Today: Jun 25, 2024

Make a homemade holiday gift for your loved ones!

Mackenzie Hurlbert – Copy Editor –

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, but this one is covered with powdered sugar instead of snow. One of the best parts about being home for the holidays is the home-cooking, especially when it comes to desserts! With a couple weeks free of schoolwork and studying, why not reward yourself and your family this holiday season with some quick and easy desserts? Don’t let mom do all of the dirty work; surprise your family with an edible creation of your own. The following basic dessert ideas jazzed up with some simple twists can be used for special occasions like Christmas parties and New Year’s celebrations, gifts for a great neighbor, or just as a treat for a snowy day. Brace yourselves; your sweet tooth may be overwhelmed… Cookies, and brownies, and cocoa, oh my!

Peanut Butter Cookies with Hershey Kisses: These cookies are always my favorites when it comes to the simple selection of holiday cookies at the Hurlbert Christmas party. One of my relatives usually makes peanut butter cookies with kisses pressed in the center, and they are the first to go when raided by my pack of younger cousins. Peanut butter and chocolate go together like red and green for Christmas: nobody really knows why they are appealing or who created the combo; it just works. For those peanut butter junkies out there, you can replace the kiss with a Reese’s cup to add even more peanut butter to the dessert. Another way to incorporate peanut butter into desserts is to drizzle it over a batch of brownies before sticking them in the oven. Not only will the brownies look more stylish with a fancy drizzled-design on the top, but they’ll also have some of that peanut butter taste.

Photo Courtesy |
Photo Courtesy |

Holiday Chocolate Chip Cookies: These are super easy to make and with a couple little add-ins, they can be made festive and display some of your holiday spirit. Using your own recipe or a mix, whip up a batch of regular chocolate chip cookies; or if you are really lazy, buy the break-and-bake package of dough in the grocery store. Nobody will know unless you tell them! Then you can add in green and red M&Ms, festive sprinkles, or nonpareils (such as Snowcaps) to create a festive, wintry look. It’s basic, but just adding a little holiday color to your baked items can spruce them up tons. Another quick Christmas cookie idea is to buy some sugar cookie dough and use cookie cutters to press out a bunch of different shapes. After they’re baked, have some fun frosting and decorating them!

Cocoa Bar: If you’re having a party at your house and you know a lot of kids—or just kids at heart—will be there, prepare a cocoa bar! It’s quick, simple, and interactive for your guests. Make a pot of hot cocoa and keep it warm on a hot plate or stove. Then buy some mini-marshmallows and whipped cream to offer on the side. If you want to get really fancy with it, you can serve a couple different kinds of hot chocolate and also include chocolate-covered peppermint sticks as mixers. The peppermint sticks will melt into the cocoa and add a light minty flavor.

 Strawberry Jello: Health nuts deserve dessert too, right? This is my mom’s own recipe which she uses every holiday season; it’s a light, fruity dessert that’s healthy (that’s right, a healthy dessert! Who knew?). All you do is mix-up a packet of sugar-free strawberry Jello, and then before putting it in the fridge to settle and gel up, add a bag of slightly defrosted, chopped, frozen strawberries. You can serve this with fat-free Cool Whip if you’d like, or it’s delicious by itself. It’s nice to finally have a dessert you can eat without feeling guilty.

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