12 Christmas Treats You Need to Make This Year

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You all know I love (looooove) me some Christmas baking, so I pulled together a roundup of our family’s favorite Christmas treats! While we love just about everything Christmas around here, baking is probably the thing I most enjoy during the Christmas season.

 

(In fact, I snagged a ba-jillion bags of Nestle last week at Kroger. ‘Nuf said.) 

 

I’d love to hear what your family makes this time of year too ~ leave a comment to share! Here’s a peek at our favorites . . .

 

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1. Christmas Crack

This has been the number ONE recipe on PPP for several weeks now.  It’s so worth your time (and so simple) and EVERYONE you share this with will thank you (and hound you for the recipe)!

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2. Slow Cooker Christmas Candy

Such an easy way to make delicious treats for teachers, mail carriers, neighbors, and just about anyone on your list.

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3. Christmas Treat:  Buckeye Balls

We love these and just made a double batch this week to share. So good!

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4. Honey Bun Cake {aka Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}

This is by far our family’s favorite Christmas tradition. I only make it once a year, but it’s just perfect.

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5. Peppermint Glaze Chocolate Cake

This one is so simple but looks just perfect. Use a box mix to save time this year!

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6. Perfect Peanut Butter Fudge

The. best. peanut. butter. fudge. ever. I promise.

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7.  Easy Marshmallow Fudge

This one has just three ingredients, and if you have older kids at home they can make it without any help. Love that!

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8.  Almost Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

We usually make these during Christmas week as a special treat. My kids love my almost-homemade-cinnamon rolls anytime of year, but after seeing my friend Jen make hers in the shape of a Christmas tree, I had to tweak our recipe too for the Christmas season!

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9.  Muddy Buddy Chex Mix

All you need is a jar of peanut butter, some chocolate chips, a box of Chex mix and a bunch of powdered sugar. Honestly this is one of my kids favorites and they devoured ours when we made it over the weekend.

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10.  White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars

This is a Martha Stewart recipe, but they’ve got so much real butter in them that you’d swear they were Paula Deen’s. Super easy to make and I love that you can cook them in one big batch.

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11. Best Chocolate Chip Cookies {EVER}

I’m not kidding, these are the best chocolate chip cookies you will ever eat. For real. It’s the only recipe I have down by memory, and I’ve even tripled the batch before in my Kitchenaid. By far the best cookie recipe around!

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12.  {Simple} Pumpkin Quick Bread

This one’s perfect to put in the mailbox for our mail carrier, drop in the front office of our local school or just enjoy ourselves. It’s so easy and makes several loaves, so you’ll have plenty to keep and share. (Or, just keep.) 🙂

 

What recipe is the one your family just has to have at Christmas? I’d love to hear ~ always looking for a few more to add to our baking list each year!

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Muddy Buddy Chex Mix

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We love traditional Chex Mix at our house, but it’s always fun to also make these Chex Mix Mudy Buddies!  I mixed up a batch over the weekend, and my little family was oh-so-happy.

Literally within less than 12 hours the batch was devoured (everyone ate a handful while I made it, again for dessert, and had a wee bit more for breakfast.) If you’ve got company coming go ahead and make a double batch, and enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 9 cups Corn Chex®, Rice Chex®, Wheat Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal (or combination) we used Rice Chex
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

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Instructions

  1. Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter & butter on high for one minute, stir.
  2. Microwave another 30 seconds (or more) until mixture is smooth when stirred.
  3. Add vanilla.
  4. Place cereal in large bowl.
  5. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal, stirring until well coated (but be careful not to crush the cereal!)
  6. Add cereal & chocolate mixture to large plastic bag (2 gallon or larger is best)
  7. Then add powdered sugar and shake until cereal is completely covered.
  8. Enjoy!

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Looking for more recipe ideas? 

 

 

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Christmas Crack

 Find more Christmas recipe ideas

Okay, let me just preface this post by saying that’s the most horrible name for a recipe, but it’s the only way to describe just how good and addictive this stuff is. . . I promise, you will LOVE every bite!

Good gracious guys, folks have seriously loved this Christmas Crack recipeI decided it was time to update it (after making it twice yesterday to verify the exact cooking directions), and re-share it again.

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Be sure to read through the comments on the original post HERE for even more ideas ~ your cooking will vary a bit by the temperature of your stove and oven, but if you make sure to cook the brown sugar right it should work perfectly. We love this one at our house, and hope you do too!

