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3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter

2 tbsp water

24 oz semisweet chocolate chips, divided

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 tbsp shortening

Red and green M&M candies, red and green gumdrops, melted white baking chocolate or other Christmas candies

In a saucepan bring the sugar, water and butter to a boil over medium heat. Remove from heat. Stir 1 cup chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, salt and baking soda, stir into chocolate mixture. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips. Pour into greased 9 inch square pan. Bake at 325 for 35 minutes or until set. Cool completely. Place in the freezer for 30-40 minutes (do not freeze completely). Cut into bars.

In a heavy saucepan or microwave, melt remaining chocolate chips with shortening, stir until smooth. Using a fork, dip brownies until completely coated. Shake off excess. Place brownies on wax paper lined baking sheets. Immediately decorate with M&M's or other toppings as desired, or drizzle with melted white chocolate. Let stand until set. Store in a plastic storage container in a cool place. 64 brownie bites.

TIP: To save time you could use bakery brownies instead of the recipe above, freeze, slice, dip in melted chocolate and decorate yourself.



1 10 oz jar red raspberry or strawberry preserves

2 tbsp water

1 10 oz jar lemon curd

1 10 inch prepared angel food cake

1 8 oz carton Cool Whip, thawed

3/4 cup confectioners sugar

fresh or frozen raspberries or strawberries, optional

In a small bowl, mix preserves and water until smooth, set aside. Split cake in half horizontally (see tip below). Spread lemon curd over bottom layer of cake. Add the top layer. Blend half the preserve mixture with the whipped topping and confectioners sugar. Frost cake. Drizzle remaining mixture over top of cake. Garnish with berries if desired.

TIP: The easiest way to cut cakes horizontally is to use unwaxed dental floss. Cut a piece of floss about twice the width of the cake. Take the floss in both your hands and place the floss against the back side of the cake and pull it quickly toward you - voila, a horizontally cut cake!



1 tbsp butter, softened

1 tbsp light corn syrup

1/2 tsp mint extract

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup confectioners sugar

1 drop blue food coloring

1 drop yellow food coloring

1 drop red food coloring

Colored sprinkles and cake decorator candies

In a small bowl, combine butter, corn syrup, extract and salt. Graduall stir in confectioners sugar. Knead by hand for 1-2 minutes or until mixture becomes pliable.

To 1 tbsp of dough add blue food coloring, knead until blended. Add yellow food coloring to another tbsp of dough and knead. Add red food coloring to another tbsp of dough and knead. Leave remaining dough white.

Roll white dough into a log; remove 1/4 of the log and set aside. For the snowmen's body, divide the remaining log into 8 pieces and roll into balls. For the snowmen's heads, divide the reserved dough into 8 pieces and roll into balls. Stack 1 smaller ball on top of each larger ball. Use the colored dough to form hats, scarves and earmuffs as desired. Use colored sprinkles and candies to make eyes, nose and buttons. 8 snowmen.



1 roll refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough

36 miniature peanut butter cups, unwrapped

Break off 36 pieces of refrigerated cookie dough and roll into 1 inch balls. Place in greased miniature muffin cups. Press dough evenly onto bottom and up sides of each cup. Bake at 350 for 11-12 minutes or until set. Immediately place a peanut butter cup in the center of each cup; press down gently. Cool for 10 minutes, carefully remove cookie cups from pans. 3 dozen cookies



1 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time,k beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda, gradually adding to the creamed mixture. Stir in crushed candies. Shape into 15 inch roll, wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.

Unwrap and cut into 1/8 inch slices. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 375 for 6-8 minutes or until edges begin to brown. 6 dozen cookies



1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup cold water

1 3.9 oz package instant chocolate pudding

1-2 tbsp instant coffee granules

2 cups whipped topping

2 3 oz packages ladyfingers

Raspberries, fresh mint, and grated chocolate, optional

In a large mixing bowl, beat milk, water, pudding mix and coffee granules on medium speed for 2 minutes or until thickcned. Fold in whipped topping.

Break lady fingers into cubes; place half in a 2 quart glass bowl. Top with half of the pudding mixture. Repeat layers. Garnish with raspberries, mint and chocolate if desired. Store in refrigerator. 6-8 servings.



2 1/2 cups butter, softened

4 cups sugar

4 eggs

4 tsp vanilla extract

4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups baking cocoa

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 12 oz package miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1 16 oz jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamsed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls 3 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets. Top each with a cherry half. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes or until edges are firm. 6 1/2 dozen cookies.



1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup miniature semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 1/2 lbs semisweet candy coating, chopped

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the flour, milk and vanilla, mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips and walnuts. Shape into 1 inch balls, place on wax paper lined baking sheets. Loosely cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until firm.

In microwave melt candy coating, stirring often until smooth. Dip balls in coating; place on wax paper lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. If desired, re-melt remaining candy coating and drizzle over candies. Store in Ziploc bag in refrigerator. 5 1/2 dozen truffles.



