Tag Archives: holiday treats

Family, Friends, & Heritage Food: Pecan Puffs, Peanut Clusters, Fudge, Scotch-a-roos

Crystal BSN web-15Last week I was given the gift of spending time with my niece Crystal and her family.  After 6 years of classes, while raising three children and still working part of that time, Crystal realized a life-long dream of becoming a registered nurse.  We attended her graduation and then the pinning ceremony later that day.  Soon she will take her NCLEX (National Council Licensing exam) and will officially become a RN-BSN.

Crystal's Pinning
Crystal’s Pinning

My sous-chef dish-washing mom participated in the pinning of her grand-daughter along with Crystal’s husband, Kevin, and her best friend and nurse-mate, Alicia.  This was an especially sweet moment for mom as she reflected on her own pinning, becoming a Registered Nurse some 63 years ago.

Family Forever For Always Plaque
At every turn throughout this weekend, I’m reminded of the importance of family and family history.  Crystal treasures her family heritage and includes that heritage in all aspects of her life. From decorating her home with family memorabilia to the recipes she uses in preparing food and treats for the weekend.

"The Grandmas" Treat Plate
“The Grandmas” Treat Plate

When we arrived her kitchen table was covered with “treats”. Crystal explained that she wanted to honor the “grandma’s in her life” by using their recipes for the weekend festivities.  I was so touched and intrigued that I want to share those recipes with you. But wait there’s more! Click to continue reading

Peppermint Fudge Cake Rolls

With Thanksgiving falling early this year it seems like a long time until December 1.  I am thankfully ready to let the Christmas baking begin! I have so many recipes to share and stories to tell I was stumped as to where I should start. Then I came across the recipe for a Peppermint Cake Roll and I knew exactly where to begin. Truly, it has angel food cake (my all-time favorite cake) peppermint candy (very Christmas-y) fudge (I knew you would like that) and then there is the whip cream — oh the whip cream (aka Cool Whip!)
This elegant dessert starts out with a box cake mix for Angel Food Cake.  I use Duncan Hines because my sous-chef dish-washing mom says when it comes to a box cake nothing beats Duncan Hines. Who am I to argue? I mixed it up according to the directions on the box, which by the way are: Add 1 1/4 cups water and beat with mixer for 2 minutes. Done.
While the cake was baking in two 10″ x 15″ cookie sheets, I sprinkled powdered sugar all over a cotton towel.  The cake only bakes for about 12 minutes until it is springy and done. This recipe makes two rolls and I baked each pan separately on the middle rack.
This roll could have come out about 1 minute earlier, but the browning didn’t hurt anything. The cake is carefully flipped onto the powdered towel. Starting at the short end I carefully rolled the cake into the towel.  I set both rolls on a baking rack to cool for about an hour.  While the cake was cooling I was chatting with my friend Sue. Even though we are 1200 miles apart it seems just like old times when we spent many hours in the kitchen together. I excitedly told her about my peppermint fudge cake rolls and she told me she thought I could stir some cocoa into the whipped cream for a little extra richness.  Sue has taught me amazing things for the better part of 35+ years and she didn’t let me down this time! I added cocoa to the cool whip and set it back in the refrigerator.
The original recipe calls for peppermint extract, but I urge you to use a chocolate liqueur to push this topping right over … the top! When the cakes had cooled I unrolled and spread the cool whip mixture and drizzled half of the fudge.
After gently rolling up the cake I spread more of the cool whip mixture.

Sprinkled with crushed candy canes and this cake roll is ready for any holiday party — or a simple dinner with family or friends.

~Blessings and let the Christmas baking begin! Catherine

Peppermint Fudge Cake Rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Easily serve a crowd with 2 decadent cake rolls or freeze one for later. The cocoa adds a layer of richness making an incredible dessert as pretty as it is delicious.
Serves: 2 cakes, 8 slices each
  • 1 pkg. (16 oz.) Angel food cake mix
  • 1 carton (16 oz.) Cool Whip Topping
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 3 teaspoons Godiva Liqueur
  • 1 cup hot fudge ice cream topping
  • ½ cup crushed peppermint candies, divided in 2
  • Confectioners' sugar for sprinkling
  1. Line two greased 15" x 10" x 1" baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Divide the batter evenly into the two prepared pans, spreading evenly.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes or until tops spring back with lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Invert each cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners' sugar. Gently peel off the paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. In a small bowl, sprinkle cocoa over whipped topping and stir gently. Add in chocolate liqueur. Unroll cakes, spread each with 1½ cups of cool whip liqueur mixture. Spread within ½" of the edges.
  6. Drizzle each cake with half of the fudge topping; sprinkle with 2 TB crushed candies. Roll up again, without the towel.
  7. Transfer to serving platters. Frost with remaining cool whip liqueur mixture. Sprinkle with crushed candies.
  8. Cakes can be served immediately, refrigerated for later use. The cake can be covered and frozen for up to one month.
  9. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Top with additional candies and serve.
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home recipe by Suellen Calhoun

Weekend Roundup December 16, 2011

A beautiful reminder of exactly where our help comes from.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Another week has flown by.  I gave away my second cookbook and I was thrilled to give it to Paula, who was my childhood neighbor, and yet until Facebook, I haven’t had contact with for years!  Thank you Paula for visiting my blog!

Before I give you my week in pictures, I have a couple things to share that other food bloggers are doing.  If you have children at home during the holidays or grandchildren visiting making tortilla snowflakes just sounds like fun all the way around.  The two ladies at OurBestBites.com really come up with the creative activities.  Take a look at these:

Isn’t that just the cutest idea … and they are totally edible.  To get directions click HERE or on the picture and it will take you to their blog.

One of my favorite new blogs to follow is Doggy Dessert Chef.  If your 4 legged furry friends get a visit from Santa,  you may still be looking for the perfect something. Doggy Dessert Chef does it up right!  I didn’t make fruit cake this year, but they sure did!  Here is a bit of what they have to say “All the recipes on this site have been carefully researched and have been tried and tested on various dogs. However, I cannot rule out the possibility of particular food intolerances in certain dogs and cannot be held liable in this case. The recipes are intended for special occasions. They are meant as an addition to your dogs regular diet and should not replace a proper balanced diet.” In the future I plan to highlight more recipes from the Doggy Dessert Chef.  Please let me know if you give any of them a try!

What a sweeeet week looking back at the pictures!  We will start with Abigail’s gingerbread cookies.  If you click on the picture it will take you to the recipe link.
We kept adding to our Christmas treats with these Marshmallow Peppermint Patties that are out of this world.  Easy and Tasty!
Not to be outdone by these chocolate delights, mom’s caramel corn really can’t be beat!
Peanut Clusters – need I say more?

Many Blessings and Have A Happy Weekend!

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