Category Archives: Christmas Gifts from the Kitchen

Maple Butter Twists

Hello Everyone,

I made these Maple Butter Twists sometime ago. I gave some to my grandparents and they loved it! So did we!! I love baking and cooking different breads for Christmas. Many times that is what I give away as gifts, to family members and friends that don’t like to cook or bake much. Also to our mail carrier, newspapers carrier’s, and people we don’t know to well. It’s a good way to get to know them!! ūüôā

Maple Butter Twists:


3-1/4 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 tbsp, granulated sugar

1-1/2 tsp. salt

1 package ( 1/4 oz. ) active dry yeast

3/4 cup sour milk

1/4 cup unsalted butter

2 large eggs


1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

3 tbsp. pure maple syrup

4-1/2 tsp. all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp. maple flavoring***

1/3 cup chopped and toasted pecans


1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tbsp. pure maple syrup

2-3 tsp. milk

pinch of popcorn salt

In a mixing bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In a saucepan, heat the milk and butter to 120-130 degrees. Add to dry ingredient’s; beat just until moistened. Add eggs; beat on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 70 minutes. In a small mixing bowl, combine the first seven filling ingredient’s; beat for 2 minutes. Lightly punch down dough; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide in half; roll each into a 16×18-inch rectangle. Spread filling to within 1/2-inch of edges. Sprinkle with nuts. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with the long side. With a sharp knife, cut each roll in half length-wise. Open halves so cut side is up; gently twist ropes together. Transfer to two greased 9-inch round baking pans. Coil into a circle. Tuck ends under, pinch to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 10 minutes; remove from pans to a wire rack. Combine glaze ingredient’s; drizzle over warm cakes. Enjoy!

***The recipe calls for maple flavoring, often called mapleline. It will be the baking aisle or with the pancake syrups. It’s really strong and a little goes along way!

Until next time…

Amanda ūüôā


Apricot Cheese Danish

Hello Everyone,

I have to admit I’ll eat anything made with apricots, jams, preserves, breads, muffins, ect!!!

I made this Apricot Cheese Danish several years ago for Christmas, when we went to my aunt Joyce’s house many years ago. They loved it!! I know you will too!

Apricot Cheese Danish:

For Danish:

1 package (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm whole milk ( 110-115 degrees)

3 tbsp. granulated sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 large eggs

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 tsp. salt

3 cups all-purpose flour


2 packages ( 8 oz. each ) full fat cream cheese, softened

1/2 granulated sugar

2 large egg yolks

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup apricot preserves

Powdered sugar for dusting the top.

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add sugar, butter, eggs, and sour cream. Gradually add salt and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour (dough will be soft and sticky). Place in a greased bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, prepare the filling. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth. Turn dough onto floured surface; knead 2-3 minutes. Divide in half. Roll each half into 16×10-inch oval and place on a greased baking sheets. Spread 1-1/4 cups of filling over each oval to within 1-inch of edges. Fold longest side over filling; pinch edges to seal. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Spread preserves on top. Dust with powdered sugar. Store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!!

Until next time..

Amanda ūüôā


Christmas Stollen Bread

Hello Everyone,

This Christmas Stollen bread is a wonderful recipe. I love fruitcake, dried fruits, and nut breads during Christmas. One of my great-grandmothers came from Norway, and Norwegians love there sweets!!! I only met her one time. I was about 8 or 9 and it was during my great-grandfathers wake, he was from Germany. It was the only time I met him too.. I got a chance to talk to her and she still had an accent and was hard for me to understand her. She passed any some time ago, sadly I don’t even know her name.. Well life goes on as most of us know and I know this is a bread she would have loved..

Stollen is traditional German bread or cake.For more information on the origins of this wonderful bread here is a link for can you read.

Christmas Stollen Bread:

3/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit

1/4 cup dried currents

3/4 cup citrus vodka

4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided

2 packages (1/4 oz. each) active dry yeast

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup unsalted butter

2 large eggs

2 tbsp. orange zest

1 tbsp. lemon zest

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/2 chopped almonds, toasted

Powdered sugar, for topping

In a microwave safe bowl, on high cook the raisins, candied fruit, and currents, for 3 minutes: drain and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, and salt; mix well. In a saucepan, heat the milk and butter to 120-130 degrees. Add to flour mixture; mix well. Add eggs, orange zest, lemon zest and extract. Beat on low-speed until moistened; beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Stir in almonds, fruit mixture and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place on a greased bowl, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours. Lightly punch down dough; divide in half. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape each half into rounds, pinching bottoms to seal the dough. Place on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!

Until next time…

Amanda ūüôā


Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Hello Everyone,

Here’s a recipe on mine¬†that was published in last years Taste of¬†the Holidays from our local newspaper.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread:

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

2 cup packed light brown sugar

3 large eggs

1 can (15 oz.) solid-pack pumpkin

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. each-ground ginger, nutmeg, and cloves

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans

1 cup sweetened dried cranberries

In a small microawavable bowl, cover the cranberries with water and cook for 4-5 minutes; drain and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpking and spices; mix well (mixture may appear curdled). Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; add to pumpkin mixture, beating on low-speed just until moistened. Fold in the nuts and cranberries. Pour into 2 greased 9x5x2-inch loaf pans and bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool in pans for 10 minutes then cool completely before slicing.

