Category Archives: Gifts From Your Kitchen

Walnut Caramels

Preparation time: 15 min.
Cooking time: about 1 hr.

Luscious caramels make a welcome gift at Yuletide. They can be made a week to 10 days ahead of presentation, as long as they are wrapped airtight and stored for the interim in a cool, dark place.

For 64 candies (about 1½ lbs.) you will need:

2 cups sugar
¾ cup light corn syrup
½ cup (¼ lb.) butter or margarine
2 cups half-and-half
½ cup finely chopped walnuts
1 tsp. vanilla


  1. In a large heavy saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, butter and half of the cream. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly.
  2. Stir in remaining cream, nuts and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture reaches a temperature of 244°F. on a candy thermometer (small amount dried into very cold water will form a firm ball). As mixture becomes thick, stir constantly.
  3. Immediately pour mixture evenly into a well buttered 8-inch-square pan. Let stand until cool.
  4. Cut into 1-inch squares. Wrap individually in waxed paper or plastic film.


Spicy Sugared Nuts

Preparation time: 15 min.
Cooking time: about 15 min.

Easily-made, this unusual confection is wonderful as a holiday treat. Include it with other candies for a welcome gift.

For about ¾ lb. of candy you will need:
½ cup pure maple syrup or maple blended syrup
½ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. Butter or margarine
½ tsp. Cinnamon
¼ tsp. Ginger
⅛ tsp. each ground cloves and allspice
Dash salt
1½ cups pecans


  1. In medium saucepan, combine syrup and sugar.
  2. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  3. Using a candy thermometer, cook syrup without stirring until temperature reaches 236°F or the softball stage.
  4. Remove from heat. Add butter, spices, and salt.
  5. Stir in nuts, then beat with spoon until syrup begins to thicken and becomes slightly creamy in color.
  6. Spread on waxed paper, separating nuts with a fork.
  7. Cook, then store in airtight containers.


Christmas Confections

Cereal Christmas Trees

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
32 large or 3 cups miniature marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon green food color
4 cups Cheerios cereal
Small gumdrops

In large saucepan, heat butter and marshmallows over low heat, stirring constantly, until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and food color. Fold in cereal until evenly coated.

On waxed paper, quickly shape warm mixture with buttered hands into Christmas tree shapes, using about 2/3 cup mixture for each place card-size tree or 1/4 cup mixture for each cookie-size tree. For ornaments, cut gumdrops into slices and press onto trees. 6 to 8 place card-sized tress or 16 to 20 cookie sized trees.

Cereal Christmas Balls: Shape mixture into balls, using about 1/2 cup mixture for each. Cut gumdrops into fourths and press onto balls. 8 balls.

Carameled Cereal

In top of double boiler over hot water, heat 28 vanilla caramels in 2 tablespoons water, stirring frequently, until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Pour caramel mixture over 5 cups Kix cereal; mix gently. Drop mixture by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let stand until firm. About 3 dozen candies.

©Copyright 1971 by General Mills, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.

Country Christmas Bread

Add a luxurious touch to any meal and fresh-bake your own wheat bread in a new form. Spread dough into a tube pan, sprinkle with fragrant fennel, anise or caraway seeds and let the tantalizing aroma fill your kitchen while it bakes high, light and golden.

For 1 ring you will need:
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup butter or margarine, cubed
1 to 1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup mashed potatoes
4 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups all-purpose flour
Egg white
All-purpose flour
1 to 2 Tbsp. fennel, anise or caraway seeds

1. Combine yeast and sugar in large bowl. Stir in warm water. Set aside for 5 min.

2. Combine milk and butter in saucepan. Place over low heat. Heat until it reaches 105° to 115° (butter need not melt completely).

3. Pour into yeast mixture along with the salt, mixing well. Beat in eggs. Stir in mashed potatoes until smooth and thoroughly blended.

4. With wooden spoon, beat in flours, 1 cup at a time, until dough forms. Knead for 10 min., adding flour as necessary. Place dough in oiled bowl, turning once. Cover and let rise in warm place for 2 hrs.

5. Punch dough down. Knead again for 5 min. Spread in oiled 10-inch tube pan. Cover and let rise 1 hr.

6. Brush with beaten egg white. Dust with flour. Sprinkle with seeds. Baked at 375° FOR 1 TO 1 1/4 hrs. Remove from pan. Cool on wire rack.

Tips: Bread can be baked in 2 loaf pans for 45 min. or until done. Two medium potatoes will yield about 3/4 cup mashed.

©MCMLXXXIV My Great Recipes. All Rights Reserved. Printed in Holland.

Steamed Holiday Pudding

1 cup Gold Medal Flour*
1 teaspoon soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups raisins
2 cups currants
3/4 cup finely cut-up citron
1/2 cup each cut up candied orange and candied lemon peel
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
2 cups ground suet (1/2 pound)
1 cup brown sugar (packed)
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup currant jelly
1/4 cup fruit juice

Grease well 2-quart ring mold or turk’s head mold. Measure flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, mace and nutmeg into large bowl. Stir in fruits, nuts and bread crumbs. Mix suet, brown sugar, eggs, jelly and fruit juice; stir into flour mixture. Pour into mold; cover with aluminum foil.

Place rack in Dutch oven and pour boiling water into pan to level of rack. Place mold on rack; cover Dutch oven. Keep water boiling over low heat to steam pudding 4 hours or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. (If it is necessary to add water during steaming, life list and quickly add boiling water.)

Unmold; cut into slices and serve warm with your favorite hard sauce. 16 servings.

*If using self-rising flour, decrease soda to 1/2 teaspoon.

©Copyright 1971 by General Mills, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.

Party Cheese Ball

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Finely snipped parsley
Small crisp crackers

Place cheese in small mixer bowl; let stand at room temperature until softened. Blend in onion and Worcestershire sauce on low speed. Beat on medium speed until fluffy, scraping side and bottom of bowl frequently. Cover; chill 3 to 4 hours.

Shape mixture into 1 large ball or into 36 one-inch balls. Roll ball(s) in parsley; place on serving plate. Cover; chill 2 hours or until firm.

Arrange crackers around cheese ball and serve as a spread. To serve small balls, insert a wooden pick in each and serve with crackers. 1 large ball or 36 small balls.

Cheesy Christmas Ball: Shape mixture into 1 large ball; do not roll in parsley. Decorate ball with cuts of pimiento, green pepper and sliced pimiento-stuffed olives. Trim base of ball with tiny cocktail onions and pimiento-stuffed olives. Top ball with sprig of green leaves, evergreen or holly.

Greet your New Year’s Eve hostess with a gift of a cheese ball and packaged snack crackers.

©Copyright 1973 by General Mills, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.

Fabulous Fudge

Cherry Opera Fudge

3 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons milk
1 package of our creamy white frosting mix
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup candied cherry halves

Butter loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches. In top of double boiler, melt butter in milk. Stir in frosting mix (dry) until smooth. Heat over rapidly boiling water 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in nuts and cherries.

Spread mixture evenly in pan. Let stand until firm. Cut into 1-inch squares. 32 squares.

Fudge Clusters

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
3 tablespoons water
1 package of our chocolate fudge frosting mix
2 cups pecans or salted peanuts

In medium saucepan, melt butter in water. Stir in frosting mix (dry) until smooth. Heat over low heat 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in nuts.

Drop mixture by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper. Let stand until firm. 3 to 4 dozen candies.

©Copyright 1971 by General Mills, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in U.S.A.