Holiday Party Treats

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Allison Collins
Allison Collins

With the holidays in full swing, ‘tis the season for parties, at work and at school, and most importantly, COOKIE EXCHANGES!

 These parties seem to creep up without warning and therefore, you are making the same cookie you made last year.  Don’t get me wrong, holiday classics are great to have around and to make, but when you get them year after year, the flavors get a little routine.

 But alas, time is our worst enemy during the holidays.  Whether its work, school, kids, or just daily activities, the holidays always seem to be busy.  I will often forget about an event until the night before or sometimes even the day of!

 Without proper time and preparation, you might find yourself running to the local bakery to pick something up last minute. I tell you, do not let time be a spoiler!  There are plenty fun and tasty holiday desserts that can be whipped up quickly if need be.

 This week I have two recipes for you to try.  The first is a unique take on a holiday cookie to take to your next cookie exchange.  The other is a munchy favorite that can be made in about 20 minutes for any of those last minute festivities.

 White Chocolate Peppermint Macadamia Nut Cookie

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My inspiration behind this cookie comes from one of my favorite cookies: White Chocolate chip Macadamia Nut.  I love the ones at a local bakery here in Westwood called Diddy Riese.  I wanted to make the cookie festive though, so instead of using regular white chocolate chips I threw in some Peppermint Hersey Kisses.

 The base of this cookie is sugar cookie dough.  I used a classic: Betty Crocker’s – Aunt Ethel’s Sugar Cookie

 ½ cup shortening

¼ cup butter, softened

1 cup Sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

2 ¼ cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

Half a bag peppermint Hersey Kisses or white chocolate peppermint bark; chopped

1 ½ cups chopped Macadamia Nuts (optional)**

 1). Combine shortening and butter in a bowl and mix until well combined and smooth

2). Add sugar and combine.

3).  Mix eggs in one at a time.

4). Stir in vanilla

5). In separate bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt.

6).  Slowly add the flour mixture into the shortening mixture until fully combined.

7).  Stir in chopped Hersey Kisses and macadamia nuts if you are using them.

8). Let the dough chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

9). Preheat oven to 375.  Drop cookies on cookie sheet 2-inches apart and bake for 10-12 minutes.

  

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20-Minute Reindeer Munch

 This dish is really similar to muddy buddies.  Muddy buddies are a classic dish that kids and adults alike seem to love!  It’s quick and easy to make, plus it allows for total creativity.   This dish is so versatile that you will never have the same flavor twice!

 2 Cups Cinnamon Chex Mix

2 Cups Corn Chex Mix

1 bag Dark Chocolate M&M’s

1 ½ Cups chopped pecans; toasted

2 Cups Popcorn (optional)

2 Tbsp. Butter

¼ Cup Brown Sugar; packed

1 Tbsp. corn syrup

2 Tbsp. sweetened condensed milk.

Powdered Sugar

 1). Combine the cereals, pecans, and popcorn in a large bowl.

2). Place butter in liquid measuring cup and microwave for 30 seconds, or until melted.

3). Add brown sugar, corn syrup and milk to the butter; microwave for thirty seconds.  Stir to combine.

4). Pour over cereal mixture.  Microwave cereal mixture on high 2:30 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds.

5).  Mix in chocolate chips.  Pour mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with foil or wax paper.

6). Sprinkle powdered sugar over the Reindeer Munch and let set for 10 minutes.

Store in airtight container and enjoy!

 Hope you get a chance to try these treats.  Check back next week as I look into some unique twist to a winter classic: tamales!

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