This week we welcome Merrillee Whren to Author Memories.
Born in South Dakota, she’s lived in several states both before and during her marriage, and currently resides on an island off the Florida coast. When she’s not writing, she enjoys walking on the beach, playing tennis and bridge or doing a little yard work.
Merrillee almost quit during 20 years of writing, rewriting, rejections and unkind critiques, but didn’t. Through that time, she believed God was teaching her a lesson in perseverance. Her current release is her 11th published novel.
Christmas Recipes Create Memories
by Merrillee Whren
CHOCOLATE CARAMEL CANDY
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups white corn syrup
2 cups cream
3 squares bitter chocolate
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup butter (not margarine)
2 tsps vanilla
Directions: Put sugar, syrup, butter and one cup cream in a kettle and bring to a boil. When it is boiling briskly, add the other cup of cream a little at a time so mixture keeps boiling. Boil until a thread of the mixture is brittle in cold water. Take from the fire and add chocolate pieces and nuts. Beat until chocolate is all melted. Stir in vanilla. Pour into a shallow, buttered pan to cool. After cooling, remove from pan and cut into one-inch squares.
This second recipe came from my husband's side of the family. He makes this special nut roll every year. The recipe came from his father's Slavic family.
Dough: Make hot roll mix or use dairy case bread dough.
1 pound light brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 large can evaporated milk
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon maple flavor
4 cups finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup coconut
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Mix sugar, flour, milk and butter and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Fold in remainder of ingredients. Let mixture cool slightly before spreading on the rolled-out dough.
Make hot roll mix or use dairy case bread dough. Roll out dough on floured board in shape of a rectangle approximately 14 by 10 inches. (Dough will be about 1/4 inch thick.) Spread filling over dough and roll up like a jellyroll. Pinch ends to hold filling. Place on a cookie sheet (two per sheet) with greased aluminum foil strips between loaves to keep them from running into each other. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter as soon as removed from the oven.
This third recipe is for sugar cookies that come from my mother’s old cookbook that is now falling apart, but the cookies are a favorite of anyone who has tasted them. They are perfect for decorating.
Basic Sugar Cookies
4 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
1 ½ cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cream together shortening and sugar; add egg and beat until smooth and fluffy. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and milk alternately. Chill dough until easy to handle. Roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness on a floured board. Cut with cookie cutter.
Place on cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 6 to 10 minutes.
What are your favorite Christmas treat memories?
Leave a comment with a valid email address by midnight,
Jan 1st to be entered to win a copy of Merrillee's novel,
Love Walked In*** (see below), Book 2 of the Pinecrest series.
Montana Match, Love Inspired, Dec 20, 2011
Pinecrest series, Book 4
Nanny to six-year-old twin girls isn’t exactly the position Brittany Gorman*** is looking for. But she needs a job. And the twins’ struggling single dad, rancher Parker Watson, needs all the help he can get. Soon Brittany is not only assisting the girls, but also helping Parker make peace with his past. It seems Brittany’s finally found a place to belong. And with two little matchmakers on the loose, there’s no telling what the future holds. As her time on the ranch runs out, can Brittany and Parker find the strength to face that future—together?
***Brittany Gordon was first introduced as a 'troubled teen' in Book 2 of the Pinecrest series, which is the book Merrillee is giving away this week...
Getting close to new neighbor Clay Reynolds was not a consideration for Beth Carlson. The single mom had her hands full with her troubled teen and had no time for romance, especially since Clay’s stay in Pinecrest was only temporary. Besides, she’d learned long ago that love didn’t last. Sure, Clay was good to her son—and to her. He encouraged her to reconcile with her parents and helped her with her faith issues. But she could never give her heart to a motorcycle-riding man again. Or could she?
The Pinecrest series:
Book 1 - The Heart's Homecoming, Aug 2005
Book 2 - Love Walked In, Dec 2006 (Giveaway book)
Book 3 - The Heart's Forgiveness, July 2007
Book 4 - Montana Match, Dec 20, 2011 (Current release Featured Book)
at the following sites: