Holiday Treats

One of my favorite things to do around the holidays is to make a bunch of holiday treats to give to pretty much everyone I know. It makes me feel like a little elf to spend an afternoon in my kitchen, making goodies and packaging them up all cute. While I’ve made several different types of treats over the years, a couple have been in the rotation on a regular basis because of the raves they get. You know I wouldn’t hold out on you for the recipes! So here ya go!

Minty Pretzel Bites

Makes about 60 treats

1 bag mini pretzels

1 bag Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses

1 bag mint M&Ms

This recipe makes me incredibly happy because it incorporates 2 seasonal items:

The kisses

and the M&Ms.

First of all, the packaging makes me swoon because I am a total sucker. It’s so damn festive I can hardly stand it. And secondly, mint? chocolate? Holiday sugar rush, come to mama!

Anyway.

Preheat the oven to 170*. Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. Lay out your pretzels salty side up.

Then, unwrap all the kisses, and place one on top of each pretzel.

Put the pretzels in the oven for 4-6 minutes. You want the kisses to get melty so you can press an M&M onto them, but not so melty that they go everywhere. Got that? Good. While that happens, separate out your M&Ms by color. Please only follow this instruction if you are super type A.

In case there was any doubt.

When the kisses are melty but not too melty, take them out and gently press an M&M (M side down) onto each kiss. I like to alternate to make sure I have an even number of green and red treats. The white M&Ms are reserved exclusively for keeping my strength up while making treats. It’s taxing, you know.

Let them set up for at least 2 hours, until the chocolate has set. You could probably put them in the fridge to speed things up. Or you could just eat the rest of the M&Ms and watch Love Actually while that happens. Either way.

Onto treat #2!!!

This recipe comes from my dear friend, Kira, who is probably the nicest person on the planet and is about to become a mama at any moment!!! So excited for her!

She makes this Creative Mix, as she calls it, and I totally had to steal the recipe. Although “crack” doesn’t appear in the ingredient list, I dare you to taste this and tell me it’s not in there. Seriously. Super addicting. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Creative Mix

Makes 13 cups

4 cups each mini pretzels, Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, & Rice Chex

1 cup lightly salted peanuts

1 lb. Almond Bark

1 T. vegetable oil

OK, so first of all, what the hell is almond bark, right? Yeah, I had never even heard of this stuff. I first found it at Walmart, and this year, I found this version at Meijer (if you aren’t in the Midwest and don’t have a Meijer nearby, I’m very sorry. Meijer is the best.).

Just look for the seasonal baking display with all of the goodies you need to get yourself into a solid sugar coma, and you should be able to find it. The cool thing about this stuff is that you can usually melt it right in the tray it comes in which means one less dish to clean up. Win.

Pour the oil over the almond bark and melt it in the microwave. I started with 3 minutes, then stirred and heated it in 30 second increments until everything was smooth–about 4 1/2 minutes total. While the chocolate melts, mix up the cereal, pretzels, and peanuts in a large bowl. Really–it’s got to be your biggest one (which sounds oddly dirty), but if you try to do this in a small bowl, you will fail. Just warning you.

Pour the melted chocolate over the cereal mixture and mix gently until everything is nicely coated. Spread over waxed paper to cool. Or if you are super ghetto and don’t have waxed paper, spray some plastic wrap with cooking spray and spread it over that. Brought to you by cheapass.com and #forgottoputitonthelist–either excuse will work.

Let it firm up–it happens pretty fast–then break into pieces and put into super cute cello bags that you can get at the dollar store. This is the part where I really feel like a little elf! πŸ˜€

It’s really important to package these and then hide them from yourself, lest you eat the entire batch before you get a chance to give them away. Not that that’s ever happened to me.

The Peanut Butter Crunch in this is genius. Thanks, Kira! I love this recipe!

Your turn! What are your favorite holiday treats to make? Link it up!

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18 thoughts on “Holiday Treats

  1. Kira says:

    I wondered if the crack recipe would get a shout out. πŸ™‚ I have to give credit to my mama though. It’s been a Christmas staple in our house for as long as I can remember. Your goodies look delicious! Miss you! Can’t wait for you to come visit Baby D…any day now!! πŸ™‚

  2. I make those pretzel bites with those chocolate disks you get at the craft store. I tried Hershey kisses but they make a huge mess for me. Why do yours look so cute? I guess I’m not getting that 4-6 min timing right.
    I usually buy the red and green colored discs and then alternate the red/green/white m&ms. But I haven’t tried the mint ones yet. They don’t last long in my house. Also not lasting long? My thin waistline.

  3. yummy! and so cute! i bought those same hershey kisses to put them into cookies. my evening plans are to also “be a little elf” and make a huge variety of cookies for my work Christmas party tomorrow!

  4. This was so totally fun! I’ve been in a rain induced funk this afternoon and your blog chased my blues away. Thanks! You’re in the FABULOUS club for a very good reason :))

  5. I LOVE the pretzels – I’m such a fan of sweet and savory. I’ve made them with Hersey Kisses but not the M&Ms. Thanks for the tip!!

    My favorite treat to make are my cranberry/white chocolate chip cookies. I’m not a sweets fan – but these cookies are awesome. I’m actually making some for “Christmas” with my brother this weekend.

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