy recipes that I wanted to make this year. However, I ran out of time, calories, and people to give candy to! Ah well, there is always next year.


Cream Cheese Mints


4 ounces softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
4 cups powdered sugar
Food coloring, optional
Granulated sugar or color sprinkles, optional


Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or waxed paper.

Place the softened cream cheese, butter, corn syrup, and mint extract in the large bowl of a stand mixer (alternately, a hand mixer can be used). Beat until the mixture is smooth and homogenous.

With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar and mix until the candy is well-combined. Taste the candy and adjust the flavoring to suit your taste. If you want to make different colors of mints, divide the candy into separate bowls and work the desired coloring into the portions of candy.

Using a spoon, scoop walnut-sized balls of candy and roll it between your palms into a ball. Roll the ball in granulated sugar or colored sprinkles. Place the ball on the prepared baking sheet, and use the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass to flatten the ball into a patty. If desired, you can instead press down on the mint with the tines of a fork to create a pretty cross-hatching pattern on the mint. Repeat with remaining candy until all the mints are formed.

Alternately, you can mold this candy by pressing small ball of the mint mixture into candy molds. After you have firmly pressed the candy into the mold, quickly pop it out and repeat with remaining candy.

Store mints in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. These mints are good straight from the refrigerator, or at room temperature.

Recipe notes: These candies make perfect favors for baby or bridal showers, weddings, and holiday parties. They can be decorated to suit any color scheme, and also work well as a molded candy. This recipe yields approximately 4 dozen 1" mint patties.

Source: I found these on the About.com website. You can find them here.

Chocolate Coconut Haystacks


Sweetened flaked/shredded coconut
Chocolate (milk chocolate, semi-sweet, or dark--your preference)


Toast the coconut. This can be done in the oven (at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes), a toaster oven, the stove-top (over medium heat, stirring frequently), or the microwave (cooked at 15 second intervals and stirred between each cooking time).

Melt the chocolate either in a double-boiler or in the microwave (at 30 second intervals, stirred between each cooking time).

Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, pour the coconut into the chocolate and stir until the coconut is coated completely. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper or aluminum foil. Refrigerate until the chocolate is completely set.

Source: This came from my wonderful chocolate loving grandpa! It was originally posted here.

Notes: I didn't offer ingredient amounts because it depends on how much you want to make. But it is about a 50/50 ratio. So, for example, 1/2 cup of toasted coconut and 1/2 cup of melted chocolate. Just enough for the coconut to become evenly coated.

Five Pounds of Chocolate Fudge


2 (12-ounce) packages semisweet chocolate morsels
1 cup butter or margarine
1 (7-ounce) jar marshmallow cream
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
Butter or margarine
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans, toasted, optional


Combine first 3 ingredients in a large mixing bowl; set aside.

Combine sugar and evaporated milk in a buttered Dutch oven.

Cook sugar mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches soft ball stage, or candy thermometer registers 234°; pour over chocolate mixture. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer or with a wooden spoon until mixture thickens and begins to lose its gloss. Stir in vanilla and chopped pecans, if using.

Spread into a buttered 15x10-inch jelly roll pan. Cover and chill until firm. Cut into 1-inch squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: Makes 96 pieces.

Source: Southern Living, June 2008. You can find it here.

Notes: This is just a good, classic chocolate fudge recipe. I made mine without nuts because of my son's allergies. It's a good way to make a lot of treats for a crowd!

Penuche Fudge (Mexican/Spanish Caramel Fudge)


Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 can (5 oz) evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
5 ounces (1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 ounces toasted walnuts, chopped (1 cup), optional


Coat a 5x10-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides.

Bring evaporated milk, brown sugar, butter, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture registers 236 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 25 minutes.

Transfer to a mixer bowl, and beat in confectioners' sugar on low speed. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Increase speed to medium, and beat until mixture is thickened and smooth, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and add vanilla and walnuts, if using.

Spread mixture in pan, smoothing top. Refrigerate, uncovered, until firm, about 25 minutes. Unmold fudge using plastic overhang, and discard plastic. Cut into 18 pieces.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2008. You can find it here.

Notes: I made two changes to this recipe. First, I doubled it and poured it into an 8x8-inch square pan instead of a 5x10-inch loaf pan. Second, I skipped the nuts because of my son's nut allergy. If you follow the recipe as written below, you will get about 18 pieces of penuche (very generous-sized pieces of penuche. You can cut them into smaller pieces, and still have a good-sized piece of fudge).

Easy Chocolate Fudge with Pretzels


Nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips (16 ounces)
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 1/2 cups roughly chopped miniature pretzels


Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Place butter, chocolate chips, condensed milk, vanilla, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pot of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until chocolate just melts and mixture is combined and warm, but not hot, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in 2 cups pretzels. Transfer mixture to pan and smooth top; press 1/2 cup pretzels on top. Refrigerate until set, 2 hours (or up to overnight, wrapped). Using parchment, lift fudge from pan and cut into 36 squares.

