Losing a loved one during the Christmas season makes celebrating Christmas hard. I lost my dad, who I still miss every day, 21 years ago.

I remember sitting and talking to John Berry a few days later about my dad. John made my Christmas a little brighter that year. I alone with a special aunt got to sing with John at Jim’s Christmas special in Athens. Every year I get a card from John and I always think how he helped save Christmas that year.

My sweet lady who I take care of, Doris McLocklin, lost her son Tom McLocklin this past week. Christmas around the McLocklin house will be a little sadder with one less person gathering around the table Christmas morning at Doris’ youngest son’s home where she also resides. My heart and prayers go out to this sweet family that I also call my family. They are the best. Wanda, Gary, Erica and Doris are about as close as I can get to a real family these days. I thank God each day for sending me their way. I have my son who I’m so thankful for and all he has accomplished this past year. Wishing each of you a Very Merry Christmas. Please find time to share God’s love and gifts with others.

During Christmas, my kitchen is filled with wonderful smells of all sorts of baked goods. I love making homemade cookies, candies and cakes to share with others. This column will be a few of my favorites to make during Christmas. If you have favorites that I haven’t mentioned, please take time to send them to me. I love trying new recipes each year.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Balls

Ingredients 

1/2 cup peanut butter 

1/3 box graham crackers

1 cup nuts

1 cup coconut

2 sticks butter

1 box (1 pound) confectioners’ sugar

1/3 block paraffin wax

1 (16-ounce) bag milk chocolate chips or dark chocolate chips

Directions 

Mix all ingredients together except chocolate and wax. Make balls as big as you want then melt chocolate and wax together (50-percent power for 4 minutes). Dip balls in melted chocolate. Place on wax paper and cool. 

Cheese Crunchers

Ingredients 

2 cups butterscotch flavored morsels 

6 Tbsps. butter 

2 cups graham cracker crumbs 

2 cups chopped nuts 

1/4 cup flour 

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened 

1/2 cup sugar 

4 eggs

2 Tbsps. lemon juice 

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine over hot water, butterscotch flavored morsels and butter or in microwave (50-percent power for 4 minutes). Stir until morsels are melted and mixture is smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in graham cracker crumbs and nuts with a fork until thoroughly mixed. Reserve 2 cups crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture into ungreased 15.5x10.5-inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar. Beat until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in flour and lemon juice. Pour evenly over hot baked crust. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into 2x1-inch bars.

Chocolate Almond Bark

Ingredients 

2 cups milk chocolate morsels

1 Tbsp. vegetable shortening 

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped toasted almonds, divided 

Directions 

Combine over hot water or in microwave (50-percent power, 4 minutes) milk chocolate morsels and vegetable shortening. Stir until morsels are melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in raisins and 1/4 cup almonds. Spread into waxed paper lined 13x9-inch pan. Sprinkle remaining almonds on top. Chill about 30 minutes. Break into bite-sized pieces.

Chocolate Macaroon Squares

Topping:

1 (14-ounce) can Eagle Brand Milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 egg

1 cup chopped nuts

1 (6-ounce) cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/3 cups coconut 

Base

1 (18 ½-ounce) package chocolate cake mix 

1/3 cup butter, softened 

1 egg

Directions 

Topping:

In large bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and egg. Beat until well-blended. Stir in 1 cup coconut, nuts and semi-sweet chocolate. Set aside.  

Base:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter and egg; mix until crumbly. Press into greased 13x9-inch baking pan. Spread topping over base. Sprinkle remaining 1/3 cup coconut on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into 2-inch squares.

**Note: Center may appear loose but will set upon cooling.

Magic Cookie Bars

Ingredients 

1/2 cup butter 

1 1/3 cup coconut 

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs 

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chip morsels 

1 can Eagle Brand milk

1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 13x9-inch baking pan, melt butter in oven. Remove from the oven. Add graham cracker crumbs. Mix well and press into pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumbs. Sprinkle chocolate morsels, coconut and walnuts on top. Press down firmly. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into 2x1-inch bars.

