Food + Recipes

Baking Spirits Bright: The Colorventurer’s Favorite Holiday Treats

Oh Christmas treats, oh Christmas treats…

‘Tis the season to bake delicious treats to warm the house and fill it with the sweet aroma of Christmas confections. Honestly, it’s my most favorite part of December! I love to stay in on a cold, winter day, dressed in my cozy pajamas and fuzzy socks, and whip up some yummy treats in the kitchen. I always look forward to making holiday goodies for my family and friends, as well as baking cookies for my mom’s annual Christmas Cookie Exchange! But every December, you can find me in the kitchen making some of the same treats that I look forward to making every year, like White Chocolate Chip Blondies, Christmas Wreath Rice Krispies Treats, and Christmas Crack. YUM!

Luckily, I’ve rounded up these favorite Christmas desserts of mine in one place to share them with you! All of these recipes are incredibly easy to whip up, especially since only one of these recipes actually calls for a full-on baking session, so you’ll be able to create some delicious sweets to share with others as a holiday gift or as a “treat yo self” present (who says you can’t give yourself something for Christmas?!). Trust me when I say you’re going to fall in love with all of these holiday treats and want to make them your new Christmas tradition, too!

So, if you’re looking for something easy to make as a holiday gift or just in the (Christmas) spirit to try something new, read on below for all of The Colorventurer’s Favorite Holiday Treats!

Christmas Crack

Christmas Crack, otherwise known as a saltine toffee, gets its name because of how addicting it is. This simple toffee recipe uses saltine crackers, and while it may sound a bit odd, there is something absolutely scrumptious about the salty crunch of the saltine crackers mixed with the sweetness of the chocolate and the smooth yet chewy caramel. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

I remember the first time my mom and I made Christmas Crack, we stood in front of the cookie sheet we prepared and, within minutes, had devoured it all. Whoops! But it’s that good! Christmas Crack is easily one of my favorite treats to make around the holidays. Plus, it’s super simple to make!

To making Christmas Crack, you’ll need saltine crackers, butter, brown sugar, and chocolate chips. Start by placing a layer of saltine crackers onto a foil-lined cookie sheet. Next, in a large saucepan, melt one cup of butter over medium heat, then add one cup of brown sugar. Bring to a boil and let this boil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Once the caramel is finished, pour it over the layer of saltine crackers and spread it evenly across the crackers with a spatula. After the caramel is evenly spread, sprinkle semi-sweet chocolate chips across the top, completely covering the caramel-cracker mixture. Place the cookie sheet into a 350° oven for a minute or two to thoroughly melt the chocolate. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven and evenly spread the melted chocolate over the entire surface. Next, let it chill for an hour in the refrigerator. Once it is completely chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and cut or “crack” it into pieces. Lastly (and certainly the best part), enjoy your Christmas Crack!

Rolo Pretzel Turtles

If you’re a fan of Turtles chocolates, you will absolutely love this simple yet incredibly delicious homemade version. Only three ingredients are needed to make this sweet confection, making it one of the fastest and easiest way to bring this classic holiday treat to life (and to hand out to family and friends as a Christmas treat!).

To make this sweet treat, you’ll need pretzels (I prefer to use the square pretzels to help hold the chocolate and caramel into place), Rolo candies (this is the simplest way since it already has chocolate and caramel), and pecan halves. Yup, it’s that easy!

Start by lining a cookie sheet with parchment paper and line out your pretzels in a single layer. Use the same number of pretzels as you have Rolo candies. Unwrap your Rolo candies and place one candy on each pretzel. Once you have all of the chocolates and pretzels lined out, gently place the cookie sheet in a 350°F oven for just a few minutes until the chocolates are soft but not melted. At this time, get your pecan halves ready. It’s best to have nice, full pecan halves for the Rolo Pretzel Turtles’ presentation, but if not, don’t worry. Carefully remove the cookie sheet from the oven and set on a cooling rack. Now, moving quickly while the candy is still warm, press a pecan half onto each candy covered pretzel. Allow them to cool completely so the chocolate firms up again, then enjoy!

Ritz Peanut Butter Patties

Ritz Peanut Butter Patties are easily one of my favorite desserts of all time. With only a few ingredients, this no-bake treat delivers the perfect mix of sweet and salty.  It’s chocolatey, peanut buttery, and crunchy all at the same time. Yum! They are honestly so incredibly easy to whip up, making them the perfect last-minute treat for a holiday platter or gift. Plus, did I mention that they taste exactly like the Girl Scouts’ Peanut Butter Patties?!

To make Ritz Peanut Butter Patties, you only need Ritz crackers, creamy peanut butter, and chocolate almond bark. Chocolate almond bark is better to use for this recipe since it hardens and doesn’t get melty after sitting out like standard chocolate chips would.

Start by placing a single layer of Ritz crackers on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. With a butter knife, add a layer of peanut butter to each Ritz cracker. You can add as much or as little peanut butter as you’d like. Also, feel free to try other nut butters if peanut butter isn’t your preference. Once each cracker has peanut butter, sandwich it with another Ritz cracker. Now, melt your almond bark in the microwave or over a double boiler. When microwaving, make sure to heat at small intervals so the chocolate doesn’t scorch.

