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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Let's PAR-TAY, shall we?

My "baby" brother and his wife welcomed a sweet baby girl into the world yesterday evening, so I am excitedly distracted today. Been burning up those phone lines between here and Louisiana!

I do have just a minute to share two recipes for Karla's

Holiday Par-Tay

The first one is SUPER fast and easy. Perfect to whip up for holiday parties or just to have on hand to indulge in over coffee on a wintry afternoon.

Brown Sugar Shortbread

from Judith Sutton's Sweet Gratitude

1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp (NO substitutions or it isn't shortbread!)
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Put a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325.
2. In a large bowl, beat butter and both sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until thoroughly blended - about one minute. Scrape down sides of bowl. Beat in vanilla, then beat in salt. On low speed, add the flour in two additions, beating just until incorporated.
3. Turn the dough out into an ungreased 9x13 baking pan and, with your fingertips or a sturdy rubber spatula, gently press it evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the shortbread is golden brown (edges will be slightly darker). Do not underbake. Let cool in pan on wire rack for 5 to 10 minutes.
4. With a sharp heavy knife, cut the shortbread, still in the pan, into 36 rectangles. Let cool completely before removing shortbread from pan. Keeps in airtight container up to 5 days.

Here's another quick and easy - Monkey Bread! I have signed up to bring Monkey Bread to my Bible study group's Christmas party on Friday, but I am going to go out on a limb and change up my tried and true recipe. Michelle at Scribbit shared her Sticky Buns recipe a while back and I've been waiting for just the occasion to whip it up. But if you need a fast, simple Monkey Bread recipe, I think you'll find this one won't disappoint!

Megan's Mother-In-Law's Monkey Bread:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 to 4 cans of refrigerated biscuits
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup crushed pecans
1/4 cup cinnamon
1-1/2 sticks of butter

Mix together the sugars and pecans and cinnamon and put in bowl. Set aside.

Use kitchen shears and cut the biscuits into fourths (if you use bigger biscuits you can cut them smaller). Roll in the sugar mixture and arrange in bundt pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. (A loaf pan will work if you don't have a bundt pan). Set aside.

In a small sauce pan melt the butter and add the sugar mixture that you rolled the biscuit fourths in. Once the mixture comes to a boil lower heat and cook approx. 2 min.

Pour hot mixture over the biscuits in the pan lifting edges so it can seep down to the bottom.

Place in oven and bake approx. 30 to 45 minutes. When it is done allow to cool a couple of minutes on stove top and invert onto a serving dish. Best when served warm but still good if it cools.

You can vary the ingredients and it will turn out. It's fail proof.

Thank you, Karla, for hosting such a yummy par-tay!!!