3 Treats to Make Your Christmas Cozy

Our house is at its coziest in the evening. The Christmas tree is lit up, candles are burning, and the couch is so inviting. More often than not I curl up with a book. But what is a book and snug house at Christmastime without a treat? The recipes I’m sharing today are “keepers” that I’m fond of stirring up (and even more fond of eating). My secret ingredient is a dash of holiday spirit! If used generously, it’s sure to make your December evenings cozy!

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Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Perhaps you’re saying, “Oh, brownies again?” But take a second look—or bite—and you just can’t help finishing the batch. Complements—Taste of Home magazine.

½ c. butter or margarine

½ c. packed brown sugar

2/3 c. sugar

2 eggs

2 T. milk

¾ c. all-purpose flour

½ t. baking powder

¼ t. salt

¼ creamy peanut butter

1/3 c. peanut butter chips

1/3 c. baking cocoa

½ c. semisweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, and white sugar. Add eggs and milk; mix well. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide batter in half. To one portion, add peanut butter and peanut butter chips; mix well. To the other portion, add cocoa and semisweet chocolate chips; mix well. In a greased 9” square baking pan, spoon chocolate batter in eight mounds in a checkerboard pattern. Spoon seven mounds of peanut butter batter between the chocolate batter. Cut through batters with a knife to swirl. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. (Or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, but does that ever work?) Cool on a wire rack. If everything works out, then you should have three dozen fresh-baked brownies on your hands!

 

No-Bake Cookies

My mother calls them oatmeal fudge. I call them delectable. And who says they’re just for winter? Here’s a recipe that won’t heat up the house in summer months and doubles as a winning dessert.

2 c. sugar

2 T. baking cocoa (try a square of unsweetened chocolate if there’s no cocoa on hand)

½ c. milk

½ c. butter

½ c. peanut butter

3 c. quick oatmeal (fun fact: the recipe says “oatmeat”)

1 t. vanilla

Boil sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter for no less than two minutes. Don’t undercook! Quickly add peanut butter, oatmeal and vanilla. Immediately take off heat then stir briefly. Drop on wax paper, refrigerate, and it won’t be long till they’re gone!

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Cinnamon Rolls

Does the title need anything more? These whirligigs speak for themselves. Come Christmas morning, these beauts will be on our table. Thanks to both Taste of Home and Betty Crocker, I’ve found my latest favorite!

2 c. Bisquick

2/3 c. milk

¼ c. sugar

1 t. cinnamon

Icing: (measurements can be divided as needed)

2 c. confectioner’s sugar

2 T. milk

2 T. melted butter

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease twelve muffin cups. With a fork, stir together Bisquick and milk to a soft dough. Beat it until it is stiff and slightly sticky. Roll it on a floury board to prevent sticking. Knead carefully (floury hands) by folding, etc. about nine times to smooth it up. Roll it (floury rolling pin) into a rectangle about 12×7’’ (mine always becomes an oval or parallelogram, so no worries). Spread it with soft butter (fingers work best) and sprinkle with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. Lengthwise, tightly roll up the dough and pinch it shut. Cut it into 1’’ slices and place each, cut side down, in a muffin cup. Bake about 15 minutes. Don’t forget icing! Simply combine confectioner’s sugar, milk, and melted butter. Drizzle over your hot cinnamon rolls and dive in!

Well, get to it! Don’t forget to comment below with your results. Take a plate of all three of these treats, add a cozy winter evening and an empty notebook, and you have got a writer’s heaven!

 

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