Simple and Classic Holiday Treats

Rice crispy treats might qualify as the easiest dessert to ever make an appearance in American cookbooks. With a mere three ingredients—butter, marshmallows, and Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal—this recipe is infallible. But with the holidays just around the corner, there seem to be no such things as simple treats. The holidays allow for creative risks in the kitchen, and desserts are no exception. Have no fear if you’re not Sandra Lee or Paula Dean when it comes to baking because creativity does not imply expertise. The simplest of deserts can render a crowd speechless, and minor twists on everyone’s favorites can make all the difference. So gather the family and get to cookin’. I can guarantee that these sweet treats will be the life of the holiday festivities.

 

“Frozen” Snow Ball Fight

Courtesy of Natalie

“Sweet, crunchy and gooey popcorn snowballs are a delicious snack and make great party favors or holiday treats!”

Yield: 12

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INGREDIENTS

  • ½ c. popcorn kernels
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 5 c. mini marshmallows
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. M&Ms
  • sprinkles or peanuts (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place a heavy bottom dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil and popcorn and stir the kernels so that they are evenly coated. When the oil becomes hot and sizzles, add the sugar. Shake the pot or pan until the first few kernels pop. Place the lid on top and continue gently shaking back and forth while the remaining kernels pop. Once the popcorn stops, remove from heat and place into a large mixing bowl to cool.
  2. Next, in a small saucepan over medium heat, add the butter and marshmallows. Stir continuously until the marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and add the salt and vanilla extract.
  3. Pour over the popcorn and coat evenly. Add M&Ms, sprinkles or nuts.
  4. Cover your hands with a light layer butter or coconut oil. Form the popcorn mixture into 3″ balls. Set them on a piece of wax (or parchment) paper to cool completely, about 30 minutes.

 

http://lifemadesimplebakes.com/2014/04/popcorn-snowballs/

 

 

Sweet and Salty Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Courtesy of By Karen=^..^= on October 03, 2005

“I make these often for bake sales and around the holidays. They are so adaptable for any special event and great for all ages.”

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INGREDIENTS

  • 10 ounces pretzel sticks (Pretzel RODS)
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate chips (or melting disks)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
  • candy sprinkles (optional)
  • miniature M&M’s chocolate candies (optional)
  • mini Reese’s pieces (optional)
  • chopped peanuts (optional)

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt milk chocolate chips in double boiler or in microwave (be careful not to burn in the micro).
  2. If you are using the white chocolate, wait until later before melting unless you can keep it over warm water.
  3. Dip each pretzel rod about 2/3 of the way up in chocolate.
  4. Lay on wax paper lined baking sheets, lining up the rods but leave a bit of space between them.
  5. Allow to set a little, but not completely dry (while waiting, make sure your white chocolate is ready).
  6. Dip a fork into the white chocolate and drizzle over the milk chocolate by gently swishing the fork back and forth over the rods but not touching them.
  7. Place your sprinkles or candies on a paper plate and roll each pretzel rod in desired topping (or just sprinkle on).
  8. Lay back on wax paper to set completely.

 

These look great displayed in, or given in, a unique glass or mug.

 

http://www.food.com/recipe/gourmet-chocolate-dipped-pretzel-rods-139694

 

P.S. These are great to customize and make all your own! For example, try swapping M&M’s for Fruity Pebbles or mini marshmallows!

 

Hands Free Apple Pies

Courtesy of by Christy {The Girl Who Ate Everything}

“This Apple Pie Caramel Apple is just like the expensive ones at Disney World. Make your own and save yourself some cash!”

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag Kraft caramels
  • 4-5 large, tart apples (You can use red apples too but I like the contrast of the tart apple with the caramel)
  • 1 bag white chocolate chips or white chocolate candy melts
  • cinnamon sugar

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Wash, scrub, and dry apples. This is important or your caramel won’t stick because of the coating stores put on apples.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt caramel according to package directions.
  3. Put popsicle stick in the apple. Dip in melted caramel making sure to fully coat it.
  4. Place on parchment or wax paper that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
  5. Cool in the fridge until caramel is set up. If you want a thick caramel layer, add another layer of caramel here and let it set up again.
  6. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second intervals. You can add a little shortening if the mixture is too thick.
  7. Coat the apple with the chocolate.
  8. Let it set up a little bit before sprinkling it with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  9. Cool completely in the fridge.
  10. Cut into slices and serve.
  11. These can be made up to one day ahead of time. Store in the refrigerator….Or wrap them in cellophane and give them to your friends.

 

http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2009/09/apple-pie-caramel-apple.html

 

Each recipe featured in this article requires very little expertise, yet allows for one’s creativity to shine. Baking these treats is a great way to bring all loved ones together in the kitchen, and they are sure to please all taste buds around the table.

 

XOXO,

Rachel