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Welcome to My Kitchen


Snow on the ground, sledding parties and Christmas caroling call for warming up with hot chocolate and sweet cookies. Charlene Kagele brought glazed carrot cookies to a recent event and I was asked to get the recipe. Charlene said she got the recipe from me, and I think this is the correct one. It comes from Betty Crocker’s Cooky Book, 1979 edition.

Golden Carrot Cookies

1 cup shortening, or (part butter or margarine)

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

1 cup mashed cooked carrots

2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup shredded coconut

Orange Butter Icing

(recipe below)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease baking sheets and set aside.

Combine shortening, sugar, eggs and mashed carrots. Mix until well blended. In a small bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Blend into shortening mixture. Mix in coconut.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until no imprint remains when lightly touched. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Frost with Orange Butter Frosting. Yield: 4 dozen soft cookies.

Orange Butter Frosting

2 1/2 Tbsp soft butter

1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp orange juice

2 tsp grated orange zest

Blend butter and powdered sugar together. Stir in orange juice and orange zest. Yield: Frosting for 4 dozen cookies.

Note: This frosting is good on just about any cookie calling for icing. Let frosted cookies stand for about an hour for frosting to set. Store in air-tight containers with waxed paper between layers. These cookies freeze well.

I recently tried a new recipe from the Kraft recipes eNewsletter for Perfect Zesty Chicken Tortilla Bake. What intrigued me was the use of Miracle Whip as the base for the sauce.

Perfect Zesty

Chicken Tortilla Bake

1/2 cup Miracle Whip Dressing

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups milk

1 package (8 oz. Kraft Shredded Cheddar Cheese), divided

1 1/2 pounds, boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup Taco Bell Thick and Chunky Salsa

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

16 flour tortillas (6 inch)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 13 x 9-inch baking dishes with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, whisk dressing and flour until blended. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Add 1 cup of cheese; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly until cheese is blended. Reserve 1 cup of the sauce.

Stir chicken, salsa and parsley into remaining sauce; spoon 1/3 cup of the mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place 8 rolled tortillas, seam side down in each of the prepared baking pans. Top with remaining sauce and remaining cheese. Bake 25 min. or until heated through. Yield: 8 servings.

Note: I used diced turkey and 1 cup hot and spicy salsa when I prepared this recipe. This recipe freezes well to thaw and bake later.

Becky Kolterman shared a recipe for Pecan Bars she got from the Martha Stewart TV show. She shared a picture of them on Facebook, causing extensive salivation by viewers. I finally have enough column space for this time-consuming but worth-the-effort recipe.

Pecan Bars


1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

3 cups all-purpose flour


1/2 cup butter

2 Tbsp granulated sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp honey

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt

2 Tbsp heavy cream

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups pecan halves

Other items:

Parchment paper

Additional butter

Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper, one the width, plus 2 inches and the other the length plus 2 inches. Place both pieces in a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, leaving the edges up the sides of the pan. Butter the parchment paper and set prepared pan aside.

Crust: cream butter, brown sugar and salt until smooth. Add flour and mix until crumbly (I used a fork for this step).

Press crumb mixture evenly into prepared pan. Poke crust with fork every 2 inches. Chill 20 min. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake chilled crust 20 min. Remove from oven. Reduce heat to 325 degrees.

Prepare topping by melting butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sugars, honey, salt and cream. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until sugars dissolve, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla and pecans. Pour over baked crust, spread pecans evenly.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bubbly all through the pecans. Remove from oven and let cool. Hold edges of parchment paper and lift from pan. Cut into bars. These are very rich, so cut them small Yield: About 4 dozen small bars.

Share your favorite Christmas gift giving and entertaining recipes and other wintertime recipes by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159, email or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office. Cut Christmas trees make a good wind break among your roses and provide birds shelter from the weather.


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