Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Day 220 (12/20): Kid Friendly Christmas Cooking

We had no school today.  Some kids did a cheer.  Mothers that were not working anyways did not cheer.  They dreaded it.  What would have been a day all to herself with all of her grades finally done turned into a day with a 10 year old and all of his neighbor friends.  In other words - no peace.  We were supposed to have about 6-8 inches of snow but instead we got a dusting so sledding and throwing snowballs were out.  Instead wrestling in my basement and listening to a mother yell at them was in. 

After lunch, I said it was time for some quality cooking time with me and all the kids had to go home to torture their own parents.  Here's some of the treats we made.

Holiday Pretzel Bites

You essentially tell your kid to do some peaceful unwrapping of candy cane kisses.  It is so much quieter than kids hitting the wall in the basement.  You can even let him or her eat one because it is quieter than boys slamming each other into the floor. 

Put the kisses on some pretzels.  I like the wafer ones because less melt through than on the knot shaped ones.  They also make some round ones that are wafered but I couldn't find any of those. 
Melt the kisses in about 250 degree oven for a couple of minutes.  Then take them out of the oven and squish an M&M on them.  This is fun for the kids too - the squishing part.  They can imagine they are squishing their friends in the basement or pushing them against a wall or floor.  Tons of quiet fun!

Fake Turtle Bites
While you have the pretzels out and the kiddo that loves unwrapping things, you might as well make these yummy treats.  They mimick the taste of turtles - the chewy caramel with pecans covered in chocolate - only they take about 5 minutes compared to 2 hours to make. 

Same idea as above.  Take rolos and unwrap them and try not to eat too many of them.  Place them on pretzels and pop in a 250 degree oven for a few minutes.  I do use parchment paper under the pretzels just in case any melts through.  It makes for super easy cleanup.  After the rolos look melted take them out of the oven and have your WWF wannabe champion pop some pecans, M&M's, cashews, or whatever you like with your chocolate, caramel and pretzels. 

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites
I had been eyeing this recipe on pinterest for a couple of weeks now.  And today was the perfect opportunity to try it and it would give me loud wrestler a chance to squish things.  The recipe is from Foodaphilia and is pretty easy. 

1 cup peanut butter
2 TBSP softened margarine
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
chocolate chips or whatever you like to use for dipping.

Combine the peanut butter and softened butter. Add the sugars and stir.  You want it to be a consistency that will roll easily so feel free to experiment with the sugars.  Roll a small bit into balls and sandwhich between two whole pretzels. Here's where a wrestler comes in handy - recall squishing his friends?  :)   Continue until you use up all the dough.  Place the sandwhiches into the freezer for a half hour or so. 

Create a chocolate mixture to dip the sandwhiches in.  I usually take a few white almond bark squares and melt in the microwave and then add semi-sweet chocolate chips in to make chocolate.  It stretches the chocolate chips if you are trying to save a little money or use the chocolate chips in other treats.  And the secret to the shiny chocolate is to add a splash of vegetable oil or wax.  Yes I said wax.  I'm sure you ate crayons when you were younger and you still survived.  You can buy parafin wax at a grocery store or if you are leary of the wax, just put some oil in.  What's a few more calories at Christmas, right?

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