Holiday Treats

During the holiday season, one of my favorite things is coming down to the kitchen and smelling all the wonderful things my family is baking for Christmas.  I have a pretty big family, so we celebrate Christmas multiple times, and eating the same five things for dessert gets repetitive.  If you’re like me, you’re a sucker for the Nestle slice-and-bakes, but how many times in a row can you really eat them?  Here are some Pinterest-y ideas for some festive Holiday Treats!

   (this will be you)

Christmas Tree Oreos:

Oreo pops!  These are really easy to make (in fact, you could probably make them in your dorm!) 

You’ll need:

  • Oreos (double-stuffed will hold the pop stick better)
  • Sticks
  • White candy melts or peppermint bark
  • Sprinkles
  • Green candy melts

 

You can get candy melts at Michael’s!  There’s one really close to school (right near a Stop and Shop, too!)

Melt the white candy melts (or bark) in a bowl in your microwave, or ideally if you’re at home, a stove.  Take an oreo and put it on a stick, then dip it into your melted candy melts.  You can do it halfway to make “snow” or all the way just as a white background.  Let cool.  To decorate, melt some green candy melts in a sandwich bag. Snip off a corner of the bag and “pipe” the green candy melt back and forth to make a Christmas tree shape. It helps to practice on the wax paper a few times to get the shape right. Add sprinkles and viola!

Strawberry Santas

You can definitely make these in your dorm! 

You’ll need:

  • Strawberries
  • Black frosting (or if you’re crafty, licorice might work!)
  • White frosting

 

Cut a strawberry in half so that it forms a base and the pointed part is the other end. Make sure the strawberries are dry, they usually produce a lot juice.  Gently swirl some vanilla frosting on the top of the body.  Place the “Santa hat” (or the strawberry tip) on top of the frosting. Add a dab of frosting on top of his hat. Carefully add two eyes with black icing.

Bonus: try to make it work with whipped cream.  Whipped cream would taste amazing, be slightly less fattening, but might be a bit difficult so good luck!

 

Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups

These are actually adorable and I’m 100% attempting this.  (Key word: attempting)

You’ll need:

  • An oven (so unless you have a kitchen, this can’t be done in the dorm)
  • 1 package Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • 12 mini pretzels
  • 1 cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits
  • *optional - granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Put 1 tablespoon of cookie dough into 24 greased mini muffin tins.  Bake for 12-14 minutes at 375 degrees. Allow the cookies to cool completely in the pan before gently removing them.  For the Chocolate portion, boil the whip cream; once boiled, stir in the hot chocolate mix. Pour this hot cream over the semi-sweet chocolate chips and let it sit for 3 minutes. Then, stir until the chocolate chips are melted and the ganache is smooth.  Break off the loops on some mini pretzels to use as handles.  Melt the white chocolate and use it to attach the pretzel handles to the cookie cups.  Spoon the chocolate ganache into the cookie cups and top with mini marshmallows.  Store them in the refrigerator to set.

 

Chai Spiced Sugar Cookies

Thank you, Taylor Swift!! 

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment.  In a medium bowl, whisk flour with baking soda, spices and salt.  In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks and vanilla extract. Slowly add in flour mixture – the dough may seem dry at first but keep mixing at a low speed and it will incorporate.  Scoop dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.  Bake in the center of the oven for 12-15 minutes, allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.