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Christmas Holiday Baking and Candy recipes


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Here are two yeast bread recipes I've used for many years, I've given the bread away as gifts at christmas time and my family scarfs them down as if its their last meal.  Both are yummy when toasted, the last bread is not necessarily the kind of bread you'd use for a sandwich, both are great eaten out of hand, warm, spread with butter.  If you try these recipes, you will not be disappointed.

Dill Bread

This is a great loaf, it has an unusual ingredient, but it works!

Makes one 9×5-inch loaf

1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

1/2 cup warm (105 to 115°F) water

3 cups bread flour (you can replace 1/2 cup of this flour with whole wheat)

1/2 cup finely chopped onions (for added color and flavor try red onions)

4 tablespoons - 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh dill, or 2-4 tablespoon dried dill (dill seeds can be added)

2 tablespoons sugar or honey

1 tablespoon wheat germ, toasted

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup large-curd cottage cheese

1 large egg

Glaze top of bread with 1 egg, lightly beaten, or 1 tablespoon melted butter, add for extra texture if you want, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt or a few dill seeds

Combine yeast and water in a small bowl and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 10-15  minutes, you can add a tablespoon of the sugar to feed the yeast and help the yeast proof, the 10-15 minute proof time also helps take the yeasty taste out of any yeast bread recipe.

Combine flour, onions, dill, sugar or honey, wheat germ and salt in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Add the yeast along with the cottage cheese and egg. Mix by hand or on low speed until the dough comes together, addition additional flour or warm water if needed. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl and turn it over once to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place (75 to 80 degrees) until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  

Grease a 9×5-inch (8-cup) loaf pan. Punch Gently press the dough down, form into a loaf and place seam side down in the pan (or for a decorative look divide into balls as in the next recipe below). Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. If desired, brush the top of loaf with the egg or melted butter, and then sprinkle with the additional salt or dill seeds. (I highly recommend the butter/salt combination.)

Bake until the crust is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 35 to 40 minutes. (My bread read just about 200°F on a thermometer when I take it out.) Remove the loaf from the pan to a rack and let cool completely. 


This next bread is light and feathery like brioche, and great when eaten toasted with butter, it is a truely unusual and yummy bread and dark like russian black bread.

Chocolate Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Chocolate Dough:

1 1/2 cups warm water, divided (or, if not using espresso powder, 1/2 cup warm water and 1 cup warm coffee) 

2/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided

2 teaspoons dry yeast

4 1/2 cups bread flour

2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (options see above)

2 teaspoons salt

1 large egg, at room temperature

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

8 ounces good-quality dark chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch chunks

Egg Glaze for top of bread: 1 large egg, 1 teaspoon water.

Optional: dusting sugar for top of loaf

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the warm water with 1 teaspoon of the sugar to help yeast proof. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and set the mixture aside for 10-15 minutes, until foamy, this helps take the yeasty taste out of any yeast bread. If the mixture doesn't foam, the yeast might be inactive and you should try again with fresh yeast.

In the bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer, place the flour, the remaining 2/3 cup of granulated sugar, the light brown sugar, the cocoa, the espresso powder (if using) and the salt. Using the paddle attachment, mix at low speed for 1 minute, until combined.

Add the remaining 1 cup warm water (or warm coffee, if not using the espresso powder) and the egg to the yeast mixture. Add this to the flour mixture while continuing to mix at low speed. Increase the speed to medium and continue to beat the mixture for 2 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.

At low speed, beat in the softened butter 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is incorporated into the dough. Remove the paddle attachment and replace it with the dough hook. (Alternatively, you can knead by hand. Just make sure the butter is well softened.) Let the mixer knead the dough at low speed for 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and have the mixer knead the dough for 2 minutes longer.

Add the chocolate chunks and knead just until incorporated. Transfer the dough to a oiled or buttered bowl (the dough will be quite moist). Flip the dough so its completely covered with oil, and cover the dough closely with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 2 hours (or until almost doubled in bulk).

