Merry Christmas! For the first time in a long time I’m sorta’ giving up the ‘push’ and declaring things just may not get done. With the arrival of my new book, marketing and food photo shoots I feel a little bit like Ebenezer Scrooge. Now don’t worry, I don’t ‘really’ mean that. I just haven’t had the opportunity to enjoy the season this year. I’ve decided to leave my tree up through the first week of January just so I can enjoy it.
For the first time in a very long time I can’t decide on what to share for this holiday week. I’ve been doing drinks and yummies of all kinds. Tell you what I’m going to share a recipe for Christmas Crunch. This little recipe seems easy, which it is, except for stirring the mix every ten minutes while it’s in the oven. Originally the recipe comes from my good friend, Debbie Rury, from Ridgedale, Missouri. Debbie was my assistant for 3 years at Silver Dollar City. Every year for Christmas she gave each of the staff a bag of this delicious mixture. The funny thing is this recipe was slated for my new cookbook, ‘Everyday Comfort Foods’, and it didn’t make the trip! I only realized that in the last couple of days.
There aren’t any ‘big’ tips for this recipe except be sure and put parchment paper or foil over the jelly roll pan for the mixture to be placed upon. Probably the best suggestion I could give you is to make sure you leave it out to dry for close to 24 hours. If you jump the gun and put it away before that time it could get chewy.
This would be great for New Year’s Eve or at a super bowl party. Or great eating when you are flying or driving. I should tell you that it can become addictive. It’s so yummy it’s just hard to put down.
For those of you on the creative side I might challenge you to help me create another version of this crunch. I’m thinking we would use sorghum and butter instead of the honey and butter. Speaking of the honey business, I’m probably preaching to the choir but remember to use local honey in your Christmas Crunch. This will help with allergies and other health issues the store bought label cannot address.
I was pleased to hear that one Christmas show I missed is going to be re-aired on Christmas Day. This time I’ll have my recorder going on NBC for ‘The Coat of Many Colors’. The couch is reserved along with a big bowl of popcorn for the entire day!!!
We entertained Phillip, our son, and friends this weekend for a belated birthday dinner for Phillip’s 15th birthday. We went home to my parents’ home last weekend, in Lewistown, Missouri for Christmas. To say Grandma Betty spoiled her grandson is an understatement. Phillip thinks it’s really great when his mom and grandma are together cooking because then he reaps the benefits from two good cooks. (So ‘he’ says.)
At this Christmas season I wish each and every one a blessed holiday.
May the birth of the small babe, in the manger, engulf you with the true meaning of Christmas. Simply Yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Visit my website for my newest release, ‘Everyday Comfort Foods’.
2 cups crisp wheat cereal squares
2 cups crisp rice cereal squares
2 cups crisp corn cereal squares
2 cups crisp oat cereal squares
2 cups flaked coconut
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup pecan pieces
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups honey
Line two large shallow (rimmed) baking pans (each 15 x 10 x 1 inch or larger) with aluminum foil or parchment paper; spray well with cooking spray. Layer half of the cereal, coconut, nuts, cranberries and cherries in each pan. Gently mix with hands or wooden spoon. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup microwave butter until melted. Measure honey in same glass measuring cup; whisking to combine. Drizzle half of the butter/honey mixture over each pan of cereal mixture. Gently stir with spoon or gloved hands until cereal is coated. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until coconut turns light golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes. Cool pans of crunch snack on wire racks. Break apart into large pieces.
Yields about 14 cups.
When I came to the Culinary School at Silver Dollar City Mary Ann Corbin was my first assistant. After a couple of great years Rochelle Boertje stepped in and assisted me for about 10 months. Debbie Rury rescued us at the end of one season and continued into at least two more years at the culinary. In May of 2014 Dawn McCarty became my new helper, Dawn moved on at the end of 2014. In 2015 Bonnie Strickland became my newest assistant at SDC.