You Had Me at Holidays... KT's Refinishing School

Today's post is from the lovely KT over at KT's Refinishing School. She shares recipes, photos, book reviews and stories from her newlywed life on a daily basis. Most of the recipes usually leave me drooling, so I'm certain you're going to enjoy what she has to share with you today! 

Hi everyone! First I want to thank Lauren for inviting me to her blog and giving me the opportunity to share some of my holiday traditions as part of You Had Me At Holidays!

Today I am going to share two of my family cookie recipes with you.  Along with these sugar cookies (with holiday themed colors and icing of course!), we make two additional cookies which we call Candy Cookies and Elephant Balls.  I know the names are a bit funny, especially that second one, but there is nothing funny about how they taste!

Here's a bit of background on our holiday cookie traditions.  My mom is a great cook but she does not enjoy baking at all.  As soon as my sister and I got old enough to bake on our own, the torch of Christmas cookie baking was passed onto us.  Typically, my sister and I spend an afternoon blaring Christmas music while we make all three types of cookies and homemade Chex Mix for everyone.  If we are feeling particularly festive, we have been known to make hot cider in the slow cooker while we wait.  The sugar cookies are a bit time consuming, so the fact that the other two cookie recipes require no baking and are pretty low fuss is much appreciated, especially after an afternoon in the kitchen baking and cleaning! Come Christmas Eve, Santa gets one of each of the three types of cookies served with a tall glass of milk along with a carrot or two for the reindeer on our Christmas plate.

J (my husband) and I were gifted with our very own Christmas plate at our wedding.  I can't wait to incorporate both of our Christmas (and cookie) traditions together during our first Christmas as a married couple!

Now for the recipes.  First up, Candy Cookies.

This is a recipe from my mom's family and one that my parents began making when they got married.  The sugar cookies are a recipe from my dad's family, so they blended their families and their traditions and made both each year!

1 stick margarine
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 cups instant oatmeal
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans--we usually use pecans but they can be made with either!

Miscellaneous--other supplies you'll need to make this recipe
3 quart saucepan
Mixing bowl
Measuring cups and spoons
Two cookie sheets, covered with parchment paper
Wooden spoon
Metal soup spoon
Combine first five ingredients (through milk) in a 3 quart sauce pan.  Heat over low to medium-low heat until all ingredients have melted and combined.

Meanwhile, measure oats, coconut and nuts into a large mixing bowl.  Pour warm ingredients into bowl and stir quickly to combine.

You will want to do this next part quickly so that the mix doesn't harden before you drop them onto the cookie sheets.  Using a metal soup spoon, drop cookies onto a lined cookie sheet.

Refrigerate for one hour and then store in an airtight container on counter or in a pantry, lining each layer with additional parchment paper to avoid sticking.

Makes approximately 50 cookies.
Calories: Don't ask, it's the holidays!

Next up, Elephant Balls.

I wish I knew how these cookies got their name.  My mom got the recipe, complete with its laugh-inducing name, from a coworker at Mutual of Omaha where she worked when we lived in Omaha growing up.  This wasn't an H family recipe when it came to us, but it has become one rather quickly.  In fact, I think these cookies have surpassed by Grandma H's (his mom) sugar cookies as my dad's favorite!

1 stick of butter or margarine
16 ounces (one small container) of chunky peanut butter
1 pound of powdered sugar
3 1/2 cups of Rice Krispies
1/4 of 1 cake of Parosal Wax, grated--this wax is used to seal jars, among other uses.  It is edible and will make your chocolate covered cookies very shiny
1 large Hersey Bar, broken into pieces
1 12 ounce package of chocolate chips

Box grater
Large mixing bowl
3 quart sauce pan
Double boiler---if you do not have a double boiler, you can use one saucepan and a glass bowl fitted on top instead!
Wooden spoon
2 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper

Shave Parosal and set aside.  Melt butter and peanut butter over low heat in a sauce pan.

Combine powdered sugar and Rice Krispies in a large mixing bowl.

Once melted, remove butter mixture from heat and stir in with the powdered sugar and Rice Krispies mixture.  Press into medium sized balls, about the size of an average meatball.  As you work your way through the mixture, it may become dry and difficult to press into shape.  If this happens, melt a little more peanut butter and add to mixture.  This mixture will make 25 to 30 balls.  Freeze for one hour.
Fill the bottom pan of your double boiler with water.  To the top pan of your double boiler, add shaved wax,  Hershey's bar and chocolate chips.  Heat over medium heat until melted.  Remove from heat.  

Using two spoons, dip balls in chocolate mixture until covered and then transfer onto cookie sheet.  If the chocolate begins to thicken and becomes unworkable, return to the double boiler and heat until it loosens up.  Return cookie sheets to freezer for another hour.  Store in airtight containers.

This recipe can be doubled for large gatherings and they freeze very well.  
Calories:  Your guess is as good as mine--they sure are tasty though!
Note: the chocolate is usually more than enough for the cookies.  We had some left over so we dipped bananas and some biscotti in the rest and froze those as well because that's we had on hand but pretzels, donuts or large fluffy marshmallows would all work great here too!

So there are a few of my family's holiday cookie recipes. Thanks so much for letting me share them with you.  Please let me know if you try any of them! Also, I am always looking for new recipes to try, so please feel free to stop by my blog or email me at com to share. I'd love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays everyone!
See? I told you you'd be drooling. Pull yourself together, go make some tasties, and stay tuned for more YHMH goodness tomorrow... 

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