With the winter season upon us, it’s easy to become downtrodden or sad, especially with the current state of the world. However, sometimes baking treats can ease stress. Here are a few fun and easy ideas for holiday treats that can help lift your spirits and bring joy to those around you.
1 bag of pretzels
1 bag wrapped Rolo candies
1 bag halved pecans or M&Ms
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Arrange the pretzels in a single layer on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place one chocolate covered caramel candy on each pretzel. Bake for 4 minutes. While the candy is warm, press a pecan half or M&M in the center of each candy covered pretzel. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Cordie Mae’s Sugar Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 ½ cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp cream of tartar
¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cream butter, adding sugar gradually. Cream until mixture is fluffy. Add unbeaten egg and vanilla, blend into creamed mixture. Sift together remaining dry ingredients and blend again.
Cut into shapes using Christmas cookie cutters, or plain circle cutters.
Cook on unbuttered cookie sheet until golden brown.
Sugar Cookie Royal Icing
3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
In large bowl or stand mixer, combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners’ sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny.
Turn speed to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired.
For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to three days.
38 Oreo cookies
8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 cup chocolate melting wafers or candy coating
1 cup white chocolate melting wafers or candy coating
For decorating: melted chocolate, Oreo crumbs, sprinkles, crushed peppermint, or chopped nuts, if desired
Place Oreo cookies in a food processor. Pulse until they are fine cookie crumbs.
Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is smooth, about one minute. Add the Oreo cookie crumbs and mix until well combined.
Roll the Oreo mixture into small balls and place on a baking sheet or tray that has been lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Freeze the Oreo balls for 15 minutes.
Place the chocolate wafers or candy coating in a small microwave safe bowl. Place the white chocolate wafers or candy coating in a separate small microwave safe bowl. Melt according to instructions on packaging.
Remove the balls from the freezer and dip the balls into the melted chocolate. Make sure you cover the balls completely in chocolate. Use a fork to shake the excess chocolate off of the Oreo balls. Dip half of the balls in the chocolate and half in the white chocolate.
Place the dipped balls back on the baking tray with parchment paper or wax paper.
Decorate with a drizzle of chocolate, additional crushed Oreos, sprinkles, crushed peppermint or crushed nuts, if desired.
Place the baking sheet with the Oreo balls in the refrigerator and chill for at least an hour. Keep stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The Oreo balls will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks. You can also freeze the balls for up to two months.
Snickerdoodle Chex Mix
2 cups Cinnamon Chex cereal
2 cups Chocolate Chex cereal
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 cups popped popcorn
¼ cup butter or margarine
In a small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon; set aside. In large microwavable bowl, mix cereal and popcorn.
In a 1-cup microwavable cup, microwave butter uncovered on high for 40 seconds or until melted. Pour over cereal mixture, stirring until evenly coated.
Microwave uncovered on high for two minutes, stirring after one minute. Sprinkle half of the sugar mixture evenly over cereal mixture; stir. Sprinkle with remaining sugar mixture; stir. Microwave one minute longer. Spread on waxed paper or paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container.