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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 12/10/14

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

MILLIONAIRE BARS!!

 This recipe comes from julesfood.blogspot.com .  Make some this holiday season. I hope they taste as good as they look!




MILLIONAIRE BARS







ahhhh...i'm back in the kitchen! not that i was ever out of the kitchen with the holiday madness and all, but i'm back in the kitchen cooking up pretty little things that don't have to feed the masses or conform to everyone else's taste likes and dislikes. you alllll know what i mean


i hope you all had a great holiday with all kinds of sweets and savories...


now let's get on with the show !!!!..the 2010 show...new stuff, re-do stuff, same ol' stuff, but different stuff..just lots of good stuff. and don't forget the weird stuff. i'll do my best to try to find some new good weird stuff.
well, here ya go..my version of the Millionaire Cookie Bar. basically a shortbread cookie covered in caramel and then dipped in chocolate..EASY...IMPRESSIVE, kind of a candy bar but still a cookie.





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i started with a classic Scottish Shortbread cookie i found by googling around. i prefer the dense kind rather than the flaky buttery kind for the classic. don't get me wrong i love ALL shortbread. i have quite a few through out my blogg, mostly using a Dorie Greenspan base recipe including these Maple Pecan Shortbread Bars. when i make these again i will probably try the Millionaire Bars that are created in one pan...shortbread, caramel and chocolate then cut into squares rather than individual like i have done here. just for time's sake and i'd like to use Dorie shortbread for a variation on flavor and texture.
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BUT...i find this recipe a classic, dense Scottish Shortbread.
i have used this recipe quite a few times with a few changes in flavor and it always works well
i found it here @ ROCKRECIPIES with many thanks to, Barry, the blogger and copied below for your convenience. you'll find my notes and changes following the original.

Cream
1 cup salted butter
3/4 cup sugar
Add 2 tbsp vanilla extract
Fold in: 4 cups flour
Roll in balls and flatten or roll out and cut into shapes as desired. I like to bake the dough in large rectangles and then cut the cookies in fingers just when they come out of the oven and are still warm.(don't forget to use a parchment sling)
Bake at 350 degrees 12-15 minutes until edges are golden brown. Allow longer baking time if you are baking the large rectangles of dough to be cut in fingers.
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my shortbread notes.....i added 1/2 tbsp. cardamon and to half the recipe i added 1/4-1/3 cup heath chips (as you can see in photo with the walnut top)
i divided the dough in half and used 2 9 x 9 pans...don't know why, but i thought i was going to make 2 totally different cookies. i ended up just cutting them different. i have made them in a 9 x 13 pan as well. i put the dough directly into the pan and start pressing down firmly....i mean i like this dough packed in tight, i don't want it flakey at all. press all the way to the edges. i put a flat surface in top, like a book and stood on it for goodness sake! then half way through the cooking i went in and lightly pressed the top with the bottom of a flat glass...
i think shortbread like this should be scored before cooking. then cut all the way through while still warm. i like to keep it in the pan through the whole process until completely cool in order to really hold it's sharp edges.
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MILLIONAIRE COOKIE CANDY BARS...
shortbread fingers and or squares
chocolate bark
caramel squares (approx 12 oz. melted w/ 1 tbsp whipping cream)
nuts...roasted, salted or whatever you think best. i liked spiced pecans best.
melt your caramels and cream in a saucepan very slow over low/med heat. watch carefully. dip tops of shortbread and let cool completely on wax paper (i lightly sprayed the wax paper to insure non stick). i would definitely prefer homemade caramel, but these Kraft squares worked well...just not quite the flavor of real homemade.
melt your chocolate in microwave or double boiler. dip caramel shortbread in as far as you please. cool on wax paper. i just went for half...looked great and the chocolate doesn't over power the whole thing.
top with nut of choice before choc. cools ...
DONE....EASY....ENJOY....

DENMARK CHRSITMAS TRADITIONS!!!








   In the cobwebs and dust of old farmhouse loft in Denmark, it is reported that there lives a mischievous elf named Julenisse, or Nisse. He is said to wear gray wool clothing, a red bonnet, red stockings, and white clogs upon his feet. Though he is usually kind and helpful around the farm towards good children, he does love to play jokes.
    During the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Danish celebrate Advent. Each Sunday in Advent, family and friends gather to light candles in the Advent crown. Refreshments of sweet fruit juices are served to the children, while adults drink a cocktail of red wine, raisins, and spices. Little fire-baked cakes sprinkled with sugar provide a tasty snack.












    On December 13th, Lucia processions are held at many hospitals, schools, and rest homes. Children's choirs perform a parade in honor of Lucia, "the saint of lights". The children dress in white, carry candles, and follow one child who is portrayed as the Lucia bride. She wears a wreath of fir and lit candles upon her head. The lights are dimmed as the procession winds its way down the aisles, singing the Lucia song.
    Danish families keep Nissse in mind when they are preparing to celebrate Christmas. It is a proud and joyful time as families share in the duties of making their own baubles and decorations from bright paper, straw, and scraps of wood. Writing Christmas cards to friends and relatives is popular in Denmark. It is a cherished tradition for most to send and receive wishes for a "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year"! After the decorations are made, the parents secretly decorate the Christmas tree. The children are not allowed to see the tree until Christmas Eve dinner, which consists of rice pudding (that holds a magic almond worth a prize for its finder), goose, red cabbage, and browned potatoes. At this time, the tree is lit, and the families gather near it to sing Christmas hymns and carols.









