Cooking

Root vegetables. METRO photo

By Barbara Beltrami

With the holiday season behind us and the Omicron variant still with us and looming large, most of us have begun the new year in much the same way that we began  last year.  Hibernating and quarantining, testing and re-testing, we’ve had to hunker down once again and rely on simple creature comforts to assuage our disappointments over canceled plans and celebrations. 

Unwilling to go to the supermarket unless absolutely necessary, I’ve been logging a lot of time in the kitchen cooking whatever I have on hand, and one of those things is root vegetables stored in the coolness of my cellar to accompany roasts and be featured in salads, soups and stews. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of potatoes and learned  many new ways to cook beets, carrots and parsnips. Even radishes hidden in the back of my refrigerator’s vegetable drawer, celery root, turnips or rutabagas and leeks have found their way into some interesting new dishes.  

Root Vegetable Soup

YIELD: Makes 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS: 

1/3 cup olive oil

2 leeks, washed and sliced

3 celery ribs, cleaned and sliced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

Leaves from one large thyme sprig

1 bay leaf

3 1/2 pounds assorted root vegetables (rutabaga, turnip, potato, parsnip, carrot, celery root, golden beets) peeled and cut into one-inch chunks

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon

DIRECTIONS: 

In large pot or saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Stir in leeks and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and bay leaf, cook another minute, then add root vegetables, 2 quarts water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to simmer, cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly, remove and discard bay leaf, then puree mixture in small batches with immersion or stationary blender. Stir in lemon juice and serve with crusty bread with extra virgin olive oil.

Root Vegetable Salad with Feta

YIELD: Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS: 

1 red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges

1 sweet potato cut into bite-size pieces

1 carrot, peeled and sliced into 3/4” pieces

1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 3/4” pieces

1 small celery root, peeled and cut into 3/4” pieces

1 beet, peeled and cut into 3/4” pieces

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon prepared Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

DIRECTIONS: 

Preheat oven to 425 F. In a medium roasting pan toss vegetables with half the olive oil, salt and pepper; stirring occasionally, roast until they are tender and starting to brown, about 35 to 45 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together the remaining oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard and parsley. Add cooked vegetables, toss and top with feta. Serve warm or at room temperature with poultry or meat.

Root Vegetable and Bacon Casserole

YIELD: Makes 4 to 6 servings

INGREDIENTS: 

1/2 pound thick sliced bacon, cut into one-inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound chopped peeled carrots

1 pound chopped peeled parsnip

1 pound chopped green cabbage

1 large onion, peeled and sliced

Leaves from 3 thyme sprigs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

11/2  to  2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 large potato or sweet potato, peeled and sliced very thin

DIRECTIONS: 

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon, remove and drain on paper towels; remove all but one tablespoon melted fat and discard. Add olive oil to one tablespoon remaining fat, then add vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper and toss to thoroughly combine and coat. Cook, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are browned. 

Add broth, bring to a boil, then lower to simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in bacon, arrange potato slices on top, sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush with remaining tablespoon oil. Place under broiler and cook until potatoes are golden brown and crispy. Serve with a green salad.

Take a Bite of a Better-for-You Energy Booster

(Family Features) Whether you’re a runner, a workout warrior or simply looking for a quick pick-me-up before heading to the office, grab-and-go foods can supply the energy you need for an active day.

Skipping salty snacks and opting for nutritious options can put you ahead of the game. Due to their high carbohydrate content, sweetpotatoes provide a sustaining option both before and after exercise sessions. Plus, with antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and aid in the muscle repair process, they help both your endurance and recovery.

According to the American Diabetes Association, sweetpotatoes are a “diabetes superfood” because they are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which are good for overall health and may help prevent disease. Additionally, they offer a “sweet” flavor without the added sugar.

Another fun fact: the one-word spelling of “sweetpotato” was adopted by the National Sweetpotato Collaborators in 1989 in an effort to avoid confusion with the potato and yam among shippers, distributors, warehouse workers and consumers.

As a versatile veggie that’s easy to add to a multitude of recipes for flavor enhancement and nutritional content, they are a key ingredient in these No-Bake Sweetpotato Coconut Ginger Energy Bites from the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission. It takes just 45 minutes to turn cooked sweetpotatoes into tasty treats for much-needed fuel for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

Find more nutritious recipe ideas at ncsweetpotatoes.com.

