Family Traditions

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! The staff at Professional Educators of Tennessee wanted to share with you their favorite foods to make for the holidays. Feel free to share these with your families and friends. If you make these yourself, please leave us a comment telling us what you think!

From the kitchen of our Chief Operating Officer:

Apricot Nectar Cake

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 Box of Lemon Cake mix
  • ¼ cup Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • ¾ cup Oil
  • 1 cup Apricot Nectar

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Confectioners Sugar
  • 3 or 4 tablespoons Lemon Juice


  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Mix all cake ingredients in a bowl and transfer to in Bundt or loaf pan to bake.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes at 350°
  • Glaze while warm.


From the kitchen of our Director of Professional Learning:

Make Ahead Butterhorns


  • 2 Packages Dry Active Yeast (rapid rise yeast is okay)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (hot, but not boiling)
  • 9 cups BREAD flour – divided
  • 2 cups warm milk (hot, but not boiling)
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 Tablespoons melted butter (real is best)


  1. Put 1/3 cup warm water in glass measuring cup and dissolve the 2 packets of yeast and one teaspoon of sugar in the water. Let sit for 5 minutes. The sugar will proof the yeast. If you did your yeast correctly it will foam up and grow.


  1. While the yeast is proofing, mix 1 cup shortening with warm milk, sugar, and salt in large mixing bowl. Dissolve the sugar and shortening in the milk. (If sugar doesn’t all dissolve, that is okay.)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, add 4 cups flour, yeast mixture, and eggs. Mix with electric mixer until dough is smooth.


  1. Stir in enough of the remaining 5 cups of flour with a wooden spoon to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly. (You do not knead roll dough like you knead bread dough. It is very soft without being “wet.”)


  1. Place dough in a very large greased bowl (stick spray or cooking oil works great) turning once to grease all sides of the dough. Cover and let rise in warm place 2 ½ to 3 hours until the dough is tripled in size.


  1. When the dough has risen, punch down on the dough and divide dough into four equal parts. Work with one section at a time.


  1. Roll each section into a 12-inch circle. Brush with melted butter. (I use a stick of butter, 2 TBSP per circle). Cut each circle with pizza cutter into 8 to 12 wedges. Roll into butterhorn. Place on greased cookie sheet, tip side down. When rolls are complete, freeze for several hours. You need to do this quickly as the rolls will start to rise while you are working on them.


  1. When frozen, place in freezer bags and keep in freezer until needed. Thaw 5 hours or until doubled in size.


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F and bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.


  1. Let cool and serve.


Notes: For amazing cinnamon rolls, generously sprinkle cinnamon sugar on top of the butter before rolling up and/or freezing. Then set out frozen rolls late the night before and have them for breakfast. Glaze with a powdered sugar icing before serving or vanilla icing of your choice.



From the kitchen of our Member Services Coordinator:

Granny’s Sugar Cookies


  • ½ cup Butter
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2-2¼ cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Salt


  1. In a medium mixing bowl cream together the butter and vanilla. Gradually add sugar and continue creaming. Add the egg and blend well.


  1. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Once thoroughly sifted add to mixture in the medium mixing bowl and blend together.


  1. Divide dough into two parts. Chill thoroughly for 1 to 2 hours so it will be easy to handle. Dough can be prepared and stored in refrigerator a day or two in advance. It is important that cookie dough is well chilled before rolling. If not well chilled, the dough will be too soft to roll without adding more flour. This will make less tender cookies.


  1. To prep for cutting out the cookies, lay down a sheet of wax paper and lightly flour. Place chilled dough onto floured wax paper and use a rolling pin to roll dough to a uniform thickness (about 1/8 inch). Keep second portion of dough refrigerated until ready to use.


  1. For each cookie, dip cookie cutter in flour and shake off excess. Using firm even pressure, press cookie cutter into dough and lift off. Use a flat spatula to transfer dough cutout from wax paper to cookie sheet.


  1. Bake in preheated oven at 375°F for 7 to 10 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool. Do not overlap or stack cookies until they are thoroughly cool. With thinly rolled dough (about 1/8 inch) the baked cookies will be more straight-sided than cookies make from more thickly rolled dough (about ¼ inch). The thin cookie will retain less of the cutter detail after baking.


Notes: Makes about 20 cookies (cut out).



From the kitchen of our Member Services Coordinator:

Friendship Tea


  • 1 – 18 oz. jar Tang
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • ½ cup Pre-Sweetened Lemonade Mix
  • ½ cup Instant Tea
  • 1 – 3 oz. packet Apricot Jello
  • 2 ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Cloves


  • Mix all ingredients together and stir in approximately 3 tablespoons of mix to an 8-ounce cup of hot water.
  • If any mix is leftover, store in an air-tight container.

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