The packages are all wrapped and those that need to be shipped are on their way or will be by Wednesday.  So, now it would normally be time to turn to the kitchen and start preparing the plates for the neighbors. This year with no kitchen, it was appetizers for a block party on the 17th.

This is truly my favorite holiday to cook for.  I try to add a few new goodies each year that I bake for “Neighbor” plates.

Last year I added:

  • Lemon Oatmeal Bars
  • 4 Layer caramel crunch nougat brownies
  • Chunky Monkeys
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars with chocolate.

Here are a few of our favorites from year’s past:

This recipe is sooooooooooooooooo simple, but messy! Have fun making them. They are quite rich though – be forewarned!  The centers will turn to a clear sugary liquid in a day or so.

1 cup butter, melted
1 can sweetened condensed milk
3 pounds confectioners sugar (about 8 cups)
3-10 ounce jars maraschino cherries(about 120 cherries), really well drained
1-2 pounds milk chocolate candy coating, chopped (I used almond bark)

  • Combine butter and milk until smooth.
  • Gradually add in confectioner’s sugar until a soft dough forms.
  • Roll into 1 inch balls and flatten into 2 inch circles.
  • Place a cherry in the center of each one.
  • Wrap sides around cherry until cherry is completely covered and roll into a smooth ball.
  • Melt chocolate until smooth and dip each ball into the chocolate.
  • Place on wax paper until cool and sprinkle with sprinkles.
  • Cool well.
2008 Neighbor Plates

1 regular package Oreos
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
Almond Bark
Candy Decorations

  • Crush Oreos in food processor
  • With hand mixer, mix together the Oreo crumbs and cream cheese
  • Roll into small balls.
  • Put balls into freezer for 5 minutes.
  • Melt Almond bark in small batches.
  • Coat each ball in almond bark.
  • Immediately decorate.
  • Let harden.

Ritz crackers
creamy peanut butter
almond bark

  • Spread peanut butter on ritz crackers and top with another cracker. 
  • Melt almond bark in the microwave. 
  • Dip each cookie in the almond bark and set onto wax paper to harden. 
  • If you’re using sprinkles do so before the almond bark hardens.