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Ingredients

  •  1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I go ahead and add a few more because we love chocolate around here. . .)
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers
  • aluminimum foil
  • cooking spray

Recipe

  1. Heat oven to 400.
  2. Line 12×17 cookie sheet with foil and spray well with cooking spray.
  3. Layer the saltine crackers on top of the foil.
  4. Heat butter and sugar on stovetop and heat until gently boiling, stirring constantly.
    Reduce heat to low boiling and cook, uncovered, between 3 and 5 minutes, until the mixture is thickened and sugar is dissolved. (Be careful to avoid burning the butter and sugar- that will ruin the recipe, but do make sure the sugar is dissolved and mixture is thickening. This is by far the trickiest part of the recipe ~ just make sure it thickens and dissolves but does not burn.)
  5. Pour butter and sugar mixture over crackers and spread evenly.
  6. Bake 5-6 minutes in oven.
  7. Remove pan from oven and let cool 3 minutes, then sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over brown sugar mixture.
  8. As chocolate chips melt, carefully spread into an even layer over the toffee layer using a knife. (Note – I pop the pan back in the oven for about 20 seconds after sprinkling on chocolate chips so that they melt faster.)
  9. Refrigerate for one hour.
  10. Break into bite-sized pieces and serve. . . yum, store covered in refrigerator.

Note: Be sure to put a larger pan underneath your pan in case any of the butter/margarine mixture seeps over – you’ll want to watch it closely while in the oven so that it doesn’t melt over the edges of your pan.

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Do you have a favorite Christmas treat that you love to make? Leave a comment sharing the recipe, and feel free to link to it on your blog or another page and we might sample it here!

Looking for more Christmas treats? Here are a few of our favorites:

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Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake (12 Days Christmas Baking)

Gooey Butter Cake Chocolate

 

Time for our last day in the 12 days of Christmas baking series (whew!) Pretty sure I’ve gained five pounds this last few weeks, so I think I just might be ready for it to be over. 😉

 

This Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake recipe though is one I’ve always wanted to try, and it was easy to pack up to give as gifts.  I’ve made the original gooey butter cake for years and while I think that one might still be my favorite, this was pretty yummy. . . especially for chocolate lovers! Here’s the recipe so you can see what you think. . .

 

Chocolate Gooey Butter Cake12 Days Christmas Baking

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter, melted, plus 1 more stick butter, melted (also butter for greasing pan)
  • 18 oz. package chocolate cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 16 oz box powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 and grease 13"x9" pan.
  2. In large bowl, mix together one egg, one stick melted butter, and cake mix. Stir until well blended.
  3. Pat mixture into prepared pan (batter will be thick.)
  4. Beat cream cheese until smooth using mixer.
  5. Add in additional 2 eggs and cocoa powder and mix well, then add in powdered sugar.
  6. Mix until all ingredients are well mixed together.
  7. Slowly add in additional 1 stick melted butter and vanilla, continuing to beat until mixture is smooth.
  8. Add in nuts if desired (I didn't use them.)
  9. Spread filling over cake mixture in pan.
  10. Bake 40-50 minutes, being careful not to overcook the cake (the middle will still be a little bit gooey after finished baking.)
  11. Let cool on wire rack and enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/12/chocolate-gooey-butter-cake12-days-christmas-baking/

 

 

 

Recipe adapted from Food Network. Looking for more penny pinched dessert ideas? Here you go.

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Cherry Cheesecake Christmas Cookies {12 Days Christmas Baking}

 

My friend Cheryl was sweet enough to bring down these cookies for me to share with you earlier this week, and I’m so excited that she did! They were delicious, and a yummy different treat that I hadn’t tried before.



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She found the original recipe at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe, so you can check it out HERE as well for more tips. If you have another special treat you’ve made this Christmas, I’d love to hear about it!

 

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Cherry Cheesecake Christmas Cookies12 Days Christmas Baking

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cans (20-ounce) cherry pie filling

Instructions

  1. Mix flour, baking powder and salt in bowl.
  2. In separate bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and sugar until smooth using electric mixer, for about two minutes.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and blend well.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix until combined.
  5. Put dough in refrigerator for 30 minutes until firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Put graham cracker crumbs in shallow bowl.
  8. Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls, then cover with graham cracker crumbs.
  9. Bake 2" apart on baking sheets, and make a small hole in the center of each ball.
  10. Put 3 cherries in the center of each cookie.
  11. Bake 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned around edges.
  12. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  13. Optional ~ sprinkle with powdered sugar, enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/12/cherry-cheesecake-christmas-cookies12-days-christmas-baking/

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Recipe adapted from All Recipes. Looking for more penny pinched dessert ideas? Here you go.

