Wayne's Weekend

Wayne's Weekend

Wayne’s Weekend Holiday Gift Recipes

Personalize your gift giving by making sweet treats in your kitchen.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Wayne Johnson shows you how to personalize your gifts this holiday season with a homemade treat. (Published Thursday, Dec 12, 2013)

    One of the nicest and most personal gifts you can give is something homemade from the kitchen.  From red hot popcorn and wedding cookies, to peppermint spiral cookies and a trio of mini loaves, here’s a collection of old and new recipes that will hopefully inspire you to start cooking.  Some of these recipes below come from my family, my friends and me from were featured in previous segments.  But the trio of mini loaves are new this year and make a nice combination “sampler” gift set.  Be sure to also check out your local craft and specialty stores for great packaging ideas for your creations.  You’ll find a number of boxes, bags and wraps specially made for food gifts. 

     

    Apple Pecan Mini loaves

    makes 8 loaves

     

    Ingredients

    4 tbl Butter, softened

    1/2 cu Sour Cream

    1 cu Granulated Sugar

    2 lg Eggs

    1 tbl Vanilla Extract

    2 cu All-Purpose Flour

    1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

    1 tsp Baking Soda

    1/2 tsp Salt

    1 1/4 cu peeled, cored and diced Apples, Red Delicious or your choice

    1 cu Pecans, chopped

     

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

     

    Cream together butter, sour cream and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract.  Separately, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.  Fold in the apples and only 3/4 cup of the pecans.  Mix well.

     

    Lightly coat an 8 slot mini loaf pan with baking spray. Pour batter into the slots, distributing evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining pecans on top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center of one of loaves comes out clean.

     

    Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

     

     

    Banana Walnut Mini Loaves

    makes 8 loaves

     

    Ingredients

     

    4 tbl Butter, softened

    1/2 cu Sour Cream

    1 cu Granulated Sugar

    2 lg Eggs

    1 tbl Vanilla Extract

    2 cu All-Purpose Flour

    1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

    1 tsp Baking Soda

    1/2 tsp Nutmeg

    1 tsp Cinnamon

    1/2 tsp Salt

    2 med Ripe Bananas, mashed

    1 cu Walnuts, chopped

     

    Method

     

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

     

    Cream together butter, sour cream and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract.  Separately, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.  Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.  Fold in the bananas and walnuts.  Mix well.

     

    Lightly coat an 8 slot mini loaf pan with baking spray. Pour batter into the slots, distributing evenly.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center of one of loaves comes out clean.

     

    Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

     

    Cranberry Orange Mini Loaves

    makes 8 loaves

     

    Ingredients

     

    4 tbl Butter, softened

    1/3 cu Sour Cream

    1 cup brown sugar

    2 lg Eggs

    1 tsp Grated Orange Peel

    1/2 cup Orange Juice

    2 cu All-Purpose Flour

    1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder

    1 tsp Baking Soda

    1/2 tsp Salt

    3/4 cu Golden Raisins

    1 1/2 cu Fresh Cranberries, chopped (measured after chopping)

     

    Method

     

    Cream together butter, sour cream and brown sugar in a mixing bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time, followed by orange peel and orange juice.  Separately, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Gradually incorporate the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.  Fold in the raisins and cranberries.  Mix well.

     

    Lightly coat an 8 slot mini loaf pan with baking spray. Pour batter into the slots, distributing evenly.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the center of one of loaves comes out clean.

     

    Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

     

    Other Favorite Recipes From Previous Segments

     

    Mama Fannie's Holiday Sand Tarts

    my grandmother’s recipe, but similar to traditional wedding cookies

     

    Ingredients

     

    2 cu All Purpose Flour

    1 tsp Baking Powder

    Pinch of salt

    1 cu Pecans Pieces

    1 cu Unsalted Butter (2 sticks) plus 2 tbsp, softened

    1 cu Powdered Sugar

    2 tsp Vanilla Extract

    Powdered sugar for coating cookies

     

    Method

     

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

     

    In a medium sized bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, and pecans. Set aside.

     

    In a larger bowl, blend butter with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Gradually mix in powdered sugar. Add vanilla extract. Add flour mixture in small amounts until combined. If dough is too soft to roll in your hands, refrigerate for an hour before using. Spoon one half tablespoon of dough onto a work surface. Roll dough into a small ball and place it on a baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough. 

     

    Bake for about 12 minutes until cookies just start to brown. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

     

    These cookies are very delicate right out of the oven and can break if you handle them too soon. Let them rest on the cookie sheet for about 5 to 10 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack. Once cookies are completely cooled, drop them in more powdered sugar to fully coat. Shake off excess and serve. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container.  Another option to just coating the cookies in powdered sugar is to add a bit of cocoa to the mix (about 1/4 cocoa to 3/4 powdered sugar).