Recipe notes: You can use nuts, trail mix, your favorite chopped candy, or crushed cookies in place of the pretzels.

Source: Everyday Food, July/August 2011. You can find it here.

Notes: The only thing I would change is that I would use 2 cups of pretzels instead of 2 1/2 cups. I would mix in 1 1/2 cups into the fudge and top the fudge with the remaining half cup. Also, just a word of warning, this fudge needs longer than 2 hours to set up before cutting into squares (at least my batch did). I would say to refrigerate it for 4 hours (or up to overnight, wrapped). This was good stuff! The pretzels were a nice way to add crunch to the fudge without using nuts.

Christmas Candy: Part 1


Not only did I get the Christmas baking spirit this year, but I got the Christmas candy making spirit this year too.

Peppermint bark is pretty much a yearly tradition for me. My husband loves it--it is his favorite Christmas treat--and nothing beats the homemade variety. I decided to try a couple of different ways of doing it this year though.

Classic Peppermint Bark


1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips (about 2 cups), or chocolate candy coating
1 (12 oz) bag white chocolate chips (about 2 cups), or vanilla candy coating
1-2 cups crushed peppermint (to your taste)


Line a jelly roll pan with heavy duty aluminum foil.

Melt semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips. I prefer to do this in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals (stirring between each interval). It takes about a minute to a minute and a half to melt the chocolate.

Spread melted semi-sweet chocolate onto the jelly roll pan covered in foil. Spread chocolate over the pan to create an even layer. Place pan into a refrigerator or freezer to allow the chocolate to set.

Melt white chocolate chips. Stir until smooth. Remove hardened semi-sweet chocolate and spread the melted white chocolate chips over the first layer. Be careful when you spread the white chocolate. The warm white chocolate can melt the semi-sweet chocolate and can create swirls (instead of a pristine white layer). Once the white chocolate has been spread in an even layer over the semi-sweet chocolate, sprinkle immediately with crushed peppermint. Press the peppermint into the white chocolate layer (this just helps make sure that the peppermint sticks to the bark once it is set).

Put the pan back into the refrigerator or freezer until the bark is completely set.

Once the bark is set, use a sharp knife to crack the bark. Using the point of the knife, apply pressure to the bark. The knife creates pressure points and the bark will crack on its own. Continue to crack the bark by using a knife. You can make the pieces as big or as small as you like.

If you make this with chocolate chips, you will need to store this in the refrigerator (otherwise, it will become soft and melty).

Source: You can find recipes for peppermint bark just about everywhere. But I really like the step-by-step instructions found on About.com. You can find it here. She also includes instructions for how to temper your chocolate, which you can find here.

Notes: The process of tempering chocolate is a pretty lengthy one (one which I don't currently have time for). If you don't have time to temper your chocolate, here are your two options: first, melt chocolate chips in the microwave and store the finished candy product in the refrigerator to avoid melting or; second, use candy coating instead. Candy coating is formulated to stay hard at room temperature after being melted, so you don't have to temper it and you don't have to keep it in the refrigerator either.

I originally posted this recipe here.

Red, White, and Green Peppermint Bark


2 packages vanilla candy coating, divided
1-2 cups crushed peppermint candies (to your taste)


Line a jelly roll pan with foil.

Melt first package of vanilla candy coating according to package instructions.

Spread vanilla candy coating on the foil-lined pan (the thickness of your candy depends on how you spread your candy coating). Place in a refrigerator or freezer to set up.

Meanwhile, melt second package of vanilla candy coating according to package instructions. When melted and smooth, stir in green food coloring to achieve your desired shade of green.

Remove set up layer of candy coating from the freezer and spread green layer of candy coating on top. Sprinkle with crushed peppermint and gently press peppermint candies into the green layer of candy coating.

Return to refrigerator or freezer until set.

Once the bark has set up, remove from the freezer and break into pieces using your hands or the sharp point of a knife.

Source: I got the inspiration for this from Taste of Home. You can find that recipe here.

Notes: I thought this looked really pretty and festive. You could skip the green food dye and use red instead and do this recipe with a white layer, a red layer, and then the red and white crushed peppermint on top. That would look really pretty too.



White Chocolate Peppermint Bark


1 package vanilla candy coating or white chocolate chips
1-2 cups crushed peppermint candies (to your taste)


Line a jelly roll pan with foil.

Melt vanilla candy coating according to package instructions (or melt white chocolate chips in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl).

Once melted and smooth, stir in desired amount of crushed peppermint candies.

