As the holidays are fast approaching and I am sure they are well welcomed this year due to 2020 not being the most pleasant of years to date in my life time anyways, I think most can agree that holiday baking is one of the things we all look forward to the most. There is probably some recipes that have been handed down that you may make yourself or you just wait for a loved one to make. For me I think I kind of wing it but I also have some recipes that I make that my mom has made too! Let’s dive in shall we!
Pretzels. Pretzels. Pretzels. This is a staple for my holiday baking. I love to make chocolate bark. Normally I use chocolate wafers for this however this year due to the virus I decided to get milk chocolate since it was at my local grocery store. I always start with a layer of pretzel on the bottom and melt whatever I am using, whether it is chocolate or the chocolate wafers (Which are cheaper if you are looking to save money!). I typically make two kinds, the first one I chuck some holiday M&Ms so red and green, so it adds a bit of color, sometimes I swirl different colors on it as well like white chocolate in there. The 1st is more about salty and sweet than anything so I try to keep it simple. The second one I did this year was a peppermint one. To do that I just lined pretzels on a tray with melted milk chocolate and put some candy canes on the top. Normally they are crushed but this time I just put them hole and would break them as they would be cut, and then I took girl guide mint cookies and cut those into pieces to put on the top as well! It seemed to work well and they look great too!
Next I make peanut butter balls. Funny enough, my mom called me the other day asking for the recipe and I really don’t have one. But for the sake of this I will do my best here.
2 Cups of Peanut butter
3/4 cup of butter/margerine
3-5 cups of icing sugar (Til the mixture becomes clay? It should not stick to your finger if you touch the mixture)
1-2 cups of Rice Krispies (Depending on how crunchy you would like your balls to be!)
Vegetable oil OR paraffin wax
Sea Salt (Optional)
Start with the peanut butter and margarine/butter and melt it in a pot.
Once everything is melted and mixed start adding icing sugar, You will know when you have enough when the mixture will no longer be sticky. It will almost form kind of a ball or clumps. When it starts to get this way slowly add icing sugar as to not add too much that you are unable to incorporate it in. The point is when you start to make the balls the dough/mixture will not stick to your hands because the icing sugar will be there to keep it not sticky.
Once you hit this stage it should be a bit tough to even stir to be honest, and you can start adding rice krispies to your mixture/dough. You can add as little or as much as you like.
(My mom does this step backwards where she will add the rice krispies before the icing sugar and it just turns out fine I suppose. For me I like this way as it really makes things blended and not clumpy).
Once you have everything combined, start to roll the mixture into balls and put them on a tray with some sort of protective layer like foil, or parchment paper or wax paper. (Remember they have to be dipped in chocolate so bigger is not always better!)
Once you have them rolled throw them in the fridge.
Melt your chocolate on a double broiler on low heat. I use a touch of vegetable oil when the chocolate is melted just to slightly thin it out and make it easier to coat. After you dip the chocolates you can sprinkle some sea salt over the top (Flakes or rock). I didn’t do this as there was none in the house but it is possible to do!
Next I make a whipped shortbread cookie. This is by no means my recipe nor is it a family one or anything. It is one my mom uses from a Companys Coming cookbook. Im sure you know someone who has this book as there are legit SO MANY different collections. The recipe that I use is here:
Whipped ShortBread Cookies
1lb Butter (2 Cups)
1 Cup Icing Sugar
1\2 Cup of Cornstarch
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Cups Flour
Beat all ingredients until it looks like whopped cream. Drop by the teaspoon on cookie sheet. Bake at 350f for 10 minutes. Add chopped red or green cherries on top before baking.
I think this can really go any way you wish. I dont do the cherries however I do roll them into balls. Then I use a fork to push it down too, since if you dont do this they will not level out on their own! This year I also dipped them into red sugar and sprinkles before pressing them down with a fork too. It really depends you also could probably roll them out and use cookie cutters too if you wanted to also! Use your imagination!
And lastly but certainly not least, My world famous Bits and Bites mix! Okay, Maybe they arent world famous (Yet) And they are a knock off of the recipe on the box of Crispex but I have dont the same modified recipe since I was a kid. This was one of the first things for baking that I was able to do since I loved them so much my mom let me take the reins. This is how I made it this year, Obviously things are inter changable and optional. Ill write what I put in and what I have put in also so you can build your own mix!
1 Box Crispex Cereal
1 Box Cheese Nibs
1 Box Swiss Cheese Crackers
Pretzels (To your liking)
Peanuts (To Your Liking)
1 Box Cheese Bits
1 Cup Butter\Margerine
1 Small Bottle Worsherchire Sauce
(I put a lot of each, Way more Onion Powder than Garlic Powder as I find it makes the mix a touch sweet, however if you find baking that you didnt add enough you can always shake some more of which ever you want as it is baking since you have to mix every 15 minutes)
Preheat oven at approx 325f, Once all the ingredients are added and the sauce mixed in. Place on a deep dish baking tray. Not small but enough that it can be easily mixed without making a mess too. Baked for 45 minutes stirring every 15. I also taste along the way to check flavors normally trying a piece of each I put in just to be sure coating is good.
Things that I have seen added are:
– Different types of nuts
– Gold Fish Crackers
– Popcorn (popped obviously after by adding it.. Do not add this to the oven for obvious reasons.. HAHA)
And that is the extent of my baking this year! I may make more when we hopefully move back home but right now it is basically myself and the boyfriend eating things and I didn’t want us to have so much stuff. Also have to save a few recipes for next years blog post too! Can’t spoil it all! If y9ou found this helpful or you have slight variations let me know! I am always curious about what people add for their recipes too!