Fruit Cake Cookie Bars #ChristmasCookies

This post is sponsored in conjunction with Christmas Cookies Week. I received product samples from sponsor companies to aid in the creation of the Christmas Cookies Week recipes. All opinions are mine alone.

I grew up with my Grandfather’s stollen as a Christmas tradition, so it took me years to realize that most of the world doesn’t love fruit cake.

Fruit Cake Bars 2

Honestly, I think the rest of the world is wrong, it’s delicious. I think too many people’s first encounter was a questionably-made, mass produced dessert no one would like. If you’d tried Opa’s, I’m sure you would solidly be in my corner.

I got SO excited when I saw this recipe last year and I’ve been dreaming of it since. Usually, I try to make Christmas cookies that will be crowd pleasers, but these? I made them simply because I knew I’d love them. ‘Tis the season to treat yourself, right?

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So these are a gift for you, fellow fruit cake lovers. I know we’re in the minority here, but I say embrace it! Make yourself a batch of these this holiday to make yourself happy – I’m sure you’re doing enough to make others smile!

#ChristmasCookiesWeek Thursday Recipes

 

And don’t forget there are a whole bunch of awesome prizes that will make you smile up for grabs during #ChristmasCookiesWeek thanks to our sponsors. You can enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fruit Cake Bars 1

Fruit Cake Cookie Bars
(adapted from The Spiffy Cookie)
Makes about 2 dozen

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 cups diced fruit cake mix (or a combo of chopped candied cherries and chopped candied pineapple)
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup shredded coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9×13″ pan with parchment sprayed with cooking spray.

In a bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs with the butter until evenly combined. Press evenly into the prepared pan.

Evenly sprinkle the fruit cake mix, raisin, almonds, and coconut over the top. Pour the sweetened condensed milk evenly over everything.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden around the edges. Cool completely before slicing.

Fruit Cake Cookie Bars

Disclaimer: Thank you #ChristmasCookiesWeek sponsors: Adams Extract, Sprinkle Pop, YumGoggle and Silpat for providing the prizes free of charge. The #ChristmasCookiesWeek giveaway is open to U.S. residents, age 18 & up. All entries for the winner will be checked and verified. By entering you give the right to use your name and likeness. The number of entries received determines the odds of winning. Four (4) winners will be selected at random from entries received. The prize packages will be fulfilled by and sent directly from the giveaway sponsors. #ChristmasCookiesWeek bloggers are not responsible for the fulfillment or delivery of the prize packages. Bloggers hosting this giveaway and their immediate family members in their household are not eligible to enter or win the giveaway. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social channel mentioned in the #ChristmasCookiesWeek posts or entry.

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Chocolate Almond Biscotti #ChristmasCookies

Disclosure:  I received complimentary products to use in this post. All opinions are my own.

Today’s cookie recipe is my unexpected favorite of the week – and features #ChristmasCookies week sponsor Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas and Flavors.  This biscotti is amazing – even if you’re not a biscotti fan, you need to try this! There is such an awesome flavor here – thanks, in large part, to the Nielsen-Massey products – and they pair just delightfully with coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. A small bag of these paired up with some K-Cups would be an amazing teacher or neighbor gift this season!

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Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has been crafting the world’s finest vanillas and flavors since 1907. Each of Nielsen-Massey’s all-nature pure flavors are crafted with premium ingredients, sourced from around the world and chosen to meet the utmost quality standards. From lemon to peppermint to coffee or chocolate, Nielsen-Massey’s pure flavors offer convenience, quality and consistency to ensure your favorite recipes taste delicious every single time. All products are gluten-free, allergen-free, GMO-free, all-natural and Kosher.

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Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors is giving one winner a set of their pure flavors: 2-oz each of Orange, Lemon, Peppermint, Almond, Chocolate, Coffee, Rose Water, and Orange Blossom Water. Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ChocolateAlmondBiscotti

Chocolate Almond Biscotti
(adapted from Italian Food Forever)
Makes about 20

2 Tbsp. softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Pure Almond Extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate
Dark chocolate candy melts

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Whisk together the flour, slat, and baking powder until well combined.

In another both, whisk the butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, and almond extract together until completely combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until the dough comes together. Fold in the sliced almonds and chocolate.

Knead the dough for a minute or two, until it comes together well. If too sticky, add another Tbsp. of flour.

For them dough into a log approximately 4″ wide and 1 1/2″ high.

Bake for 35 minutes, than remove to cool and reduce oven to 300 degrees.

When it has cooled for about 15-20 minutes, use a serrated knife to slice the log into 1/2″ slices and place, cut side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, flipping halfway.

Remove and cool completely.

Melt candy melts according to package directions. Drizzle over biscotti and cool completely.

Can’t get enough cookies? For #ChristmasCookies Week, I’m linking up with lots of other bloggers sharing awesome recipes. You can find today’s batch of goodies below!

 

Candied Spiced Nuts #improvcooking

Even though it’s October (and the weather is still feeling like August…), I’m starting to think about Thanksgiving. I know, I know, but I get to host this year and I’m pumped! We’re not sure if we’ll have a big crowd or just the four of us, so I’ve got several menus floating around in my head.

I knew this month’s Improv Challenge theme, Sugar and Spice,  was perfect for trying out some of the recipes I’m considering. Sugar and spice is SO fall – apple spice, pumpkin spice – but I couldn’t get these nuts off my mind, so they won out.

This is such an easy recipe – the slow cooker makes it totally hands off. Just mix, let the slow cooker do it’s thing, then spread them out to cool. They were so good – and a perfect pre-Thanksgiving dinner snack!

CandiedSpicedNuts

Candied Spiced Nuts
(adapted from Crunchy, Creamy, Sweet)
Makes 3 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups almonds
2 cups pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves

Grease the crock of a slow cooker and add the nuts. Add the sugars and cinnamon and stir. Add the water and stir until everything is evenly combined and wet.

Cook on high for 3 hours.

Remove nuts to a parchment-lined baking sheet to cool. Sprinkle with remaining  seasonings. Once fully cooled, store in an airtight container.

You can check out the other Sugar and Spice themed recipes that bloggers made here: