HOLIDAY TREATS

REINDEER FOOD
Recipes like this make the perfect little gift to share with neighbors, coworkers, teachers and friends. Plus, this is one of those really fun activities to do in the kitchen with young kiddos!
Ingredients
1 bag of popped popcorn
(about 4 cups total)
4 cups Rice Chex cereal
8 ounce white candy coating
or almond bark
1 (9 ounce) bag Peppermint M&Ms
1 (9 ounce) bag milk chocolate red and green M&Ms
2 cups Peppermint Crunch Red sprinkles

Lay wax paper down over your kitchen counters to pour your Reindeer Food on.
In a large mixing bowl, combine your popcorn and Chex mix together.
In a microwavable bowl, melt your candy coating, stirring every 45 seconds. Once it’s melted, quickly pour it over your popcorn mixture and toss. Working quickly, add in M&Ms, Peppermint Crunch, and sprinkles and then pour the mixture down over the wax paper to dry (about 10 minutes). Once it’s dried, store in an airtight container.
And of course, you could mix and match this a million ways by adding in your favorite Christmas candy!

 

CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MACAROONS
These little bites of goodness look fancy and are perfect for a little holiday fete, and so simple to make! This Christmas season, whether you’re hosting a little something yourself, asked to bring something to a party, or just want something a little extra special, you should make these.
From SHAY SHULL’S new cookbook, MIX & MATCH MAMA EATS.
Festive yuletide sweets that are perfect for sharing – and so simple to make!

Ingredients
51/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1-teaspoon vanilla
8 ounce chocolate almond bark
1 teaspoon peppermints extract about
1 cup peppermint crunch

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray your cookie sheet with cooking spray or line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine coconut and flour with a wooden spoon. Stir in your salt, milk and vanilla. Drop by the two table- spoons full on to your parchment paper.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly brown and toasted. Remove from oven to cool one minute while you’re preparing the chocolate. Microwave the almond bark, stirring every 45 seconds until smooth. Immediately stir in the peppermint extract. Drizzle your chocolate peppermint down over each macaroon and then go back and quickly sprinkle the peppermint crunch down on top.
(The chocolate will set quickly). Serve either warm or room temp. Store in an airtight container on the counter.
OREO CHRISTMAS BARK
Christmas Bark is the easiest candy in the world to make and the ultimate mix and match recipe. The best part? You can’t screw it up. Add whatever Christmas candy that makes you happy. This will last weeks in the fridge or freezer. The perfect party snack or gift for a friend or neighbor.

Ingredients
1 package white-chocolate candy coating
10 Christmas Oreos, crushed
1/4 cup pretzel sticks, broken into pieces Christmas M&Ms
A few tablespoons of Candy Cane Crunch
Christmas sprinkles
A handful of white chocolate chips and/or mint chocolate chips

In a microwavable bowl, melt white-chocolate coating (stopping to stir every 45 seconds). Once melted, pour over a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Immediately, top with cookies, pretzels, sprinkles and candy and slightly press into chocolate (I use a large spatula to press the candy into the chocolate). Refrigerate at least one hour. Pull from fridge, break into pieces with your hands.

 

GINGERBREAD CUPCAKES
with Egg Nog Cream Cheese Frosting
Instead of making another batch of gingerbread men this year, why not make these yummy cupcakes? Topped with a seasonal frosting, they are a crowd pleaser. As for the Egg Nog in the frosting, you can either use homemade or buy a bottle from the grocery store (next to the other dairy products this time of year).

Ingredients
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 2/3 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cups flour
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup boiling water
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons prepared Egg Nog

A little cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg to garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill two (12-count) muffin tins with cupcake liners (you’ll probably only fill 18 of them).
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, ginger, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda with a whisk. In a second bowl, beat with an electric mixer the sugar, molasses, oil and egg until combined. Slowly beat the sugar mixture into the flour mixture. Pour boiling water down over the top of the batter and beat until it’s combined.
Fill your cupcake liners with batter. Bake about 8 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and egg nog with an electric mixer until smooth. Add more egg nog if the frosting is too thick and more sugar if it’s too thin. Frost cupcakes and garnish with a little sprinkle of spice. When not enjoying, store in the refrigerator.


Mix-And-Match Mama Eats features over 200 meal and dessert recipes that also includes helpful “Tips and Tricks,” “Baking Essentials,” and “Grocery Staples.” Shay is the creator of the popular “The Mix and Match Mama” blog and is the author of three cookbooks. As a busy wife and mom of three young children, Shay believes adding a twist to any recipe can appease the pickiest eater and save time for busy moms.

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