By Jamie Crow | Staff Writer
At this point in the semester, we’re all a little stressed. While finals loom over our heads, something much more exciting is coming up pretty quickly: the holiday season. Holiday desserts are one of my favorite parts of the season, and I love that they bring people together. In that light, I’m sharing some of my top holiday recipes for you to savor over the upcoming break.
Peanut Butter Blossoms
These are classic cookies that I’m sure everybody has had at least once. Peanut butter blossoms are something that my family and I make every year, and they’re a personal favorite of mine. There are a lot of different recipes out there, but this one is the one my family has used for years.
Sift together 1 ¾ cups of flour, 1 tsp. of baking soda, and ½ tsp. of kosher salt. Set aside.
Mix together ½ cup of Crisco shortening, ½ cup of peanut butter, ½ cup of sugar, and ½ cup of packed brown sugar.
Add one egg, 2 tbsp. milk and one tsp. of vanilla to the mixture. Once that’s mixed well, blend in the dry ingredients. Shape the dough into balls and roll in granulated sugar. Bake on an ungreased sheet for eight minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and place Hershey kisses on the the tops of the cookies, pressing down until the cookies crack. Then bake the cookies for two and a half minutes longer.
Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies
This recipe is Paula Deen’s, but I’ve tweaked it a bit for the holiday season. Her recipe calls for chocolate cake mix, but I’ve substituted that with red velvet cake mix. You can use any kind of cake mix you want, though, which makes for a fun and versatile baking experience, and the recipe is super easy, too.
In a large bowl, or with an electric mixer, cream together one eight-ounce brick of cream cheese and one stick of room temperature butter. Beat in one egg, then one tsp. of vanilla extract. Mix in one box of moist red velvet cake mix. Once everything is mixed together, cover the mixture and refrigerate it for two hours.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll the mixture into balls, and then roll them in powdered sugar. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Once the cookies are cooled, you can dust them with more powdered sugar if you’d like.
Peppermint Chocolate Puppy Chow
Also known as muddy buddies, puppy chow is a favorite in my house. This recipe combines two favorite flavors of the holiday season: chocolate and peppermint. The best part about puppy chow is that there’s no baking required; just heat a few ingredients on the stove, mix them together, and you have a delicious treat. This recipe comes from Katy’s Kitchen on mydishisbomb.com.
Pour one box of Crispix or Rice Chex cereal into a large bowl. In a double boiler, melt one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips with ¼ cup of butter. Pour the chocolate over the cereal, stirring while mixing. Fold 12 crushed candy canes into the mixture. Pour the cereal mixture into a Ziploc bag and add one cup of powdered sugar. Seal the bag and shake it until the powdered sugar is evenly distributed over the cereal mixture.
Snickerdoodle Mug Cake
If you just can’t wait for the break to get in your holiday indulgences, this mug cake is perfect for any college student who has access to a microwave and a couple of basic baking ingredients. Snickerdoodles are all about the cinnamon, which is a classic holiday flavor. This recipe is from a website called FIVEheartHOME.
In a small bowl, whisk together ¼ of a cup plus two tablespoons of flour, two tablespoons of sugar, ¼ of a teaspoon of baking powder and ¼ of a teaspoon of cinnamon until completely combined. Blend in ¼ of a cup of room temperature milk, two tablespoons of melted salted butter and ½ of a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract. Pour a scoop of batter into a microwave safe bowl, then add a layer of cinnamon sugar. Alternate layers until the mug is full; the top layer should be cinammon sugar. Microwave the cake mixture on high for one minute to one and a half minutes, or until the cake is done.