Spread vanilla candy coating or melted white chocolate and peppermint mixture onto foil-lined pan.

Sprinkle generously with additional crushed peppermint candies.

Place in refrigerator or freezer until set.

Once the bark is set, break into pieces with your hands, or with the sharp point of a knife.

Source: I didn't really have a source for this version of peppermint bark. It simply sounded like a good idea, so I tried it.

Notes: Oh, and it was a good idea. A very good idea. Yum!

What Do You Make of All This Snow?

You can make snowmen, snow angels, snow balls...or snow treats!

Real Snow Cones


Clean, freshly fallen snow
Snow cone syrup, any flavor(s)


Pack snow into a paper or Styrofoam cup, making a dome shape with the snow. Pour desired amount of snow cone syrup on top.


You can add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to the bottom of your cup and pack the snow on top of it. Finish it off by topping it with snow cone syrup.

Or you could drizzle sweetened cream, or sweetened condensed milk on top of your snow cone after you have added the syrup.

Or you can use less snow and make more of a slushy/Slurpee concoction (see below).

Source: No real source...who hasn't tried this at one time or another?

Snow Ice Cream


Clean, freshly fallen snow
Milk, to taste
Sugar, to taste
Flavoring of choice, to taste (vanilla extract, almond extract, other favorite extract flavors, Italian Soda Syrup flavor of choice, etc.)


Mix snow, milk, sugar, and desired flavoring together until you reach your desired consistency and taste. Use less snow if you want more of a shake-like consistency. Use more snow if you want a thicker ice cream. It's as easy as that!

Source: My grandma used to make this for my Mom and her sisters when they were kids. Then, my mom made it for us when we were kids.

Notes: You know, snow ice cream is one of the best things about winter. It brings back so many childhood memories for me.

My boys like it as more of a snow shake or slushy than snow ice cream, and they drink it with a straw. The thickness and consistency is really up to you (less milk if you want it thicker, more milk if you want more of a shake/slushy).

This is now the third time I have posted the recipe for snow ice cream. You can find the original post here. You can find the second post here.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Too Good Not to Share Again

We have already posted this recipe, but I made this for our Christmas morning breakfast and it is just too good (and too easy!) not to share again.

Easy Cinnamon Rolls


12 Pillsbury Grands Biscuits
Cinnamon, to taste (1-3 teaspoons)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup cream
1 cup powdered sugar, optional
1-2 tablespoons milk, optional


Cut rolls using kitchen shears into quarters, if desired, or leave them whole. Place rolls in lightly greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Pour cream over the top. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until brown.

Allow to cool slightly. If you would like to top with frosting, mix powdered sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of milk. Drizzle over the top of the rolls.

Source: My mom got this from a lady in her ward. I'm not sure where she got it from, but judging from the ingredients, my guess is that it is a Pillsbury recipe. I couldn't find this exact recipe online, but I found one similar to it. You can check that recipe out here.

Notes: These were sinfully good. Make them when you can share them with others...otherwise, you will be tempted to eat the whole pan by yourself. I would describe these more as caramel rolls with cinnamon instead of as cinnamon rolls.

For Christmas, I used my large 10x14-inch pan (instead of a 9x13-inch pan). I cut each roll into quarters and I was able to fit 16 rolls in there. Because I had more rolls, I slightly increased the cream, brown sugar, and cinnamon. So good!

In a Slow Cooker?

You can make pretty much anything in a slow cooker these days. "Baked" potatoes? Yup. Bread? Check. Ham? You bet! Slow cooker ham couldn't be easier. Check out the recipe below. My apologies though, it appears that I forgot to take a picture! However, everyone knows what sliced ham looks like...so, just imagine that.

Slow Cooker Ham


2 cups packed brown sugar
1 (8 pound) cured, bone-in picnic ham


Spread about 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar on the bottom of the slow cooker crock. Place the ham flat side down into the slow cooker--you might have to trim it a little to make it fit. Use your hands to rub the remaining brown sugar onto the ham. Cover, and cook on low for 8 hours.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by LITTLEMSTXTHANG. You can find it here.

Notes: This was really tender. A great, and easy way to make ham!

A Departure from Holiday Eating


Ah, the holidays. There is nothing like the richness and decadence of holiday eating. However, when you get too much of it, you really need a change of pace. What could be a better departure from holiday eating than Italian food? Still rich and decadent...just different. Yum!

World's Best Lasagna


1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by Johnchandler. You can find the recipe here.

Notes: Good stuff. With over 7,800 reviews and still rated 5 stars, you know it has to be a good one! I didn't get the best picture (I was hungry and in a hurry, so I didn't take the greatest care when serving up my portion of lasagna). So, don't judge this based on the picture. This lasagna is good stuff!