No-Bake Sweetpotato Coconut Ginger Energy Bites

Recipe courtesy of Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN, on behalf of the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission

Total time: 45 minutes

Yield: 14 bites (1 bite per serving)

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked sweetpotato

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup peanut butter (or desired nut butter)

3 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:

In large bowl, combine sweetpotato, oats, peanut butter, honey, ginger and cinnamon; stir until well combined. Refrigerate bowl about 20 minutes to firm. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough and portion into snack-sized bites. Gently roll bites in shredded coconut and refrigerate 15-20 minutes or freeze 10 minutes. Remove from refrigerator or freezer and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 115 calories; 7 g fat (11% daily value); 3 g saturated fat (19% daily value); 1 g polysaturated fat; 2 g monosaturated fat; 49 mg sodium (2% daily value); 129 mg potassium (4% daily value); 11 g carbohydrates (4% daily value); 2 g fiber (8% daily value); 5 g sugar (6% daily value); 3 g protein (6% daily value); 1,348 IU vitamin A (27% daily value); 1 mg vitamin C (1% daily value); 11 mg calcium (1% daily value); 1 mg iron (6% daily value); 9 g net carbohydrates.

See video of recipe here: https://youtu.be/KfGXFluT6d8

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A Cheesy Winter Warm-Up

(Family Features) One of the easiest ways to warm up at the end of a winter day – both inside and out – is by sharing a comforting meal with loved ones.

Getting your whole family to the table can be surprisingly easy when a savory dish like Cheesy Spinach Ravioli awaits. This recipe offers a kid-friendly way to get a serving of greens along with favorite flavors. Originally started by an Italian mother more than 80 years ago, having a delicious jar of RAGÙ sauce in hand, with its distinctive yellow cap, can help anyone create this mouthwatering recipe and quick real-world dishes at home.

Having a go-to jar of sauce in your pantry offers an invaluable resource for at-home cooks who want to “cook like a mother” and create delicious, homemade recipes regardless of culinary skill. With a wide array of flavor varieties, the rich heritage of these familiar sauces can quickly help you make cold days feel far away while elevating everyday meals at the family table.

Visit Ragu.com to find more winter recipe inspiration.

Cheesy Spinach Ravioli

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: about 1 hour

Yield: 17-20 ravioli

Ingredients:

Dough:

3 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1 pinch salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

4 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

water

Filling:

1/2 teaspoon olive oil

2 cups chopped spinach, fresh or frozen

1 pinch salt

1 pinch pepper

1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese

Toppings:

1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÙ Old World Style Traditional Sauce

shredded mozzarella cheese

2 chopped basil leaves

2 chopped sprigs rosemary

grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

To make dough: Place 2 1/2 cups flour in bowl and make hole in center. Add salt, garlic powder, olive oil, eggs and egg yolks to hole. Slowly bring flour into middle and knead into ball. Cover with bowl and let rest 20 minutes.

To make filling: In pan over medium heat, add olive oil; add spinach, salt and pepper then saute until spinach is wilted. Let cool then mix in ricotta cheese; set aside.

Cut dough in half. Sprinkle remaining flour on large cutting board and roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into rectangle then cut into 2-3-inch squares. Set scraps aside. Brush water on squares then spoon 1 teaspoon spinach-ricotta filling in center of every other square. Top with remaining squares. Use fork to crimp edges. Repeat with remaining dough. Form scraps into ball and repeat. 

Put ravioli in boiling water, 8-10 minutes; they will rise to top when done.

In saucepan over medium heat, heat sauce until simmering.

Place ravioli on plate and top with warm sauce, mozzarella cheese, basil and rosemary. Grate Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.

See video here.

Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Peels

                                                Recipe courtesy of Brandi Milloy on behalf of Sunkist

Chocolate Dipped Candied Orange Peels

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

4 Sunkist Navel oranges
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 cup dark chocolate, melted

Directions:

Rinse and dry oranges. Slice both ends off each orange. Using paring knife, carefully score each orange in quarters then remove peel from each section, trying not to get too much pith. Slice peels into 1/4-inch strips. Add to pot and cover with water and sugar; stir. Bring to boil. Turn heat to medium-low until water reaches soft simmer. Simmer 45 minutes. Add vanilla before turning off heat and stirring. Remove peels from syrup and cool on wire rack. Roll in sugar to coat. Dry at least 4 hours, or overnight. Dip candied orange peels one at a time in dark chocolate. Place on parchment paper to set up and harden. Store in airtight container.

