It's the most wonderful time of the year.....to EAT!!!!!  My, oh, my, have I indulged in some holiday favorites!  I wanted to share with y'all some of my family's favorite holiday sweets.  Fair warning: these recipes are all for the chocoholic within!

Buck-Eyes

These are by far my favorite holiday treats.  My mom just makes them this time of the year and I can't seem to stop eating them.  I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter and this is the best tasting Reese's I have ever had!!!!  Now, I make these for Raleigh and I always catch his hand stealing one of these from the fridge :)  As the girls get older, this will be a fun recipe to make with them because it is so easy and fun!

Here's the recipe:

1 pound powdered sugar (1 box)

1 stick butter (room temperature)

1/4 bar chocolate paraffin

2 cups peanut butter (my Na Na uses crunchy but I prefer creamy)

4-5 tablespoons milk

1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Mix together sugar, peanut butter, butter, and milk using your hands and a spoon.

Roll into small balls

Let the balls sit in freezer to harden for 20-30 minutes.  Melt chocolate and paraffin in a double boiler (I use my fondue maker and it works great).  Dip balls into the melted chocolate with a toothpick.  Lay balls on wax paper to harden (I stick mine back in the freezer for another 10 minutes).  Store in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Pound Cake

I found this great cream cheese pound cake from Paula Deen and I add one cup of cocoa powder to it to make it chocolate.  It has the heaviness of a pound cake, but it is so moist and decadent.  I make this pound cake in aluminum loaf pans and give as gifts.  It is a favorite by all!

Recipe:

3 sticks butter, softened

One 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

3 cups sugar

6 large eggs

3 cups cake flour, sifted twice (must do this!!!)

1 cup cocoa, sifted twice

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan.  2. Cream the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until well combined.  Add the sugar.  Mix for 7 minutes, until fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each until blended.  Gradually add the flour, beating after each addition, until all is added and combined.  Add the salt, vanilla, and almond extract.  Mix again. 3.  Pour into prepared pan.  Hit the pan gently on the counter about five times to help settle the batter and remove any air pockets.  Bake for about 1 1/2 hours (it takes about one hour in the small loaf pans for gifts).  The cake is done when it pulls away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. 4. Remove  from the oven and let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes.  Invert the cake onto a wire rack and let cool completely before putting it on a cake plate or wrapping in aluminum foil for delivery.

Grandpa's Chocolate Cake

Whenever we would visit my grandparents in New Orleans for the holidays, my grandpa would have this chocolate cake ready for us when we arrived.  I have the greatest memories of eating this sweet treat.  This cake is not the prettiest looking cake, but it is truly delicious.  I think it is better on the second day because the icing seeps into the cake making it super moist and delicious.  Making this cake brings back fond times with my Grandpa, who was truly a wonderful cook.

Cake:

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 sticks butter

1 cup water

1/4 cup cocoa

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix the flour and sugar in a bowl.  Boil the water, butter and cocoa and pour over the dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Add the remaining ingredients and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Let cool before icing the cake.

Frosting:

1 stick butter

2 teaspoons cocoa

1/2 cup pet milk (4 ounces)

1 pound powdered sugar (one box)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the butter, cocoa, and milk and heat slowly to a boil.  Add the remaining ingredients and beat well with a mixer.  Pour over cooled cake and enjoy!

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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