When the holiday season rolls around, one aspect I am most excited about is the treats. With a dad who is a chef and a mom who knows how to bake delicious treats, the holiday season always has me preparing for a feast. Especially during this time of year, I enjoy spending time making delicious treats for my friends, family, and, of course, myself. These are some of my favorite holiday treats I’ve made over the years!
Hot Chocolate Dip
To make the dip you simply mix together marshmallow fluff, cool whip, and hot chocolate powder until smooth. Sprinkling in some cinnamon, a dash of peppermint/peppermint extract, or marshmallows can add to the dip. I’ve found it’s best to eat with graham crackers.
This is essentially puppy chow—but holiday style. You make puppy chow, which is super easy to make, and add additional ingredients. Some ingredients you could add are holiday M&Ms, pretzels, holiday sprinkles, or peppermints. The best part of this is you could make puppy chow and have out ingredients for each person to make their own custom reindeer chow.
Holiday Tree Brownies
These are basic brownies cut into a triangles with a pretzel or candy cane as the tree trunk. You can decorate them however you’d like using frosting or holiday candies. It’s an easy last-minute option and a great way to keep everyone busy.
Peanut Butter Snowballs
Peanut Butter Snowballs are quick and easy to make.Plus, they take only a few ingredients to make. Some recipes say to use candy coating, but I prefer to use chocolate. However, you can use colored candy melts in holiday colors to make them more festive. Another option when making the snowballs is to roll the dough with powdered sugar.
A great way to up your hot chocolate game is with cocoa bombs! They’re a cute DIY gift and a creative way to make hot chocolate. The idea is that when the coco ball is dropped into heated milk the chocolate melts and releases the cocoa, marshmallows, and potentially other ingredients inside. Cocoa bombs can be made in a variety of ways, which allows for a treat that everyone loves. You could even include peppermints inside or make the outside look like a snowman.
Fudge is simple to make and there are hundreds of different kinds you can make. Furthermore, you can make your own fudge and give it as a gift. Some of my personal favorite fudges are chocolate, candy cane, and peanut butter. With fudge, it’s crucial to follow the directions and control the heat correctly.
One holiday classic that is fun to make with family or friends is gingerbread cookies. Playing around with the spices to get the perfect combination and adding in a little grated orange peel to the dough does wonders. It'd be a fun activity to decorate the gingerbread cookies with frosting, sprinkles or candies. Of course, a gingerbread house is also fun to build to go along with the cookies.
Fried Honey Bites
These crunchy dough balls mixed with honey are also referred to as Struffoli Italian Honey Balls. They’re best served the day they’re made, but they can last a few days. There’s a variety of ways you can change the presentation of these to make them festive—into a wreath with maraschino cherries or piled up like a Christmas tree. The only downside to the fried honey bites is that you can’t stop eating them!
In my family, it is a tradition each year to make pumpkin rolls and distribute them to friends and family. When making pumpkin rolls, an important thing to note is to roll them when warm and then let them cool completely before frosting them. Personally, I prefer the traditional choice of cream cheese filling, but you can customize the recipe to your liking. Another tip is if you have cracks in your roll, I recommendfilling them with frosting and coating the top with powdered sugar to hide imperfections. Gimme Some Oven has a recipe similar to the one I’ve used in years past.
Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake
Making this cheesecake takes a bit of skill to get it just right, but it’s the perfect addition to a meal that needs a little holiday spirit. It also receives a lot of compliments at holiday parties (when those are able to be held again). When making this cheesecake, you have to put on the peppermints last when the ganache has completely cooled, so that the peppermints won’t melt. A simpler version of cheesecake you could make is Santa Hat Cheesecake Bites. The Santa hat is a strawberry with whipped cream.
Making treats with friends and family is one of the best parts of the holiday season. These recipes are ranked from what I think is the easiest to hardest to make. However, they’re all recipes you could make and enjoy this season!