See video here.

The Three Village Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Brookhaven co-hosted a ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration for D.J.’s Clam Shack in Stony Brook on Dec. 15. The event was attended by Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich, Brookhaven Town Clerk Donna Lent, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn, members of the chamber and members of the community.

The new location at 1007 Route 25A is the company’s fourth on Long Island, including East Northport, Wantagh and Huntington in addition to two Florida locations in Key West and Indian Shores. The Key West restaurant was featured on the Food Channel program, “Diners, Drive-Ins’ and Dives.” 

Owner Paul Riggio was presented with Certificates of Congratulations from the chamber, Town and County .

The new, traditional quick-service restaurant has a diverse menu of seafood, chicken and drinks with an option to dine-in or take out. 

“Congratulations to D.J.’s Clam Shack on your grand opening. We are so happy to welcome you to our community. Thank you to Paul and the rest of the staff for ‘overstuffing’ us with your delicious lobster roll,” said Councilmember Kornreich.

“It was great to join in welcoming D.J.’s Clam Shack to the Stony Brook community.  After the last two years, it is wonderful to celebrate the opening of a new business in Brookhaven Town. I believe D.J.’s will quickly become a neighborhood favorite,” added Town Clerk Lent. 

For more information, call 631-675-9669 or visit www.djsclamshack.com.

Cranberry-Orange-Walnut Bread

By Barbara Beltrami

If you’re looking for last minute gifts or just something to have with a glass of wine or eggnog if the neighbors drop in, think about baking some tea loaves. They’re easy to make and don’t require the attention that cookies do. You just mix the batter and pop them in the oven for an hour or so while you wrap some gifts or write some Christmas cards. 

If you’re giving them as gifts, pick up some colorful cellophane and wrap them in that, then tie them up in some nice ribbon or raffia. If you’re keeping them to serve during the holidays, just wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and slice as needed. 

My all-time favorite for the holidays is Cranberry-Orange-Walnut Bread, but I also like one made with good strong Earl Grey Tea. Another one that everybody loves, that’s as pretty as it is delicious is Citrus-Turmeric Tea Bread. If there’s somebody special you’d really like to make happy, make all three.

Cranberry-Orange-Walnut Bread

YIELD: Makes one loaf

INGREDIENTS: 

Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup orange juice

1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large egg, well beaten, melted

1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, washed and coarsely chopped

2/3 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS: 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a medium-large bowl thoroughly combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. Add the orange juice and zest, butter and egg and stir well; fold in the cranberries and nuts. Transfer to loaf pan and bake approximately one hour, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with wine, tea, eggnog, coffee or punch.

Earl Grey Tea Loaf

YIELD: Makes one loaf

INGREDIENTS: 

2 Earl Grey tea bags

1 1/4 cups boiling water

1 1/2 cups prunes, chopped

1/2 cup sultana raisins

2 large eggs

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest

2 1/2 cups flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS: 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9” x 5” loaf pan with parchment. In a small bowl, steep tea bags in boiling water for at least 10 minutes; discard tea bags and place prunes and raisins in tea;  steep another 10 minutes. In a large bowl  vigorously whisk eggs; add prunes and raisins. Lightly stir in the brown sugar and orange zest. 

In a medium bowl thoroughly combine flour, baking powder and salt, then fold into tea mixture; pour into prepared loaf pan and smooth with rubber spatula; bake approximately an hour, then cool on wire rack. Remove from pan and let cool another hour on wire rack. Serve with butter or cream cheese.

Citrus-Turmeric Tea Loaf

YIELD: Makes one loaf

INGREDIENTS: 

Nonstick cooking spray

1 1/2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest

1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 navel orange, sliced thin

DIRECTIONS: 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9” x 5” loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line it with parchment and leave a little overhang for lifting the loaf out of the pan. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and turmeric. In a medium bowl thoroughly combine the lemon zest with the one cup sugar; whisk in sour cream, eggs and lemon juice; fold in melted butter; add wet mixture to dry mixture, stirring just until blended. 

Scrape mixture into prepared loaf pan and smooth top. Lay orange slices over top, sprinkle with remaining two tablespoons sugar and bake 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean. Serve with lemon or orange sorbet.

