I am skidding into Christmas feeling even more crazy and unorganized than usual. Around Thanksgiving I was talking with a friend, telling her about how I was going to start releasing my new foodie fiction series in early 2013. She commented that maybe it would be better to get the first volume out before Christmas Day when who knows how many people will be finding new Kindles under their tree. She had a good point. I had already published two books, so how hard could it be to get it out a bit earlier than I had planned? Um, yeah. I jinxed myself. BUT I did, finally, publish it yesterday . . . see, it’s over there in the sidebar to the right.
Working through all of the little, fiddly formatting things with the book while preparing for Christmas has left me feeling more than a bit frazzled. So I am going to Plan B for my holiday cooking. Usually I give big platters of baked goods as presents, but I haven’t even started baking. Bountiful and varied cookie plates are not in the cards this year. Quick and easy is the name of the game. My usual brownie bites will be replaced by Southwestern Three-Bean & Barley Soup Mix. All I have to do is measure and the recipients do the cooking. A big batch of Butterscotch Spritz Cookies will do the trick in the cookie department. I just found this recipe for Peanut Butter Pretzels and I think I’ll make those for the dish to pass at my family Christmas Eve party. Of course, I have to include my favorite treat: Praline Bars. I swear, they should be called Christmas Crack because they are so addicting. I often end up making two batches, because I end up eating so many of them. Luckily, they are quick and easy, so they fit right into my Plan B approach.
Quick Praline Bars
(from About.com Southern Food)
24 graham cracker squares
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Arrange graham crackers in single layer on an ungreased, 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan. (I line it with foil or parchment paper to make clean-up easier.) Heat brown sugar and butter to boiling. Continue to boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Pour over graham crackers and spread evenly. Sprinkle with pecans. Bake until bubbly, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly and cut into squares. Try not to eat them all yourself!
What are some of your favorite, quick and easy holiday recipes?