Chicken Parmesan


4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 eggs
4 cups panko bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, or more if needed
1 cup olive oil, for frying
1/2 cup prepared tomato sauce
1/4 cup fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil


Preheat an oven to 450 degrees F.

Place chicken breasts between two sheets of heavy plastic (resealable freezer bags work well) on a solid, level surface. Firmly pound chicken with the smooth side of a meat mallet to a thickness of 1/2-inch. Season chicken thoroughly with salt and pepper.

Beat eggs in a shallow bowl and set aside.

Mix bread crumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan in a separate bowl, set aside.

Place flour in a sifter or strainer; sprinkle over chicken breasts, evenly coating both sides.

Dip flour coated chicken breast in beaten eggs. Transfer breast to breadcrumb mixture, pressing the crumbs into both sides. Repeat for each breast. Set aside breaded chicken breasts for about 15 minutes.

Heat 1 cup olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Cook chicken until golden, about 2 minutes on each side. The chicken will finish cooking in the oven.

Place chicken in a baking dish and top each breast with about 1/3 cup of tomato sauce. Layer each chicken breast with equal amounts of mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and provolone cheese. Sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese on top and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is browned and bubbly, and chicken breasts are no longer pink in the center, 15 to 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by Chef John. You can find the recipe here.

Notes: This was really good. Serve this with some spaghetti and your favorite marinara sauce, and a little side salad, and some garlic bread, and you are set!

Parmesan Cheese Straws


1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 lb sheet of ready rolled puff pastry
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water and set aside.

Unfold the pastry on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a 14- by 10-inch rectangle. Cut it in half lengthwise and brush both halves with the egg and water mixture.

Sprinkle the cheese and oregano, if using, over one rectangle and place the other rectangle on top, egg side down. Roll gently with a rolling pin to seal. Cut the pastry crosswise into 26 strips, each about half an inch wide.

Twist the strips and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet, pressing down the ends.

Brush with the egg and water mixture and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until golden.

Makes 26

Source: I believe my mom got this out of Parade magazine.

Notes: We had served this with our appetizer night. You can eat it on its own, or use it to dip into dips. However, we felt that this would be the perfect side dish to go along with an Italian dinner.

Christmas Cookies: Part 3


I had been wanting to try my hand at making meringue cookies for quite some time. However, when I learned that my youngest son was allergic to eggs, I kind of felt like that ship had sailed. Luckily, for me, he grew out of his egg allergy and I finally got to try some meringue cookies. They worked great! So tasty! I love that these cookies are a good low-calorie way to get your sweet fix. The recipe suggests dropping the meringue by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. I did that with my first batch. Maybe I am not good at making pretty dollops. The cookies from my first batch turned out fine. They tasted great, they just weren't all that pretty. So, for my second batch, I spooned the meringue into a frosting bag and piped it out using a large star tip. Voila! Problem solved. These were so easy. I will definitely be making them again...and again, and again...

The second cookie recipe is a recipe that my mom made, and unfortunately, I don't have a picture for those ones...but who doesn't love shortbread? Shortbread is the perfect Christmas cookie.

Peppermint Meringues


2 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 peppermint candy canes, crushed


Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with foil.

In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar, continuing to beat until whites form stiff peaks. Drop by spoonfuls 1 inch apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle crushed peppermint candy over the cookies.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours in preheated oven. Meringues should be completely dry on the inside. Do not allow them to brown. Turn off oven. Keep oven door ajar, and let meringues sit in oven until completely cool. Loosen from foil with metal spatula. Store loosely covered in cool, dry place for up to 2 months.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by KATHY. You can find it here.

Notes: I didn't count these, but I don't think I got quite 4 dozen cookies (which is how many the recipe said it would make). I also didn't need two cookie sheets. I fit all the cookies on one sheet. I might blame the altitude again because my meringue never got super high, voluminous, and fluffy. Oh well, it still worked and I got great cookies out of it!

Above: I sprinkled half with crushed peppermint and left the other half plain. They were fantastic both ways. I think I might try mixing mini chocolate chips in them (just prior to piping them onto the cookie sheets) next time.

Above: 3/15/15 update. I made these again for Christmas 2014 and used a different frosting tip to pipe them out. It's fun to try out new tips to see how different and pretty the cookies can turn out.

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Shortbread


1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Whip butter with an electric mixer until fluffy. Stir in the confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and flour. Beat on low for one minute, then on high for 3 to 4 minutes. Drop cookies by spoonfuls 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven. Watch that the edges don't brown too much. Cool on wire racks.

Source: Allrecipes.com, submitted by Jennifer Wilton. You can find it here.

Notes: One reviewer suggested that the correct oven temperature was 350 degrees and that they should only be baked for 9 minutes. I would suggest watching your cookies and don't let them brown too much.