Pixabay photo

By Barbara Beltrami

Pomegranates are such a holiday treat for eating as well as decorating. They’re expensive (what isn’t?) and their prep, scooping out the seeds, is also labor intensive and messy. However, you can buy the seeds in a container and just decorate with the pomegranates themselves whose rich red color makes a lovely holiday arrangement when they are scattered among evergreen branches. And not only are pomegranates lovely and delicious, but they are thought to have many health benefits. I like to use the seeds and/or juice in Christmas punches, green salads, and desserts, but there are so many ways to use them in all sorts of dishes from ethnic to traditional.

Champagne-Pomegranate Punch 

Champagne-Pomegranate Punch

YIELD: Makes 12 servings

INGREDIENTS: 

1 quart pomegranate juice

2 cups orange juice (no pulp)

2 cups chilled pink lemonade

1 1/2 cups pomegranate seeds

One 750 ml bottle chilled champagne

Lime slices for garnish

Crushed ice

DIRECTIONS: 

In a nice pretty sparkly punch bowl combine the pomegranate juice, orange juice, lemonade and pomegranate seeds; pour in champagne and float lime slices on top. Ladle into punch cups filled 1/3 way with crushed ice. Serve with hors d’oeuvres.

Green Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette

YIELD: Makes 6 to 8 servings

INGREDIENTS: 

1 head romaine lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces

1 Belgian endive, washed and sliced

4 cups baby arugula, washed and dried

1/4 cup champagne vinegar

1/4 cup pomegranate juice

1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup pomegranate seeds

1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked and finely chopped

DIRECTIONS: 

In a large salad bowl combine the romaine lettuce, Belgian endive, and arugula. Cover and refrigerate up to 6 hours, but let sit at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving. In a small bowl, vigorously whisk together the champagne vinegar, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, orange juice, orange zest, salt and pepper. Pour in olive oil gradually while continuing to whisk until mixture forms an emulsion. When ready to serve salad, dress with vinegar and oil mixture, toss, then sprinkle pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts on top and serve immediately with crusty bread and soft cheeses.

Chocolate – Pomegranate Tart 

YIELD: Makes 10 to 12 servings

INGREDIENTS: 

One 9” pie crust

1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/4 pound semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 stick unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Sea salt to taste

DIRECTIONS: 

Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a 9” round tart pan. Press pie crust into sides and bottom of pan; prick all over with tines of a dinner fork; cover with aluminum foil gently molded to shape of pan; weight with pie weights or uncooked beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. 

Meanwhile in a large heatproof bowl combine the chocolate and butter. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, sugar and salt; stirring frequently, cook until mixture reaches a gentle simmer, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stirring constantly, pour cream mixture into chocolate mixture until chocolate and butter are melted and mixture has achieved a smooth consistency; pour into tart shell and refrigerate until filling just starts to set, about 30 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds, walnuts and sea salt on top of filling and refrigerate at least two hours or until completely set. Serve with crème fraîche and an assortment of liqueurs.

Caramel Sticky Rolls

A straightforward weekend breakfast

(Culinary.net) There are no alarms set and you are cuddled up in bed after a good night’s sleep. It’s late morning and there is nowhere to go, no rushing around to do. No school bus, no work to be done, just relaxing at home with loved ones. However, breakfast is calling your name.

Your stomach rumbles as your stumble toward the kitchen. You need something quick and effortless. The kids will be up soon and you know food will be on their minds.

When you’re in a pinch, there is nearly nothing better to make than something sweet and filling for a weekend family breakfast.

Try these simple and delicious Caramel Sticky Rolls for an easy breakfast for all. The rolls are fluffy, a little crunchy and drizzled with caramel topping. If you like your rolls super sweet, drizzle with some extra caramel sauce. The result is a pan full of warm, gooey and delightful rolls that are perfect for a large family or to save leftovers to enjoy throughout the week.

Next time you slept in a little too late or your family wants something more than the daily norm for breakfast, try this scrumptious and tasty recipe.

Your family will love it and don’t be surprised if you get a request or two for this breakfast again.

Caramel Sticky Rolls

YIELD: Serves 9

INGREDIENTS:

Nonstick cooking spray

flour, for rolling pastry

1 frozen puff pastry, thawed

caramel sauce, divided

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

Heat oven to 400 F. Spray muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle flour on work surface. Flatten pastry sheet and roll into rectangle. Drizzle caramel sauce over pastry and spread within 1/2 inch of edges. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over caramel sauce. Starting on short end, evenly roll pastry with filling to other end. Cut pastry into nine pieces. Place pastries cut side up into muffin cups. Bake 22 minutes, or until golden brown. Immediately remove from pan to wire rack. Let cool 10 minutes. Drizzle with additional caramel sauce and dust with powdered sugar.

