Holiday Favorites

Wilbert Carmouche
Wilbert Carmouche

Aromas of Christmas are in the air! Oh how these smells bring back memories of baking and cooking with and for children and grandchildren. I asked two of my coworkers to share a favorite recipe that they like to make with children and grandchildren. Sandra and her granddaughters fill the kitchen with the smells of cinnamon to make this family favorite, Bubble Bread, some call it Monkey Bread. Brittany and her dad, Brady, could not decide on a favorite, so we will share both of their favorites!

Bubble Bread

1 Package Yeast
1/4 Cup Warm Water
1 1/4 Cup Milk
1/4 Cup Shortening, Melted
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Egg
4 1/2 Flour
1 Stick Butter
Chopped Pecans (Optional)

In warm water, add package of yeast. Mix in milk, melted shortening, sugar, salt and egg. Add flour a little at a time, alternating flour and beating mixture. Knead for at least 3 to 4 minutes and let double in size in covered bowl. Combine sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Melt butter.
Break dough into walnut sized pieces and roll in melted butter then in mixture of cinnamon and sugar. Layer dough pieces into a greased Bundt pan, sprinkling pecans on each layer. Let rise until doubled. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes or until top is golden brown. Invert on platter, covering pan with dampened kitchen towel. Remove towel when steam subsides, lift Bundt and pluck away! Perfect as a breakfast bread at Christmastime and to share with Santa.

Brittany’s Baked Cheese Dip

3oz Cream Cheese, Softened
2 Cups Sour Cream
1 1/2 Cups Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
6 Slices Bacon, Cooked, Drained and Crumbled
1/2 Cup Sliced Green Onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine softened cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, bacon and green onion. Spoon the mixture into a 1 quart baking dish. Bake until bubbly. Serve warm with toasted bread squares, crackers, or veggies for dipping.

Dad’s Favorite Pecan Pie Cookies

1 Prepared Single Pie Crust
2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1/2 Cup Pecans, Chopped
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Corn Syrup
2 Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Semi Sweet or Milk Chocolate Chips (Optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large non-stick pan, combine butter, pecans, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt and eggs. Cook on the stove top over medium-low heat just until thickened—you don’t want it dry, just slightly thickened, about the consistency of pudding. Remove from heat and set aside. Unroll dough, and using a 3” cookie cutter, cut out circles. Gently fold about 1/8 to 1/4″ up on the edges. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the pecan mixture into each circle. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet (it’s important to line it) and bake 8 minutes, or until filling is just set. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.