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Smarter Family: Holiday Treats The Kids Can Make

Posted by on Dec. 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 41 Replies


On Thursday, Kiddo will be off from school for over two weeks. Sure, there will be traveling and new toys to explore and playing with cousins to fill the day, but there will also be a need for some activities to do within those winter vacation hours. Not wanting to totally have her vege out watching "My Little Pony" or playing Subway Surfers on the iPad for hours on end, I'm making a list of a few fun ways to pass the time and, goshdarnit, have some fun together.

High on that list: making some holiday treats. It's a pretty cool way to hang out, jammed in the kitchen, getting a little messy. A nice by-product: ready-to-go snacks to bring to various holiday parties and fests. Double score, eh? So, what can she make (with a little help from moi)? Check out these super-easy, super-yummy ideas! 

Candy Cane Bark from

What you need:

-- 10 ounces white chocolate, chopped 

-- 9 candy canes, crushed into small pieces (this is an excellent kid activity - munching those candy canes with a kitchen tool in a Ziploc bag)

To make:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper - you will need this later. Microwave the chocolate for 30 seconds (in a microwave safe container). Stir and microwave again. Do this until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Let the melted chocolate cool on the counter for about 5 minutes.  Add the crushed candy canes into the white chocolate, keeping a bit for topping the bark. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread is evenly until it is about three-quarters of an inch thick.  Sprinkle the remaining crushed candy canes over the white chocolate mixture. Place in fridge until firm, about 10 minutes. Break into pieces. 

White-Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels from (This calls for pretzel rods, but you can also use mini little pretzels as well, just adjusting the process a bit.) 

What you need:

-- 1 10 oz. bag pretzel rods

-- 1 24 oz. package white chocolate bark coating or 1 one-pound bag of white candy melts assorted festive sprinkles

To Make:

Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe container until smooth (you will need to stir occasionally). Pour into a tall, skinny container. Dip each pretzel rod in the candy coating, and let drip back into the container. Place onto a cookie sheet or plate covered with wax paper. Decorate with sprinkles and let set until coating has hardened.

Raspberry-Glazed Shortbread Rounds from

What you need:

-- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

-- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

-- 2 1/4 cups flour

-- 1/4 teaspoon salt

-- 1/4 cup raspberry jam

-- 1 cup powdered sugar

-- 2 teaspoons almond extract

-- Small amount of water

To make:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With a mixer, blend together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour and salt and continue mixing until combined. Take bits of dough and form one-inch balls. (Note: your dough may seem crumbly at first, but will soften as you roll it into balls.) Arrange the balls on a parchment-lined sheet pan about 3 inches apart. Have your kids use their thumbs to make an indent in each ball. Fill those indents with about 1/4 teaspoon raspberry jam. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool. While cookies are cooling, combine the powdered sugar and almond extract. Add enough water to make the glaze pourable. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies. Serve after glaze has hardened.

What holiday treats do your kids make? Share pictures of their yummy creations!


by on Dec. 16, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Lisa on Dec. 16, 2013 at 12:01 AM

We haven't done any this year.

by Platinum Member on Dec. 16, 2013 at 7:27 AM

tyfs! they are gonna help me make cookies this year

by Ruby Member on Dec. 16, 2013 at 8:01 AM

Some yummy ones! They will have fun with them. They're helping me make cookies this week. 

by on Dec. 16, 2013 at 8:04 AM
The thumb print cookies I think we will make yummy
by June on Dec. 16, 2013 at 8:15 AM

We haven't done any, either.

by Sarah on Dec. 16, 2013 at 8:35 AM
My son always helps me make a peppermint bark. The only tip I would add is to use round peppermint candies instead of candy canes. The round candies show more red when they're crushed. :-)
by Platinum Member on Dec. 16, 2013 at 8:53 AM
Very vute! We did some spritz cookies earlier
by Ticia on Dec. 16, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Thanks for the tip!  I was thinking about making some.

Quoting SarahSuzyQ: My son always helps me make a peppermint bark. The only tip I would add is to use round peppermint candies instead of candy canes. The round candies show more red when they're crushed. :-)

by Brian's Lil Vixen on Dec. 16, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Thanks for sharing...We'll be making the cookies,fudge..I would like to try some carmel..Thinking we might be making some gingerbread houses too...

by Colleen on Dec. 16, 2013 at 11:04 AM

We only made rice krispies so far.I made them into wreaths and Danielle decorated them.We are baking this weekend

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