Holiday treats easier than pie - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Holiday treats easier than pie

The holidays are a time of festivity and celebration – the best time of year!  The time spent with family and friends is often filled with some pretty amazing food.  My mister and I both come from families with a pretty impressive lineup of goodies, so I knew when we started making our own to bring to the parties, they had to be one-of-a-kind.

Luckily, the recipes I found were surprisingly easy – which is great, because, who wants to spend all the holidays in the kitchen?  There’s plenty other cheer to be shared elsewhere!  I bring to you some holiday goodies all with no more than five ingredients.  Even better, there’s three steps to each one.

When I found this first one, I honestly wondered why I never thought of it before.  Oreos are by far my favorite store-bought cookie, and marshmallows are one of my favorite vegetables (sugar comes from a plant, right?)  Simply put, these are a lot like rice crispy treats, except that the rice crispies are replaced with crushed oreos.  These are a huge hit at our holiday parties, and I hope they make a splash at yours.

Just when I thought Oreos couldn’t be improved.

Oreo Bars

  • 1 (16-ounce) package of Oreo cookies
  • 5 cups (1 bag) of large marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Line an 8×8-inch baking dish with aluminum foil, allowing the foil to hang over the edges, and set aside.

Place Oreo cookies in food processor (or crush in a large Ziploc bag with a rolling pin) and pulse until crumbly, but not ground.

Melt marshmallows and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl until puffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove and pour in ground cookies. Quickly stir to combine, then transfer to baking dish.

Allow to set for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove bars from pan by foil edges. Cut, serve, and enjoy!

Who doesn’t love a crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery candy bar?  (I’m trying not to use a band name, here.)  Sadly, many candy companies put gluten fillers in their goods, so they’re not as enjoyable to those with a dietary intolerance.  These chocolate dipped goodies I found on http://plainchicken.com/ – a great source for party food.  I couldn’t believe how easy they were, and they’re gluten free!

Normally I leave the chocolate dipping to my dad and brother – they’re marvelous at what they do, and I don’t usually have the patience to fuss with a double boiler.  However, when there’s this much peanut-butter involved, I can’t always resist.  I’ll still leave the thin mints to Dad, and the dunked Oreos to my brother – both of which are pretty stellar – but for the sake of spreading cheer to my loved ones, I’ll make this work.

Sadly, because one of the main ingredients is seasonal, I can only make them once or twice a year, but they’re so good they’re worth the wait.  Are you among those who wonder what good can come of candy corn?  Seriously, wait until the day after Halloween, then raid the discount candy corn.  This may well be the true purpose of those little orange nuggets.  I suppose you could as easily use those little orange pumpkins, if they’re still available.  These take a lot of time to make, so if you’re planning to make them, start them a few days before when you’ll want them.

 

Fresh from the oven goodness

Gluten Free “Butterthumbs”

  • 1 lb. Candy corn
  • 1 lb peanut butter
  • 1 large bag of chocolate chips

In a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl, combine candy corn and peanut butter.  Microwave for a minute at a time, stirring until melted and well mixed.  Pour into a lined 9×9 pan.  Refrigerate overnight until firm.

When it has set, remove liner and all, and slice into one-inch squares.  In a double boiler over medium heat, melt the chocolate chips.  When melted, coat the squares and lay out on a lined cookie sheet.  Let set up in the fridge overnight.

My final offering to you this week is a cookie I’ve tried out for the first time this morning.  As I watched the dough come together in the stand mixer, (and even more so after i taste-tested it) I thought to myself, “Where have these been all my life?”  Four ingredient cookies?  Sign me up!  I’m telling you, Pinterest is making me look like a rock star.

From Gooseberry Patch’s Christmas Cookie Jar

Way better than store bought, and so easy! Photo by Jackie Fealy.

Cake Mix Cut Outs

  • 1 Box Cake Mix (You can use any flavor you please, here I chose Funfetti)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Stick Slightly Softened Butter (Not Margarine or Light Butter)
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • Mix ingredients well.
  • Chill dough for 2 hours (Edited to add: Freeze for one of those hours for best results).
  • Roll out on floured surface and cut with cookie cutters.
  • Decorate as desired.

Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes on a greased/lined cookie sheet

Tip of the week: If you get tired of decorating gingerbread men, flip them upside down to decorate reindeer faces.  The gingerbread man’s head becomes the reindeer’s nose, arms become ears, and legs become antlers.





About the author

Sally Michaelis

Sally is a wife and domestic diva in Maryland. She approaches life with gusto, humor, and a passion that is unmatched. She is a classic woman, with a modern twist and is the kind of woman who will throw back a beer and watch Star Trek with her husband, and entertain the church croquette group with homemade cheese cake. Sally offers something for everyone, and is always experimenting and cooking up a storm in her kitchen. Contact the author.
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