These tasty little clusters were one of those last-minute ideas that, thankfully, turned out even better than I imagined. Good thing, because most all of my last-minute kitchen ideas of late have been disasters. Like, say, grated parsnips in Crock Pot chili (eww, slimy). So I needed the confidence boost.
See, I was making some chocolate bark with pretzels sticks. But at the last minute, I decided to reserve half of the melted chocolate and stir some of the granola left over from this recipe into the remaining chocolate, pile it in mounds, let it harden, and see what happened.
For us, breakfast strata is an absolute must on Christmas morning. I grew up with it, and the holiday just wouldn’t feel complete without it.
Plus, when you make it the night before, the only work you have to do in the morning is pull the breakfast strata out of the fridge, uncover it, and stick it in the oven. Less time in the kitchen, more time playing with the toys Santa brought you. If you’ve been good, that is.
How’s it going with your gift-buying this year? Aside from the play kitchen Santa is attempting to make for our little one (think old free entertainment center plus Pinterest-fueled aspirations), I’ve had my gift-buying wrapped up for weeks now.
I don’t really feel like I have it together, though. I mean, for one, there are still a gazillion things to do. Christmas came fast this year. And all that punctual Christmas gift buying really means is that I end up buying more stuff.
If you spend much time cooking and/or baking, you no doubt have a few tools you consider essential. Sure, you can never go without the basics – bowls, pans, spoons – but if you’re anything like me, you rely on a few (or more than a few) less-standard, can’t-live-without items.
This recipe, my friends, comes with a warning.
CONSUME WITH CAUTION.
There is something oh-so very drinkable – and almost weirdly addicting – about this Crock Pot mulled wine. I don’t know if it’s the tart/sweet combo, the cinnamon, the cloves, the wine, the brandy, its ability to warm you from the inside out, the magic of the season, all of it together, or what, but it is very easy to drink.
This is the time of year when I start obsessing over red and green foods. After all, you can’t serve yellow and brown for Christmas! (Okay, fine, you actually can – and I usually do – but if the food coordinates with the holiday, well, it pleases me).
I sound like a total freak, don’t I?
Well, with these Tomato Pesto Tarts, I can let my freak flag fly proudly, because they’re unabashedly red and green – oh so perfect for the holiday.
It’s crunch time! I entered this holiday season determined to be prepared, stay organized, and have everything I wanted to do done as early as possible.
Good intentions. Here I am scrambling along with most everyone else. I have to admit I find myself putting this post together at an incredibly frenzied pace all while adding item after item to my mental “must do today” checklist. Aaaah!
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself with an extra 10 minutes, though, here are some ideas for you.
There’s something so comforting about traditions. For instance: breakfast on Christmas morning. I grew up eating overnight breakfast strata; my guy’s family does blueberry muffins. So this year, we’re going to do both, along with lattes brewed up in the Crock Pot. Can’t wait.
It feels wrong to write about something as frivolous as food, but I’m forcing myself to do so. I hope that it doesn’t come across as callous or uncaring … I’m far from either of those things when it comes to last week’s horrific events.
I’m also pretty sure you’re not here to read about that. So: today I’m talking about popcorn. Christmas party popcorn, to be exact.
I guess there’s no hiding it. I’m pretty much obsessed with hot drinks made in the Crock Pot.
I can’t help myself. They’re so wonderfully hands-off, especially when it comes to this recipe. Pour all the ingredients in, give ‘em a stir, wait a couple of hours. Then turn your Crock Pot to low and enjoy wonderful hot drink after hot drink all day long if you want. All day! For a heckuva lot less than it costs for the same thing at Starbucks! Yay Crock Pot!
Well hello! I see you might be back for more of my exciting series, Easy Christmas Treats. This is the second and, well, final installment of the series.
Okay, so it’s not much of a series. At all. But I had a couple of super-ridiculously-easy treats I wanted to share with y’all, and so here you go.
Today we’re talking white chocolate and Oreo cookies, all mushed together and made into a heavenly bark. Easy, delicious and festive.
