Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Quick and Easy Christmas Treats!

So this year we did not do our annual book club cookie exchange. The book club has sorta taken a temporary hiatus, busy-ness, you know. So I had to have some sort of treats for my school Christmas potluck, Sunday dinner Dessert and something to take to Brien's family Christmas. These fit the bill and I may or may not have eaten a bunch of them. Why does food have to be so delicious??
Or Christmas treats! It's for safety sake!

Here are three quick and easy recipes for ya!!

Pretzel bites!
You need: mini pretzels
Any kind of solid Hersey Kisses (I mean, you could try to caramel kind, but I don't see that going well!)
M&M's (We used the almond kind and they were pretty delicious!

1. Lay out the pretzels on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 200.

2. Have a handy helper unwrap all of the Hersey Kisses and place on all of the pretzels. Thanks Callie!
3. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes
4. Last, press the M&M's into the kisses (You have to hurry, a partner is helpful in this process)
The finished product! You can tell which ones Brien did...His are in the upper right hand corner. He said they should look like Christmas lights. I thought they looked a little weird. It's whatever... 
But they were tasty and when I went back for my container at the end of the potluck, they were gone!

Next up Christmas Crack!
You need: Crackers. The recipe called for saltines, I only had Club Crackers. We used about a sleeve and a half for this recipe.
2 sticks of butter--we used salted
1 cup of brown sugar
3/4 of a bag of semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with foil, then grease it up with cooking spray
2. Lay out the crackers, like so...
3. Get to work on that sauce! Melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat. 

4. When it starts to bubble a little let it cook for about a minute longer, it should be like a thin caramel.

5. Next pour over the crackers as evenly as you can. I forgot to take a picture of this....
6. Then pop into the oven for about 5 minutes, until the butter sugar mixture is nice and bubbly!
7. Next, straight outta the oven sprinkle on the chocolate chips and let them melt for a minute and smooth over with a knife.
Pop into the freezer for about an hour to let it set up and then break apart! Yummy-oh!

Next up Peppermint Bark!
You need: Semisweet chocolate 12 oz
White Chocolate 12 oz
2 tsp vegetable oil
6 crunched up candy canes
1/2 tsp of peppermint extract
This recipe was a little bit more tricky...I should have used wax paper not parchment paper and I recommend a cookie sheet not a 9x11 pan. The weight of the chocolate did not weigh down the parchment paper enough to spread it thinly in the pan, so our bark was super thick and hard to break up!

1. Line a baking/cookie sheet with wax paper
2. Melt the semisweet chocolate and 1 tsp of vegetable oil in a microwave safe bowl. I cooked for 1 minute and stirred then cooked for about 40 seconds longer, until the chocolate was nice and smooth.
3. Pour into the baking sheet and spread thinly.
4. Put pan in freezer and let the first layer harden.
5. Unwrap and crush up the candy canes. We just did the old candy in a zip lock and take a meat mallet to it!
6. Next, melt the white chocolate, peppermint extract and 1 tsp of oil in the microwave. White chocolate is a little tricky! You have to melt it just right and I think I let ours go a little long and it was not as smooth as it could have been. So about 1 minute and 30 seconds on this one. 
7. Pour the melty white chocolate over the semisweet chocolate and immediately pour on the crushed candy canes.

8. Back into the freezer for about an hour. 
9. Break up into pieces to make the "bark".
Like I said ours was way thick, but it still tasted super yummy!!

So there you have it, 3 fairly easy Christmas Treats! They were so fun to whip up while Kellen was taking a nap and more fun to eat when the kids weren't looking!

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