The holidays are near and already here for some. There is much hustle and bustle in the Coolibar building: treats on the corner of every desk, talk of presents and of course the Coolibar holiday party! This year, our employees wanted to share their ways to get into the holiday spirit with you – including their favorite part of the holiday season, their ultimate gifting wish, and infamous holiday cookie and treat recipes!
Pat in Customer Service: My favorite part of the holiday season is spending more time with family and friends; and all of the beautiful lights and decorations.
If money was no object, I would give to Mary Jo Copeland of Sharing and Caring Hands – she is tops on my list if I ever win the lottery!
40 saltine crackers
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 cup light brown sugar
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/3 cups)
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a large jellyroll pan with alumi¬num foil and the saltine crackers.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour over the crackers, covering them evenly. Put the jellyroll pan into the oven and watch closely. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes, or until just bubbly. Remove from the oven and pour the chocolate chips over the crackers. When the chips melt a bit, spread them over the crackers with a knife. Transfer the pan to the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until completely cold. They will form one big sheet. Break up into pieces. Store in an airtight container.
Substitute graham crackers for the saltines for a sweeter snack. Use 1 stick of butter instead of 2 for a crunchier, saltier cracker.
Use anywhere from 35 to 45 saltine crackers, depending on the size of your pan.
I used milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet once because that’s what I had on hand. They tasted great, too.
Alan in Marketing: My favorite part of the holiday season is getting out the Christmas decorations and decorating the house. It is fun to remember who gave us the decorations, what we were doing at that time in our lives, and to prepare the house to make new Christmas memories.
If money was no object, I would give continued good health to my family.
1/4 cup butter
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 eggs, beaten
1 (10.5 ounce) package rainbow colored miniature marshmallows
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar for decoration
Melt together the butter and chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave. Stir to blend, then stir in the eggs, colored marshmallows and pecans.
Pour the mixture into a 9×5 inch loaf pan, lined with foil. Dust with powdered sugar and refrigerate until firm.
Remove chilled dough from loaf pan, remove the foil, and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Cookies resemble stained glass windows. Note: pregnant women, young children, the elderly and the ill should not consume raw eggs.
Kara in Creative:
My Favorite Recipe is: Purist’s Lefse
5lbs White Russet Potatoes (yes, the type of potato is important).
Peel and cook. Mash whilst still warm, and add to the mash:
1 Stick of Butter
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2-3 Tablespoons Heavy Whipping Cream
Cool mixture overnight. The NEXT DAY Add:
3 Cups of Flour to every 9 cups of potatoes.
Work flower in with hands.
Scoop out potato dough in balls slightly larger than a golf ball – approximately 1/3 cup. Keep the rest of the dough cool.
Roll out the ball of dough thin and round – use plenty of flour.
Bake on 450 degree griddle until brown spots appear – a couple of minutes. Pull off the grill and fold in half (use the flipper) and lay between 2 clothes (generally, cotton flour sack rags).
Kelly in Customer Service: My favorite part of the holiday season is decorating and attending fun events like the Holidazzle Parade, Macys display, seeing all the Christmas lights, etc.
If money was no object, I would buy my boyfriend Noah who is a chef this cookbook set he is dying to buy: Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking (over $500!)
Preheat oven at 350 degrees –
¼ Cup Butter
Melt in the 9” X 13” pan in the oven
Place 1 can of Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk into a bowl with hot water (do NOT open the can until later step)
1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 Cup Coconut
1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Butterscotch Chips
Add graham cracker crumbs, coconut, chocolate and butterscotch chips (separate layers).
Pour warmed milk over the top.
Layer 1 cup of Heath brand toffee chips and then 1 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans). Gently press the toffee chips and nuts into the milk layer.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Score the edges with still hot. Cut squares into the pan while still warm. Remove bars when completely cooled.
Chrissi in Customer Service: My favorite part of the holiday season is spending time with friends and family.
I have a few friends who are working overseas with various organizations and have to raise support to be there. If money was no object, it would be awesome to be able to cover what they need to alleviate some stress and allow them to focus on their work. If money were no object, I would also buy everyone in Minnesota a shovel and some quality boots for shoveling your car out of the snow.
My Favorite Recipe is: Almond Glazed Poppy Seed Bread
3 cups flour, all-purpose
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons liquid butter flavoring
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
Combine ingredients and beat with mixer 2 minutes.
Pour into 2 large or 5 small greased loaf pans.
Bake large loaves for 1 hr. and smaller ones for about 25 min. Or until brown. Cool 10 min and remove from pans.
To make almond glaze, mix ingredients together until sugar dissolves. Spoon glaze generously over tops and sides.
Ben in Merchandising: I love snowy pine trees during this time of year.
If money were no object, I would give free surgery to those most in need.
Jennifer in Marketing: My favorite part of the holiday season is being with friends and family. I also love watching my loved ones open a gift that I have specially chosen for them, and they really love it.
If money was no object, I would give my mother a new car/truck. She needs something with 4 wheel drive to get through all the snow in ND.
My Favorite Recipe is: the classic Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookie and I still like to eat the dough.
Heather in Customer Service: My favorite part of the holiday is sitting around the tree on Christmas Eve with my family playing board games and sipping on hot chocolate.
My Favorite Recipe is: Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies. You have to use the chocolate stars, not the chocolate kisses.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Coolibar!