Holiday Sweets and Treats
The holiday season is a wonderful time to share treats with family and friends. With a little creativity and a few ingredients, you can put together something magical in a short amount of time. Here are a few ideas:
Hot Chocolate Bar
Get your hot chocolate going in the crockpot and invite your pals over for an indulgent get-together with all of the fixings. Set out pretty holiday bowls with mini marshmallows, chocolate sprinkles, crushed candy canes and mini chocolate chips, and even have cans of whipped cream at the ready. Give everyone a holiday mug to take home and have them mix their own drinks.
Find candy melts in your grocery store in a variety of festive colors and flavors like milk chocolate, mint chocolate and white chocolate. Melt them in cups in the microwave and dip in your favorite snack. Try Oreo cookies, pieces of fruit and even savory items like potato chips and pretzels to create a sweet and salty snack. Let them set on wax paper and package in a festive tin if you are not serving immediately.
Bark Up a Good Time
Almond bark, which can be found in the grocery store in a variety of flavors, is an inexpensive holiday-friendly must. Melt the bark to coat apple slices, crackers and pretzel sticks. Use it to cover or drizzle over cake balls and popcorn balls. Like candy melts, it can create sweet and salty snacks by coating crackers, large pretzel sticks and sturdy ridged potato chips
Party with a Punch
If you're having a holiday gathering, add a sparkle to your menu with a festive, colorful holiday punch.
Holiday fruit punch recipe:
4 cups pineapple juice
4 cups cranberry juice
4 cups orange juice
1 two-liter lemon lime soda
1 cup cranberries and/or orange slices (optional for garnish)
Mix juices. Add soda and garnishes just before serving.
Make your holiday morning extra sweet with a pull apart monkey bread that is sure to be a fan favorite.
Monkey bread recipe:
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cans of refrigerated biscuits
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
½ cup raisins (optional)
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
¾ cup butter or margarine, melted
Preheat oven on 350. Grease bundt pan. Separate biscuits and cut into quarters. Mix sugar and cinnamon. Toss biscuit pieces and sugar mixture in a plastic bag to coat. Arrange in bundt pan, adding walnuts and raisins among the pieces, if desired. Sprinkle remaining sugar over biscuits. Mix brown sugar and butter and pour over biscuit pieces. Bake 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Loosen edges with spatula and cool 5 minutes. Invert on plate and pull apart to serve.
Homemade Trail Mix
Find small holiday themed cellophane bags at the dollar store and fill with a homemade trail mix for a gift that's fun and portable. Fill bags with nuts, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips, M&Ms and dried fruit pieces.
Hot Chocolate Mason Jars
Layer unsweetened cocoa, powdered milk, sugar, shaved chocolate and marshmallows in a mason jar to make a cute homemade gift. Find the recipe from the Food Network here.
Whip up a sweet treat in your kitchen to make the holidays extra special this year.