a "been-there" mom of six offers encouragement
to wives, young mothers, and those not so young,
and simple common-sense approaches to
the "ings" of life:
child-rearing (hints and helps), homemaking (all areas),
cooking (simple, cheap, and do-it-yourself)
making (toys and gifts), preparing (for the unexpected),
maintaining (sanity and peace in this increasingly crazy world) and more---
all aspects of making the most of making do on little---
and having fun in the process.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Copy-Cat Holiday Treats: #5 of---Several

Still Keeping You Posted on Chocolate and Other Good Things to TR-eat—for yourself or others.

I’ve been posting ideas for homemade, original and copy-cat, gifts you can make for Christmas, quickly and cheaply.  I’ve encouraged you to look at the myriad gift catalogs filling your mailbox with a new eye — copying not buying. I’ve “talked” a little bit about how to recreate the expensive food and treat offerings from these catalogs.

Like the “Energizer Bunny” I am still going---sharing more of my ideas on holiday goody-gifts.

Again, I am not doing this to rush the season—rather to give you a chance to think about and plan ahead for the season. Most, probably all, cheap, simple and quick. Three of my favorite words!

Peanut Clusters and More Clusters
The following directions for the following four peanut clusters are the same—simple and quick! You can also make the clusters using coarsely chopped pecans, almonds, walnuts or macadamia nuts in place of the peanuts. These recipes make a lot! They are easily adjusted if you want to make less.

Directions: Melt the bark, pieces, etc. together over low heat using method of your choice. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Add peanuts. Drop by clusters on waxed-paper or aluminum foil covered surface. Let set until firm.

Peanut Clusters I
2 pounds vanilla almond bark
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate pieces
12 ounces milk chocolate pieces.
24 ounces salted Spanish peanuts

Peanut Clusters II
12 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
8 squares of vanilla almond bark
2 to 3 cups salted Spanish peanuts

Peanut Clusters III
12 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons pure vegetable shortening
2 cups unsalted dry roasted peanuts

Marshmallow-Peanut Clusters (a favorite of our grandkids!)
Use any of the above recipes. After chocolate/peanut mixture has cooled slightly, stir in mini-marshmallows and then drop into clusters.

I don’t want to wear you down, so unlike the “Energizer Bunny” I am slowing down on candy posts for the time being----that is after two more!

Next Post: Toffee, Turtles, and Pecan Pralines

‘til we eat again,
          Simply, Gail

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