Cheddar Bay Christmas 2008

HONEY GLAZED HAM

5-6 lb. fully cooked ham
1/4 cup whole cloves
1/2 cup dark corn syrup
1/8 tsp. ground cardamom
1-1/2 cups honey
2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/8 tsp. white pepper

Preheat oven to 325°. Place ham cut side down in a foil-lined roasting pan. Using a sharp knife, score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern. Place the whole cloves in the scored intersections.

Combine corn syrup, cardamom, honey, butter, brown sugar, orange juice, and pepper in the top half of a double boiler, and heat until the butter melts and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. Keep this glaze in the top of a double boiler, over hot water, while baking ham.

Brush glaze over ham, then cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325 degrees, basting ham every 10 to 15 minutes with the warm honey glaze. During the last 5 minutes of baking time, remove the foil and turn on broiler to caramelize the glaze. Watch the ham carefully during the broiling time! Remove ham from oven, cover with foil, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Serves 10-12.

PERFECT PRIME RIB

1 standing prime rib roast, with bones, about 10 lbs.
1 tsp. marjoram
2 T. plus 2 tsp. celery salt
2 tsp. tarragon
2 T. instant minced onion
1 T. plus 1 tsp. thyme
1 T. garlic powder
2 tsp. rosemary
1 T. plus 1 tsp. black pepper
3 T. plus 1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. white pepper
3 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. salt

Remove roast from refrigerator and let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450°. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. To help the rub adhere to the meat, liberally moisten a paper towel with water and lightly wet the meat or use a very light coating of oil. Starting with the underside (rib side), pat spice mixture over meat, trying to get as much of the mixture to adhere as possible. Turn meat over and do sides, ends, and top (fat side) of the meat. Place roast on a flat wire rack, ribs down, fat side up in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle and pat additional spice mixture on the top. (To reserve remaining rub mixture for another use, place in a glass jar, seal tightly and store in a cool dark place.)

Place prepared meat in oven and roast uncovered 1 hour. After 1 hour, immediately turn off the oven. Do NOT open oven door. Let roast sit in oven 4-5 hours. (Allow larger roasts the longer time.) After the 4-5 hours, turn on oven to 375° and roast 30 minutes for a medium rare roast. Remove roast from oven and let stand 10-15 minutes before carving. Recipe serves 10.

ROAST GARLIC MASHED POTATOES

2 lbs. potatoes
1 head garlic
1 T. olive oil
1/4 c. sour cream
4 T. butter
Milk or cream, if needed
Salt
White pepper

Separate head of garlic into individual cloves. Toss in olive oil and wrap tightly in small piece of aluminum foil. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. When the garlic has cooled to the touch you should be able to squeeze it out of the 'paper' shell of the individual cloves. Mash the roasted garlic with a fork, or force through a fine strainer.

Peel and boil potatoes in salted water until tender. Force the cooked potatoes through a ricer (recommended) or mash by your usual method.

Put the riced potatoes, garlic, sour cream, butter, and salt and white pepper in a mixer bowl, and whip at medium speed until smooth. Add cream or milk to adjust consistency. Serves 4.

CHRISTMAS SOUR CREAM POTATO SALAD

1/3 c. Italian Salad Dressing
7 med. potatoes, cooked in skins, peeled & sliced
3/4 c. sliced celery
1/3 c. sliced green onion
4 hard boiled eggs
1 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sour cream
1-1/2 tsp. prepared horseradish mustard
Salt to taste & Celery seed to taste

Pour Italian dressing over warm sliced potatoes. Chill 2 hours.

Add celery and onion. Separate egg whites from yolks, chop, and add.

In small bowl, mash yolks with a fork. Mix with mayo, sour cream, and mustard; fold into salad. Add salt and celery seed to taste. Chill 2 hours.

Use bits of green onion stalk and pimento to decorate the top in a festive manner. Makes 8 servings.

PARKER HOUSE ROLLS

1 c. whole milk
2 pkg. dry yeast
1/2 c. butter, melted
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
4-1/2 to 5 c. flour
More melted butter

(You can make them the day before Christmas and reheat in the oven or microwave before serving.)

Warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Mix 1/3 of the milk with the dry yeast in a small bowl and let sit until bubbly, about 15 minutes. In a large bowl, combine remaining milk, melted butter, salt and sugar and beat until the sugar is dissolved. Then add the beaten eggs and bubbly yeast.

Add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, beating on high speed of stand mixer. This step should take at least 5 minutes. When the dough gets too stiff to beat, stir in rest of flour by hand, if necessary, to make a soft dough. Turn out onto floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until smooth and satiny. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 1 hour. (I have also covered the dough well and placed it in the refrigerator overnight. This works really well. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding with recipe.)

Punch down the dough and roll out on floured surface to 1/2" thickness. Cut with 3" round cookie cutter. Brush each roll with melted butter and fold in half to make half circles. Pinch edge lightly to hold, so the rolls don't unfold as they rise. Place in 2 greased 13x9" pans, cover, and let rise again until double, about 45 minutes. (If you refrigerated the dough, this will take longer, about 60-75 minutes.)

Bake rolls at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan immediately and brush with more melted butter. Don't use the same butter you used when forming the rolls - melt some fresh just for this step. Makes 24 rolls

BUTTERSCOTCH SNAPS

2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. butterscotch chips
1/2 c. granulated sugar
3 T. shortening
2 T. butter
3 T. light corn syrup
1 egg
Granulated sugar for rolling

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a bowl or the top of double boiler over hot (not boiling) water, melt butterscotch chips. Remove pan or bowl from over the water. In a mixing bowl, blend sugar, shortening, butter, and corn syrup. Beat in 1 egg and stir in the melted butterscotch chips. Add dry mixture, stirring well. Form mixture into 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place about 1 inch apart on greased baking sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes. Makes 4 to 5 dozen butterscotch cookies.

ORANGE SHORTBREAD COOKIES

4 c. flour, sifted
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 T. finely grated orange peel
2 c. butter

Mix flour, salt, sugar, and orange peel. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Work the dough with hands until it holds together; refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll dough 1/2 inch thick between sheets of wax paper; cut out with floured cutters. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Drizzle shortbread with chocolate glaze or icing, if desired. Makes about 30 to 36 shortbread cookies.

PECAN FINGERS

1 c. butter, room temperature
2 T. granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. chopped pecans

In a mixing bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Beat in flour a little at a time, then stir in pecans.

Taking about 1 tablespoon of dough for each cookie, shape into a roll about 2" long, as even as possible in shape. Place on baking sheets about 2-inches apart, and bake in a preheated 300° oven for about 30 to 35 minutes or until lightly browned on bottoms.

Cool completely and drizzle with chocolate glaze, if desired.

PECAN PRALINE COOKIES

8 oz butter
1/2 c. light brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. sifted all-purpose flour
2 c. finely chopped pecans
sifted confectioners' sugar, optional

Cream butter and brown sugar; stir in vanilla. Gradually work in flour. Mixture will be crumbly. Add chopped pecans and work into dough. Pinch off dough and roll in hands to form balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place on greased baking sheets; bake pecan cookies at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until firm and browned on bottoms. If desired, roll pecan cookies in confectioners' sugar while still warm. Makes about 4 dozen pecan praline cookies.

REINDEER COOKIES

1 pkg (17-1/2 oz) peanut butter cookie mix*
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1 egg
60 miniature pretzel twists for antlers
60 semisweet chocolate chips for eyes
30 red hot candies for noses

*You can leave out the cookie mix, egg, and oil, and use your own peanut butter cookie dough recipe.

In mixing bowl, combine cookie mix, oil and egg. Beat until well blended. Shape peanut butter cookie dough into a 7 1/2-inch roll; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, until chilled and firm. Unwrap and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place cookies 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Using thumb and forefinger, make a slight indention about 1/3 of the way down the sides of each slice. Press in pretzels for antlers, chocolate chips for eyes and a red hot for the nose. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 12 minutes, or until light brown. Remove to wire racks to cool. Makes about 30 cookies.

ORANGE EGGNOG PUNCH

1 quart eggnog
1 (12 oz) can ginger ale (chilled)

This traditional holiday beverage gets fresh sparkle and flavor from the addition of ginger ale and orange juice.

In a pitcher, stir eggnog and orange juice concentrate until well mixed. Pour in ginger ale and stir gently. Makes eight 7-ounce servings.