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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Child's Play - Mocha Pecan Balls

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If your children are at all like mine were, the lead-up to Christmas is almost unbearable for the six and under crew. An elf, as long as one is placed on every ledge in the house, may help, but I think they're going to need a bit of structured activity to keep them from killing themselves, or their siblings, over the course of the next few days. Why not some time in the kitchen? I have a no-bake recipe that is a sanity-saver for moms. It can be made by the kids, without adult intervention, and it will keep them busy for the better part of an hour or so. You can also factor in another couple of hours for kitchen clean-up and the baths they'll need after shaping the chocolaty balls. Please remember, I promised you cookies, not the garden of Eden. We are, all of us, old enough to know that everything has a price and a light dusting of cocoa powder covering the surface of the earth is a small price to pay for your sanity and a bit of peace and quiet. When I am working with kids under six, I get them started with pre-chopped nuts and crushed wafer crumbs. It's just easier. Strangely enough, this simple recipe makes a really nice cookie that even adults who like tea parties will enjoy. The kids will not make perfect balls, but Christmas is about God's perfection, not theirs, so if an occasion oval or amoeba surfaces, steady as you go girl. Their grandparents will love the cookies almost as much as the hands that made them and the cookies, regardless of who makes them, will make a nice additional to your holiday cookie tray. Here is how they are made.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Last Minute Cinnamon-Raisin Quick Bread

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I wanted to share this recipe with those of you who manage to run out of treats and sweets before the holiday season ends. This is a fallback recipe that I use when the cookie jar is empty and I need to quickly put something together for guests. The recipe is child's play and the bread tastes much like an old-fashioned coffeecake. It won't make your reputation as a cook, but neither will it harm it. The original recipe appeared several years ago in a Taste of Home publication and while I've kept the ingredients from the original recipe, I've cut their quantities in half, so I don't have to worry about disposing of the second loaf. I like this recipe because I don't have to pull out any special equipment to make it. If you have a large bowl and a wooden spoon you can have sweet bread on the table in an hour. I do hope you'll give the recipe a try. Here is how the bread is made.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Butterscotch Pecan Rolls

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...It wouldn't be Christmas in our house if, at some point, there weren't sticky buns on the table. They are a favorite of the Silver Fox, who, after 50 years of marriage, continues to remind me his mother always made them for him. "He had a very good mother," said she sotto voce. I already have several recipes for the rolls, but because mine always seem to be drier than I'd like, I keep my eyes open for new ways to prepare them. I found this recipe in a Better Homes and Gardens special interest publication called Breakfast and Brunch recipes, and because it was an editor's favorite, as well as being an award winner, I bravely threw myself into the fire and commenced to take another stab at sticky buns. As it turns out, those editors may know a thing or two about picking prize winning recipes. I love these buns and I think those of you who give the recipe a try will also. You just can't beat fast, easy and delicious and these buns are all of that. I double-batched the recipe today with the intent of freezing one pan of the rolls to serve on Christmas morning. When I freeze bread and rolls, it usually is with the intent of using the oven to thaw and warm them in a single step. To that end, once the rolls are turned out of the pan, I foil-wrap and freeze them in a single layer, and then when I want to serve them, I move the entire package to a 300 degree F oven for 20 minutes. It works every time and the rolls taste every bit as good as when they first came from the oven. I hope some of you will keep these rolls in mind for your own Christmas breakfast. Here is how they are made.


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