Christmas Baking Anyone!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, stores are already busy, homes are being decorated, time to start some early Christmas baking. Start your holiday baking with these simple delicious recipes. Containers are now available in most stores to make storage for you treats eye appealing and festive. When your list to bake is long and your time short, freezing your baked goods is acceptable. It can be cookies, breads, muffins or rolls, just be sure to check storage and freezing tips for your baked goods.

Queen’s Tip: For show stopping treats, don’t forget to make your list of baking supplies before you shop.

Chocolate Peanut Cluster Candy
Chocolate Peanut Cluster Candy

Chocolate Peanut Cluster Candy

12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

12 ounces unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

Melt chocolate in a microwave oven on high about 1 ½ minutes, until smooth. Stir in peanuts. Drop by teaspoon onto a wax paper-lined baking pan. Refrigerate until set, 30 to 60 minutes. Cover and store in an air tight container.

Raspberry Snow Bars

¾ cup shortening ½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup white sugar 1 cup red raspberry preserves

¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup flaked coconut

¼ teaspoon almond extract ½ cup sugar

2 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream shortening, salt and ¼ cup sugar until fluffy. Blend in almond extract and egg yolks. Mix in flour. Pat dough into an ungreased 13 x 9-inch pan. Bake 15 minutes. Spread preserves on hot crust: top with coconut. Set aside. Beat egg whites with clean dry beaters until foamy. Gradually beat in ½ cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Spread over coconut. Bake 25 minutes. Cool completely on rack. Cut into bars. Yields 2 dozen.

Nothing is better than a colorful, delicious tray of Christmas cookies
Nothing is better than a colorful, delicious tray of Christmas cookies

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares

2 (20 ounce) rolls refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

Freeze rolls of cookie dough: slice one roll into 40 (1/8 inch) slices. Arrange cookie slices in a well-greased 15x 10 x1 inch jellyroll pan. Press cookie dough together to form bottom crust. Set aside. Beat cream cheese at high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy: gradually add sugar and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour mixture onto cookie layer. Slice remaining dough into 40 (1/8 inch) slices; arrange over cream cheese mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Cool. Cut into Squares.

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