Once the chocolate is melted, drop an assembled sandwich cookie into it. With two forks, quickly turn the cookie to coat on all sides with chocolate. Lift the sandwich cookie out of the chocolate with one of the forks and gently shake it and tap the fork against the edge of the bowl, forcing excess chocolate off of the Ritz cookie. (If the chocolate becomes thick or difficult to work with, simply warm it up again.) Transfer chocolate-dipped cookie onto the wax paper, gingerly sliding it off the fork. Allow the Ritz Peanut Butter Patties to rest until the chocolate is set, then dig right in! Just make sure to leave some behind, because they really are delicious!

White Chocolate Chip Blondies

Blondies are an old-fashioned dessert that are reminiscent of brownies, but instead of being chocolatey, they taste more caramelized and brown sugary (read: they are absolutely delicious!). My Blondies are probably the most popular dessert I make. I always get requests to make them. In fact, my dad already told me his biggest birthday wish is for me to make him my Blondies, and his birthday isn’t even for another two months! And when I do make them (like when I made them for my mother’s surprise birthday party two years ago), they are gobbled right up! Obviously, these Blondies are completely scrumptious.

To make my Blondies, you’ll need brown sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and white chocolate chips. In a large bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of melted butter, 2 eggs lightly beaten, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract until well blended. In a separate bowl, blend 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Next, add the dry ingredients to your wet ingredients/brown sugar mixture. Lastly, add in 1 cup of white chocolate chips. You could always add regular chocolate chips, but I like the taste and appearance of the white chocolate chips in the Blondies more.

Once the batter is prepared, pour it into a greased 13″x9″ baking pan and bake at 350°F for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Depending on the size of your squares, this patch will yield about 2 dozen Blondies. And trust me, these will go quick—they are that good!

Christmas Wreath Rice Krispies Treats

Rice Krispies Treats are a classic dessert to have during the holidays, but I love making them extra festive when the holidays are here. One super cute way to make them Christmasy is to create fun little wreaths out of your Rice Krispies Treats!

To make you wreaths, you’ll need 3 tablespoons of butter, 1 bag of marshmallows (or 4 cups of mini marshmallows), 6 cups of Rice Krispies cereal, green food coloring, and decorative candies to make them festive.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter. Next, add in your marshmallows and stir until completely coated in butter. Melt over low heat, stirring occasionally. Once the marshmallows are melted, add in your green food coloring, starting with about 7 drops and adding one additional drop until you are satisfied with the color. Turn off the heat and remove the marshmallow mixture from the stovetop. Pour in your Rice Krispies cereal and mix until combined with the marshmallows. With greased hands (the mixture will be sticky), grab a portion, roll it into a ball, and use your finger to make a hole in the center. Be careful as the mixture will be hot. Flatten the ball into a wreath shape and set it on a piece of wax paper. Add your decorative candies like cinnamon candies or even make a bow out of sour candy strings. Decorate it however you’d like! Repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have all your wreaths formed and decorated. Let the wreaths cool completely, then enjoy!

Christmas Fudge

Oh, fudge—that wonderful creamy, chocolaty confection. I’m salivating just thinking about it! Fudge has always been a family favorite around Christmastime, and understandably so; It’s so easy to make and so delicious! Plus, fudge makes for a great gift during the holidays!

To make Christmas Fudge, you’ll need granulated sugar, Carnation Evaporated Milk, butter, mini marshmallows, and Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels. Yup, that’s it! Who knew making Christmas Fudge could be so easy? (Plus, you could always personalize it for the holidays with easy variations like using milk chocolate morsels, butterscotch morsels, or even swirl in some peanut butter or add nuts!)

Before preparing your Christmas Fudge, line an 8″ square baking dish with foil and lightly spray the foil with cooking spray. Next, in a medium-sized saucepan, combine 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar, 2/3 cup (a 5 fluid-ounce can) of Carnation Evaporated Milk, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring constantly for 4 to 5 minutes. Once it comes to a full rolling boil, remove the mixture from the heat. Add in 2 cups of miniature marshmallows and 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) of Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels and stir vigorously for a minute or until the marshmallows and chocolate are melted. Next, immediately pour the fudge into the foil-lined baking dish and smooth out the top, then refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Once the fudge is firm, pull it out of the refrigerator and lift the fudge from the baking dish by the foil and place it on a cutting board. Cut your Christmas Fudge into squares (this recipe will yield about two dozen pieces depending on the size of your fudge squares). Now, enjoy your Christmas Fudge! Yum!

I hope you enjoy these recipes and try some out during the holidays!

What are your favorite holiday treats? Let me know in the comments below!

I hope you have a very sweet holiday season filled with lots of delectable treats!

6 thoughts on “Baking Spirits Bright: The Colorventurer’s Favorite Holiday Treats”

  1. I really like these dessert treats you’ve suggested in your article! They seem so family friendly too, especially for kids. I’m sure to give all of these a try! Thanks for a scrumptious Christmas 🎅👍
    🎄Merry Christmas!🎄

    Like

    1. I’m so glad to hear it! They are all super easy (virtually all of them don’t even require an oven!) and yet so delicious. I hope you give them a try for Christmas! Happy holidays!

      Like

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