The Countdown to Christmas is heating up—13 days until Christmas.
I love holiday baking—I love homemade gifts, my friend’s annual Christmas cookie swap and, well, eating delicious treats. What I don’t love is high grocery bills throughout the month of December. Sugar, flour, eggs, butter, vanilla are all used in mass quantities this month, but we also need specialty ingredients & candy for our fun holiday favorites. That’s why my holiday favorites use only a few ingredients—or overlap to share ingredients with other recipes.
This one is so easy, it barely qualifies as a recipe. Simply melt white chocolate (squares or chips—I’ve done both with about the same results) in the microwave until it’s creamy. Stir in crushed candy canes or peppermints. The kids love to crush these—you can use a rolling pin while they’re still in the package or a food chopper. They usually do a little of each, just for fun. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet, then cool completely. (If you need an instant treat, stick in the fridge for a few minutes.) Break it apart and gift in holiday baggies or wrapped in cellophane.holidaysdessert
Festive Pretzel Rods
I have a habit of calling anything green & red “festive” this time of year. But, don’t these pretzels look all dressed up for the holidays? Use the same melted white chocolate for this batch of treats. Dip one of the pretzel rods halfway into the chocolate, then roll in sprinkles or nonpareils. You can also use crushed peppermint, if you really want to repeat ingredients.holidaysdessert
No matter what you use for the coating, they’re super cute & pretty tasty. (As I recall—if anyone has a lead on gluten free pretzel rods, I would really appreciate it!) Repeat the process with plastic or bamboo spoons, and you’ve got an awesome addition to a coffee mug or hot cocoa gift.
This is one of my favorites, but it’s probably the most expensive treat we make each year. Spread pretzel rounds or squares across a baking sheet. (Round pretzels are often called “beer pretzels” in case you are having trouble finding them.) Top each pretzel with a Hershey’s Hug—you can use kisses too, but the stripes make for a prettier effect. Bake in a low heat oven until the chocolate gets melty. (Yeah, I’m big on technical terms.) Press a green or red M&Ms onto each, then cool completely.holidaysdessert
We have also made these with Rolos and a pecan, for a turtle-like treat. They aren’t as cute as the buttons, or a real chocolate turtle, but they are a lot easier to make!
Hot Chocolate Kit
Use up the rest of your Hugs & Kisses with a few hot cocoa kits. Measure a single serving of hot cocoa mix (or, let’s be honest, empty a packet of mix) into a cellophane baggie. Add 2-3 Hershey’s Hugs, a miniature candy cane and a chocolate-dipped spoon. Tie with a colorful ribbon! This is super cute on its own, but you can also add it to a coffee mug, if you need a larger gift.
All of these edible treats are perfect hostess gifts, or make a sweet addition to a teacher gift. They’re super easy and use similar ingredients, which makes it easy to put together a variety of treats. I like to make a few different things for the office staff, as well. What are you making this year?