I know a lot of homeschool families have been busy planning out their school year and plans for the fall. Today I wanted to share some of our favorite quick holiday recipes that kids can help with (or make on their own as they get older). Start practicing now so you can share them at Christmas time with friends and family. Our 5 year old has helped with all of these and loves when people tell her how much they enjoyed something she made. You can also use cooking as math practice and have something delicious at the end.
Toffee Peanut Clusters – from Taste of Home magazine
Yield: 5 dozen
1.5 pounds milk chocolate candy coating (I like to buy these as Michael’s or Hobby Lobby)
1 (16 oz) jar dry roasted peanuts
1 (8oz) package milk chocolate English toffee bits
1) In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth.
2) Stir in peanuts and toffee bits.
3) Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto waxed-paper lined baking sheets.
4) Let stand until set and store in an air-tight container.
1 (12oz) package of Wilton Candy melts
¾ cup M&M’s
2 cups small pretzel twists
1) In a microwave, melt candy and stir until smooth
2) Stir in pretzels and M&M’s
3) Pour the entire batch onto a wax paper lined baking sheets and spread out into one thin layer
4) Place in freezer for 15 minutes or until hard
5) Break apart and store in an air-tight container.
*The best thing about this recipe is that you can choose any color of vanilla candy melts and combine with any M&M’s. In the fall we get orange and buy the Harvest M&M’s. At Christmas you can buy red or green melts to mix with the red and green M&M’s. For 4th of July you can make everything red, white and blue.
Lemon Crescent Cookies – from 1998 Pillsbury magazine
Yield: 3 dozen
1 package lemon cake mix
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
3 oz white candy melts
1) Heat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter and eggs; beat at low speed until well blended.
2) Shape heaping teaspoons of dough into crescent moon shapes; roll in powdered sugar. Place one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet or parchment paper.
3) Bake for 9 – 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool 15 minutes or until completely cooled.
4) Melt candy coating in microwave and use drizzle over cooled cookies.
I often find the candy melts on sale at Michael’s or use a 40% off coupon and stash them for later. They have a very long shelf life as long as you don’t store them in a hot place and they are very easy for kids to work with. We also use these to make hand-made truffles, but those are a lot more time consuming than the recipes I included above. All of these are very easy to wrap up in a simple container and top with a bow or note card. They travel well if you need to bring something to a party or other event. Most of all, it’s fun to spend time in the kitchen with your kids making these sweet treats.
So who has some recipes of their own to share as I make plans for our fall baking?