Christmas is one of our favourite times of year! With all the glittering lights, exciting events and AMAZING food, what’s not to love? I don’t know about you, but around here we’re finding ourselves making more festive treats than we ever imagined possible.
Today we’d love to share with you our very favourite holiday recipes! These are the treats that we keep coming back to year after year.
Robin’s Best Brussels Sprouts
Brussels Sprouts have always been a family tradition in our home, back in the day they were a little mushy and we would load them up with butter, vinegar, salt and pepper. I swear all veggies back in the day were required to be overcooked and “just the way grandma liked ‘em” (sorry mom, I hope you don’t read this one!). Anyway, my husband hated them growing up (probably due to his moms mushiness), so I had to find a way to get my family to eat them because they’re so good for you and I happen to love them! So far I have succeeded with all except the 10 year old – only carrots, broccoli or corn still! So we make sure to have a carrot dish on hand as well!
3 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1.5 lb brussels sprouts- (trimmed, small whole, large halved)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken broth
Heat your pan on medium-high heat and add your EVOO
Add chopped shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes
Add brussels sprouts, coat in olive oil, season with S&P, cook 2-3 minutes then add broth
Bring broth to a boil, cover reduce heat to med/low
Cook approximately 10 minutes (until tender) or you may continue if you want them how Grandma likes!
Transfer sprouts to a serving dish – top with bacon bits and enjoy!
Melanie’s Famous Chocolate Cake Bark
This is my go-to for last minute gift giving! I’m not usually a fan of chocolate bark since I prefer my chocolate without nuts and fruit, but this version is just perfect. It has spunk, great flavour and a whole lot of pizzazz! It even has enough dark chocolate to make it feel just a little bit healthy. Everyone who receives this absolutely loves it, and they have no idea how easy it is to make.
6 ounces high quality dark chocolate
12 ounces high quality white chocolate
3 teaspoons yellow cake mix
sprinkles of your choice (at least 3 tablespoons worth or more)
Melt dark chocolate either in the microwave or a double boiler. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and pour chocolate on. You can smooth it with a spatula to the thickness you desire. Stick in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Melt while chocolate. Whisk in cake mix slowly, stirring well until no lumps remain. Let it set for 3 full minutes (or at least until it slightly thickens). Remove baking sheet with chocolate from the freezer and immediately pour white chocolate on top. Sprinkle on sprinkles. Freeze for 20 minutes.
Once set, break into chunks. Keep refrigerated.
Stefaney’s Santa Hat Pretzel Bites
These festive pretzels are one of my favourite treats both for making and eating. They’re easy, adorable and they taste SO GOOD! The recipe calls for white chocolate, but I often use a simple royal icing instead. It’s so much easier to work with, costs less when I’m making big batches, and that taste I love is still there. Whether you prefer white chocolate or icing, these will still be amazing! This recipe is also incredibly easy to adapt, so you can make a small batch just for you, or mass produce them to feed the whole neighbourhood!
mini twist pretzels
white chocolate chips or royal icing
red sanding sugar
Melt the white chocolate according to the directions on the package.
Dip each mini twist pretzel halfway into the melted white chocolate.
Place on waxed paper and sprinkle each chocolate covered pretzel with the red sanding sugar until only a small amount of the white chocolate is showing.
Cut the mini marshmallows in half and use additional white chocolate to adhere them onto the side of each pretzel.
Rachel’s Favourite Saltine Toffee
I discovered this recipe a few years ago when I was a little bit overambitious with my gift giving. I was looking for something unique and delicious that would be easy (and not too expensive) to make huge batches for my neighbours, coworkers, teachers, friends, pizza delivery guy, friendly strangers etc. Like I said, it was an overly ambitious year, and I ended up making 20+ batches. I brought some to our family Christmas dinner and it has been enthusiastically requested every year since!
1 sleeve saltine crackers
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
treats for sprinkling (I’ve used sprinkles, M&M’s, pretzels, nuts and candy canes)
Line an 11×17 baking sheet with the saltine crackers. Place in a single layer. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together brown sugar and butter. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 3 minutes, not stirring.
Pour mixture over the crackers. Quickly spread, so it covers all of the crackers.
Place in the oven and bake for 7 minutes.
Remove and immediately sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over toffee. Place back in the oven (oven heat turned off), for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the toffee. Sprinkle immediately with sprinkles or M&M’s.
Let harden completely before breaking apart or slicing.
Merry Christmas and Bon Appétit!