Friday went really well at Ronald McDonald house. I made toffee bars that were topped with melted chocolate¬†and pumpkin bars topped with cream cheese frosting.¬† I got an email yesterday from the director of the place and she¬†said they were wonderful! Everyone who tasted them said they were really good, and she said keep those recipes¬†in the files to make again!!! I’m happy this time went better than my last visit. ūüôā

I dropped off the cake to my step-mom on Friday later that day and had a really good visit with her. They seem to be doing ok there..

I am still working on posting my Thanksgiving menu. We had some sink problems yesterday. Well it was like this, I was in¬†a pissy¬†mood all day and when Ray asked me if I was alright I said NO. He’s say what’s wrong? I said I am sick and tired of hearing that kitchen faucet dripping all the time!!! He did try to tighten the faucet on top, but that did not help. So,¬†I said well then¬†I am¬†going to call the landlord and see if they will send someone to fix it!¬†That got Ray motivated¬†and he went and bought a brand new faucet and replaced the old one! Sometimes, all I have to do is say I’m going to call the landlord or start doing something myself, then Ray will jump in and get it done. It works most of the time not always…¬†¬†All weekend he’s been going through old newspapers, because I said there is an old smell coming from his office. EWWWW!!! I try to be patient with him as much as I can, he does work a lot¬†and takes care of all my pills ect.. Sometimes I just get tired of waiting on him to get thing’s done. We¬†need to exercise, my Dr. was really upset with some of the weight I have gained. I said it’s water weight¬†from the steroids! Well maybe not all of it is, but who knows… We are looking at joining¬†the Y that’s just down the road from us. I don’t know what I will be able to do¬†there, at least I won’t be the only fat person people will be looking at!! I know the exercise will help. Before I had to stop working, I belonged to gym¬†that’s just for women and I loved it. I loved the energy¬†I got from working out. So I hope with Ray and I both going we will have more energy plus lose the weight.. My weight¬†has been a life long war with me. I grew up with my family teasing me all the time about what I ate and how I looked. I also got it from kids at school. I don’t what was worse the teasing at home or at school.. Home was the worst.. I should have felt safe at home and loved, but I never felt that at home.. It’s only been since I have been with Ray that I have felt like someone truly loved me for who I am and isn’t trying to make me into something I’m not. I guess you can tell I’m venting right now…

I am cooking up my Thanksgiving menu up today. Here’s what I am making, roasted duck with parsnips, spinach risotto, broccoli¬†gratin, spring herb salad¬†in parmesan cheese cups¬†topped with¬†fried goat cheese rounds, and¬†orange floating islands. I have already made the parmesan¬†cheese rolls. I know¬†this isn’t the traditional¬†Thanksgiving¬†menu, I love making¬†different thing’s. My family only ever want’s the same thing every year. I am thinking of roasting a goose for Christmas. I have never tried goose before, I think it would be a nice change..

Well I better go for now, I need to get cooking!!!

Until next time!!!

Amanda ūüôā


Microwave Nut Brittle

Hello Everyone,

I decided to make a new category, Christmas Gifts from the Kitchen. I first made this nut brittle for the state¬†fair several¬†years ago and won 1st place for it! It is¬†so easy to make¬†that you will never¬†make traditional peanut brittle¬†ever again!! ūüôā

Microwave Nut Brittle:

Cooking Spray

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/8 tsp. salt

1-1/2 cups roasted peanuts, or mixed nuts

1 tsp. unsalted butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. baking soda

1. Spray cookies sheet and metal spatula with cooking spray.

2. In a 2-quart microwavable glass measuring cup or bowl, stir sugar, corn syrup, and salt with a wooden spoon until well mixed.

3. Microwave on High (100%) 7-8  minutes or until syrup is pale yellow. (Candy syrup is very hot. Handle carefully; do not touch hot mixture.) Stir in nuts.

4. Microwave on High 1-2 minutes or until nuts are lightly browned stir in butter, vanilla, and baking soda until foamy.

5. Quickly pour onto cookie sheet; spread evenly with spatula. Cool; break into pieces. Store in tightly covered container.

This makes a great Christmas present for the peanut brittle lover in you life!!

I have 7 cakes to make this month,¬†I know it’s a lot!! LOL!! Well they are all for the mission. I¬†am baking the¬†Birthday cake the week before Thanksgiving, then making 6 sheet cakes for the Thanksgiving Dinner the day before Thanksgiving!¬†It’s a huge event every year. The lady in charge of getting all the deserts¬†said they are looking at getting 3,000 servings of dessert! WOW!! I said we at¬†Angel Cakes will help, but I¬†know we can’t reach that many servings! Maybe someday we will!! Every other cake was already taken before I had much of a chance to ask for any others, except for the 2 cakes I couldn’t make last week. Being sick was crappy, we couldn’t¬†make it to Life Group tonight either.¬†There are a few cakes¬†left, but with all the mission cakes, I know Ray would not be happy with me if I took anymore. 7 sheet cakes is a lot as it is! They will all be 11×18 sheet cakes, that take 3 cake mixes per cake, and that is a lot of cake!!

Well until next time!!

Amanda ūüôā