• Kara Cushway

The 5 Best Holiday Treats

Note: This post includes a few links to other websites and blogs, but please note that this post is not partnered with or sponsored by these other sites. The links are there so you have access to recipes I recommend based on personal experience and that I think you might like, too!

I have fond memories of Christmastime growing up on my family’s farm. The sun set early, so it was dark by suppertime; colored lights lit the Christmas tree, and snow usually blanketed the ground outside. The house was filled with music and the sounds of kids running (ahem, stomping and screaming) around, not doing homework. More often than not, either my mom or one of us girls were taking up all the counter space with some baking project or other.

So, in light of the season, and the fact that this year I can’t make a ton of baked goods to bring home (we’re flying home for Christmas – not much room for Christmas cookies in the luggage), I thought I’d share a few of the classics you can normally find in our house around the holidays.

(For IMAGE CREDIT, click each photo, and get the RECIPES by clicking on the link at the end of each paragraph!)

Fudge Meltaways

Now, obviously, the quintessential Betty Crocker Cooky Book is an asset around the holidays, or any time you’re making baked goods. Both this recipe and the Frosted Sugar Cookies below are from this book. I know these ones don't look like much, and I know they're not actually "cookies," but they are particularly decadent, thanks to the frosting (yum!) and a thin layer of bittersweet chocolate on top. And since this recipe's base layer contains what is technically raw egg, despite it being mixed into a cooked base, just be sure to use a pasteurized egg. Cut these treats in small, two-bite squares for optimum enjoyment. Here is the recipe!

Image cred: Celia Wixtrom

Frosted Sugar Cookies

What we all picture when we think of making Christmas cookies. Depending on your cookie cutters, you can make snowmen, snowflakes, gingerbread people, stockings, candy canes, Christmas trees, Christmas lights, or just plain circles and doctor them up any way you want! These cookies are a blast to frost with kids … if you’re not a control freak like me. Check out the recipe here!

Chex Mix

Sometimes we’d make two separate HUGE batches of homemade Chex Mix for the holidays. We usually had some around anywhere from Thanksgiving through the New Year. The smell of this mix baking never fails to bring me straight back to my childhood holidays and the toasty, salty scent it brought to the kitchen. Grab the recipe here!

Chocolate Espresso Thumbprint Cookies

The recipe photo shows gold leaf on top, but I’m not that fancy; the espresso chocolate needs no embellishment, in my opinion. These cookies and the Oreo Cookie Balls below are a more recent addition to my holiday cookie repertoire, and they travel fairly well, though they’re best stored in the fridge, and eaten within a week. Here's the recipe!

Oreo Cookie Balls

Always a favorite. People go insane for these things. Some like to pretend nonchalance about them, but the honest truth is they’re addictive and once you’ve had one you just keep coming back for more. If I stopped making these for the holidays, I think there’d be a revolt. The great thing about these treats is that they're SUPER adaptable - you can flavor or decorate them to fit any holiday party or event. Find the recipe here!

Listen, I love talking about food. If you have a favorite family treat recipe that you usually make around the holidays, I’d love to hear about it in the comments! Happy holidays!


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