After the chocolate dough has risen, gently punch the dough down and cover again with plastic wrap, and make sure its well oiled. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.

Butter two 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pans. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the chocolate dough in half. Divide each dough half into 6 equal pieces so that you have 12 equal pieces in all. With lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a smooth, round ball. Place 6 dough balls — two by two, at a diagonal in each prepared pan, pressing them lightly together if necessary, sort of like monkey bread. Cover the pans with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 1 hour.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water until blended. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg glaze over the tops of the loaves. 

Bake the loaves for 10 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake the bread for an additional 30 minutes. Cool the bread in the pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Unmold the bread and cool the loaves on the rack completely.






Edited by now I see
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:rolleyes: Yummy

Pina Colada Pie


1 small box pineapple gelatin

1/3 cup boiling water

3 6oz containers pina colada yogurt

1 tablespoon coconut extract

1 samll package shredded coconut

1 small tub sugar free whipped topping

1 prepared low fat graham cracker pie crust


In a large bowl, combine gelatin with boiling water until dissolved. Fold yogurt, coconut extract, 1 cup coconut, & whipped topping into the gelatin mixture until blended (do not over mix or it will be runny). Mound the mixture into the pie crust (it will be high), sprinkle additional coconut over the pie, & refrigerate overnight.

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Guilt Free Key Lime Pie


1 small box sugar free lime gelatin

1/3 cup boiling water

3 6oz containers key lime pie yogurt

1 small tub sugar free whipped topping

1 prepared low fat graham cracker pie crust

1 small package gumdrop-type lime slices


In a large bowl, combine gelatin with boiling water until dissolved. Fold yogurt & whipped topping into the gelatin mixture until blended (do not over mix or it will be runny). Pour the mixture into the pie crust & refrigerate overnight. Garnish with lime slices if desired.

Edited by cheranne
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MMMMmmmmmmm Thank You (((((Now I See)))), I can almost smell the tantalizing aroma of your breads and the first one I am going to try will be the dill bread. It will go well with leftover Christmas Ham!!!

Thank You ((((Cheranne))))) for the tempting and luscious pie recipes.They will mosty certainly be gobble right up!!!

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There You go ((((Rummy))))!!! Bonn Appetit!!!

Traditional English Rib Roast With Yoreshire Puddings

Piece of standing rib or sirloin

Beef dripping or lard

Potatoes & parsnips

Salt & pepper

Meat must be marbled or wrapped in a layer of fat. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place meat, fat side up, in a shallow roaster (on a rack if available). Season meat and spread with fat. Roast a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350-375 degrees. Cook for 20 minutes per pound plus 20 minutes. Baste every 20-25 minutes. Do not add water. Peel potatoes and parsnips and cut into large chunks (allow 2 pieces of each per person).

About 1 hour and 15 minutes before meat is done, add chunks to the fat in the roaster and coat well. If desired, fat can be drained off into another roaster and the vegetables cooked separately. Cook with meat. Turn every 25-30 minutes. When done, remove meat and vegetables, drain off fat and make gravy with the meat residue in the bottom of the roaster.


2 eggs


Splash of milk

Cold water

Pinch of salt

Make while meat is resting. Beat eggs. Add enough flour to make a paste (should look a little stringy!). As soon as the meat is taken from the oven, increase heat to 400 degrees. Put about 1 tablespoon of fat from meat into each section of a patty tin. Put tin in oven to get hot.

Meanwhile, add milk and salt to paste and beat well. Add enough cold water to make a thin batter and beat well. Pour into patty tins. Cook for 20 minutes. Should rise well, be light brown and crisp and be hollow in the center.

These used to be used at the start of the meal with gravy made from the meat residue. This was to help fill everyone up so they would not need so much meat. It is also possible to cook the batter in the original roasting tin after draining off some of the fat, then cut into pieces.

