5 Heartwarming Holiday Treats

 

It is the holiday season and we’re all looking forward to setting our diets aside and being 100% present in the festivities – the dessert way! If you’re having dinner parties or attending any, nothing is better than treats you can pick up with your fingers. What’s better than a mess-less bite? Bite size snacks curve that sugary temptation and leaves room for you to try a few new items this season. Let’s indulge in quality moderation.

 

1) Thin Mint Trifles

If you’re not into the traditional English combination of jelly, fruit and ladyfinger cookies, you can make a trifle with ingredients you actually want to eat — like chocolate caramel Rolos. Inspiration from your beloved  Girl Scout cookies (or simple thin mint).

thin_Mint-Triffle

Ingredients:

  • 1 1.4oz Jello-O Sugar Free Instant Chocolate Fudge Pudding
  • *Milk for jello
  • 1 container Cool Whip – Lite, thawed
  • 1 box Thin Mint girl scout cookies
  • Fresh Mint

Preparation:

Make Jello according to directions on the box. Let set 10 minutes in fridge.

Place cookies in a zip lock bag and crumble with a rolling pin.

In small glasses, layer heaping tablespoons of Jello, Cool Whip, and crushed Thin Mints. Top with a fresh mint sprig and whole cookie.  Place in fridge until ready to serve.

PassTheSushi

 

 

 

 

 

2) Chocolate-Almond Meringues

Who doesn’t love gluten-free deserts? Nothing beats eating something finger-size to overcome holiday guilt.  Feel free to experiment with all types of holiday toppings such as crushed candy canes, white chocolate, toffee pieces, and holiday sprinkles.

Ingredients

  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) cream of tartar
  • 1 pinch(s) salt
  • 1/2 cup(s) sugar
  • 3/4 cup(s) roasted, salted almonds
  • 5 ounce(s) bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In medium bowl, with mixer on high speed, beat egg whites, extract, cream of tartar, and salt until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar until sugar dissolves and meringue stands in stiff, glossy peaks when beaters are lifted.
  3. Spoon meringue into large resealable plastic bag with one corner cut to create small hole. Pipe meringue into 1-inch rounds, 1 inch apart, on prepared sheets.
  4. Bake 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes or until crisp but not brown, rotating cookie sheets between oven racks halfway through baking. Cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
  5. Meanwhile, in food processor, pulse almonds until finely chopped; place on plate. In small bowl, microwave chocolate on medium 1 minute 30 seconds or until melted, stirring every 30 seconds.
  6. Line large jelly-roll pan with waxed paper. Dip bottom third of each meringue in chocolate, then almonds, using fork if necessary to help hold meringue base when dipping. Place on prepared pan; let stand until set. Store cookies in airtight containers, layered with waxed paper, at room temperature up to 3 days or in freezer up to 1 month.

Good Housekeeping

 

 

3) Creamy Eggnog Cookie Bars

A spiced graham cracker crust and bourbon-infused egg nog filling will give any person with a little midwest in her heart weak at the knees. For those that believe Eggnog is a bit too sweet for them to drink , THIS is a happy medium.

 

Ingredients

  • For the dough:

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • ¾ tsp. baking powder
    • ½ tsp. coarse salt
    • ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
    • 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
    • 12 tbsp. (6 oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
    • 6 tbsp. eggnog

    For the filling: 

    • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • ½ cup eggnog
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 tbsp bourbon
    • Graham cracker crumbs and/or crystallized ginger (optional)

 Directions

    • Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper.  To make the dough, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon in a medium mixing bowl and stir to blend.  Add in the butter pieces and cut into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or two knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add in the eggnog and stir with a fork or knead very briefly just until a crumbly dough comes together.
    • Transfer about two thirds of the dough mixture to the prepared baking pan and press down into an even layer. To make the filling, combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, light and fluffy. Blend in the egg and bourbon, if desired; then the eggnog and vanilla until smooth. Pour the mixture over the layer of dough in the baking pan. Crumble the reserved dough and dot over the eggnog mixture.
    • Bake, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until just set, about 25 minutes total. Let cool to room temperature on a wire rack, then chill well before slicing and serving.