 

 

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Slow Cooker Christmas Candy

 

Looking for another favorite Christmas treat to try? Don’t miss this Christmas Crack (aka Saltine Toffee Candy)

You all know when I saw the words “slow cooker” and “chocolate” all together in the same recipe, there was no way I couldn’t try it out. 😉  This is the easiest recipe I think I’ve ever made, and it makes a ton . . . perfect if you need something simple to make this weekend to share, and a great way to free up your oven!

 

I changed the original recipe a bit by topping it with sea salt at the end and using a little less white chocolate, and I’m betting you could make other changes as well. Here’s the recipe if you’d like to try it out too!

Slow Cooker Christmas Candy

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz jar salted peanuts
  • 1 16 oz jar unsalted peanuts
  • 1 12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 12 oz bag milk chocolate chips
  • 2 10 oz bags peanut butter chips
  • 1 4 oz block white chocolate bar
  • sea salt (optional)

Instructions

  1. Layer everything in your slow cooker except the salt (beginning with the peanuts.)
  2. Cook on low setting for 2 hours.
  3. Stir ingredients around and cook an additional 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from slow cooker and place in small muffin cups.
  5. Cool until hardened for at least one hour ~ enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/12/slow-cooker-christmas-candy/

Recipe adapted from JustaPinch.com.

 


Do you have a favorite Christmas treat that you love to make? Leave a comment sharing the recipe, and feel free to link to it on your blog or another page and we might sample it here!
 Also, check out these recipes we’ve shared so far:

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Molasses Cookies: 12 Days of Christmas Baking (Day 9)

Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies

 

This is a guest post from Alicia, and I’m just thrilled that she offered to share it with us!  Alicia is mom to two children, and shares simple recipes using items you have in your pantry on her blog Everyday Home Cook.  Follow her on Facebook and find more of her delicious recipes like Blue Cheese Appetizer Pizza, Cranberry Almond Bars, Simple Kettle Corn, Shortbread Sandwich Cookies and No Knead Bread over HERE

 

Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies are a perfect addition to your holiday cookie tray. They are not as spicy as gingerbread (not to mention not as much work!), but very flavorful and sweet. This recipe makes a lot of cookies, so find a festive plate and share with family and friends!

Soft & Chewy Molasses Cookies

[Read more…]

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Honey Bun Cake {aka Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}

This is one of my all-time favorites recipes, given to me by a friend who baked it for our family soon after we had our third baby. I’m pretty sure that I ate nothing other than Honey Bun Cake for two days straight after she brought it! It’s undoubtedly the yummiest, moistest, make-me-the-happiest breakfast cake ever. . . I promise.

 

We usually bake it early Christmas Eve so it’s marked off our to-do list, and you can just imagine how yummy the kitchen smells the rest of the day (heavenly!) Last year my littlest (who was then just four), made several comments asking why we get all the presents when it’s Jesus’ Birthday. :) She thought we should make Him a Ladybug Cake, but was pretty content with this one after it was all baked up. Let me know if you try it out. . . I’m almost positive it will become a favorite in your home too!

Honey Bun Cake {Our Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}

Honey Bun Cake {Our Happy Birthday Jesus Cake}

Ingredients

  • {For Cake}
  • 1 yellow cake mix Duncan Hines Cake Mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • {For Filling}
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar $0.55/1 Dixie Crystals Sugar, exp. 12/31/11 (Publix Winter Savings Booklet)
  • 3 tsp. cinnamon
  • {For Icing}
  • 2 cups powdered sugar $0.55/1 Dixie Crystals Sugar, exp. 12/31/11 (Publix Winter Savings Booklet)
  • 3-4 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • {Note: my friend always doubles the icing, I usually use 3 cups powdered sugar, 5-6 tbsp. milk and 3 tsp vanilla, not quite double but a bit more than the original recipe calls for.}

Instructions

  1. Mix the cake mix, sour cream, eggs, sugar & oil.
  2. In separate bowl stir together the brown sugar & cinnamon.
  3. Pour 1/2 of the cake mixture into 9×13 pan. Then add the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.
  4. Pour remaining cake batter on top.
  5. Bake at 275 for 50 -60 minutes. (And just wait for your house to start smelling divine!)
  6. While cake is baking, mix the icing ingredients all up together and pour over cake after it's cooled slightly.
  7. Enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/12/honey-bun-cake-aka-happy-birthday-jesus-cake/

 

 

Do you have a favorite Christmas treat that you love to make? Leave a comment sharing the recipe, and feel free to link to it on your blog or another page and we might sample it here! Also, check out these recipes we’ve shared so far:

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Bars

This has been one of those crazy-busy-drive-a-momma-crazy kind of days, but I did manage to sneak in a few pics of one of our favorite homemade treats. Facebook has been making nuts (if you’d like to see PPP on Facebook you’ll want to check this out), I broke my youngest’s Christmas handprint  plate from school . . .that I literally just had gotten (a few very sweet teachers went out of their way so I’d have a full set of all of my children’s plates – of course I managed to drop it and it smashed all over the garage floor ~ still sniffling over that one), and I’m just feeling a wee bit taken over by those Christmas Crazies all over again.

 

I did manage to get my Christmas cards ordered, update my driver’s license, and even make a return to Walmart though. That counts for something, right? 😉

 

Anywhoo, here’s the recipe (after a whole lot of rambling you probably weren’t quite up for ~ sorry folks!) The good news? Even on a bad day I know deep down I’m still crazy blessed, and undoubtedly things will feel better in the morning. (Isn’t that always the case?) If you’ve had one of those crazy-busy-what-and-really-can-I-survive-til-December-25th? kind of days, hugs to you too.

 

 

 

 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies

Ingredients

  • 10 oz. package Reese's Peanut Butter Chips
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 oz Hershey's Semi Sweet Chocolate Chunks

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 and grease 9x13 dish.
  2. In small bowl, place peanut butter chips and microwave for 1 minute, then stir.
  3. Microwave chips an additional 30 seconds or until chips are melted and smooth when stirred. Cool for a few minutes.
  4. In mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add eggs and vanilla.
  6. Beat in peanut butter chips, flour and salt.
  7. Add in chocolate chunks and peanuts. Spread into pan (batter will be thick.)
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes, until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan.
  9. Cool completely on wire rack and cut into squares.
  10. Enjoy!
http://passionatepennypincher.com/2013/12/12-days-christmas-baking-3/

 

Do you have a favorite Christmas treat that you love to make? Leave a comment sharing the recipe, and feel free to link to it on your blog or another page and we might sample it here! Also, check out these recipes we’ve shared so far:

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Peppermint Glazed Chocolate Cake

This is a guest post from my friend Julie at Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss, and I can’t even begin to tell you what a blessing it is to have her helping out with tonight’s seventh day of our 12 Days of Christmas Baking series!  I met Julie and her sister Amy a few months ago at a blogging conference and she was so sweet, and when I checked out her blog I fell in love.

 

Julie loves Jesus and her family, has quite possibly the most beautiful home I’ve ever seen, and was sweet enough to help me out a recipe this week. Be sure to check her out on Facebook and Pinterest, and visit her at Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss blog as well!

 

 

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I’m Julie from

Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss, and I’m excited to be a part of Laurie’s 12 Days of Christmas Baking!  If you’ve read my blog, you know I’m a fan of easy, yet delicious recipes, and this cake is the perfect example of that.

 

With the busy-ness of the season, it’s no time to 

reinvent the wheel, so this recipe starts with a basic chocolate boxed cake, baked according to package directions. I baked mine in a bundt pan, but it could also work as a layer cake.


Once the cake is baked and cooled, it’s time for the fun part.  Continuing with the easy theme, scoop out some chocolate fudge frosting into a bowl and microwave it until is just barely melted.


 

Then, carefully pour the melted frosting evenly over the cake, letting flow down the sides a little.

 

Then, place the cake in the fridge to harden the

frosting while you mix up the peppermint glaze.

 

The easy peppermint glaze is made from just a few ingredients

 

 

ingredients:


1 cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 Tbsp milk

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

1/2 cup crushed candy canes


 



In a small bowl, just mix up the powdered sugar

and milk until it becomes a thick glaze.  Then, just add the peppermint

extract.


  

 

Then, just drizzle it over the cake, sprinkle on the

candy canes, and enjoy!

 

Thanks so much to Julie for sharing this wonderful recipe with us! Be sure to visit Julie at Less than Perfect Life of Bliss ~ here are a few posts you won’t want to miss . . .

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