I'm joining the Novel Bakers today and Wednesday to present Southern Living's Christmas All Through the South, a book overflowing with charm and old fashioned magic. You'll tour gracious holiday homes, stopping to look at outdoor decorations, foyers, mantels, staircases, wreaths, and gorgeous trees. Along the way, you'll see a home in the pines and a house by the sea (to name a few), and a menu has been prepared for each home, reflecting the season and geographic location. The last chapter is devoted to festive recipes.
My cake recipe came from Pinterest, and when I pulled the pan from the oven, I breathed in the very essence of an old fashioned Christmas. But while the cake cooled, gremlins attacked, stomping and deflating the cake into a pitiful, shriveled thing. Bandwidth suggested that I find another source for recipes (I think he's right) and asked if I was pitching the cake into the compost pile. Not on your life, buster. I can't do much, but I can rescue horrible cooking--and Cool Whip is a favorite edible bandage.
The gremlins were also busy messing with the weather (which was strange and alarming--weeks of dark, Wuthering Heights days, and odd, jarring temperatures. Just two days ago, a dark 70 degree day turned into a raging evening thunderstorm, complete with hail and lightning, then the temperature plummeted to a tooth-chattering 19 degrees, leaving a dusting of snow, along with grim darkness).
(Note to self: read your camera's manual.)
I also made no-fail peanut butter fudge.
Peanut Butter Fudge
1 cup peanut butter (I used smooth)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter
Melt on med-low heat until blended. Remove from burner. Mix in 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, adding 1 cup at a time, blending well. Spread evenly in a greased 8" or 9" pan (line pan with parchment paper). Chill 4 hours. Remove from pan and cut into squares.
As for the bourbon pecan balls, well, they're gone.
Pecan Bourbon Balls
From Southern Living
1 (12-oz) package Vanilla Wafers, finely crushed
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup finely chopped toasted pecans
1/2 cup bourbon
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons light corn syrup
chopped toasted pecans
Mix first 6 ingredients. Shape into 1" balls. Roll in powdered sugar or pecans. Refrigerate. Keeps 2 weeks. (Notes: I used a Cuisinart to process the wafers. I also ended up using 8 tablespoons of the corn syrup...though it could have been gremlins.)
Bourbon Ginger Punch
from Southern Living
Make a sugar syrup with1/2 cup white granulated sugar plus 1/2 cup water. Cool. Mix 1 cup fresh lime juice and 2 1/2 cups bourbon. Slowly add 3 12-ounce bottles of ginger beer (I used cranberry ginger beer). Pour into a leakproof container. Garnish with lime slices and cherries.
The Novel Bakers will return Wednesday, December 21st, for another look at Christmas All Through the South.
For Christmas cheer, beautiful photography, great food, and inspiration, please visit the Novel Bakers:
Jain at a quiet life
Mary at Home Is Where the Boat Is.
Linda at More Fun Less Laundry.