Annie Eats

 

 

4) White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Hard Sauce

Bread pudding is known as a sophistication to any meal; a true delight. What’s better than just the bread? It floating in a delicious libation – vodka or whiskey…it’s the holidays so you choose.

Ingredients

    • 2 cups whole milk, half-and-half, or light cream
    • 10 ounces white baking chocolate with cocoa butter
    • 1 4 – inch vanilla bean or 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla
    • 5 eggs
    • 2/3 cup sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 6 cups dry French bread cubes*
    • 1/3 cup dried tart cherries, cranberries or raisins
    • Hard Sauce (see recipe below)

    Directions

    1. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir milk, half of the white chocolate and vanilla bean (if using) over low heat until just simmering and chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Remove vanilla bean. Using a sharp paring knife, split vanilla bean lengthwise. Using the knife tip, scrape out seeds. Stir seeds (or 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla, if using) into the milk mixture.
    2. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar and cinnamon until just combined. Gradually add milk mixture to egg mixture, stirring constantly.
    3. In an ungreased 2-quart square baking dish, toss together bread cubes, remaining white chocolate, and dried cherries. Pour milk mixture evenly over bread mixture. Press mixture lightly with back of a large spoon. Cover baking dish with foil and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
    4. Place baking dish in another larger pan. Pour hot water into large dish to reach 1 inch up side of dish. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree F oven about 60 minutes or until top appears evenly set. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm with Hard Sauce. Makes 12 servings.
    Note
    • * To dry bread cubes, place them in a large, shallow baking pan and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes, stirring twice.

    Hard Sauce

    Ingredients

    • 1 cup butter
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 4 beaten egg yolks
    • 1/4 cup whiskey or milk

    Midwest Living

     

     

    5) Chocolate Wafers with Ginger, Fennel and Sea Salt

    This is a new spin to the waffer cookies my grams use to eat ; with this treat, we ditched a few waffs and sugary cream and upgraded with chocolate. No worries, don’t like dark chocolate – white or milk works just fine.

    Ingredients

    Chocolate Wafers with Ginger, Fennel and Sea Salt

    1. 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
    2. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
    3. 7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 to 75 percent cacao), chopped
    4. 16 wafer-thin crispbreads, such as Finn Crisp (1 1/2-by-3 inches)
    5. 2 tablespoons minced crystallized ginger
    6. Maldon sea salt

     

    Directions

    1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small skillet, toast the fennel seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar is melted and coats the seeds, about 15 seconds. Scrape the candied fennel seeds onto a plate and let cool. Crumble any clumps to separate the seeds.
    2. Put the chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second bursts until almost melted. Stir the chocolate until completely melted and an instant-read thermometer inserted in it registers 90°F.
    3. Working very quickly, dip a crispbread in the chocolate and use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate in a very thin layer so it completely coats the crispbread. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with some of the fennel seeds, ginger and sea salt. Repeat with the remaining crispbreads, chocolate and toppings. Refrigerate the chocolate-covered crispbreads until just set, about 5 minutes, then serve.

    Food & Wine  Video

    **BONUS: Chocolate Almond Butter Croissants

    What a great way to start breakfast off with your kids! Spruce up your breakfast bread with a little sweetness for your sweeties.

    How to make quick and easy Chocolate Almond Butter Croissant Recipe with Picture Tutorial #Foodie #Breakfast #Yummy

     

    Ingredients

    1 container of Pillsbury Crescent Big & Flaky Croissant Rolls

    1 teaspoon of Nutella spread per croissant

    1 package of Justin’s Almond Butter {I bought a 99¢ package}

     

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees

    Place the croissant dough on a cookie sheet.

    Spread 1 teaspoon of Nutella onto each triangle of croissant dough.

    Squeeze a little almond butter on top of the Nutella.

    Roll the dough starting at the base of the triangle forming the classic croissant form.

    Bake in the oven for 16 minutes.

    Take out and let cool slightly and then devour.

    Mom Mart

     

    Which delectable will you be trying this holiday season?

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"...I have one of those VERY LOUD, stupid laughs. If I ever sat behind myself in a movie I'd probably lean over and tell myself to please shut up." - Author, JD Salinger

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