    After Christmas Eve dinner, the Christmas Eve, or Juelaften celebration, is the most popular and biggest event of the year. Friends gather for parties that last through the night, and continue to feast on goose, red cabbage, fried pastries, and rice pudding (also called grod). Grod plays an important role in Christmas celebrations in Denmark. The Christmas elves (Julenisse) are left an offering of rice pudding, in order to appease them and keep their pranks mild.
    For those looking for a Christmas experience a bit more quaint and old-fashioned, the Danish may have what you are looking for.

DIY VINTAGE LOOK BOTTLE BRUSH CHRISTMAS TREES!

   This diy comes from www.pinkhousepages.blogspot.com .   A great idea to add some little vintage mini Christmas trees to your holiday display.



Vintage-look Bottle Brush Trees Tutorial







 
 Because some of my blog readers have asked "How the heck did you makethese?!?!?" I've invited the master-mind behind their creation to be a guest today and show you! Her name is Rosann, and she's one of those very clever people who can look at something, and figure out how to make it herself, and then actually make it out of, "oh just stuff I already have laying around the house."! You, however may need to go to the local hardware store to get the supplies, and here's Rosann now, to tell you what you'll be needing. Rosann--take it away, my friend.






 

Good morning Little Pink House readers! I'm excited to be here! Let's get going!


Supplies needed


sisal twine ~ your choice
scissors
wire ~ I like 26 gauge steel
rubber gloves
contact cement ~ dries clear
pencil
paper towels
tacky glue
vise ~ clamp type, (or just a drawer that shuts tightly - Jan)
mica
paint brush ~ #12 flat is fine
items to decorate tree
wax paper





 First ~ protect your work surface. This will make for easy clean-up. Cut sisal into 3”to 4” lengths, then separate strains. Use as much or little for fullest and/or height of tree.Cut wire at least 20” long, then fold in half. Make a loop at top of wire with pencil turning 3 times. Remove pencil. With gloves on, put contact cement on both section of wire were the sisal will lay between.






 




 
 Center the sisal on one side of wire then place other half of wire on top, lining it up. (I felt like I needed two more hands at this point - Jan) Let cement set. 







 
 With ends of wire, place into the vise, tighten. With pencil back in loop, start to twist. You may need help the wire twist where sisal is, so use one hand to move sisal round it. Twist enough to hold firmly. Too much and the wire will break. (My first tree did break, but that's OK, it was still usable! - Jan)






 
 Twist,



 
 twist, twist and twist some more! This was the hardest part for me--getting the twists even throughout the wire, instead of bunching the twists at one end - Jan




 Remove tree (even though it doesn't look like one yet), from vise. Move sisal around to even out empty or full spots on tree.






 
 Start shaping the tree with scissors. Remove a little at a time on a 45 degree angle. Have the top of the tree towards you and work out to the base. (Kinda like that old joke about the marble sculpture--cut away anything that doesn't look like a tree ?!?!?)






 
 Keep the loop on the wire at the top to add a topper, otherwise it can be cut off. Trim wire at base, leaving as much as you need for base / stand.








 
 Lay a nice layer of mica on wax paper. This makes it easy to return unused mica to container. Brush tacky glue on tree, then roll over mica. May need to sprinkle some mica on by hand. (You could use glitter too, right? I wonder how German glass glitter would look!)











 
 Choose a base / stand for your tree. Then add on items with tacky glue to decorate the tree.(There are lots of options for the base. Rosann used 1/2 of a small Styrofoam ball, covered in flecks of gold glitter and the mica she used on the tree. You could use a wooden spool, or block too!) Or just anything you have laying around the house!









 
 Different twines will produce different trees. You can also dye the sisal to make trees for any season! Contact with water will also straighten out the twine as it dries. I used food coloring for my green trees (see picture at the top of this post) before I glued it to the wire, but I bet you could dip them afterwards too! How about PINK for Easter? And then you could glue tiny eggs to the tree, or...or...or...the possibilities are mind-boggling!
Important point: Some of the twines you find at the hardware stores are NOT SISAL, and don't work as well. They don't turn out as "full" and they won't "take up" any dyes. So be sure you have a true sisal (you can smell sisal, or just ask the sales person if you don't want any funny looks in the rope aisle at the hardware store).
PLEASE--if you make a tree, or a whole forest of them, email me to show us--we'd love to see what you've done! Rosann, thanks so much for showing my readers how to do this!
No problem, Jan. You can also check outwww.buildingmodeltrains.com/bottlebrush-trees/, for more instructions. If anyone has any questions you can email Jan and I'd be happy to answer them! Thanks for letting me sit in with you today!