I love making homemade treats for special occasions, in fact I might even go a little overboard during the holidays. I love focusing on details but I don’t love spending all day in the kitchen. I fondly remember holiday treats that my mom still makes today, so I wanted to create some fond memories for my boys with some recipes that are not typically considered for the holidays, but I’ve put my own little spin on them to make them our holiday traditions.
Reindeer Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate chip cookies are my most requested baked item. As silly as it sounds, my family can taste the love I put into them, and I love seeing them smile when they eat them! When we were making plans to go to relatives for the holidays, they requested my chocolate chip cookies. Because I love a theme, I decided to turn them into a Christmas cookie.
1/2 c. Margarine
1/2 c. Butter flavored Crisco
1/2 c. Granulated Sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
1 t. baking soda
pinch of salt
3 c. flour
1 t. Mexican vanilla
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 bag small pretzel knots
red M & M’s
tube of black frosting
Combine margarine, crisco, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs. Slowly mix in dry ingredients until fully combined. Add vanilla and chocolate chips. Form each cookie into a wedge shape. Place a small pretzel on each corner on the wide part of the wedge, and the red M & M on the point of the wedge. Bake 8-9 minutes at 350. I like my cookies soft, so I pull them out of the oven before they are completely baked through. I let them rest on the baking stone another minute to completely cook through without being crunchy. I place them on a wire rack. After they have cooled on the wire rack, I make two eyes with black icing, and I’m done! I let the frosting eyes harden up before stacking.
Snowman Oreo Truffles
One of our family favorites is Oreo Truffles. I only make them for special occasions because they are just too tempting, but they are a fun addition to holiday treat plates with just a few changes from the original recipe!
8 0z. cream cheese (not reducded fat), softened
20 oz. Ghiradelli white chocolate melting wafers
paraffin shreds or coconut oil (optional)
tube of orange frosting
tube of black frosting
tube of other color frosting, I use red or green
M & M’s
In a food processor, crumble your oreos into a powder. Add in softened cream cheese. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll the dough into walnut sized balls and place on cookie sheet. Make sure not to let the balls touch. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. Melt the chocolate wafers 30 seconds at a time until melted. Add a bit of paraffin shreds or coconut oil to make the chocolate a bit more runny. (This step can be skipped if you prefer.) Dip the oreo balls in the white chocolate using a fork to let the excess chocolate drip off. If the oreo balls get too warm before dipping, place them back in the freezer. They will be much easier to dip while frozen. Place the M & M’s as ear muffs for the snowman while the white chocolate is still wet. Once it has hardened up, make the orange carrot nose, head band for the ear muffs, and dab the black dots for the eyes and mouth with the frosting. This takes a bit of practice. I have used both gel and regular tubed frosting. It needs to set up an hour or 2 before you let anything touch it or it will stick. Other years I have had leftover colored chocolate wafers. They work great to melt and pipe on for the eyes and ear muffs. I will make the carrot noses ahead on parchment and place them on when the white chocolate is still wet. Store the truffles in the freezer. If a little less detail is your thing, you can drop red and green sprinkles on them, and call them festive!
I am a little crazy about all things mint, especially around the holidays. I also have an obsession with wedding mints, so I decided that there is no reason to save them for weddings! I found some cute snowflake molds at a local cake decorating shop and sprinkled with some edible glitter to make them sparkle, and they are a fun addition to any table.
4 oz. softened cream cheese
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 c. softened sweet cream butter
Peppermint oil to taste (a little goes a long way)
Mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and butter until well mixed. Add in the peppermint oil a drop at a time until you are happy with the flavor. Roll in a small ball and coat in sugar. Press in mold, and gently place on plate. Sprinkle edible glitter over the top. These will freeze for a few months, so they are a great item to make ahead and pull out when you need them!
While none of these recipes are traditional Christmas cookie recipes, they certainly are welcome additions to any cookie plate, and my family wouldn’t feel like it was Christmas without them!