Quick! You completely forgot that Aunt Sally and her family are joining your holiday table this year, and you don't have any gifts; what do you do? You could go stand in line at Target with the rest of the last minute shoppers, or you could spend 45 minutes throwing together one of these delicious recipes.
Even though I don't celebrate Christmas, I've created my own tradition of baking holiday goodies for co-workers, and family members who do. In fact, this tradition goes back to childhood when I would help my dad bake ginger molasses chews, and iced ginger cookies for his office and family. I look forward to choosing new recipes each year, and filling my kitchen with mouth watering aromas. In the past, I've spent days crafting hundreds of individual cookies, but this year's crowded schedule called for something a little quicker. So if you're in need of a last minute gift, roll up your sleeves, and have a little fun with one of these three treats.
Snickerdoodle Bread from Barbara Bakes
Last year, I discovered the ease of mini cakes as gifts for co-workers with this recipe. Baking cookies for over 20 people quickly turns into an entire day in the kitchen, but I can fit at least 20 mini cake pans in my oven at once! Barbara's recipe for snickerdoodle bread was another quick, easy, and delicious option; it could also be turned into full sized loaves for any holiday dessert table.
I did have to make one substitution, however. My grocery store did not carry cinnamon chips, so I opted for caramel chips instead, and the flavor did not suffer at all. I would recommend checking your grocery ahead of time, or ordering them online if you want to stay true to the recipe.
Once cooled, simply pop each cake into a decorative bag!
Holiday Blondie Bars from The Country Cook
About a week after the office baking extravaganza, I headed into the kitchen for Round 2. David and I spend Christmas with his family each year, and I like to take everyone a little something. To accommodate for different preferences, I always pick one chocolate, and one non-chocolate option.
Keeping in mind the need for simplicity this year, I opted for cake mix blondie bars for the non-chocolate sweet. While I typically pride myself on homemade baking, a little help from Betty Crocker ensured both recipes were finished in under two hours!
As The Country Cook points out, one of the best aspects of a blondies are the unlimited flavor combinations. I chose to stick with yellow cake mix, but swapped the white chocolate chips for butterscotch chips, but the sky's the limit in your kitchen. My one tip for this recipe is that I believe it's intended to create thinner bars than I wanted, so tripling the recipe only yielded two pans, when I was hoping for three.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispies from Julie's Eats & Treats
Holidays bring back wonderful family memories for so many people. One of my best memories are the Rice Krispie treats waiting for my brothers and me in my grandparent's refrigerator in Charlottesville, VA. To this day, I can't figure out how my grandmother created the perfect marshmallow to Rice Krispie ratio.
There's an unlimited number of possibilities when it comes to these classic squares (just look here), but it my house the chocolate peanut butter option will always win out. The one risk I took with this recipe is that Rice Krispies are best enjoyed a day or two after making; however, mine had to be made even earlier. Luckily, Google told me they could be frozen, and thawed in this circumstance.
Walking enthusiast, and kitchen experimenter currently living out my dream in Mexico City, Mexico.
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