This post first appeared on USA Today Happy Ever After Blog on December 8th. Click here to see the original post.
Raine: Hey, how’s it going? Thanks for stopping by today and over the last year to check out what’s cooking in the Roost. A huge “thank you” to Joyce Lamb, who’s allowed me to do a baker’s dozen worth of recipe takeovers since last December on her column (you can find all my recipe posts here.) Sharing recipes and some snippets about my life with Jillian pre- and post-Caught Up in Raine has been a blast! Thanks for all your support; I truly appreciate it. For real.
I’ll be wrapping up my gig here with a McNally family (Jillian’s maiden name) favorite for Christmas. I put today’s recipe choice to a vote with Jillian, my niece Jenny (Ha! Still feel funny calling her that since she’s only two years younger than me), and her sister Kitty, and they chose this one. If you’ve been following my column, you know I steer toward the healthier side of food. But with something like this, there weren’t a lot of healthy places I could go with butter and sugar. Still, that didn’t stop me from dropping my stamp on the recipe.
When Jillian and Kitty were growing up, their favorite Christmas cookies were these neon green holly cookies made with marshmallows, Cornflakes and red-hot candies. Yikes! I know, I know, they taste good. I’m just sayin’ that food that green should be outlawed. Since the old-time dyes (Ow! Jillian just pinched me for using “old-time”), as I was saying, some of the dyes used when Jillian and Kitty were kids have been banned and taken off the market. Anyway, I opted for a natural food coloring, along with using Total cereal, which is enriched with vitamins. The bad news? As you can see, that didn’t work out so well in the color department. The good news? According to the judge’s panel, they said they tasted just as good.
Tip for cleanup: Hot water will soak off residual marshmallow from the pan. So let some Christmas music rip and get in the holiday mood …
Not-so-green holly cookies
½ cup (equals 1 stick) of butter
32 large marshmallows (I used jet-puffed, campfire are good, too.)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons of green food coloring (Use the traditional dye if you want them greener.)
3½ cups of Total cereal (or cornflakes)
Cinnamon candies (in the aisle with the baking goods)
In a large, deep pan, melt butter first over medium heat.
Add marshmallows and melt them with the butter, stirring constantly and mixing.
Add vanilla and food coloring, and stir to mix.
Add cereal and stir until flakes are covered.
Scoop them out in small bunches onto waxed paper (use some cooking spray to grease it first).
Decorate each bunch with three candies each, press on so they stick.
Let them cool and set. (I put them in the fridge for 15 minutes)
That’s all there is to it. Sugary, marshmallowy fun.
So, this wraps it up for me. Hope to see you all back here on Happy Ever After again at some point. Until then, happy cooking. Thanks for all your support and readership, and for those of you who have enjoyed Jillian and my story in the Caught Up in Raine Collection. There’s more of the McNally legacy coming next year, with Jenny’s and Kitty’s stories. I’ve gotten an inside look, and you won’t be disappointed. Jillian and I will be making some appearances.
A parting message from both Jillian and I: We wish you your own happy ever after!
Happy Holidays to you and yours!
Find out more about author LG O’Connor and her books atwww.lgoconnor.com.