Recipes bring the Christmas to life

Overnight Egg Casserole

From C.J. Gish

  • 4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1 cups cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies
  • ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Salsa for serving (optional)

In a greased 8-inch square baking dish, layer the hash browns, ham, chilies and cheeses, In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the layers. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

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Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 60 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand for 5-10 minutes. Serve with salsa if desired.

Yield: 9 servings

Cook’s note: The recipe can be doubled. Make a doubled mixture in a 9-by-13-inch pan and increase cooking time to 90 minutes.

Lydia’s Lubkuchen

From J.C. Derrick (recipe passed down from J.C.’s great-great grandmother Marie, who brought it from Germany in the 1860s)

  • ⅓ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 bar (4 oz.) of German sweet chocolate, grated*
  • ½ cup Brer Rabbit light syrup
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 ½ cups flour

Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, grated chocolate and syrup. Then add pecans, vanilla and allspice. Mix in flour until the dough is thick enough to spread in a 10 x 15 x ½ inch pan or baking sheet. Bake until brown and when your finger is pressed on them they spring up.

Cook’s note: Use only German sweet chocolate. Do not substitute.

Nana’s Snickerdoodles

From Camille Broadway

  • 1 cup mixture of vegetable shortening and butter*
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

For the dredge:

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Shift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Combine the dredge ingredients in a separate small bowl. Cream shortening and butter mixture with sugar. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture until fully incorporated.

Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls then roll the balls in the dredge mixture. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Dough will flatten in the oven, no need to press flat. Bake until lightly browned but still soft – about 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 5 dozen cookies.

Cook’s note: My grandmother’s mixture of shortening to butter wasn’t a strict half and half. When I make it, I use about two-thirds to three-fourths shortening to one-third to one-quarter butter to get the cookies the texture I’m looking for.

Cheese Wafers

From Camille Broadway

  • 1 pound butter or margarine
  • 1 pound sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ to 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

Cream together butter and cheese. Add flour, salt, cayenne pepper and paprika. Mix well. Chill for an hour. Separate the dough into four roughly equal pieces then roll each piece of the dough into a tube shape about 1 inch in diameter. Wrap the rolls in plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate 24 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice rolls into ¼ inch thick segments. Place onto a baking sheet. Bake for approximately 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan before moving to a cooling rack.

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