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Great roast recipes Rainbows!!!  I love parsnips, I have a slightly different take on the potatoes...

This is another way to roast potatoes in a Brit way-very crispity crunchity.   :love3:

British Roast Potatoes Recipe

1-1 1/2 lb potatoes 

1 teaspoon salt 

5 Tablespoons oil from pan drippings (or vegetable oil, or lard) 

4 cups water 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Place oil in roasting tin and put in middle rack of oven.

Boil water in a pot.   Peel potatoes and chop into halves or quarters .

Par Boil potatoes for 10 minutes with salt and drain potatoes in a collander.

Shake potatoes until edges are furry (approx 15 seconds very important, edges become the crispy in the oven). Remove with caution the roasting tin with hot fat from oven.

Carefully place potatoes into hot fat of roasting pan; WARNING Will Robinson, This step is requires caution as fat is at 425 degrees do not splash when adding potatoes!!

Place roasting pan, with potatoes, back in the oven and cook for 35-45 minutes depending on the size of your potato pieces.

After 20 minutes turn the potatoes so browning occurs on a different side.

Potatoes should be crispy on the outside and fluffy in the middle, sprinkle with salt & pepper, serve.

Here's a video of making crispy potatoes:

Crispity Crunchy Potatoes...Mmmmm....

Hey Rum, what's your roast & pudding recipes?????  Inquiring minds want to know!!   :eusa_clap:

Edited by now I see
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Thanks for posting that for everyone RG. Here is a trick I found for Yorkshire pudding. Buy the disposable aluminum muffin pans and use those. You get nice serving size pieces of pudding...and no pan to clean. My kids and I chow down on a standing rib roast and generous quantities Yorkshire pudding every Christmas.

Edited to add that using the smaller muffin tin instead of a large tin allows the meat drippings to permeate the batter better - nice meaty taste in a nice fluffy dough - kinda like a New England popover - but better

Edited by RumRunner
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This is how I make fondant:

3 lbs. sugar

3 cups water (I use distilled)

1/2 cup light corn syrup

Put all in a heavy duty stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil. Stir at first a couple of times when almost to a boil to help incorporate mixture and sugar to dissolve. Boil (a medium high, you don't want it splattering out of the pot) until the temp reaches 230 degrees. This will take about 10 or 15 minutes. During the boiling process you will need to keep the sugar off the side of the pan. Use a boar's hair brush, dip it in a cup of water just to barely wet the bristles and wipe around the inside of the pot as the mixture cooks down. You have to stay with this cooking mixture!!!

When the temp reaches 230 degrees (it will still be a clear mixture) you have to pour it out into a form that will contain it while it cools down. I stapled together oak slats (UNTREATED) used for molding that are 1/2 inch high. The form is 18x12. I place the form on a granite slab. If you don't have a granite slab a silicone pastry pad will work. Do not use wax paper. Pour the mixture into the form.

The mixture will begin to cool and change color. When it starts to become solid and cool enough to handle you have to pull it like taffy. That is the best way I know to explain it. As it cools it will turn white. It will come to a point when it becomes a solid mass and you can not pull it anymore. It will be solid white. For those wondering what to do for upper body exercise this is it.

At this state it will keep 3 months in an airtight container. If your enviroment is dry the fondant will appear hard, dry and crumbly. Do not fret. It warms up with body heat as you touch and knead it. If your enviroment is humid the fondant will take on that quality. I prefer that as it is quite a bit easier to work. So when I am pulling the fondant as it is originally cooling I have a pot of water boiling on the stove.

After you knead it to a soft stage you can roll it out and "ice" cakes. Do not despair when first trying this. It will take some work and arm muscle at first. I assure you the quality is far superior to store bought stuff.

Now out of this fondant recipe you can make buttercream.

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To 5 lbs. of buttercream I add 4 oz. of salted butter and 4 oz. of unsalted butter. It has to be butter, not the fake stuff.

