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Guilt-Free Holiday Treats

Going home for the holidays can make it hard to stick to your diet and eat healthy, but there are ways to eat healthy and enjoy the holiday! Whether you’re a professional cook or not, these healthy holiday treat recipes range in preparation difficulty, and give you a way to snack on treats that won’t make you feel guilty afterwards. 

Almond Butter Fudge

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup natural, creamy almond butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch sea salt

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Stir until smooth. Line a square cake pan with parchment paper.
  3. Spread the mixture evenly in the pan and pop in the freezer.
  4. Freeze for several hours. Remove from the pan and cut into squares.
  5. Transfer the squares to a plastic bag or airtight container. Store in the freezer.

Holiday Rice Krispie Treats

Ingredients

Rice Krispie Treats

  • 2½ tablespoons butter
  • 3 c. mini marshmallows
  • 4½ cups rice krispies

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon clear vanilla
  • red and green sugar sprinkles (optional)

Directions

  1. Coat a 9×9” baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the rice krispie treats, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the marshmallows, stirring until melted.
  3. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the rice krispies and stir until coated. Spoon into the prepared pan and squash down using wax paper. Cool completely.
  4. To prepare the frosting, cream the butter and ¼ cup of powdered sugar in a large bowl. Mix in the vanilla and 1 teaspoon of milk. Add another ½ cup of powdered sugar. Continue alternating between the milk and powdered sugar until the frosting reaches the desired consistency. Spread over the rice krispie treats and decorate with sprinkles.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tablespoon honey (or agave)
  • ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together all four ingredients.
  2. Chill for at least 30 minutes or up to three days.
  3. Working with a heaping tablespoon at a time, roll the chocolate mixture into a ball and place on wax paper or in individual mini muffin paper liners.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
White Chocolate Funfetti Christmas Cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teasponns cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Christmas sprinkles (NOT small round ones)
  • 6 tablespoons white chocolate chips, divided

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together the butter, eggs and vanilla. Stir in the brown sugar, smearing out any clumps along the side of the bowl. Add in the flour mixture, stirring until incorporated.
  3. Gently fold in the sprinkles and four tablespoons of white chocolate chips.
  4. Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes (for thick cookies that spread) or at least two hours (for extra thick cookies that don’t spread).
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats.
  6. Divide the chilled cookie dough into 24 balls and flatten each to about ½” to ¾” thick. Press three or four of the remaining white chocolate chips into the top of each. Bake at 350°F for 11-13 minutes. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter and Nutella Popcorn Balls

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe microwave popcorn
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoons nutella
  • ¾ teaspoon milk

Directions

  1. Lay a sheet of wax paper on a clean, dry surface.
  2. In a large pot, mix together the corn syrup, sugar, salt and peanut butter.
  3. Stir over low heat for about five minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble. Turn off the heat and stir in the popcorn, ensuring that all of the pieces are evenly coated.
  4. Working quickly, use about 2-3 tablespoons of popcorn and shape into a ball. Place on the prepared wax paper and repeat with the remaining popcorn mixture.
  5. In a small bowl stir together the nutella and milk. Drizzle over the tops of the popcorn balls.

Gingerbread Cookie Dough Bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, melted
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

  1. Whisk together the flour, ginger and salt in a small bowl.
  2. In a medium bowl stir together the butter, molasses, applesauce and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Mix in the brown sugar, smearing any clumps along the side of the bowl.
  3. Add in the dry flour mixture, stirring just until incorporated.
  4. Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
  5. Line a baking sheet or large plate with wax paper.
  6. Roll the cookie dough into 32 little balls, using between 1 – 1½ teaspoons of dough in each ball. Place on the wax paper and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Ooey Gooey Rolo Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips, melted and cooled slightly
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • ¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 Rolo candies

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300° and lightly coat an 8” square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level with a knife. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter and dark chocolate chips. Mix in the sugar. Add in the egg whites, milk, yogurt and vanilla, mixing thoroughly. Add in the flour mixture, stirring until incorporated. (It’s okay to have small lumps in the batter!)
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and press 1 Rolo into the center of where each square would be.
  5. Bake at 300° for 25-29 minutes (closer to 25 minutes for more ooey gooey parts; closer to 29 minutes for a fully fudgy texture). The brownies in the center may not be set. Cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
  6. Let the brownies set for at least two hours once at room temperature before slicing into squares with a sharp knife. (Optional, but highly recommended: Reheat individual brownies in the microwave on HIGH for 5-8 seconds to warm up the caramel center!)
Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Tulane Chapter Senior at Tulane University Majoring in Psychology, Minoring in Public Health Originally from Fort Myers, Florida
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