Life as a Larsen | 5 Easy Holiday Treats

This time of year can be hectic and if you’re like me you put things off until the eleventh hour. This month Dakota and I have 5 (for now) parties to attend with each of them asking us to bring a favorite holiday treat. This past weekend we had three of the five parties and I was stressed out trying to come up with something amazing to blow everyone’s Christmas sweaters off! I didn’t want to make the same treat for each party (I know so ambitious) but I didn’t want to waste my entire weekend baking so I came up with 5 easy holiday treats I could make.

I have to admit that making the toffee was super difficult at first. I just could not figure out what I was doing wrong and if you saw my previous post you know that it’s on my Holiday To-Do List to successfully make toffee. Well after researching and begging my friends to tell me their secrets I figured it out! Four batches later….I have made the other recipes many times though (all successfully the first time) so I promise these are actually easy and “fool proof”.

Life as a Larsen | 5 Easy Holiday Treats

Classic English Toffee: Moderate
I finally mastered the art of making toffee! It wasn’t an easy journey but I figured out the trick so I’m sharing it with you. What’s more classic that toffee for the holidays?

What you’ll need
>> 1 cup butter (AA grade and salted)
>> 1 cup granulated sugar
>> 1 cup chopped walnuts (or whatever nut you prefer)
>> 3 tbs. water
>> 1 Symphony candy bar (or Hershey’s)
>> Candy thermometer

Spread nuts on the bottom of a cookie sheet so that you are ready to pour the toffee over it when its ready. Put butter, sugar, and water in a medium sauce pan and cook on high. Stir entire time. Cook until mixture turns a medium/dark amber color or when your candy thermometer shows “hard crack”. Immediately take off heat and pour over nuts. Take pieces of chocolate and places all over toffee mix. Wait for the chocolate to melt a little (typically take a minute or two) and with a butter knife delicately spread over toffee. Chill for 4-6 hours (or more depending on your home temp)

Tips
> Buy a candy thermometer! You can get one at Walmart for $3 and it change my toffee making game. You can also find one at Bed, Bath & Beyond. They look like a normal thermometer except it says “Soft crack, hard crack, caramel, etc.” next to the degrees.
> Use bars of chocolate instead of chocolate chips. They are easier to spread and taste better.
> While cooking it should look like a fluffy melted marshmallow and then slowly get darker. It takes about 8 minutes so don’t freak out if you feel you are over cooking it.

Life as a Larsen | 5 Easy Holiday Treats

White Chocolate Popcorn: Easy
This popcorn is so easy it’s insane! My mom makes this all of the time and I love that I can make something “just like mom did” and do it in less than 10 minutes!

What you’ll need
>> 6 bags of popcorn (Kettle or Light Butter)
>> 1 package of Almond Bark white chocolate
>> Food coloring

Pop all 6 bags of popcorn and pour into large mixing bowl. Melt chocolate according to instructions found on package. Take a little bit of the chocolate (1/4 cup should be fine) and set aside for later. Slowly pour chocolate over popcorn while stirring to evenly coat to desired taste. Spread out popcorn onto a large baking sheet. Take 1/4 cup of chocolate and add food coloring of choice and stir until you get the desired color. Drizzle over popcorn and let cool for about an hour.

Tips
> Instead of slowly adding chocolate you can slowly add the popcorn if you think that’s easier.
> Add sprinkles or crushed peppermint for added fun and flavor!
> Do multiple colors to drizzle over the popcorn (red/green or black/orange) for more holiday fun!

Life as a Larsen | 5 Fool Proof Holiday Treats

Peppermint Oreo Cheesecake: Moderate
This recipe is delicious and catered specifically for individuals. It is a very smooth and light cheesecake so that you can enjoy all the other party foods 🙂 **Makes 12 servings**

What you’ll need
>> 16oz cream cheese (not fat free)
>> 1/2 cup sour cream
>> 1/2 cup sugar
>> 1 tsp. vanilla
>> 2 eggs
>> Candy cane
>> Package or Oreos (holiday or normal you choose)

In a large bowl blend cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and vanilla. Slowly add eggs and blend until smooth and creamy.

Put cupcake liners into a muffin tin and then place one Oreo into the liners. Fill 3/4 of liner with cheesecake mix. Bake at 275 for 23-25 minutes. Cool for 45 minutes and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Crush up candy cane and sprinkle on top for a festive look at subtle kick of flavor!

Life as a Larsen | 5 Fool Proof Holiday Treats

Crisp Holiday Punch: Easy
Sometimes it is nice to change things up and bring drinks instead of dessert to a party; especially if you are like me and don’t drink alcohol. This is a crowd pleaser and can be a great holiday party addition or just a great drink for a dinner party.

What you’ll need
>> 2 liter bottle of Sprite
>> 1 1/2 cup sugar
>> 3 cans of frozen juice (pineapple, orange, cranberry)

Mix 3 cans of juice as directed in large bowl. Add  sugar and then freeze for 24-48 hours in a freezer safe container. When ready to serve fill up cup halfway with slush and add Sprite and enjoy!

Tips
> Add actual cranberries or little orange slices to the bowl/cup as a festive garnish
> If you really want to get the party going add a splash of desired alcohol and have fun!

Life as a Larsen | 5 Easy Holiday Treats

Grandma’s Apple Crisp: Moderate
This recipe has been my go to favorite dessert for a long time. It takes a little bit of time but overall it’s easy, delicious, and appeals to everyone!

What you’ll need
>> 5 large apples
>> 1 cup flour
>> 1/2 cup white sugar
>> 1/2 cup brown sugar
>> 1 tsp. baking powder
>> 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
>> 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
>> 1 egg
>> 1/3 cup melted butter

Preheat over to 350. Peel and thinly slice (or largely dice your choice) apples. Mix dry ingredients together in medium bowl than add egg and mix. Layer apples in an 8×8 pan and sprinkle mixture over the top. Drizzle butter over the mixture and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve!

Tips
> Don’t skip the nutmeg; it just adds such a nice flavor!
> Serve with vanilla ice cream or drizzle a little bit of caramel on top for a little extra fun
> Store covered in room temperature

What is your favorite holiday treat?

0 thoughts on “5 Fool Proof Holiday Treats”

  1. I really want to try those oreo cupcakes!! I made a dessert for a holiday party a couple weeks ago and it was a total fail. I've been put off since then, but I think I'm ready to try again 😉

  2. These all look great! I definitely need something fool proof. Earlier this week my husband and I tried making sugar cookies and they did not turn out at all! Trying some of these recipes so I can redeem myself!

  3. Umm that apple crisp looks amazing! My dad always makes egg nog + brandy drinks with a little nutmeg and I seriously count down the minutes in the day til it's appropriate for me to start drinking brandy 🙂

    Kelsey

  4. These all look delicious—especially the toffee. Peppermint cheesecake is like my favorite 'junk' food to eat during the holidays. 🙂

  5. Oh my goodness I want to try every single one of these! Sweet popcorn like that is my weakness this time of the year…I can eat a whole bowl without even realizing it! Love all of these. Thanks for sharing!