Holiday Treat Contest: The Sweetest Things


Dalton Stevens, Video Reporter/Editor

ROJH students and teachers brought their favorite holiday foods for “RO: In the Know” staff to taste test. The recipes for their fantastic treats are below:


Ashley Rucks’ Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars


2 (8 oz.) cans Pillsbury refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

2 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon


1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Unroll one can dough. Place in bottom of ungreased 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish. Stretch to cover bottom of dish, firmly pressing perforations to seal.

3. In medium bowl, beat cream cheese and one cup of sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Spread over dough in baking dish.

4. Unroll second can of dough. Carefully place on top of cream cheese layer. Pinch seams together.

5. Pour melted butter evenly over top. Mix remaining 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over butter.

6. Bake about 30 minutes or until center is set. Cool slightly, about 20 minutes. Refrigerate for easy cutting. Cover and refrigerate over remaining bars.

Jane Smalley’s Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

large eggs

2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

1 cup chopped nuts


1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

2. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

3. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

4. PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

5. SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION: Prepare dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Hannah Jones Griffin’s Brownies


1/2 cup water

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 egg

1 box Betty Crocker low-fat fudge brownie mix


1. Heat your oven to 350 degrees F if you have a shiny metal or glass pan or 325 degrees F for a dark or nonstick pan. Grease bottom of pan with cooking spray or shortening.

2. In a medium bowl, stir Brownie Mix, water, oil and eggs until well blended. Spread in pan.

3. Bake as directed in chart or until toothpick inserted 2 inches from side of pan comes out almost clean. Let cool. If you want to cut warm brownies easily, use a plastic knife and short sawing motions. Store tightly covered.

Elizabeth Nava’s Tamales

It’s a family secret, but she’ll reveal some ingredients: flour, red hot sauce, corn husks and the meat of your choice.