Have both butters at room temperature. I chop them up together. I take a couple handfulls of fondant (I work on the slab, work on whatever you have to help prevent sticking) break it up, take a handful of butter rub it into the fondant. You literally have to knead the butter and fondant together and work out the little clumps of fondant. Make sure it is incorporated. The fondant will be very sticky for a while. But as you work the fondant and butter together it will take on the form of properly kneaded bread dough. You know how when you first start to knead dough it is sticky but the more you knead it it will become less sticky. Making buttercream (and fondant for that matter) works the same way. I set that ball aside then go on to the next little batch until I have all the fondant worked together in a few buttercream balls. Then I put it all together to make one big ball and knead all that together to make sure all is incorporated. It will not be sticky and the buttercream will pull together perfectly leaving the work surface clean.

When I first started making fondant and buttercream the process took me 3 hours for one batch. Now I can cook the fondant and make buttercream in one hour.

Not only can the buttercream be used for cakes but for the centers of candy.

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Wow, Kimberly, that sounds like a workout! I don't think I'll attempt anything like that until after I retire, but that's impressive.

Geisha, I was at a local craft store a couple days ago to get more chocolate to make another batch ot RainbowGirls Peppermint Bark. I noticed they had 5 lbs of Wilton rolled fondant for $9.97. The store was Pat Cattan's...don't know if it's a national chain or just local. I don't know if that's more or less than what you pay when you order it on the Internet, but I thought of you and thought I'd mention it.

I'm off work until Christmas, so I'm going to make a big batch of now i see's sugar cookies. Can't wait to see how they turn out.

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I am a typo doofie. I said "To 5 lbs. of buttercream I add..." I should have said to 5 lbs. of fondant...

Something else I forgot to mention that is important. You have to wait 24 hours after making the fondant to make it into buttercream.

Geisha, I use granulated sugar.

Linda Z, actually it really is not a work out, now. It was at first. After several batches you learn the little tricks that make it easier. I limit myself to 3 lbs. of fondant into buttercream at a time. I did a 5 lb. batch only once. My weight lifting son had to help me pull it.

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Wow, Kimberly, that sounds like a workout! I don't think I'll attempt anything like that until after I retire, but that's impressive.

Geisha, I was at a local craft store a couple days ago to get more chocolate to make another batch ot RainbowGirls Peppermint Bark. I noticed they had 5 lbs of Wilton rolled fondant for $9.97. The store was Pat Cattan's...don't know if it's a national chain or just local. I don't know if that's more or less than what you pay when you order it on the Internet, but I thought of you and thought I'd mention it.

I'm off work until Christmas, so I'm going to make a big batch of now i see's sugar cookies. Can't wait to see how they turn out.


Thanks, I never heard of that store though. Just an FYI for anyone interested. Wilton, which has wonderful theme pans--and retires them(?) I guess, can be found on ebay. I sometimes find them at auctions. Very fun.

I want to make Kimberly's fondant, but I will check out a few craft stores for Wilton. I don't use it too often. I may start practicing again.

Thanks for thinking of me! :)

In GB you can buy rolled icing in the grocery store. It is awesome stuff--easy to work with. I miss it.

Enjoy the cookies Linda---it is a nice recipe.


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  • 3 years later...

From my friend...

Christmas Wreath Cookies

Easy and festive treat for the children and adults. The trick is to butter your hands when shaping them into wreaths so the marshmallows don't stick to your hands.



  • 1 stick butter
  • 30 marshmallows (large)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons green food coloring
  • 4 cups cornflakes
  • Red hot candies

<a name="directions" rel="nofollow">Directions;

In a saucepan melt butter and marshmallows, stirring frequently. Add vanilla and food coloring.

Pour mixture over cornflakes and stir (not mix) well.

Drop by spoonful onto waxed paper and shape into wreaths. While cookie wreaths are warm, decorate with red hot candies.

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This is such a precious thread.

