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Holiday Treats You Can Make With 5 Ingredients or Less

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Penn chapter.

As someone who loves to cook and bake, the holiday season is one of my favorite times of year! I love making special treats for my family and friends to enjoy. Seeing as this year is a bit different due to the ongoing pandemic, I wanted to curate a list of treats you can make with just a few ingredients you probably already have around the house! 

Hopefully, these quick recipes bring a little holiday cheer and happiness to this unusual holiday season. Enjoy!

A quick disclaimer: these aren’t original recipes; I found most of them online, and the recipes are linked. However, I can confirm that they’re delicious!

 Funfetti Shortbread Bites

These delicious mini shortbread cookies are the perfect snacking treat for the holidays! All you’ll need is some flour, butter, sugar, almond extract, and sprinkles (bonus points if they’re red and green!). They’re simple, festive, and adorable; they’re also great to pop into goodie bags and deliver to your friends – in a socially distant way, of course. 

Peppermint Chocolate Truffles

If you love peppermint, this treat is perfect for you! All you’ll need is heavy whipping cream, chocolate, butter, peppermint extract, and some candy canes. As someone who doesn’t always love peppermint, these are still one of my favorite holiday treats. The chocolate and peppermint flavors mix together amazingly well, and you don’t even have to bake them!

Grinch Popcorn

For those of you who enjoy a treat that’s both sweet and salty, look no further! This recipe, named for its bright green color, takes classic popcorn and turns it into a fun holiday treat. All that’s required is popcorn, butter, food coloring, M&M’s, and marshmallows – salt is optional. My family and I love making this over the holidays while we pop in a Christmas DVD.

Vegan Peppermint Patties

Here’s an amazing vegan option similar to York Peppermint Patties! To make it, you’ll need coconut oil, maple syrup, coconut or almond milk, cashews, peppermint extract, and vegan chocolate chips. I know that’s technically six ingredients, but all of them are common kitchen staples that’ll make an absolutely delicious treat! I love snacking on these, especially at midnight. 

Raspberry Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

Although this may be an unpopular opinion, I’m actually not fond of cheesecake. However, these raspberry cheesecake cookies are so, so, so delicious! With just cream cheese, butter, sugar, flour, and raspberry jam or preserves, you can make a delicious bite-size cookie. This recipe is also perfect for anyone who enjoys fruity desserts as you can substitute the raspberry jam for other flavors – strawberry, nectarine, etc.!

Key Lime Pie

I tried this recipe at a friend’s house once and was surprised at how amazing it tasted. With just a graham cracker crust, key lime juice, limes, sweetened condensed milk, and sour cream, you can make a whole pie! Both simple and delicious, this is the perfect dessert for family dinners or just as a snack while scrolling through Tik Tok. However you enjoy it, it’s a perfect addition to the holiday season!

Cranberry Brie Puff Pastry Swirls

Another more savory treat is here! With frozen puff pastry, butter, brie cheese, dried cranberries, and cinnamon sugar, you can make this beautiful treat. I tried these at a Christmas party once, and they had the perfect hint of holiday flavor due to the cranberries and cinnamon sugar, while still having a savory side. If you’re looking for a simple treat that can trick your family into thinking you spent hours making it, look no further!

Peppermint Bark

We’re ending this list with a holiday classic. All you’ll need for this recipe is chocolate and candy canes, along with any other toppings you want to add. Just melt the chocolate, add your toppings, let it set, and break it apart for a yummy treat! This is one of the easiest and most delicious treats to make. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

Baking and cooking have always brought me comfort and joy. With how weird 2020 has been, I hope some of you can make these treats, and they add a little light to your lives as the year comes to a close.

Regardless of how you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

Dhatri is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania who is majoring in Networked and Social Systems Engineering. She's from Michigan, but she's super excited to be spending the next four years in Philly. When she isn't journaling or cooking, you can probably find her somewhere eating ice cream, painting her nails, and listening to Ariana Grande.