Braided Candy Canes

Merry Christmas!

Instead of doing another Christmas mystery, as I had a hard time finding those this year-I decided to post a Christmas recipe!

This comes from the cookbook Christmas Cookies.

Another Way to Make It:

“You can shape this dough into wreaths and attach red cinnamon candies as berries.”

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 Cup of Butter, Softened
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon of Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Cups of Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of  Baking Soda
  • 1 Egg White, Lightly Beaten
  • Red Decorator Crystals (Optional) or Cinnamon Sugar

Directions:

  1. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
  2. Gradually add 1 cup of sugar-beating well.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla, beating until blended.
  4. In a seperate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Gradually add flour mixture to butter, beating at a low speed until blended.
  6. Divide dough into fourths.
  7. Divide each portion into 14 pieces.
  8. Shape each piece into a 9-inch rope. Fold ropes in half and twist,
  9. Shape twists into candy canes, brush with egg white, and sprinkle with crystals or cinnamon sugar.
  10. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 mins or until the edges begin to brown.
  12. Remove to wire racks and let cool.

Thoughts After Baking:

This was kind of hard and took a few tries before I got the hang out it. The smaller cookies tasted better, in my opinion, than the larger ones.

But delicious and a great cookie to have at Christmas or give to others.

For more Christmas Cookies, go to Basic Shortbread

For more cookie recipes, go to Christmas Lace Cookies

For more dessert recipes, go to Baked Apple Slices

 

Candy Cane Murder

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Candy Cane Murder (Hannah Swenson Mystery #9.5) by Joanne Fluke

So Candy Cane Murder is actually a collection of three stories: Candy Cane Murder (Hannah Swenson Mystery) by Joanne Fluke, The Dangers of Candy Canes (Jaine Austen Mystery) by Laura Levine, and Candy Canes of Christmas Past by Leslie Meir. I already reviewed Candy Canes of Christmas Past last December, as part of my countdown to Christmas. Today I will be looking at Fluke’s work.

It is Christmas time in Lake Eden, and Hannah is not very excited about it.

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You see, Hannah has agreed to be the Christmas elf for the County Children’s Home Christmas party. She will help Wayne Bergstrom, owner of Bergstom Department Store, hand out toys and candy canes to all the kids.

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The only problem? Her suit does not match the color of her hair and reveals more of her size than she would like it to. It appears that she has been snacking too many Christmas goodies.

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But when her niece tells her she looks great, she decides to move forward and get ready to make those kids happy.

Unfortunately, there are a few more curves in the road. Wayne has come down with a sore throat that is incredibly raspy, making him almost unrecognizable. They are afraid that the kids might become frightened, so Hannah makes up the dumbest story imaginable as to why Santa is hoarse. I don’t know what the author was thinking.

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That evening is the big Christmas party, and Hannah has a great time. She tastes some tantalizing tidbits and dances the night away with both her guys.

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Hannah grows tired from her partying, earlier work, and even earlier bakery hours. She decides to call it a night and is joined by both of her sisters. They head out to the car when they come across a candy cane. A candy cane like the ones they handed out earlier to the kids.

Very suspicious

On closer inspection, it turns out that there is a whole path of candy canes. Hannah had given them all to Wayne after they finished with the kids earlier. Hannah decides to follow the path and climb the snow bank to see what caused Wayne, a skinflint, to drop so many and not go back to pick them up?

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At the end of the candy cane path is Wayne, still in his Santa suit and dead.

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Soon they discover it is murder and set out to find the killer. Could it be his ex-wife, angry at him for divorcing her and giving her no alimony? Or maybe his current wife is tired of being married but doesn’t want a huge legal ordeal? One of his mangers or staff that he was always cruel to? Or one of the countless others who dislike him?

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Thoughts After Reading:

*Spoiler Alert*

I never would have read this if I had known it was an “in-between” novel. Let’s just say her in-between novels tend to, for lack of a better word, suck.

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I thought the plot was terrible, the potential suspects two-dimensional, and I had it all figured out immediately.

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I mean it was obvious that Melinda and Cory weren’t brother and sister, even more obvious than Bo Derek and Rob Lowe being lovers rather than mother and son in Tommy Boy.

And once again the love triangle continues to be in play even though it is more obvious than ever that Hannah and Norman are perfect for each other.

Stop this stupid love triangle!

Stop this stupid love triangle!

I also didn’t care for the recipes in this book. None were really interesting, except for the Regency Seed Cakes, of which I will be making in the future.

I really just felt that this book was a way for the author to capitalize on the holidays rather than develop the storyline. You may think me a Scrooge, but I really feel like she was just trying to get those Christmas dollars with this one.

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For more on Hannah Swenson mysteries, go to Key Lime Murder

For more Christmas mysteries, go to The Unsolvable Mystery: The Mystery of Edwin Drood

For more in-between novels, go to Candy for Christmas

For more reviews, go to Cape May Court House: A Death in the Night

Gorgonzola Cream Cheese Log

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So this is our last Christmas recipe. It has been some fun times and I hope you have tried and enjoyed the recipes as much as I have.

So today’s recipe, I had thought about doing something Victorian, because I reviewed Charles Dickens’ mystery, but changed my mind. Instead I wanted to do a recipe I thought was really tasty.

Thoughts before cooking:

So when I was planning the Christmas reviews for this blog I kept trying to figure out what would be a good thing to end on? What was something we could all enjoy. Then I was invited to a Christmas party, and as I tried to think of what to bring, it hit me. I could do this cheese log my sister made years ago. It was the best cheese log I had ever tasted, so I signed up to bring it.

Weeks later as I searched and searched for the recipe, it turned out to be missing.

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I asked my sister if she remembered what went in it or what it was called or what magazine/website she got it from. She could remember zilch.

So I combed the web searching for something, anything that seemed vaguely familiar. I sent her the recipes but she responded with a negative. None of them were right.

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I found myself giving up. I had resigned myself to have to try to find something else when she found it. She found the perfect recipe. Thank goodness.

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But now the question was, was it really as good as I remembered it?

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Ingredients:

  • 16 Tablespoons of Chive and Onion Cream Cheese
  • 16 Tablespoons of Gorgonzola or Other Blue Cheese
  • 8 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 8 Tablespoons of Chopped Pine Nuts or Walnuts, Toasted
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Crackers

Directions:

  1. Stir together cream cheese, gorgonzola, butter, and nuts.
  2. Arrange in a one-inch diameter log.
  3. Wrap in plastic and chill for one hour or until firm.
  4. Serve with crackers of your choice

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Thoughts After Reading:

It still was as delicious and posh as I remembered. I absolutely loved it and couldn’t stop eating it.

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So that’s it for now. Merry Christmas everyone!

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For more Christmas recipes, go to Sand Tarts

For more appetizers, go to Misdemeanor Mushrooms

For more recipes, go to Gingerbread Men Cookies