Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sweet Saturday: Christmas Treats Galore!

This past week, Nathan and I decided to do a little something nice for our co-workers and make up some treat trays to take in to work.  I had been flipping through magazines and cookbooks for weeks and saw so many great recipes.  Here's what we narrowed it down to and decided to make:

Eggnog Pound Cake

Granny Martin's Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Pretzels with Sprinkles
Chocolate Dipped Pretzels with Peppermint

Peanut Butter Balls

Little something you might not have known about me--I'm a tidy cook, but a very messy baker!  It looked like our tiny kitchen exploded on Wednesday night--there were pans, pots, bowls, spoons, flour, sugar and butter everywhere!   But boy, was it fun. :)  I don't know about you, but there's nothing I love more than baking up some yummy treats with my hunny.  He makes being in the kitchen so much more fun than it already is.

Anyway.  Enough of the mushy stuff.

I found the recipe for Eggnog Pound Cake in the December 2009 issue of Southern Living.  This is a great way to use up that little bit of leftover eggnog (of course, if you're like me . . . there's hardly any left over around this time of year--why does something that delicious have to be so bad for me??).  Anyway.

This smelled and tasted so great.  I'll definitely be making this again next year (if not before then).

Eggnog Pound Cake (taken from: Southern Living, December 2009 issue)

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 1/4 c. Eggnog
  • 1/2 TSP vanilla
  • 1/2 TSP nutmeg
  • 1 (16 oz.) box of pound cake mix (this took me a while to find--I finally found it at Wal-Mart in the baking section on the bottom row with the banana bread mixes and such)
  • 2 large eggs 
Here's how to make it:
  1. Easy, breezy!  Mix everything up with an electric mixer until blended.  Pour into a lightly greased loaf pan.  Bake on 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean.
After Nathan's mom sent me the recipe for Peanut Butter Balls, I knew I had to add these to the list of things to make.  I'm so glad I did.  By Thursday afternoon, I had about 4 of these and started to feel a bit remorseful . . . until I had the 5th one and was reminded how good they were.  I'll refrain from posting the recipe because I'm not sure if it's an Atwood family secret or not.  At any rate, they were super easy and so so so delicious.

Now I know I've shared my Granny Martin's recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies before--remember the first mishap?  And then, there was the second time when I finally got it right, but admitted that they didn't taste nearly as good as Granny's?  

Well, can I just say that the baking fairies  must have been watching over me on Wednesday because these turned out perfectly!  I so wish  my Granny could have been a witness in my kitchen when those  fluffy, lightly browned peanut butter cookies popped out of my oven.  I don't know how it happened ladies and gentlemen, but it did.  I think I've finally mastered the cookies!  Third times a charm, right?  ;-)

I really didn't do anything different except cook them on 350 degrees instead of 375 (I had the eggnog pound cake in the oven, so I had to reduce the temp because of that).  I also switched up a few of my "steps" when adding the ingredients into my blender, and I didn't melt the butter--only softened it.  For the list of ingredients, click here.

Here's what I did: 
  1. Mix softened butter and peanut butter together with electric mixer until creamy and blended
  2. Leave your blender on Medium speed and gradually pour in white sugar, and then gradually pour in brown sugar
  3. Pour in egg
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together remaining dry ingredients.
  5. Gradually add to blender (all the while your blender should still be on a med-low setting).
  6. Use tablespoon or melon scoop to form cookies, and place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until done.
Before I get too boastful about the peanut butter cookies, I do have to share the one thing that went awry when baking.  I had all intentions of making this simple little cookie recipe I found on  All you do is buy refrigerated sugar cookies, bake them, let them cool, dip half of the cookie in melted white chocolate and then sprinkle with crushed peppermint.  And doesn't it look pretty?

Picture taken from:

Unfortunately, I didn't even get past the cooling of the cookies stage.  Here's my pan of sugar cookies:

Seriously.  I don't know what happened.  At first I started to worry that it might be my cookie sheets, but after the peanut butter cookie splendor I realized that can't be.  At any rate, these did not get made.  

I did, however, have all those crushed candy canes and melted white chocolate to use.  Nathan and I decided to use the pretzel rods for some, and then the rest we dipped in sprinkles.

Here was our finished product:



  1. what a fun baking day -- and very productive :)

  2. The recipe is not a secret - glad you enjoyed it.


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