The Shady Porch: Easy Sweet Treats!


Easy Sweet Treats!

Buckeyes aka Peanut Butter balls
Well it happened again this year...we went into candy, and cookie factory mode and could have given the Keebler elves a run for their money....(well,... maybe not.) Anyway, it is one of the favorite events of the holidays around here. We have piles of nuts, candies, marshmallows, and such, and we crank out goodie bags and plates for my hubby's peers on the last day of school before Christmas break.

I thought I would share some of the treats we prepared this year in case you were still prepping for the holidays!

Sweet Treats - Chocolate-covered pretzel rods, Rolo turtles, Buckeyes,Thin Mints, Cream Cheese Shortbread Cookies, Nutty Marshmallows
Chocolate-covered pretzel rods, Rolo turtles, Buckeyes,Thin Mints, 
Cream Cheese Shortbread Cookies,and Nutty Marshmallows

1/2 cup of softened butter
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
4 cups of confectionery sugar
1 t. vanilla
1 lb. pkg chocolate bark (microwavable)
Mix butter, peanut butter, sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Using a table spoon to keep buckeyes uniform in size, scoop out peanut butter mixture and form into balls, using your hands. Set formed balls on wax paper covered cookie sheet. Refrigerate.

Melt chocolate bark in microwave as directed. Remove peanut butter balls from refrigerator, insert toothpick and dip into melted chocolate. Return to wax paper tray, refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Cream Cheese Shortbread Cookies with Toasted Walnuts
Cream Cheese Shortbread Cookies with Toasted Walnuts
Cream Cheese Shortbread with Toasted Walnuts
2 cups of SR flour
1 1/2 stick of butter, softened
1 cup toasted and chopped walnuts
1/2 cup (4 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup of sugar (we used Splenda Blend)
1 t. vanilla
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, mix flour and walnuts and set aside. In a mixing bowl beat together - butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Add vanilla mix until incorporated. Set mixer to low, gradually add flour mixture to dough. Mix until well blended. 
Roll dough into balls, place on parchment lined cookie sheet about 1 inch apart, pressing gently to slightly flatten tops. 
Bake cookies until light brown around the edges. In my wonky oven, it took about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool. 

Homemade Thin Mints - Melt 2 boxes of Andes Creme De Menthe in microwave. Dip Ritz crackers in melted mint until covered. Set on wax paper or parchment until set. [Good News - the Andes Mints has a Sugar-Free version too!]

Nutty Marshmallows
Nutty Marshmallows
Nutty Marshmallows
Roast 1 cup of pecans and 1 cup of almonds in skillet. Chop finely in food processor. Heat 2 cups of milk on stove top (do not boil). Dip regular size marshmallows into heated milk for about 20 seconds (until it gets tacky enough to hold the nuts) then roll in crushed nuts. Cool and store.

Rolo Turtles
1 bg. of square pretzels
1 bg. of Rolos
1 bg. of pecans halves (you can substitute M&M's for the nuts, if you prefer)
Rolo TurtlesHeat oven to 350 degrees. On wax paper covered cookie sheet, place pretzels, then top each pretzel with a Rolo, and on top of the Rolo place a pecan half. Bake in oven for about 2-3 minutes. As the pan is removed from the oven, use a wide turner to press several pieces at once, pressing the pecan half into the melted Rolo. [Note - I like to add my pecan before baking so it gets a little toasted.]