Peanut Butter Cookies 

Ingredients 

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter

1 tsp. vanilla 

3 cups flour 

1 cup white sugar 

1 cup peanut butter 

2 eggs, well beaten 

Directions 

Mix all ingredients. Shape into balls the size of a walnut and pat out with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees 12 to 15 minutes.

Divinity 

Ingredients 

2 cups sugar 

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup light karo syrup

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla flavoring

1/2 cup water 

2 egg whites

1/2 cup chopped nuts 

Directions 

Cook sugar, syrup, salt and water until soft boil stage. Add to beaten egg whites and continue beating until glaze has gone. Add nuts and spoon on waxed paper.  

Sugar cookies

Ingredients 

3 cups flour

3 eggs

1 1/4 cup sugar

1 cup butter

3 tsps. vanilla 

Directions 

Sift flour. Add butter and mix with a fork. Add unbeaten eggs and vanilla. Mix all ingredients together. Roll out thin with rolling pin or glass. Use cookie cutters to cut in desired shapes. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. Cool and decorate with cake icing.

Buttermilk Candy

Ingredients 

1 cup buttermilk 

1/4 tsp. butter

Dash of salt

1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup pecans 

Directions 

Boil buttermilk and sugar over medium heat until hard boil stage stirring constantly.  Remove from heat. Add remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour onto wax paper and let harden. 

Double Delicious Bars

Ingredients 

1/2 cup butter

1 can Eagle Brand milk

1 cup peanut butter chips

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 

1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate morsels 

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 13x9-inch baking pan, melt butter in the oven. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over butter. Pour sweetened condensed milk over crumbs. Top with chips press down firmly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars.

Peanut Butter Chewies

Ingredients 

1 cup sugar

1 cup white corn syrup (karo)

1 cup peanut butter 

8 cups corn flakes

Directions 

Bring sugar and corn syrup to a rolling boil. Stir in peanut butter. Pour mixture over 8 cups corn flakes. Stir to coat well. Pour out on waxed paper to cool. Break into pieces.  

Candy Strawberries 

Ingredients 

2 boxes strawberry jello 

3/4 cup Eagle Brand milk

1 cup finely shredded coconut

1 cup finely chopped nuts

Directions 

Mix all ingredients together and chill. Form into strawberries. Dip pointed end in red sugar and the stem in green sugar. Place on waxed paper in refrigerator for several hours. Green toothpicks and green hulls may be attached if desired.  

**Note: Granulated sugar may be colored by placing in a jar, adding food coloring and shaking. 

Golden Lemon Bars

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 stick butter

Directions

Combine these three ingredients and pour into a 9x13-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes at 275 degrees.

Filling 

2 eggs, well beaten

1 cup brown sugar

1 1/4 cups coconut

2 Tbsps. flour

1/2 Tbsp. vanilla

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Directions 

Mix all ingredients together. Pour over baked pastry. Bake an additional 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove and glaze with 1 Tbsp. butter, 2 Tbsps. lemon juice and 1 cup powdered sugar. Cut into bars.

Chocolate Kiss Cookies

Ingredients 

1 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup cocoa

3/4 cup finely chopped pecans 

1 (9-ounce) package chocolate kisses

1 2/3 cups flour

Directions 

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Combine flour and cocoa; blend into creamed mixture. Add pecans. Blend well. Chill dough 1 hour. Unwrap kisses. Shape a scant tablespoon of dough around each kiss, covering completely. Shape into balls. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Allow to cool completely. 

Haystacks

Ingredients 

1 bag butterscotch morsels

1 can chow mean noodles

Directions 

Melt butterscotch morsels in microwave safe bowl (50-percent power, 4 minutes). Mix in noodles to a good consistency. Drop by spoonfuls onto waxed paper and cool.

Millionaires

Ingredients 

2 cups chopped pecans

2 Tbsps. milk

1 (14-ounce) bag caramels

1 (12-ounce) bar bakers German chocolate 

1/4 bar paraffin

Directions 

Melt caramels over low heat with milk. Stir in pecans. Drop by tsp. onto buttered waxed paper. Chill in refrigerator. Melt chocolate with paraffin in microwave (50-percent power, 4 minutes). Dip caramels in chocolate. Put on buttered waxed paper and cool.