1/2 cup butter

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup old fashioned or quick cooking oats

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup red raspberry preserves

In a mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add flour, oats and baking powder and beat until crumbly. Reserve 1/4 crumb mixture, set aside. Pat remaining crumb mixture into 8 in. or 9 in square baking pan. Spoon teaspoonfuls of raspberry preserves over crumb mixture. Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely, cut into bars. 9 bars.



1 1/2 cups cold milk

1 3.9 oz pkg instant chocolate pudding

1 tbsp instant coffee granules

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped, divided

1 10 inch prepared angel food cake

2 Heath candy bars, crushed

In a large mixing bowl, combine milk, pudding and coffee. Beat on low speed for 2 minutes or until thickened. Fold in half of the whipped heavy whipping cream. Cut cake in half horizontally, place bottom on a serving plate. Spread with half the pudding mixture. Top with remaining cake layer.

Fold remaining whipped cream into remaining pudding mixture. Spread over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with crushed candy bars. Chill 2 hours before serving. 10-12 servings.



1 cup gingersnap crumbs (about 18 cookies)

2 tbsp butter

1 8 oz package of reduced fat cream cheese

1 8 oz package of fat free cream cheese

1/3 plus 1/4 cup sugar, divided

2 tsp all purpose flour

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 large, ripe pears, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 for 4-8 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack.

In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheeses until smooth. Beat in 1/3 cup sugar, flour and vanilla. Add eggs, beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust.

In a small bowl, combine the pears, cinnamon and remaining sugar, arrange pear slices over cream cheese mixture. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until almost set. Immediately run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove sides of pan. Refrigerate leftovers. 8 servings.




2 quarts club soda

1 lime, thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh cranberries


1 10 oz jar lime curd

1 64 oz bottle cranberry juice cocktail

1 16 oz can pineapple juice

1 liter ginger ale

Place 3 cups of club soda in a ring mold. Arrange lime slices and cranberry in soda. Freeze until solid.

Place lime curd in a bowl and stir vigorously until softened. Slowly add cranberry juice cocktail and pineapple juice. Transfer to punch bowl. Just before serving add ginger ale and remaining club soda to punch bowl. Unmold ice ring and add to punch bowl. 20 servings



1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg yolk

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

4-8 drop sred food coloring

36 chocolate kisses

In a large m ixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the egg yolk and extracts; mix well. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Divide dough in half; tint one portion red. Divide each into four portions. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Shape each portion into 9 inch log. Place one red log next to one white log, twist gently to create one swirled roll. Roll gently until roll becomes one logg. Repeat with remaining dough. Cut each log into 9 slices, roll each into a ball. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Flatten slightly with a glass. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until edges are lightly browned. Press chocolate kisses into the center of warm cookies, cool. 3 dozen cookies



3/4 cup butter,softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt, divided

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips

1/4 cup light corn syrup

2 tbsp shortening

1 tbsp water

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

In a large mixing bowl, fream butter and brown sugar. Beat in the egg yolk, vanilla and 1/4 tsp salt, stir in flour. Spread evenly into a greased 13 x 9 baking pan. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl combine the butterscotch chips, corn syrup, shortening, water and remaining salt. Cover and microwave at 50$ power until melted, stirring every 30 seconds. Spread over crust. Sprinkle with almonds. Refrigerate until set before cutting. About 4 dozen.



1 tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened

1 cup (8 oz) sour cream

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 12 oz jar strawberry preserves

Cut cookie dough into 25 slices. Arrange side by side in ungreased 13 x 9 pan. Pat together to close gaps. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar. Add egg and vanilla, mix well. Spread preservers over warm crust. Carefully spread cream cheese mixture over preserves. Bake 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool, cut into bars. Refrigerate leftovers. 2 dozen.



9 whole graham crackers

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


3 8 oz pkgs cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp ground cinnamon

3/4 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp salt

4 eggs, lightly beaten

2 cups (16 oz) sour cream


1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tbsp confectioners sugar

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Place graham crackers and walnuts i a food processor; cover and process until nuts are finely chopped. Add butter and cinnamon, process until blended. Press onto the bottom and 2 inches up side of a greased 9 inch springform pan, set aside.

For filling, in a mixing bowl beat cream cheese, sugars, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and salt until smooth. Add eggs, beat on low speed just until combined. Add sour cr eam, beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes, or until center is almost set. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Carefully run knife around edge of pan to loosen, cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

Remove sides of pan. For topping, in a small mixing bowl eat cream until it begins to thicken. Add confectioners sugar, beat until soft peaks form. Transfer to to a pastry bag. Pipe around edges of cheesecake, sprinle with cinnamon.



In honor of
Jeffery and Josh Mixon and Jeff Snell

Precious Moments graphics by: Suzy's Home of Graphics