     

    Red Hot Popcorn

    couresy of Ann Cook

     

    Ingredients

     

    3 bags Natural Microwave Popcorn, 3.5oz size, popped with all the "old maids" picked out

    1 1/2 sticks Butter or Margarine

    1/2 cu Karo Syrup

    9.5 oz bag Red Hots

     

    Method

     

    Melt butter, karo and red hots on the stove. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.

     

    Meanwhile put popped popcorn into a large greased roasting pan (I use one of those disposable turkey pans). Pour syrup over the popcorn and stir. Bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees. Stir every 15 minutes. When done, pour onto wax paper to cool. Break into pieces and store in a sealed container or bag. 

     

    Almond Coconut Marshmallows

     

    Ingredients

     

    2 cu Sweetened Shredded Coconut

    3 packs Unflavored Gelatin

    1 cu Water

    1 3/4 cu Granulated Sugar

    1 cu Corn Syrup

    1 1/4 cu Confectioner’s Sugar

    2 tbl Corn Starch

    1 tbl Almond Extract

     

    Useful Equipment

     

    Cooking Spray

    Candy Thermometer

    Stand Mixer

     

     

    Method

     

    Put coconut in a large dry skillet over high heat.  Stir constantly until coconut is lightly toasted throughout, being careful not to let it burn, about 6-8 minutes.  Pour coconut on a sheet of parchment and allow it to cool.

     

    Meanwhile, mix together powdered sugar and cornstarch.  Lightly spray the sides of an 8” or 9” square pan with cooking spray.  Pour a generous amount of powdered sugar mixture in the pan and tilt it to coat all the sides.  Pour excess back into the rest of the powdered sugar mixture. Pour half of the toasted coconut mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan and set aside.

     

    In a small microwave safe bowl, mix the gelatin with 1/2 cup of water.  Set aside.  In a large pot, mix sugar, corn syrup and the remaining 1/2 cup of water.  Bring to a boil and stir until mixture reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

     

    Just before sugar mixture reaches the desired temperature, microwave gelatin mixture for 20 seconds to fully soften.  Pour gelatin mixture into the bowl of a stand mixture with the whisk attachment.  Carefully pour hot sugar mixture into bowl.  Turn on mixer and gradually increase it to the highest setting.  Whisk ingredients for 15 minutes.  Pour in almond extract and whisk for a few seconds more.  

     

    Immediately pour (or scoop) mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan.  Wet your hands completely and press mixture into the corners of the pan and even it out on the surface.  Sprinkle remaining coconut on top and press hard to flatten it out.  

     

    Let the mixture cool at room temperature, uncovered, for at least 4 hours.  Once cooled, run a knife along the sides of the mixture and remove it from the pan onto a cutting board.  Using a sharp knife, cut the marshmallow into strips.  Dust the cut sides in the powdered sugar.  Cut the strips into squares and dust the new cut sides in powdered sugar as well.

     

    Peppermint Pinwheels

     

    Ingredients

     

    3/4 cu Unsalted Butter, softened

    2/3 cu Granulated Sugar

    1 lg Egg, beaten 

    1 tsp Vanilla Extract

    2 cu All-Purpose Flour

    1 tsp Baking Powder

    1/2 tsp Baking Soda

    1/2 tsp Salt

    2 lg Candy Canes (or 4 smaller ones), crushed to yield 2 tablespoons of crumbs

    1/4 tsp Peppermint Extract

    1 1/2 tsp Red Food Color

     

    Method

     

    Cream together butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix well.  Separately, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Fold dry mixture into wet mixture until well incorporated.  Divide mixture in half.  Mix candy cane crumbs, peppermint extract and food coloring into one portion.  Place both portions in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to harden slightly.

     

    After 30 minutes, roll each half onto a pice of wax paper to form a rectangle 14” x 9” (you can dust the top with powdered sugar to keep it from sticking to your hands or a rolling pin).  Once completed, lay the red dough directly on top of the white dough and peel away the wax paper.  Starting on a long side, roll the two layers together for form a 14” wide log.  Wrap the log in plastic and place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight.

     

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Remove the log from the refrigerator and unwrap.  Slice into 1/4” slices and place slices on a baking sheet (keep unsliced portion of dough in the refrigerator until ready to cut).  Bake for 11-12 minutes or until cookies start to show a bit of color on the bottom edges.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

     
    If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.