So here we are: 10 days before Christmas, school getting out early, local shopping is cra-cra (but wonderful), no one knows what could be coming next, and we are all just a wee-bit done in.
My friends, this is not the time to haul out your grandma’s super complicated fruitcake recipe to give as gifts (don’t shoot the messenger: that should have been done in November, see that blog post here https://yellowbrickroadfarm.ca/2020/10/26/5-homemade-christmas-gifts-to-start-now/ ).
Instead, if we love ourselves (and our families, who prefer us sane and not controlled by chaos) we will just whip up some showstoppers from my best loved recipes over the years for gift giving or hosting. Although everything looks different this year, but rest assured, we all still love good Christmas treats.
Let’s begin, in no particular order.
10. Cherry Balls
This recipe comes from my dear friend Paula. It’s simple and everyone loves these little cherry surprises. We often double and triple this and last time we made them we times the recipe by 9. There were a lot of us. Quite a mess but really foolproof. These can be frozen as well.
- 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 24 maraschino cherries
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 Tbsp evaporated milk
- 1/2 tsp cherry juice from cherries above
- Graham cracker crumbs
Mix together all ingredients but the cherries and the graham cracker crumbs. Mix well with hands until it holds together. Roll a small amount around the cherry until it is completely cover. Roll in graham cracker crumbs. Store in fridge or freezer.
9. French Chocolate Bark (click Here for full recipe).
I feel like this is bark for grownups. I substitute out dried cherries for cranberries for a more Christmas feel. Not that I know better than Barefoot Contessa. She’s the best. I have all her cookbook and use them often.
8. Candy Cane popcorn ( click Here for full recipe )
This is such a great last minute but great food gift to bring because you can give a huge tin or decorative bag of it. It’s economical and appeals to all palettes. Did I mention it’s addictive? We quadrupled it no problem. It doesn’t store well so gift it same or next day.
7.Homemade Bits and Bites ( click Here for full recipe).
Ugh, I make these and we can’t stay out of them long enough to gift them. The trick to these is to make sure they are really dry. We have doubled the recipe no problem but any more than that and it’s too hard to get good quality. They will go soggy after a short while.
6. Peanut Butter Balls
This recipe comes from another dear friend Bobbi Jo (can you tell I hang around some awesome cooks ??)
Warning: you will have to hide these from your family in the freezer or fridge under vegetables or something they won’t look at. Heck, try to hide them from yourself.
- 1 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 cup Rice Krispies
- 6 Tbsp milk
- 6 squares Bakers semi sweet chocolate
- 2 Tbsp Parowax, chopped finely
Mix first 4 ingredients together and form into 1 inch balls. refrigerate. Melt chocolate and wax in microwave in 30 seconds intervals till melted thoroughly. Dip peanut butter balls into chocolate and coat using two forks to dip and lift. Place on baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Freeze on baking sheet until firm. Then pack into tins, freeze or refrigerate.
5. Spreads (click Here for full recipe )
I like these because they are fun to customize and super easy to make with kids.
Toppings: red and green chocolate m&ms, candy cane bits, Christmas sprinkles, sea salt, etc. we have done them all through the years and they are a nice addition to the treat tin.
4. Moose Farts (click Here for full recipe )
If you have no idea what a moose is or have never been to Newfoundland, Canada you may be extremely confused by this title. Being from Nova Scotia and having moose ourselves and loving our Atlantic Ocean neighbor the way we do, means we don’t bat an eyelash here. Onto the cookie tray they go for the Christmas parties “ Moose Fart anyone ?”
3. Puppy Chow or Reindeer Chow ( click Here for full recipe )
This one is most requested by the kids that we make at Baking Day. It is better served from the freezer, and we use Crispix cereal. We mix red and green chocolate m&ms in with it to make it more festive. (Not that it makes it to anyone else. The kids usually have it doled out into bags and squirreled away before we can get it onto trays)
2. Tiny Cherry Cheesecakes (click Here for full recipe)
Okay, so I don’t make these with my kids. Judge me if you will but these are a little work and I like them to look pretty. I am who I am.
And finishing off a pretty scrumptious set of ten choices for you to make (perhaps during our snow day tomorrow ??) :
1. Christmas Ball Truffles (click Here for full recipe)
I substitute butter into these because I never use margarine. (I don’t use packaged pudding either but here we are. Never say never, food snobs ). Just giving myself a pass because I literally have been making these for 25 years. They are called Jello Pudding eggs in the recipe but I call them Christmas Truffle balls. We also roll them in really pretty sprinkles, cocoa or pretty sugar or do the white chocolate drizzle thing. We also use little paper liners to hold each one separate and make them look like very special, expensive additions. Don’t tell anyone it’s packaged pudding, they will never guess. You can dress these up real nice. No one will know they are from the wrong side of the food tracks.
And there you have it, my dear friends ! I really hope you have enjoyed hearing about some of our Christmas gift giving, kids- fridge-sneaking, eating -before-they-get-gifted favorites. We take our Christmas Cookie /Treat Bars/ Treats pretty seriously and I am missing our Bake Day terribly this year.
But the next best thing is sharing them all with you .
Love Jenn xx
PS these didn’t make the list as we didn’t give them to anyone, but the kids had fun making these waffle cone Christmas trees last year.