This is Easy Christmas Treat #1 in the series “Easy Christmas Treats.” Easy Christmas Treat #2 will be featured tomorrow and then … well, that’s it for the series. It’s not a long one, sorry.
That I found the energy to make either easy treat sometimes feels like a Christmas miracle in and of itself. Women who have done this pregnancy thing more than once, I salute you. I am humbled by you, admire you and practically worship you. I’d curtsy in your general direction too, but then I wouldn’t be able to get back up without help.
So! As far as easy treats go, these are insanely so. Put down a pretzel, add a Hershey’s kiss, melt the kiss a little and then plop an M&M on top. They’re so simple you can do most of the prep sitting down. And that I did.
And they’re good, too. Sweet and salty = score.
Chocolate Pretzel Candies
Chocolate Pretzel Candies
Author: Kitchen Treaty
Recipe type: Dessert
- 36 waffle-shaped pretzels
- 36 Hershey’s hugs, unwrapped
- 36 Red and/or green M&Ms
- 36 circular peanut butter sandwich pretzels
- 36 Hershey’s milk chocolate kisses, unwrapped
- 36 Red and/or green M&Ms
- Sea salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lay a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
- Lay the pretzels on the cookie sheet and top with a kiss.
- Bake for 4 – 7 minutes, until the kiss or hug is soft but still retains its shape. One way to test is to poke it with a spoon; another is to pull them out at 4 minutes and try to top with an M&M; if it’s still hard in the middle, give it another minute or two.
- Pull from the oven and top immediately and quickly with M&Ms. If you’re using the peanut butter sandwich pretzels and notice they don’t have much salt, sprinkle the kiss with a little sea salt if you want.
- Allow to harden – this will take a couple of hours, or you can transfer them to the refrigerator to speed up the process.
Originally posted on The Hazel Bloom December 21, 2011. Updated and posted on Kitchen Treaty December 12, 2012. More about this
Good friends, avert your eyes. Possible Christmas spoilers lie ahead.
Warm, cozy, chocolatey, minty spoilers.
This scrumptious homemade candy cane hot cocoa mix makes the perfect gift for everyone on your “nice” list. Dark chocolate adds depth, crushed candy canes give it a minty twist and the white chocolate rounds it all out. It comes together incredibly quickly with the help of a food processor. Then just fill a few plain pint-size mason jars, dress ‘em up with a label, screw a circle of festive fabric onto the lid, and make friends and family happy and cozy.
Gift a jar with a big bundle of candy canes and maybe even a bottle of peppermint schnapps or Bailey’s Irish cream. ‘Tis the season!
A few people have asked about the labels I used. I sort of cobbled them together. I started with the top left image from this great blank cards template from the wonderful joyeverafter.com. I then created my own custom label using that border in Photoshop, along with the Outlaw font, then printed them on plain Avery 2” H x 4” W labels and cut them out with scissors.Voila!
Honestly, if I’d been thinking farther ahead, I probably would have bought a batch of these from Paper Source and printed on them – much easier.
If you’re looking for a super-easy, crowd-pleasing holiday treat, look no further.
With only five ingredients (six if you add the sprinkles), Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls are a simple, easy goodie that come together in no time at all and will undoubtedly disappear equally quickly. But don’t worry; smiles (and quite possibly recipe requests) will be left behind.
I’d describe how they taste, but it’s probably pretty obvious. Sweet, rich and that delicious, magical combination of peanut butter and chocolate. In other words: Win!
Rumor has it that the mighty cupcake is losing favor and pie popularity is surging. I’m not sure I’m down with the idea of certain sweets going in and out of fashion, but I’m a big fan of making room for everyone. Especially when it comes to desserts.
Today, though, for one day, I’m okay with favoring pie. It is, after all, National Pie Day. That’s right; a holiday all about pie! According to holidayinsights.com, it’s a day for baking pies, sharing pies and trying new pie recipes. And hey! I’ve got a new recipe for you right here!
I first made this Sweet Potato Pie for Christmas just this year. It’s one of those rare recipes that hit the perfect note the very first time I attempted it, and I doubt I’ll ever stray from this version. I’m just going to put all modesty aside and declare it pretty much perfection.