Thursday, December 24, 2009

tasty treats, a few traditions, and a white Christmas

I didn't do much baking this year. Jeremy had a cookie exchange at work, so that gave us a huge platter of goodies. The extent of my baking/candy making stopped at cherry mash and spiced nuts.

My bff Amy always makes the yummiest cherry mash. She had this really complicated recipe that called for cherry chips, which aren't always the easiest thing to find. But those cherry mash candies were so worth the trouble of scouring every grocery store in this county and the next one over just to find the cherry chips!!

And then a few years ago, I found a super simple recipe for cherry mash in our church cookbook! Imagine my excitement!! It calls for only 4 ingredients. And they are so dee-lish!!

Look at that scrumptious taste of cherry chocolatey heaven. Is your mouth watering yet?
Here's the recipe so you can enjoy them as well:

Cherry Mash
1 can cherry frosting
1 box powdered sugar
1 bar almond bark
1 lb dry roasted peanuts, chopped
Mix cherry frosting and powdered sugar. Roll into nickel sized balls and place on waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Chill until firm.
Melt chocolate in double boiler. Add chopped nuts. Dip cherry balls into chocolate; lay on waxed paper to cool.

And here's my recipe for Spiced Nuts:
2 egg whites, beaten
3 cups nuts (I used almonds and pecans); stir in egg whites to coat.
In a gallon sized bag, place 1 cup sugar, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 t. cloves, 1 t. nutmeg and 1/2 t. salt. Add nuts and shake to coat. Place on ungreased baking sheet at 350 for 20 minutes. It will look foamy. Stir and bake 5 minutes. Cool.


In addition to opening advent gifts to countdown the month of December and enjoying chocolate fondue, we have a few other Christmas traditions.

We go to the candlelight service at church on Christmas Eve. I think it's a beautiful way to start of the celebration of Christmas. And a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the true reason for the season.

We do a lot of celebrating with family. We spend part of the day with Jeremy's family and part of the day with my family. We also try to see my grandma, aunts, uncles and cousins on my mom side of the family. And usually the weekend after Christmas, we travel to Springfield to see my dad's side of the family. I feel very fortunate to have such a large extended family and can't imagine not seeing them at Christmas.


It looks as though this year, we will have a white Christmas. I doesn't happen too often.
And it's not just a white Christmas; it's a blustery, bitterly cold Christmas. Can't you just see the cold wind in the picture?

Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

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