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Very Merry Treats

Tired of microwaving hot chocolate and boring store-bought sugar cookies? Spice up your kitchen this holiday season with some quick, easy, and delicious festive treats!

The Best Brittle 

    This classic, homemade candy is a Christmas staple. Brittle is a crunchy, sweet treat that is sure to bring a festive sparkle to any holiday gathering. Its sugary, buttery flavor melts in your mouth, and its delightful, crackly texture will make your mouth water. Enjoy this delightful treat with family and friends, and savor the joy of the holiday season! 

 Ingredients:  

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature, plus about 2 tbsp. more for the pan  

1 c. granulated sugar 

1/2 c. light corn syrup 

1/2 c. water 

1/2 c. roasted, lightly salted cashew halves 

1/2 c. pecan halves, roughly chopped 

1/3 c. roasted, unsalted peanuts  

1/3 c. slivered almonds 

3/4 tsp. kosher salt 

1 tsp. baking soda 

1 tsp. vanilla extract  

 

Directions: 

  1. Prepare a large, non-stick baking sheet 
  2. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large saucepan. Cook, mixing periodically, until a thermometer reads 285°, for 15-20 minutes. Using a spoon, stir in the cashews, pecans, peanuts, almonds, and kosher salt. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the mixture is about 300°, three to five minutes. Remove from heat and remove the candy thermometer from the pan. Add butter, baking soda, and vanilla and stir until mixture is evenly foamy. (If the mixture starts foaming, don’t worry! That’s supposed to happen) Immediately pour onto the prepared baking sheet. Quickly spread it into a thin sheet. Sprinkle lightly with flaky sea salt for taste. 
  3. Let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week. 

 

 

Wonderful White-Hot Chocolate 

     This warm, comforting white hot chocolate is perfect for a chilly Christmas night. The soft, velvety texture of the hot cocoa is the perfect treat on a cold winter night. Enjoy a cup of this delightful white-hot chocolate, and let the warmth and comfort of the season fill your heart! 

Ingredients:  

2 c. milk 

1 1/2 c. half-and-half  

3/4 c. white chocolate chips, plus more for topping 

1/2 tsp. kosher salt 

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 

mini marshmallows, for topping
 

Directions: 

  1. Heat 2 cups of milk and 1 1/2 cups half-and-half in a saucepan over medium-low heat. 
  2. Stir in 3/4 cup white chocolate chips until melted. 
  3. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and 1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. 
  4. Pour into mugs and top with mini marshmallows and more white chocolate chips.  

 

 

Blissful Banana Pudding 

     A bowl of creamy, velvety banana pudding adorned with a sprig of holly and a sprinkle of nutmeg is the perfect addition to a wintery Christmas feast. The pudding’s smooth texture and sweet, comforting aroma will surely fill your home with holiday cheer. Enjoy the smooth, sweet flavor of this classic dessert and make your Christmas complete! 

Ingredients:  

2 cups cold milk 

1 (5 ounces) package of instant vanilla pudding mix 

1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk 

1 tablespoon vanilla extract 

1 (12 ounces) container of frozen whipped topping, thawed 

1 (16 ounces) package of vanilla wafers 

14 small bananas, sliced or to taste 

 

Directions:  

  1. Whisk the pudding mix into the cold milk.
  2. Add the sweetened condensed milk and vanilla.
  3. Fold in the frozen whipped topping.
  4. Layer the mixture with the sliced bananas and vanilla wafers.
  5. Cover the banana pudding tightly with storage wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.
  6. Chill until serving.

 

 

Perfect Peppermint Eggnog 

     Peppermint eggnog is a festive and creamy holiday treat, perfect for a cozy Christmas get-together. Its sweet, minty flavor combines creamy eggnog and zesty peppermint, creating an exhilarating and jolly taste sensation. It’s a delightful indulgence, perfect for spreading holiday cheer to all! 

Ingredients: 

4 cups of cold milk 

1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk 

5 egg yolks 

3 tablespoons of cornstarch 

1/2 teaspoon of salt 

1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg 

1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon 

1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger 

1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves 

2 teaspoons of peppermint extract 

1/2 cup of granulated sugar 

2 tablespoons of butter

 

Directions: 

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together the cold milk, condensed milk, egg yolks, cornstarch, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves over medium heat.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to boil, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and add the peppermint extract, sugar, and butter, stirring until the butter is melted.
  4. Allow the mixture to cool, stirring occasionally.
  5. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and refrigerate until chilled about 2 hours.
  6. Serve the eggnog chilled, topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired. Enjoy!

 

 

Super Sugar-free Christmas Berry Cheesecake 

This delicious sugar-free Christmas cheesecake is an indulgent festive treat. The smooth, velvety topping is delicately flavored with hints of cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg – the perfect combination for a Christmas party or dinner. Enjoy this sugar-free delight this holiday season! 

Ingredients:  

2 cups graham cracker crumbs 

1/2 cup sugar-free sweetener 

1/4 cup melted butter 

2 packages (8oz) reduced-fat cream cheese 

2 large eggs 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

1/2 cup sugar-free raspberry jam 

1/2 cup sugar-free whipped topping 

 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar-free sweetener, and melted butter.
  3. Grease a 9-inch springform pan and press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan.
  4. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  5. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the pan and spread evenly.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center is just set.
  7. Let the cheesecake cool before adding the raspberry jam.
  8. Spread the jam over the top of the cheesecake.
  9. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least two hours before serving.
  10. Just before serving, top the cheesecake with the sugar-free whipped topping.

 

 

Cheerful Candy Cane Peppermint Fudge (Vegan) 

This vegan candy cane peppermint fudge is heavenly! It’s a delightful, festive treat that will fill the air with its merry peppermint aroma. The crunchy candy cane pieces and their sweet, minty flavor will make your holiday season merry and bright. Enjoy this magical Christmas indulgence this holiday season! 

Ingredients: 

2 cups vegan white chocolate chips 

1/2 cup creamy almond butter 

1/4 cup almond milk 

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract 

1/4 teaspoon sea salt 

2 tablespoons crushed candy canes 

 

Directions: 

  1. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the white chocolate chips and heat in 30-second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until the chips are completely melted.
  3. Add the almond butter, almond milk, peppermint extract, and sea salt to the melted chocolate and stir until everything is combined.
  4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out evenly.
  5. Sprinkle the crushed candy cane pieces on top of the fudge and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to set.
  6. Once the fudge is set, remove it from the pan and cut into small squares.

 

 

 

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Kara Griffith, Online Staff Writer
Kara Griffith (10) is a Staff Writer for the The Hoofprint Online news. She is a flautist in the Band of Blue Marching Band and Wind Symphony. She is in Talented Art and Beta Club. She loves to paint, draw, watch anime, and cuddle with her black cat, Mabel.
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