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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

When the colder weather hits, I immediately start craving warm, homemade meals. For some of us, myself included, being in college means that home-cooked meals are few and far between. Even though you’re busy with finals, I’ve found some recipes that are specifically made for crafting in between assignments. They’re budget friendly and simple, but they don’t skimp on the coziness and warmth they provide.

DIY HOT COCOA

Hot cocoa made from a packet is great and all, but I don’t think you’ve truly experienced hot chocolate until you’ve made it yourself. All you really need is a pan, some cocoa powder, sea salt, sweetener of your choice, milk of your choice and any extra ingredients or toppings you want to add. A lot of these ingredients you likely already have sitting around, making this recipe easier than ever before. I heat up my vanilla almond milk on medium heat for about ten minutes, adding in cocoa powder, salt and stevia while lightly whisking the entire time. I complete the recipe by adding a little heavy whipping cream or whipped cream on top to maximize creaminess- bonus points if you add crushed peppermints, peppermint oil or shredded dark chocolate to the final product.

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AIR FRYER BAKED APPLES

This recipe is a new one that I discovered on the spot when I was craving something sweet. All you really need is any type of apple, I use honey crisp because they are big and great for baking. Next you need butter, cinnamon, maple syrup, cloves, sea salt and just a sprinkle of brown sugar on top. I cut a shallow dent into the middle of the apple halves to add a space for a tablespoon of butter. After that, I drizzle the entire apple in a light layer of maple syrup and add all of the spices and sugar on top- you can even do a sprinkle of rolled oats for added texture. The hardest part is over when I pop them into the air fryer for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. The way these make your space smell is almost the best part of baking them- besides eating them of course. Enjoy your baked apples with a little scoop of vanilla ice cream if you’re feeling fancy.

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PEPPERMINT pretzels

This one makes a great snack for one but you can also make a big batch and give them out at Christmas! These are so simple but classic- it’s a recipe that you can rest assured will be a crowd favorite. All you need is a bag of small pretzels, crushed peppermints and meltable chocolate of your choice. However you choose to dress these up is up to you, you can add any sprinkles or toppings you like! All you have to do is dip the pretzels in the melted chocolate, roll them in the crushed peppermint and pop them in the freezer for a few hours to make the chocolate solid. These are so simple and easy and somehow, they taste exactly like Christmas.

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ginger cookies

You probably don’t have gingerbread man cookie cutters laying around your college apartment. Even so, you can still enjoy a classic ginger cookie with a hot drink! These are big and soft, perfect for enjoying with hot chocolate. You just need the classic baking ingredients: butter, sugar, flour, an egg, salt, baking soda and a little bit of ground ginger. Combine all ingredients, mixing wet and dry first. Then roll your dough into balls, roll them into the sugar and place them in the oven at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. By the time you’re done with your discussion board post, these cookies will be soft and ready to eat. Enjoy!

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Alexis Kirby

Kent State '23

Alexis is a senior majoring in Applied Communication with a minor in Advertising at Kent State. She's passionate about all things beauty, lifestyle, and everyday luxury.