Sand Tarts

Ingredients 

1 cup butter 

5 Tbsps. powdered sugar 

2 cups flour 

2 tsps. vanilla 

1 1/2 cups chopped nuts

Directions 

Cream butter and sugar. Work flour, vanilla and nuts into creamed mixture; form into balls. Bake in 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Roll tarts in powdered sugar as soon as they are removed from the oven. Cool a few minutes. Roll again in powdered sugar.

Homemade Peppermint Patties

Ingredients 

1/4 cup softened butter

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1-2 tsps. peppermint extract

3 cups powdered sugar 

2 cups dark dipping chocolate 

Directions 

Combine butter, corn syrup, extract and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Mix with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes, until ingredients are well-combined and are holding together. Remove dough from bowl and break off about 2 tsps. size sections. Roll into a ball and gently flatten with your hands. Put patties down on a pan lined with waxed or parchment paper. Once all patties are made, place pan in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. Melt chocolate in microwave for 1 minute 20 seconds. Let sit for an additional minute in the microwave. Remove and gently stir. Remove peppermint patties from freezer. Use a fork or a handy Wilton dipping tool to dip each patty in the chocolate, flip to coat the other side, then tap to remove any excess. Transfer chocolate coated patties to waxed paper to cool.  

Store in airtight container, refrigerate if preferred but it’s not necessary.

Chocolate Covered Cherries 

Ingredients 

2 boxes confectioners’ sugar

1 can Eagle Brand milk

2 small cans angle flake coconut 

1/2 block paraffin wax

1 large package semi-sweet chocolate morsels 

1 stick butter 

Drained cherries

Directions 

Melt butter. Add 2 boxes confectioners’ sugar, milk and coconut. Make into little balls. Flatten balls and put the cherries in. Then make balls again. Put in refrigerator and let chill. Melt paraffin and chocolate chips in microwave (50-percent power for 4 minutes). Dip balls into mixture with toothpicks. Place on waxed paper to cool. 

Buckeyes

Ingredients 

1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter 

1/2 cup butter, softened 

1 tsp. vanilla extract 

2 1/2 cups chocolate chips 

2 Tbsps. shortening 

4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions 

In a medium bowl, mix peanut butter, butter, vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Shape into balls and place in a pan covered with waxed paper, place in refrigerator. Melt chocolate and shortening in microwave (50-percent power for 4 minutes). Dip balls in melted chocolate. Place on waxed paper to dry.

Chocolate Fudge 

Ingredients 

18 ounces of milk chocolate morsels

1 can Eagle Brand milk

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Dash of salt

Directions 

In a microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate morsels and Eagle Brand milk. Heat at 50-percent power for 4 minutes. Stir until creamy. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread evenly into a waxed paper lined 8-inch square pan. Chill 2 to 3 hours or until firm. Turn fudge onto cutting board. Peel off paper and cut into squares. Store loosely at room temperature.

Oreo Balls

Ingredients 

1 package Oreo cookies

1 block cream cheese, softened 

1 package chocolate bark or chocolate chip morsels plus gulf wax

Directions 

Place Oreo cookies in baggie and smash until it is consistent of dirt or use Nitro food professor. Mix softened cream cheese into smashed cookies. Form into balls. Place on waxed paper and refrigerate.

Melt chocolate in microwave with wax at 50-percent power for 4 minutes. Dip balls in melted chocolate mixture.

Wassil

Ingredients 

2 quarts apple cider

1 1/2 cups orange juice

3/4 cup pineapple juice

1 Tbsp. brown sugar 

1/2 tsp. lemon juice

2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches) 

Dash ground cinnamon

Dash ground cloves

Directions 

In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks. Serve hot in mugs.

Joyce Jacks is a native of Barrow County and a graduate of Winder-Barrow High School, Athens Technical College and the University of Georgia. She can be reached at georgiagirl2424@yahoo.com.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.