It’s that time of the year where holiday parties rule our calendar. Typically it’s customary to bring either a beverage for the hosts or a dish to pass around at these holiday gatherings. I used to freak out and spend hours scouring the internet for the perfect recipe that was simple yet delicious. I didn’t want to bring store bought goodies to the party (not that there is anything wrong with that, but I always felt it was more special to bring something I baked). Over the years I have found a few go-to recipes that I am happy to share with you!
Peppermint brownies… from scratch
Sounds more daunting than it is. It probably takes about 3-5 minutes longer than using the box mix and these brownies come out so much better.
¾ all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
5 tbsp unsweetended cocoa
½ tsp kosher salt
½ c vegetable oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Options: Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts, peppermints, chocolate chips or whatever else you want to add. I added smashed peppermint candies and topped it with a sprinkle of powered sugar.
Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Put batter into a greased 8 x 8 baking dish and bake at 350 for about 20-25 minutes. Let cool and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
Voila, EASY made from scratch brownies that are a chewy chocolate goodness.
Pepper jelly dip with crackers:
Easiest appetizer ever.
8 oz block cream cheese-softened
4 -6oz pepper jelly
Open the block of cream cheese and put it on the center of a service platter. Smother with Pepper Jelly. Circle with your favorite cracker and garnish with rosemary stems. It’s easy and it’s delicious!
Cherry Cream Cheese Pie:
This is one of my husband’s favorite pies. The recipe is from my mother in law who doesn’t bake, so you know it’s simple to make.
Graham Cracker Pie shell
1 8oz Cream Cheese block softened
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 21oz can of cherry pie filling.
Mix cream cheese, sweetened condense milk, lemon juice and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Pour mixture into the pie shell. Let sit for 8 hours (I typically let it sit over night). 30 minutes before serving, top with the cherry pie filling. And let it sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Cut and serve.
Green and Red Jell-O:
Yes, I love Jell-O. It brings nostalgic feelings to me during the holidays. And it’s a special treat to my family.
Red and green JELLO (as many packs as layers)
4 oz cream cheese
Lightly spray a glass serving dish so the jello doesn’t stick.
Make the first layer of red jello per directions, typically I use about a ½ cup of cold water instead of a cup and put 2-3 ice cubes in and stir. Once the ice melts put it in the serving dish and refrigerate until it is set.
Mix a cup of cool whip with about a spoonful of softened cream cheese. And layer on top of the red Jell-o and refrigerate.
Make Green jello as stated above and let it cool completely. After it is cool, slowly pour onto the white layer. Refrigerate until it is set completely.
Repeat White, Red and green layers until finished.
If you want to make it a little more fun for the grown-ups, add vodka to the JELLO layers. Add ¼ cup of Vodka and ¼ cup of cold water instead of ½ cup of cold water. You can be creative with liquor flavors (raspberry for the red and lemon to the green) or you can go with regular vodka. Just remember to label them as ADULT JELLO if kids are around!
What are YOUR favorite holiday goodies?