The green table is moving! I'll begin posting again after we're all set up in our new home!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Candy Cane Citrus Salad & Cookie Exchange

Once a month my friend Cindy invites a group of ladies to her home for a themed potluck!  Tonight is our December gathering and we are having a cookie exchange.  I love cookie exchanges!  Not only does it save the work of baking half a dozen different varieties yourself, but you also get to try tons of your friend's favorite Christmas cookies!  While I suppose we COULD just have cookies and coffee for dinner (!), everyone is also bringing a salad or hors d'oeurve to share.  My dish, Candy Cane Citrus Salad, is so simple and fun, I just had to share it with you!

I don't know about you, but this time of year we have a glut of broken candy canes sitting around the house.  Raised in the "waste not, want not" tradition, I just cannot pitch them!  Living in South Florida, we also have and abundance of citrus fruit this time of year, so I thought it would be fun to put the two together for a holiday treat! Do you remember sticking peppermint sticks in oranges as a child?  The acid in the orange must have somehow cut through the candy, because if you worked at it long enough, your peppermint stick became a straw, beautifully flavoring the juicy orange nectar! 
To make this salad, and I use the term "salad" loosely - this is definitely a dessert salad, peel and section a bowl full of your favorite orange-y citrus (clementines, oranges of all varieties, tangerines, etc) then toss with the broken shards of five mini candy canes.  Cover and set in the fridge overnight to work it's magic!  In the morning, give the oranges a stir and you'll notice the white pithy parts of the citrus sections will have softened and become almost invisible, while the candy melted into the oranges, leaving a subtly sweet and bright flavor, a slight pinkish hue, and best of all - a glistening coat!
Before serving, top with a few more bits of candy cane!  I love the festive look and nostalgic taste of this bright salad!

But what about the cookies?  Today I'll finally bake off my Stir-Up Sunday dough and make Gooey Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies! 

Hot Out of the Oven
Gooey Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies! 
Photo: Scrumptious Company
Also, for Andy, I made a double batch of Coconut Bonbons - half to take, and half for him to keep!  You need to know that these bonbons are the primary reason my husband decided he wanted to marry me!  They are a lot like little Almond Joy bites, and I don't change a thing from Emeril's recipe because he likes them so much just as they are! Click for the Coconut Bonbon recipe.

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