festival-of-trees-treats

From left, Mennonite Buttermilk Cookies, Nieman Marcus Bars, Santa Grahams, Morning Glory Muffins, and front, Turkey Pretzel Sticks.

CEDAR FALLS – Sugar, spice and everything nice have been baked into treats for sale at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Bake Sale at the Sartori Memorial Hospital Auxililary’s Festival of Trees.

The annual event takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

Visitors can stock up on treats to eat now or freeze their goodies for upcoming holiday gatherings. Volunteers bake bars, cookies, muffins and more and work at the bake sale.

The Festival of Trees is currently taking place at the Gallagher Bluedorn through Sunday, including the Gallery of Trees and several special events. For more details, log on to www.wheatoniowa.org/festival.

Here are a few recipes shared by the bakers:

Neiman Marcus Bars

1 package yellow cake mix

1 stick butter

1 egg

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

1 pound powdered sugar

8-ounce package cream cheese, softened to room temperature

3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix cake mix, butter, 1 egg and pecans. Press into 9x13 greased pan. Mix together powdered sugar, cream cheese and 3 eggs. Spread mixture over layer in pan.

Bake at 350 F for 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool before cutting into bars.

Santa Grahams

1 package graham crackers

1 can vanilla frosting

Red food coloring

1 package mini marshmallows for Santa’s beard and hat pom

1 package mini chocolate chips for eyes

Cinnamon red-hot candies for nose

Black frosting gel (in tube) for mouth

Use 1 graham cracker square for each Santa face. Tint frosting light pink for face and dark pink for Santa’s hat. Use chocolate chips, cinnamon red-hot candies and marshmallows to complete face. Put marshmallow pom on hat.

Turkey Pretzel Sticks

1 package pretzel rods

1 package Grasshopper cookies (or other chocolate covered cookies)

Candy eyes

Candy corns for turkey tail

Yellow M&M’s, cut in half for beak

Red gum candies for wattle

Chocolate melting chips or bark

Spread melted chocolate on cookie. Dip 1/2 pretzel stick in melted chocolate. Place in center of cookie. Add eyes, beak and wattle and place in position. Place each piece of candy corn in fan shape on cookie. Let set to harden.

Note: Put another cookie under the plain end of pretzel rod to keep it level until chocolate hardens.

Mennonite Buttermilk Cookies

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup shortening (like Crisco)

1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup buttermilk

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Frosting (powdered sugar frosting or choice)

Cream shortening and sugar; beat in eggs. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add vanilla to buttermilk and add to sugar mixture alternately with sifted dry ingredients. Dough should not be stiff, but easy to handle. Chill dough. Roll out to ¼-inch thickness on floured board. Cut out with cookie cutters. Bake on sprayed cookie sheet or parchment paper at 350 F about 15 minutes until golden around the edges. When cool, ice with powdered sugar frosting.

Morning Glory Muffins

2 1/4 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup coconut

1 apple, shredded

8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

2 cups grated carrots

1/2 cup pecans, optional

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream cheese frosting, optional

Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Add coconut, fruits, carrots and nuts. In separate bowl, whisk eggs with oil and vanilla. Pour liquid mixture into bowl with dry ingredients. Blend well. Fill muffin tins 3/4 to full.

Bake at 350 F for 30-35 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack. May frost with cream cheese frosting, if desired. Allow 24 hours before eating. Muffins freeze well.

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Arts/Special Sections Editor

Special Sections Editor for the Courier

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