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Phyllis' Fixin's

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As I'm sitting here on Monday afternoon, watching the snow come down, I'm starting to get into the mood for making Christmas goodies. The first recipe came from my son, and he said it's the best fudge he's ever tasted. One of the cooks at Blue Cloud Abbey makes it, so I'm going to put it in her words as I received it.

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Blue Cloud Abbey Fudge

4 C. sugar

1/2 C. Cocoa

1/2 C. white corn syrup

1 pint cream or half-and-half

1 1/2 T. butter

2 tsp. vanilla

1 C. walnuts (optional)

Take sugar and cocoa; stir to remove all lumps. Add corn syrup and cream. Keep stirring. Cook to 234 degrees on candy thermometer. Add butter and vanilla. Beat the heck out of it; add nuts. Pour into buttered pan.

Chocolate Pretzel Rings

48 pretzel rings or mini twists

1 (8 oz.) pkg. milk chocolate kisses

1/4 C. M&Ms

Place the pretzels on greased baking sheets; place a chocolate kiss in the center of each ring. Bake at 275 degrees for 2-3 minutes or until chocolate is softened. Remove from the oven. Place an M&M on each, pressing down slightly so chocolate fills the ring. Refrigerate for 5-10 minutes or until chocolate is firm. Store at room temperature.

Holiday Peppermint Bark (From Nestle Toll House)

1 (12 oz.) pkg. Nestle Toll House Premier White Morsels

24 hard peppermint candies

Line baking sheet with waxed paper. Microwave morsels in a medium, microwave-safe bowl on medium high for 1 minute; stir. Microwave an additional 10-20 second intervals, stirring until smooth. Place peppermint candies in a heave-duty plastic bag. Crush candies using rolling pin or other heavy object. While holding strainer over melted morsels, pour crushed candy into strainer. Shake to release all small candy pieces; reserve larger candy pieces. Stir morsel-peppermint mixture. Spread mixture to desired thickness on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved candy pieces; press in lightly. Let stand for about 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Peppermint Meltaways (From Simple & Delicious magazine)

I'm not sure whether to call this one candy or cookie, but I'm definitely going to try them.

1 C. butter

1/2 C. confectioners' sugar

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

1 1/4 C. flour

1/2 c. cornstarch

Frosting:

2 T. butter, softened

1 1/2 C. confectioners' sugar

2 T. milk

1/4 tsp. peppermint extract

2-3 drops red food coloring, optional

1/2 C. crushed peppermint candies

In a small mixing bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract. Combine flour and cornstarch; gradually add to creamed mixture, and mix well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. In a small mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, extract and food coloring if desired; beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies; sprinkle with crushed candies. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 3 1/2 dozen.

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