I used to make a bonanza of holiday treats for my family and to share with friends. I still make a few, but now that half of my children are are out of the house most of the year, I am less inclined to make so many holiday treats.
There’s nobody around to eat them…except me!
Despite this, I haven’t totally given up on holiday treats, and making them. There are a few tried-and-true ones I make every year.
My Favorite Homemade Holiday Treats
There’s no denying the depth of tradition and delicious goodness that emerges during the holiday season. I find I go to the same holiday treats every year because I don’t make them any other time (usually, with the only exception being the white chocolate coated candy mix recipe below). So, when the holidays roll around, I am always excited to make these little gems.
White Chocolate Glazed Candy Mix
If you love a trail mix, or like to mesh different cereals, crackers and nuts for your little ones as an on-the-go healthy snack, you’ll like this sweetened, dressed-up version of a Chex mix.
My kids still cannot believe I have shared this recipe on the blog. For years, I wouldn’t, and didn’t. It was one of the only unique items I could make for the teachers, so I kept the recipe close to my heart. But then I decided that making goodies for the teachers was behind me, and I felt like sharing. My sister shared it with me many, many years ago, so I know it’s not “new” or “unique,” but it seems to be geographically-specific to certain areas.
This recipe takes 15 minutes to make, is a big crowd pleaser, and is a versatile option for other holidays, like Easter and Valentine’s Day (just swap out the color of M & M’s).
Double Chocolate Walnut Biscotti
(originally from Gourmet magazine, 1994, now on Epicurious)
I enjoy a good biscotti, but I am not a big fan of the fruit and nut versions. When I discovered this double chocolate recipe way back in 1994 (before marriage and kids!), I fell in love. This is the ONLY biscotti I make. I follow the directions to a tee, and these little guys turn out perfectly every time…and that’s a lot of times, considering I’ve been making them for 23 years!
Chocolate Caramel Truffles
(also from Gourmet magazine, circa 1994)
I’ve been making these for years, too. Not every year, but I have made them several times. They are pretty easy and fun to make, but the caramel can be tricky with getting the heat right. I wouldn’t enlist a young child to do the cooking piece, however, rolling the chocolate caramel balls into the toppings could be fun for them!
Personally, I’ve stepped away from the nut coating because my son has tree nut allergies. But, if that weren’t the case, I’d be making the pecan-coated version, as it is my all-time favorite.
Here’s the recipe in case you want to try these decadent truffles.
Can you tell I’m a BIG fan of chocolate?!
Christmas Cookie Recipes
Over the years, I’ve made all kinds of cookies, chocolate-dipped pretzels, 7 layer bars, and more. Last year I compiled a list of yummy Christmas cookies from dietitians across the nation. There are some really creative ideas here if you’re looking for something new.
What are your favorite holiday treats to make?