Friday, November 30, 2012

taste of home giveaway (and christmas sandwich cremes)

Congratulations to Steffani Kerr!  You won the Taste of Home holiday gift pack!  Steffani said in her comment that her favorite holiday is Egg Nog French Toast...hmmmm....I just might have to get her recipe!


You want to know something awesome?  This is my 300th post!

You want to know something more awesome?  I'm celebrating with a giveaway. :)   

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of the post for entry information.

I was ecstatic when Taste of Home contacted me to review their three special edition holiday magazines out on news-stands right now.  Since receiving them a week ago, I have literally read them cover to cover several times.  They are fantastic!

"Best Holiday Recipes" includes everything you would need to throw a fabulous holiday dinner.  The recipes are fancy-schmancy and yet simple enough for the home cook.  "Best-Loved Cookies and Candies" has some of the most exciting cookie recipes I've seen to date.  It took us forever to decide which recipe we were going to try first, and I think you'll agree - we picked a winner. "Food Gifts" is my favorite of the three.  It includes recipes for jams and butters, savory snacks, cookies, breads, beverages, muffins, condiments, candies, cupcakes, and more!  It's one that I'll be pulling out every holiday season for years to come.


We tried three different recipes - one from each book.  Cookie Bandit and I had a ton of fun picking them out and even more fun tasting them.  I'll be sharing each one with you over the course of the week.

From "Best Holiday Recipes," we tried the Alpine Cheese Melts.  These are basically souped-up grilled cheese sandwiches...but so much better!  We've enjoyed them several times this week, and I love how festive they look.

From "Best-Loved Cookies and Candies," we made these Whoopie Pies.  And oh. my. word.  I don't think I can even describe how good they are.  Cookie Bandit keeps sneaking them for himself, and I keep sneaking them for the neighbors.  After all...if you have something this good, you shouldn't keep it to yourself!  Am I right?

Finally, from "Food Gifts," I made these adorable Christmas Sandwich Cremes.  I've eaten more of these little beauties in the past several days than I care to admit, and I haven't gotten tired of them yet.  :)

To make the sandwich cremes, you begin by mixing up the simple dough - butter, whipping cream, and flour!  I love it when something delicious requires so few ingredients.  Refrigerate the dough for about 2 hours, or until it's easy to handle.  Note - these cookies aren't hard to make as long as your dough is the right temperature.  If it's too soft, put it back in the fridge.  If it's too hard, work it with your hands for a few minutes until it's pliable.

Roll the dough out onto a floured surface and cut circles with a small, round cookie cutter.

Drop the circle of dough into a bowl of sugar and turn to coat.  You may have to lightly press the sugar into the dough with your fingers.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet - I covered mine with parchment paper - and then poke holes into the dough with a fork.  Bake until set (just a few minutes), and then let the cookies completely cool.

Once the cookies are cool, whip up the frosting and divide into two bowls.  Color one bowl red and one bowl green - Christmas colors! :)  Spread the frosting on top of the half of the cookies.

As you can see, I found it easiest to put the frosting into a ziplock bag and then cut a corner off the bag to make a sort-of pastry bag.  I then piped the frosting into the center of each cookie.

Place the remaining cookies on top of the frosted cookies, pressing down to spread frosting evenly in between.  Aren't they cute?

These would make a great gift for anyone or a perfect addition to any party.  And they require so few ingredients that they are highly economical.  I'm keeping this recipe around for future baby showers (think pink and blue fillings) or other special occasions.  

Christmas Sandwich Cremes
from Taste of Home's "Food Gifts"
1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
sugar for coating
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
food coloring

In a small bowl, combine the butter, cream, and flour.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.

Divide into thirds; let one portion stand at room temperature for 15 minutes (keep remaining dough refrigerated until ready to roll out).  On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thickness.  Cut with a 1-1/2-in. round cookie cutter.  Place cutouts in a shallow dish filled with sugar; turn to coat.  Place on ungreased baking sheets.  Prick with a fork several times.  Bake at 375 degrees for 7-9 minutes or until set.  Cool on wire racks.

For filling, in a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla.  Tint with food coloring.  Spread about 1 teaspoon filling over half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies.

To enter the giveaway for the THREE Taste of Home holiday magazines, just leave a comment telling me what your favorite holiday food is!  Yes, it really is that simple.  The giveaway will run until December 7, and then I'll announce the winner on December 8 (my birthday!).  Be sure to provide an e-mail address where you can be reached so that I can contact the winner.  GIVEAWAY OVER.


  1. my favorite holiday food is tamales! :-)

  2. Happy early birthday!! My favorite holiday food, hmmm. I love so many of the holiday foods. Cookies, candies, the yummy appetizers. I think maybe my favorite is just dressing (stuffing) and gravy.


  4. My favorite holiday food is of course cookies..My Mom always made dozens with us kids and we gave them away to neighbors and friends. We got to keep the broken and burnt ones. Of course many were "dropped" on the floor! My favorite cookies are the choke balls or mexican wedding cookies and we used to make some sugar cookies that we decorated to look like Santa's face. Brings back great memories of simple times with my Mom.

  5. Hmmm...I guess my favorite holiday food is a delicious ham. But goodies are cookies, fudge, stuffed mushrooms, dips...I could go on! :)
    email address sent

  6. I love prime rib roast. And all the sweet treats to eat.

  7. My favorite holiday food is our yule log cake for Christmas Eve dessert plus lot of Christmas cookies!

  8. I love a good Christmas ham. I love all the burnt ends!

  9. My favorite holiday food is Christmas cookies.

  10. The homemade cookies and candy! A sweet Holiday indulgence! :)
    Thanks for this sweet giveaway! Happy Holidays!

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. My favorite Hot Spice Tea like my mother used to make.

  13. A favorite holiday food? That is a tough one. I love all the types of cookies we make - the one time of year when I can whip up multiple batches of my favorite cookie recipes! I also love the Cinnamon Glazed Pumpkin Cake! I really can't get enough pumpkin!

  14. Jill Hartley -- missjill0521@yahoo.comDecember 4, 2012 at 5:23 AM

    I love a good sugar cookie... or sad as it is... green bean casserole! Delish!

  15. I love me some Christmas fudge!!

  16. Almost missed this!! My favorite food is spring roll, does Chinese food count?
    Happy Birthday!! Remember to eat some noodle, it has to be long noodle!


  17. My favorite Christmas food is the all the food on Christmas, actually! :) Especially my dad's cooking. Hope I win! :)

  18. my favorite Christmas food is gingerbread men, but I also really love mashed potatoes. :)

  19. My favorite holiday food is peanut butter fudge!! Also love seven layer bars, yummy!!!! :)

  20. Favorite is gingerbread men. I don't allow myself to make them any other time so that they stay special.

  21. My favorite Christmas food is egg nog french toast!

  22. My husband makes the best fudge. He makes it every Christmas. Love it!

  23. Cheesecake. Mmmmmmm!!!!!


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