Southern Holiday Cooking with Andy Bedwell


It’s holiday baking season. Baking in my kitchen has always been such a significant part of my holiday season. I love the smell of fresh cookies cooling on a rack or seeing the steam escape from a pie just out of the oven. But most of all, I love discussing recipes, which somehow always brings people together and that’s what the holidays are really all about.

Santa’s Whiskers

1 cup real butter (salted)

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup red and green candied cherries, chopped

½ cup pecans, chopped

¾ cup coconut


Use a mixer to cream butter with sugar until mixture is fluffy. Add milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in the rest of the ingredients except coconut. Shape into two logs and roll each in coconut. Cover and chill for one to two hours. Slice and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges. Coconut needs to be a little brown. Do not over bake. Bake these on parchment paper.

Andy’s Note: This cookie is just Christmas to me. It is delicious and so pretty on a tray. I usually put the dough together one day and bake the following day.


Christmas Morning Coffee Cake

1 yellow cake mix

¾ cup Crisco oil

1 (3-ounce) package of instant vanilla pudding

¾ cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 eggs

Sugar Filling:

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup chopped pecans

2 ½ teaspoon cinnamon


1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 teaspoon milk


Combine cake ingredients and beat with mixer for 2 minutes. Pour 1/3 of cake batter into greased tube pan. Sprinkle ½ of sugar filling over batter. Pour 1/3 more of cake batter into tube pan. Top with remaining sugar filling. Pour remaining cake batter over all. Bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Andy’s Note: This cake is so good to serve on Christmas morning. It can be baked now and put into the freezer.


Chocolate Rice Krispy Balls

½ cup peanut butter

3 tablespoons soft butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup Rice Krispy

½ cup chopped pecans

1 cup shredded coconut


Mix together and refrigerate for half an hour or longer and then form into balls. Return to fridge and let chill at least an hour. Melt chocolate almond bark or some semisweet chocolate chips in a double boiler. Drop balls into chocolate mixture one at a time using a fork to roll them so that the chocolate will cover. Place on a waxed cookie sheet and chill.

Andy’s Note: My family loves this candy. In fact, I am making some this morning.


Merry Christmas to you all!

Happy Cooking,


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