Sweet Christmas Treats for the Whole Family

I have many fun memories of family time during the Christmas season, especially ones where we gathered in the kitchen or around the table to make holiday treats. Cookies, candy, gingerbread houses – we’d spend hours rolling out dough, decorating, stringing popcorn and wrapping up little bags of brittle or candied nuts to deliver to friends.

There would be hot chocolate for everyone and we’d sneak a bite of whatever was being made. By the time we were finished, sprinkles and flour covered the kitchen. That might be why Mom and Dad needed a little something extra in their hot chocolate!

Here’s a fun recipe the kids will love for a twist on Rice Krispy Treats and a special hot chocolate – just for the grownups!

Rice Krispy Candy Cane Pops
4 tablespoons butter
1 (10 oz) package of marshmallow
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or peppermint extract
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 (12 oz) bag white chocolate chips
1 (12 oz) bag dark chocolate chips
Assorted sprinkles
24 candy canes or lollipop sticks

In a large saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted. Stir in the vanilla. Turn off the heat and stir in the cereal.  Begin forming into balls using about 2 tablespoons of the mixture. Depending on size, you should be able to make 24 balls.

In the microwave or using a double boiler, melt the white chocolate chips. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. One at a time, drop 12 of the balls into the white chocolate and use a toothpick to roll and completely coat the balls with the white chocolate. Place them on the baking sheet and decorate with the sprinkles before the chocolate has dried. Repeat the process with the dark chocolate. Let the chocolate set for 1 hour. To insert the candy canes, use the tip of a sharp knife to make a hole in the bottom of each ball, wide enough for the candy cane to be inserted. If using lollipop sticks, the sticks can be inserted before the balls are dipped in the chocolate.

Spiked Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup hot cocoa mix
2 oz liquor
Whipped cream
Cocoa powder or sprinkles for garnish

In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat. When the milk is simmering, whisk in the cocoa mix. Remove from the heat and add the liquor of your choice. Choose from spiced rum, amaretto, Bailey’s Irish Cream, coffee liqueur, marshmallow vodka, bourbon, brandy or peppermint schnapps. Pour into 2 mugs or heatproof glasses and top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of cocoa powder. Makes 2.

Published 12/16/19

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