See video of recipe here.

Allergy Free Sugar Cookies. Photo from Stop & Shop
Allergy Friendly Sugar Cookies
Are you looking for the perfect holiday cookie recipe that can be made allergy free? Look no further than these delicious allergy friendly sugar cookies, courtesy of Stop & Shop!
YIELD: Makes 36 cookies
INGREDIENTS:
2 sticks plant-based buttery sticks (1 cup), softened
1 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons oat milk, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Assorted food gels
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
DIRECTIONS:
  1. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat buttery sticks and granulated sugar 3 minutes or until fluffy, scraping down bowl occasionally. Add 3 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract; beat 2 minutes or until incorporated, scraping down bowl occasionally. Add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt; beat 1 minute or until just incorporated.
  2. Transfer dough to work surface; divide into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece to 1/4-inch thick between 2 sheets parchment paper; stack dough on rimmed baking pan and freeze 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°; line 3 rimmed baking pans with parchment paper. Place chilled dough on work surface; remove parchment paper. With winter-themed cookie cutters, carefully cut out cookies; transfer cookies to 2 prepared pans, 2 inches apart. Bake cookies 10 minutes or until set and edges are lightly browned, rotating pans halfway through baking; cool cookies on pans 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely. Gather dough scraps, roll out between 2 sheets parchment paper and freeze 30 minutes; cut out and bake cookies on remaining prepared pan as directed above. Makes about 36 cookies.
  4. In medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar, cream of tartar and remaining 2 tablespoons milk. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.
  5. Divide icing into smaller bowls; add color gels to create desired colors. Transfer icing to piping bags with small round tips.
  6. In small microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in microwave oven on high 1 minute or until melted, stirring every 20 seconds; stir in oil. Transfer chocolate mixture to piping bag; snip tip of piping bag with kitchen scissors to make small hole.
  7. Decorate cookies with desired icing colors, chocolate and sprinkles, if desired; let dry at room temperature 6 hours or up to overnight. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Peanut Butter Saltine Candy

Holiday Sweets Made to Share

(Family Features) Among the decorations, gifts and gatherings of loved ones, there’s perhaps nothing quite like family favorite foods that call to mind the joy of the holidays. Whether your loved ones relish building gingerbread houses or dining on an all-in feast, looking forward to annual traditions is part of what makes the season so special.

This year, you can add to the fun with a new annual activity by creating a delightful dessert with the help of little ones and adults alike. With an easy recipe like Peanut Butter Saltine Candy that calls for just a handful of ingredients, you can get the whole family involved in the kitchen.

Ask your little helpers to measure out ingredients while a grownup prepares the pan and uses the stove. Once the base is finished baking, call the kids back to sprinkle chocolate chips and peanut butter chips over the top.

After your candy creation is cooled, just break it into pieces meant to be shared with the entire family. An added benefit: all can enjoy the nutrient-rich flavor of peanuts, which rise to superfood status by delivering 19 vitamins and minerals and 7 grams of protein per serving.

Find more holiday recipes at gapeanuts.com.

Peanut Butter Saltine Candy

Yield: 45 pieces

Ingredients:

Nonstick cooking spray (butter flavor)

1 sleeve (4 ounces) regular saltine crackers

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2 cups milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup peanut butter chips

1/2 cup rough chopped, dry roasted peanuts

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line 10-by-15-by-1-inch pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray then lay saltines flat in single layer on prepared pan. Set aside.

In heavy duty, 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, peanut butter and sugar. Stir constantly until butter and sugar are melted, bringing mixture to boil. Boil 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour cooked mixture over saltines and bake 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips over saltines. Let cool 3 minutes then spread melted chocolate completely over saltines.

Sprinkle peanut butter chips evenly over chocolate. Return pan to oven 1 minute to soften chips. Pull pointed tines of fork through softened peanut butter chips to partially cover chocolate. Sprinkle chopped peanuts on top, gently pressing into candy.

Let cool on rack about 15 minutes then place in freezer 3 minutes. Remove from freezer and break into pieces. Store in airtight container.

See video for recipe here.