GIFTING goodies

BOX UP YOUR FAVORITE SWEETS FOR HOLIDAY TREATS

Recipes & Photos by Melissa Tate


Homemade gifts are a lost art. My mom made holiday treat boxes every year for friends, family, coworkers, people at church, and our teachers at school. It is such a great way to show someone how much you care. Time is precious and giving some of that in the form of a homemade gift is priceless. Preparing treat boxes is a simple and fun activity that you can do alone to enjoy some quiet time amidst the holiday hustle and bustle or as a group for fun and fellowship. It is a great way to pass down recipes from one generation to another, welcome new neighbors, show appreciation to teachers, and so much more. If making boxes as a group, have each person bring a treat to share, along with the recipe. The host can provide all the boxes and tissue. Let each guest pick their box, then fill it with treats from the other guests. They can be given to someone special in your life, or you can use them as an inspiration for your treat boxes. If making boxes on your own, choose easy recipes that don’t require much bake time. The goal is for this to be enjoyable, not another holiday chore. Below are some great recipes that require little to no baking. Enjoy!

MUDDY BUDDIES

SERVINGS: 14 1 CUP SERVINGS | PREP TIME: 15 MIN. | REST TIME: 30 MIN. | TOTAL TIME: 45 MIN.


INGREDIENTS: 9 cups Rice Chex | 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips | ½ cup peanut butter | ¼ cup butter | 1 tsp. vanilla | 2 cups powdered sugar


DIRECTIONS: MEASURE cereal into a large bowl. MELT chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter until smooth and melted in a separate microwaveable bowl. START at 1 minute and then microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. POUR into a 2-gallon plastic food storage bag. ADD powdered sugar, seal bag and shake! SHAKE until all cereal is coated in powdered sugar. SPREAD on waxed paper to cool.


TIPS & TRICKS: Use an extra-large bowl and a soft silicone spatula to combine the cereal and chocolate mixture. Extra room in the bowl is helpful.

PEPPERMINT BARK

SERVINGS: 30-35 | PREP TIME: 20 MIN. | REST TIME: 45 MIN. | TOTAL TIME: 1 HR. 5 MIN.


INGREDIENTS: 12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped into ½ inch pieces | 12 oz. white chocolate, chopped into ½ inch pieces | ½ tsp. peppermint extract | 3 candy canes or 12 round hard peppermint candies, crushed


DIRECTIONS: LINE an 8×8 baking pan with wax paper. SET aside. PLACE chopped semisweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. HEAT for 30 seconds. REMOVE from microwave and stir well. MICROWAVE in 15-second intervals until smooth and melted. STIR in ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract. SPREAD melted semisweet chocolate evenly into the bottom of your prepared baking pan. SET aside (do not refrigerate) and prepare your white chocolate layer. PLACE your chopped white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 30 seconds. REMOVE from the microwave and stir well. MICROWAVE in 15-second intervals until smooth and melted. STIR in ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract. ADD ¼ cup of crushed candy canes to the white chocolate and gently fold in. SPREAD white chocolate evenly (and gently, in case chocolate has not completely set) over the semisweet chocolate layer. IMMEDIATELY sprinkle white chocolate layer with remaining candy cane pieces. ALLOW peppermint bark to harden completely at room temperature before cutting/breaking into pieces and enjoying.


TIPS & TRICKS: Crumble for hot chocolate topping.

OREO TRUFFLE BALLS

SERVINGS: 36 TRUFFLE BALLS | PREP TIME: 45 MIN. PRE-CHILL | 45 MIN. POST-CHILL | CHILL TIME: 1 HR. | TOTAL TIME: 2.5 HRS.


INGREDIENTS: 1 package Oreo cookies | 8 oz. cream cheese, softened | 12.5 oz. white melting chocolate or vanilla-flavored candy coating


DIRECTIONS: PLACE cookies in a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Or place in a large, sealed baggie and beat with the back of a spoon or meat mallet until crumbled fine. TRANSFER all but 2 Tbsp. of the crumbs to a large mixing bowl. ADD cream cheese and combine with an electric mixer. COVER a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside. SCOOP mixture into 1 Tbsp. balls and roll in palms until smooth. PLACE on cookie sheet about ½ inch apart. CHILL in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. Once truffle balls are firm, prepare the coating. PLACE in a bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth and melted at each interval. COAT the Oreo balls in the coating by placing them on a fork and dunking into the mixture or by placing a toothpick into the balls and dunking that way. PLACE coated Oreo ball on parchment paper covered cookie sheet and immediately sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.


TIPS & TRICKS: This recipe can seem intimidating, but it is not. The key is to let the truffle balls chill in the refrigerator and only take a few out at a time to dip. If you take the entire tray out, some may get soft before you dip them.

PRETZEL HUGS

SERVINGS: 65 PRETZEL HUGS | PREP TIME: 20 MIN. | REST TIME: 45 MIN. | TOTAL TIME: 1 HR. 5 MIN.


INGREDIENTS: 12 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped into ½ inch pieces | 12 oz. white chocolate, chopped into ½ inch pieces | ½ tsp. peppermint extract | 3 candy canes or 12 round hard peppermint candies, crushed


DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 200°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Align pretzels on the cookie sheet and top each pretzel with a Hug. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes until the chocolate is shiny and soft but not melted yet. Hugs should still have their shape. Remove from oven and carefully place one M&M in the center of each soft Hug. Press down to spread the chocolate just a bit. Rest at room temperature or in the refrigerator until set.


TIPS & TRICKS: This recipe can be used with any type of Hershey Kiss and any color M&M making it perfect for all holidays.


ABOUT OUR CHEF


Melissa is a freelance food writer with a passion for hospitality and home cooked meals. Along with writing, she helps her husband run their working ranch and event venue in Rockwall, Texas. To follow her cooking and ranching adventures visit MelissaTateTX.com or fi nd her on Instagram at @MELISSATATETX

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Archive
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square