I love the idea of holiday baking - pouring all of my heart and soul into something delicious to be enjoyed by my family and friends as they gather to celebrate. Notice I said the IDEA of baking. In reality, recipes that have more than 6 ingredients make me all nervous and twitchy and then I run screaming from the kitchen. To overcome this I have collected several stupidly simple recipes over the years. I prefer things that are off the beaten path, a breath of fresh air amid a sea of cookies and cupcakes. Here's a few of the staples that get me, sanely, through the holidays.
SEASONED OYSTER CRACKERS
1 bag (12-16 ounces) oyster crackers
1 pack Ranch Dressing Powder
1/4 t lemon pepper
1/4 t garlic powder
3/4 t dill weed
3/4 C oil
- Mix ranch and oil, then add other spices.
- Pour over crackers, stir and spread in a casserole dish.
- Bake at 250 degrees for 15-20 minutes, stirring periodically.
- If you choose to double this recipe, just bake for 10-15 extra minutes.
3/4 C dried cranberries or cherries
3/4 C natural almonds, broken into pieces*
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (2 C)
8 ounces white chocolate (1 1/3 C)
*I prefer sliced almonds because they don't require breaking, and they're easier to bite into
- In small bowl combine almonds and fruit, set aside.
- Melt semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate separately, according to package directions.
- Stir slightly more than half of almond mixture into semi-sweet chocolate. Spread chocolate mixture to about 1/4 thick on a large ungreased cookie sheet.
- Drop white chocolate by tablespoons onto chocolate mixture. With tip of a knife, swirl chocolates for a marbled look.
- Sprinkle with remaining almond mixture.