4 Moms make cookies (a linky!)

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It’s December.  We have officially broken out the Christmas music and the crocheted Christmas stockings.  There is a poinsetta atop the table and pine cones are dangling from my chandelier.  Yesterday Becca found a bit of mistletoe on an old oak tree, and this weekend we’ll go find some holly in our woods.

Now it’s time to start baking!

This week the 4 Moms are making cookies, and I hope you are too.  Be sure to link up with your favorite recipes.  Bonus points if you include pics of your little ones helping out!

Wednesday did not go according to plan.  I thought we’d see Dad off to work, straighten the house, then do some fun baking and have a photo shoot for today’s post.

Instead, I realized at 2 AM on Tuesday night that I had a dentist appointment Wednesday at 2.  I needed to get up in time to drive Perry to work so that I would have a vehicle to get to my appointment.  I would have to make a full day of the outing as usual, getting groceries and running errands while I was in town.

Perry was taking 3 big girls and The Boy to work with him.  I would need to take the baby with me, of course, and somebody old enough to watch him while I was in the chair.  I also decided to take Rachael since she rarely gets to go.  Hmm.  That left just 3 people at home.   What’s the point of that?  We decided to go whole-hog and take the whole crew.  There were no cookies getting baked at our house on Wednesday.

Ah, but getting groceries while dreaming of Christmas cookies is not good for the budget.  I got 2 bags of chocolate chips  to add to our supply at home, then I went to Costco where I bought the equivalent of 6 more bags.  I also bought 8 lbs. of real butter, 3 lbs. of cream cheese (that’s like 6 big packages), 2 boxes of saltines, 10 lbs. of sugar (just in case the supply at home runs low), 5 lbs. of cranberries, 4 lbs. of raisins, an extra bottle of vanilla.  We already have several bags of powdered sugar, 3 lbs. each of almonds, walnuts and pecans…you get the idea.  I think I bought other food, but I had sweets on the brain.

Are you wondering what we’ll do with the saltines?  Surely you’ve had Poor Man’s Toffee?

Poor Man’s Toffee

makes 50 pieces – great for gifts

  • 1 1/4 cups butter, divided
  • 35-40 saltine-style crackers
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cups finely chopped walnuts

Pay attention.  This happens quickly:

  1. Melt 1/4 cup butter; pour into foil-lined jelly roll pan.
  2. Arrange crackers over butter, evenly spaced.
  3. Melt remaining butter; add sugar and boil 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat and add condensed milk. Spread over crackers.
  5. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes, until bubbly and slightly darkened.
  6. Remove from oven, cool 1 minute, and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Let stand 5 minutes (until chocolate is soft and melty) and spread.
  7. Sprinkle with nuts; press lightly into chocolate.
  8. Cool; refrigerate until chocolate is set.
  9. Remove foil and cut candy.

Yum! Rich, delicious and very impressive, and much faster and easier than it sounds. No one can ever guess the saltine cracker base – it tastes a lot like Almond Roca.

I also plan to make Russian Teacakes (also known as Mexican Wedding Cakes), chocolate chip cookies, cranberry bread, pecan pie, pecan raising pie, apple-cranberry pie, pumpkin cheesecake, pumpkin rolls, and any other recipe that catches my fancy.

Here’s what the other moms are baking:

Inspire me: what’s your favorite holiday sweet?

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Upcoming topics to be tackled by the 4 Moms:

  • Dec. 9- Toy management: Out with the old and in with the new.
  • Dec. 16 – Feeding company: Because it’s rude to eat in front of them
  • Dec. 23 – Questions for the Four Moms: Got a question?  Get it in now!
  • Dec. 30 –  Teaching children to do their chores:  If you’re doing it all yourself, then you missed your promotion.


  1. Your post got me off my tush, and made me get baking with my kids. I have been sick and didn’t want to do it, but after reading through your post and all the linky’s, I made some. Love your website!

  2. Sorry, I just linked up twice! Now I know how it works, I guess.

  3. Hooray, a recipe I can afford! Thanks.

    Oops. I accidentally submitted twice. Please to forgive.

  4. We make Poor Man’s Toffee during the holidays, too, but have never made it with sweetened condensed milk. I bet it’s even richer that way!

  5. i just made something amazingly similar this past weekend. only change was graham crackers on the bottom instead of saltines

  6. I absolutely love to bake so it was hard to narrow it down but here are 2 recipes I like to make aften. I get most of my recipes from kraftfoods.com

    PHILADELPHIA® Pound Cake

    what you need1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla 4 eggs 2 cups sifted cake flour 1-1/2 tsp. CALUMET Baking Powder 2 tsp. powdered sugar Make It
    PREHEAT oven to 325°F. Beat cream cheese, butter, granulated sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.

    ADD eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Gradually add flour and baking powder, mixing on low speed until blended. Pour into greased and floured 9×5-inch loaf pan.

    BAKE 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar just before serving.

    PHILADELPHIA Caramel-Pecan Cheesecake
    What You Need50 NILLA Wafers, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups) 1 cup chopped PLANTERS Pecans, divided 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened 1 cup sugar 1 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream 3 Tbsp. flour 1 Tbsp. vanilla 4 eggs 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping Make ItHEAT oven to 325°F.

    MIX wafer crumbs, 1/2 cup nuts and butter; press onto bottom of 13×9-inch pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

    BEAT cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add sour cream, flour and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.

    BAKE 45 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 4 hours. Drizzle with topping; top with remaining nuts. Let stand until topping is firm.

  7. I love all of the cookie recipes and baking at this time of a year, but my bottom half will suffer with regret after Jan. 1!!

  8. Adding saltines to my grocery list so I can make this. Have to. It has the magical elixir! 😀

  9. I just had to laugh when I came to read what you had posted today only to discover that our recipes are remarkably similar. 🙂 So is it great minds think alike or are we both in a rut?

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  10. Kim,
    In the Russian tea cakes try finely chopped cashew nuts instead of the walnuts/almonds…. I did once when I was mixing up the dough for Italian wedding cookies (same thing) and realized I had no other nuts. They turned out delicious and we always use them now. They taste like the archway cashew nugget cookies that come out this time of the year.

  11. Love poor man’s toffee!
    Well, with all those cookie supplies, at least you know what you can make for dinner if need be. :o)

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