Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dough or No Dough?

Inspired by Hannah and Matt's progress with their mid-century modernize, Chris and I decided to get crackin' on our own kitchen.  After getting three quotes which were above what I wanted to spend, I ruled out hiring someone to install the cabinets and we are moving ahead with the project to be completed by us and our generous friends and family who have volunteered their services.  Having a kitchen in complete disarray during my favorite baking season has got me thinking about "dough-less" holiday baking.  I still have a microwave and a stove, I am just not eager to be rolling dough or cutting cookies in a half demo'ed kitchen.  So I've done some brainstorming and heavy-googling and found that there are multitudes of holiday recipes which do not involve any dough. Some are as simple as some microwaving and dipping or stirring.  Cookies will just have to wait until next year. 

Christmas Corn Flake Wreaths

1/2 c. butter

40 regular marshmallows

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. green food coloring, or more to desired shade

6 c. corn flakes

Melt butter in large saucepan. Add marshmallows and cook over low heat, stirring frequently until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and food coloring to desired shade of green. Add corn flakes and blend, stirring and mixing gently until all corn flakes are coated. With 2 teaspoons or buttered fingers, shape golf-ball size portions into wreaths on wax paper. Put 3 red cinnamon candies at intervals on each wreath to look like holly berries. Makes about 24. Store on waxed paper in tins.

White Chocolate Oreo Fudge

18 oz of White Choc morsels (a pkg and a half)
14 oz can of Sweetened Condensed Milk 
1/8 teasp. of salt 
2 cups of coarsely crushed Oreo-type cookies

Line an 8X8 square baking pan w/ foil. Then, in a heavy saucepan over LOW heat, stir & melt the choc morsels, Sweetened Condensed milk and salt together. Be sure to watch it closely, just until it is melted uniformly. Remove from heat and stir in oreo pieces. Pour evenly into 8×8, and chill for a couple of hours. Turn fudge upside down on a cutting board, peel off foil, and cut that into small squares. Store tightly covered/cool place.

Olive watching me cook from her perch over the radiator.  Notice the crazy walls.

Classic Chocolate Fudge  
3 cups sugar 
2/3 cup evaporated milk 
3/4 cup (1 1/2) sticks Margarine 
1 12 oz. pkg. chocolate chips 
1 1/2 cup marshmallow cream 
1/2 cup pecans, chopped 
1/2 t. vanilla 

Combine sugar, milk, and margarine in heavy saucepan; heat to boiling. 
Stir constantly about 5 minutes over medium heat or until mixture reaches soft ball stage (238 degrees). Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients. Stir vigorously until well blended. 
Pour into greased 13 x9×2 inch buttered pan. Cool. Cut into squares. Makes 3 pounds.

Ritz Cracker Thin Mints

1 pound bittersweet chocolate
80 buttery round crackers (I used Ritz shaped like snowflakes)
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

Using a double boiler method, melt the chocolate coatings over hot tap water for 15 - 20 minutes. Stir . Do not cook or get water into the chocolate.  After it is melted, stir in a couple drops of peppermint flavor into the chocolate.  Dip crackers into the melted chocolate and then place onto a cold cookie sheet and put into the refrigerator to set. (A freezing tray to rest the dipped cookies will keep the bottoms neat looking.)  I sprinkled them with some crushed candy cane.  In a few minutes take them out and package in candy cups. The cookies are best kept at room temperature or a cool dry place away from any odors.

I made all the dishes above and peanut brittle and made tins for my friends, co-workers, and neighbors.  Both fudges made a lot and were a big hit!  I love the ritz cracker things - they taste just like thin mints!  Katie helped by making the caramel corn and those wreath things look more like a grinch face, but taste great.  Overall, the dough-less baking was a BIG success!

More dough-less dishes:

Awesome and Easy Peanut Brittle, Graham Cracker / Saltine Toffee, Spiced Almonds, White Trash, Chex Mix, Peppermint Bark, Buckeyes, Holly Jollies, Turtles, Chocolate covered pretzels, Rice Krispy Treats, Watergate Salad, Icebox Cupcakes


TKTC said...

This post is brilliant. If you ever need another doughless recipe, I highly recommend almond caramel crackers. I don't know what the real name is but that covers the ingredients. Separate a package of graham crackers into quarters and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. On the stovetop, melt 1 stick of butter and then sprinkle 1 cup of brown sugar over the top. Whisk at a good clip till fully incorporated. Pour 3/4 cup of sliced almonds in and stir. Spoon over the top of your crackers and bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. So good. so flipping good.

Also. THANK YOU for the MCM reno blog! I love mid-century modern everything and am similarly obsessed by renovations, real estate and quirky housing. So please post awesome photos once your kitchen is done!

Shannon - said...

just found your blog and as a fellow Clevelander I just had to say hello!

look forward to reading more ;)