{holiday recipe roundup} All The Sweet Holiday Treats That Are Fit to Print

Around Christmastime, there is no shortage of sweet treats to be had in our house. Leading up to Christmas Eve, my mom and I spend a few days in the kitchen filling plates and trays and bowls with a panoply of sweet treats. Whether your sweet tooth demands caramels, fudge, cookies, or candies, we have generally got it covered. My brother-in-law Steve has fond memories of highly specific treats from his childhood, so in the spirit of giving, I try to comply with his candy-coated Christmas wishes. One thing he loves to have at Yuletide time is Bourbon Balls. It’s amazing how crushed Nilla Wafers, melted chocolate and some booze rolled into a ball combines into such a taste treat! Use good quality bourbon and watch them disappear. Since Steve is a tequila lover, this year I think I’ll make half the batch with Añejo in place of bourbon.

Steve also has a deep-seated desire to eat candied orange and grapefruit peels on Christmas, and I dip half the batch in dark chocolate to tempt my aunt Sherrie. Use Real Butter has a gorgeous and useful how-to on candied orange peels–but for some reason her peels look a lot prettier than mine… 🙂

This year, I’ll be trying Recipe Girl’s Candy Cane Kiss Cookies because they look a) adorable, b) delicious, and c) festive. That’s the trifecta of a perfect Christmas cookie in my book! Last year these mint chocolate cookies using Trader Joe’s Mint UFOs in a Macheesmo-inspired cookie were gone in a flash. I’ll have to hit TJ’s so I can repeat those this year.

If you have extra mint chocolate pieces left over, why not throw them into David Lebovitz’s delectable and deceptively simple 4 ingredient chocolate idiot cake? Bring one of those to a holiday dinner and you’ll get on Santa’s “nice” list for sure. Plus it’s so simple, you’ll have extra time to wrap your gifts.

We usually have Creme Brulee for dessert on Christmas Day. A batch of coconut macaroons is an excellent way to use up some of those extra egg whites–particularly if you have edible gold leaf or sparkly sprinkles to bring (bling?) them up a notch.  Coconut haters can try peppermint meringue cookies from Simply Recipes as another wintry option for ridding your fridge of unwanted egg whites.

We also make fudge (1 pan with nuts, 1 pan without, of course) and have always used the Fantasy Fudge recipe from the back of the marshmallow creme jar. Dare I rock the boat sleigh this year and sneak in a small batch of brown sugar fudge from La Cuisine d’Hélène? Go ahead. Dare me.

If I weren’t incredibly lazy, I would be tempted to make the Bomboloni all’Arancia with Orange-Rum Custard I saw over on Thursday Night Smackdown. Knowing me, I’ll take the easy way out and just add a batch of Orangette’s British flapjacks to my plate of Christmas treats. I’m envisioning them cut into bite-sized nibbles with glitzy little Christmas jewels of dried apricot and cranberry mixed in.

Another recipe I have my eye on is these Blood Orange Caramels with Toasted Almonds & Sea Salt from MattBites, although that will certainly warrant a doubling up on caramels, because my Dad will turn into a Grinch if I don’t put up a batch of Almost Thornton’s Toffee.

We used to make bright green marshmallow cornflake wreaths with red hots for Uncle Dennis, which can be kind of fun in a 1950s sorta way, but after many years, we’ve finally talked him out of the idea that he actually likes them. A Recipe a Day has the how-to for these lovelies in case you have an Uncle Dennis.

Last year I made this gingerbread Casbah for our Middle East-themed Christmas party.

This year the party theme is Christmas in Summer, so I’ll be using the same team to raise the roof on a gingerbread beach hut. Stay tuned for pictures and the how-to. In the meantime, if you’re wondering how to make cookies that look like the stained glass casbah windows, let me reveal that it merely involves melting jolly ranchers in the oven. Kids and adults will delight at this in cookie form! Check out the Stained Glass Cookies recipe on Simply Recipes to make them yourself.

If you’re looking for more ideas, try:

What are your favorite holiday treats to make?

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7 Responses

  1. Fun round-up of ideas! Thanks for including my Candy Cane Kiss Cookies!

  2. Helene says:

    Love your roundup. I am inspired. Thanks for talking about my fudge.

  3. Nancy says:

    Thanks for mentioning the cornflake Christmas wreaths ~ retro for sure!

  4. Very nice site, i love it!!