Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: Holiday goodies

I love the all excitement and preparation for Christmas — well, almost all of it

  • Dec. 6, 2017 6:30 a.m.

Cathi Litzenberger

Morning Star columnist

I love the all excitement and preparation for Christmas — well, almost all of it. It’s only the unfinished sewing projects, baking, decorating, cleaning and shopping that often brings me to my knees.

This year I’ve changed my mind set, what gets done in each catagory on the first round is enough. I mean really, London Drugs is always opened Christmas Eve for late and forgetful people. We need to enjoy the preparations as part of the tradition otherwise it’s just a whole lot of stress for that one day or week. I’m speaking from a whole lot of experience here.

I’ve actually started my Christmas baking now and am trying several quick and easy recipes to save time. Such are the lemon squares; quick and easy. Cut them small — they’ll go further. The triple layer bar will take more time and effort but is so worth it. Let’s enjoy this magic time.

Triple Layer Cookie Bars

1 cup (6 oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup butter, melted

Non-stick cooking spray

1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk

2 1/3 cup flaked coconut

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray. Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Top evenly with coconut. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over coconut layer. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Loosen from sides of pan while still warm. Melt chocolate chips with peanut butter in small microwave-safe bowl on high for one minute. Stir until smooth. Spread evenly over hot coconut layer. Cool 15 minutes on wire rack. Refrigerate 45 minutes or until chocolate is set. Cut into bars or diamonds. For perfectly cut cookie bars, line entire pan with foil, extending foil over edge of pan. Coat lightly with no-stick cooking spray. After bars have baked and cooled, lift up with edges of foil to remove from pan. Cut into individual bars.

Luscious Lemon Squares

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons grated lemon peel, if desired

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

Powdered sugar

Heat oven to 350ºF. Mix flour, butter and powdered sugar. Press in ungreased square pan, 8x8x2 or 9x9x2 inches, building up 1/2-inch edges. Bake crust 20 minutes. Beat granulated sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice, baking powder, salt and eggs with electric mixer on high speed about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Pour over hot crust. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until no indentation remains when touched lightly in center. Cool; dust with powdered sugar. Cut into about 1-1/2-inch squares.

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