Reinvent Your Favorite Classic Holiday Recipes

The holiday season means yummy recipes get made on overdrive, but a lot of them are very, well, traditional.  We compiled a list of the best recipes for the snacks we just can't get enough of... with some imaginative and festive approaches.  Get creative, collegiettes, it's time to start making these tasty treats! 


1. Snowflake Pizzelles

For all our Italian friends.


  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted butter (one stick)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. anise seed
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • Powdered or granulated sugar


  • Beat eggs and sugar.  
  • Add cooled melted butter, vanilla and anise.
  • Sift flour and baking powder, then add to mixture.
  • Batter will be stiff enough to be dropped by spoon into a pizzelle iron.  
  • Use a pizzelle iron to cook in batches—most will make three cookies at a time.

In total, this recipe yields 30 pizzelles.  Serve plain or dusted with powdered or granulated sugar in a snowflake pattern!


2. Christmas Tree Peanut Butter Blossom

A festive twist on a holiday classic.


  • 48 Hershey's Kisses chocolate candies
  • 1/2 cup shortening (I used Crisco)
  • 3/4 cup Peanut Butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling
  • Green frosting
  • Red, green, & white holiday sprinkles
  • Disposable piping bag fitted with a Wilton #4 piping tip


  • Preheat oven to 375°F and line cookie sheet with parchment paper.  
  • Remove wrappers from chocolates.  
  • Beat shortening and peanut butter in large bowl until well blended.  
  • Add 1/3 cup granulated sugar and brown sugar; beat until fluffy.  
  • Add egg, milk and vanilla; beat well.  
  • Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture.  
  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls.  Roll in sugar and place on prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake 7-8 minutes or until lightly browned.  
  • Immediately press a chocolate kiss into center of each cookie; cookie will crack around edges.  
  • Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. 
  • Fill the prepared piping bag with green frosting.  
  • Starting at the base of the Hershey Kiss, pipe a line of frosting that swirls up & around to the top of the kiss.  
  • Immediately sprinkle with holiday sprinkles.

NOTE: Cookies must be completely cooled & chocolate hardened before decorating.  


3. Snowball Surprise Cookies

These snowball cookies just got a major upgrade.


  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups finely chopped pecans
  • 24 Rolos, unwrapped
  • Powdered sugar for rolling (about 1 - 1 1/2 cups)


  • Preheat oven to 375°.  
  • Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.  
  • Mix butter, ½ cup powdered sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla with an electric mixer until fluffy.  
  • Add flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together.  
  • Stir in the nuts.  
  • If dough is too soft, chill it until you can work it easily with your hands.  
  • Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough and flatten with your hands.  
  • Place 1 Rolo on top.  
  • Take another tablespoon of dough, flatten it, and lay it on top the Rolo.
  • Press the sides together and roll to form a sealed ball of dough.
  • Place on prepared cookie sheet.  
  • Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes until bottoms are just slightly brown.
  • Remove from oven and cool for just a minute, until you can handle them.
  • Fill a small bowl with additional powdered sugar and roll each cookie in the sugar until coated.  
  • Place on a rack to cool. (Once cookies are cooled, you may want to re-roll them in more powdered sugar.)


4. Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

The perfect combination of our favorite holiday flavors.


  • 4 cups of milk of your choice
  • 8 oz. white chocolate, chopped into small pieces (or white chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract •    1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (or more/less to taste)
  • Optional toppings: whipped cream, crushed peppermints, marshmallows


  • Stir the milk and chopped white chocolate together in a medium saucepan.
  • Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a simmer and the chocolate is melted. (Do not let it come to a boil or let the chocolate burn on the bottom.)
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and peppermint extract.
  • Serve warm, with optional toppings if desired.


4. Reindeer Oreo Cookie Balls

Reindeer pretzels, but bigger and better.


  • 1 8oz package cream cheese softened
  • 36 Oreo cookies, finely crushed
  • 4 4oz packages semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
  • 48 mini pretzels
  • 48 red, brown, or black Sixlets
  • 96 candy eyes


  • Mix together your cream cheese and cookie crumbs until blended.  
  • Shape your mixture into 48 1-inch balls.  
  • Freeze for 10 minutes.  
  • Dip balls in melted chocolate and place in a single layer on a waxed paper-lined pan.  
  • Break your pretzels in half down the middle and press each half onto one side of the Oreo ball.  
  • Place 2 candy eyes and 1 candy nose (Sixlets) on each Oreo ball.  
  • Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.


Happy baking, collegiettes!



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