Peanut Butter Balls

This Christmas candy is a bite-sized treat featuring the unbeatable combination of peanut butter and chocolate.



  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 3 cups rice crispies
  • 18 ounces (1 1/2 bags) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

5 minutes

Container: Mixing bowl, hand mixer, cookie sheet

Servings: makes approximately 50


  • Beat peanut butter and butter together with an electric hand mixer until creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar and mix again.
  • Stir in rice crispies and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  • Roll dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet lines with waxed paper.
  • Freeze the dough balls.
  • Melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip the dough balls into the chocolate until completely covered. It is easier to work in small batches and keep the rest in the freezer until ready to use. They are easier to handle when still frozen.
  • After dipped in chocolate, set each on the waxed paper again and either allow them to set on their own or freeze again to set faster.

Note; I like to also roll them in Cocoa Powder or Hot Chocolate/Cocoa powder from the packet.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another one from my friend

Gluten-Free Sugar Cookies

Gluten-free doughs tend to be more delicate than standard cookie doughs. If the dough becomes too soft to work with, cut out shapes and place unbaked cookies on trays in the freezer for 3-5 minutes before baking.



2¼ cups white rice flour, plus more for rolling

½ cup cornstarch

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. cream of tartar

½ tsp. salt

½ cup butter, softened, plus more for greasing

½ cup shortening

½ cup sugar

½ cup confectioners sugar

2 eggs

½ tsp. vanilla

Decorating sugar (optional)


1. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder, cream of tartar, and salt; Set aside. Beat butter and shortening to combine; cream sugar and butter mixture together, then beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until just until combined. Shape dough into two balls, flatten slightly into discs and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill dough at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 375° Dust clean work surface lightly with rice flour and roll half of dough ¼" thick. Cut out assorted shapes with cookie cutters and place cutouts 2" apart on greased tray. Sprinkle with decorating sugar before baking if desired. Bake 6-8 minutes until cookies are lightly puffed and golden at the edges, cool 3-5 minutes on tray to allow cookies to set before removing. Repeat with remaining dough, gathering scraps and re-rolling with additional rice flour as needed. If the dough becomes too soft, place unbaked cookies on trays in freezer 3-5 minutes before baking.


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Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies

The frosting on these mint cookies is created with an Andes mint. A chewy chocolate cookie topped with an Andes mint blends the two flavors together to create a delicious mint cookie. Andes Mint Cookies are a great addition to your Christmas cookie tray.



  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 12 ounces chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 24 Andes mints

Prep Time

1.5 hours

Cook Time

10 minutes

Total Time

2 hours

Container: lightly greased cookie sheet and a medium saucepan


  • In a medium-sized saucepan, melt together the butter, brown sugar, and water, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Let stand 10 minutes to cool. Add the remaining ingredients and combine to form a dough.
  • Chill the dough at least 1 hour.
  • Roll the dough into balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet, leaving ample space between the dough balls.
  • Bake at 350°F for 8 to 9 minutes.
  • Remove the cookies from the oven, and on top of each cookie, place half of an Andes mint. Allow the mint to melt and then swirl the mint over the cookie with the back of a spoon or a knife.

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Overnight Meringue Cookies

Light, crispy cookies with a nutty, chocolate center. The light texture of the meringue cookies allows the sweet nutty flavor of the center to come through.



  • 2 egg whites
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Prep Time

30 minutes

Total Time

30 minutes

Container: Cookie sheet


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Beat the egg whites until they form a soft peak. Gradually add the sugar and beat mixture until stiff peaks form.
  • Stir in the vanilla, chocolate chips, and chopped pecans.
  • Line cookie sheets with foil and drop cookie mixture on the foil by spoonfuls to create 1 to 1 1/2 inch mounds.
  • Place cookies in the preheated oven and then turn the oven off. Leave the cookies in the oven overnight (6 to 8 hours).

Makes 30 cookies

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