Christmas Party Recipes ~ Sweets

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I made a couple of sweets for our party and there weren’t any left at the end of the night.

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Charleston Cherry Bars

2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1 10 ounce bottle maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350º and coat a 13×9 pan with butter.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar about 2 minutes. Add 1 of the eggs and 1 egg yolk, reserving the egg white. Mix well. Add both extracts. Blend in flour mixture until smooth.

Place dough in prepared pan and pat down evenly. Set aside.

Beat reserved egg white to stiff in a medium bowl. Pat cherries dry with a paper towel. Stir cherries and brown sugar into beaten egg white until well combined. Spread over dough in pan. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Cool completely on rack before cutting into squares and serving.

Makes 24 bars.

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Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

1 box refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on package
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsps caramel topping
1 egg
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsps finely chopped pecans

Heat oven to 450º. Remove 1 crust from pouch and unroll on work surface. Roll lightly with a rolling pin. Cut 12 rounds from crust with a 2 1/2 inch to 2 3/4 inch cookie cutter. Press rounds into 12 mini muffin cups. Repeat with remaining pie crust. Place about 5 chocolate chips in each crust.

Bake 6 minutes. Leave crusts in pan and reduce oven temperature to 375º.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese, brown sugar, caramel topping and egg with electric mixer until well combined and creamy. Spoon about 1 1/2 tsps into each crust covering chocolate chips.

Bake at 375º for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheesecake is set. Cool 10 minutes. Remove tarts from pan to cooling rack.

In a small microwaveable bowl, place remaining chocolate chips and vegetable oil. Microwave 30 seconds on HIGH and stir. Continue to microwave on HIGH at 30 second intervals until melted. Stir to smooth out. Drizzle over each cheesecake and immediately sprinkle chopped pecans over the top.

Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Cover and refrigerate any remaining tartlets.

Makes 24 mini cheesecakes.

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Famous Fudge

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk (one of those little cans is 2/3 cup)
1 package semisweet chocolate chips
1 7 ounce jar marshmallow cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts, optional

Grease a 13×9 pan and set aside.

Mix butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in a saucepan.

Bring to a rolling boil and boil, stirring constantly, for exactly 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Add marshmallow cream and vanilla and nuts (if using). Stir until smooth. Pour into prepared pan and cool to room temperature. Cut into small squares.

Makes 3 pounds.

Happy Cooking!

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