Festive Sweets for the Family to Share

Candy Cane hot Cocoa Pops

  • chocolate chips (1 c for 3 pops)
  • marshmallow bits (1 T per pop)
  • 3-oz bathroom size paper cups (non-waxed); plan to use 2 per pop
  • full sized candy canes, unwrapped
  • heavy duty tin foil, cut into pieces large enough to fit over the top of the Dixie but and drape over the sides

Calculate the amount of chocolate chips, marshmallow bits, candy canes, and cups needed for your batch. 

Start by nesting two cups together for each pop.

Melting the Chocolate

Pour chocolate chips into double boiler or in metal mixing bowl over a pan of boiling water. Stir often until the chocolate is fully melted. 

Fill the inner cup half-full with melted chocolate.

Inserting the Candy Cane

Place a piece of foil across the top of the cup. Add a slit in the middle just large enough to insert and keep the candy cane upright.

Insert the straight end of the candy cane through the slit in the foil, into the middle of the chocolate until it touches the bottom of the cup.

Add Marshmallow Bits

Hold the candy cane in place with one hand while lifting the foil above the rim of the cup. Spread 1 tablespoon of marshmallow pieces around the top of the chocolate to cover. Push some into the chocolate to secure.

Slide foil down over the top of the cup. Fold foil over on the sides to secure it around the cup and hold the candy cane upright in the middle of the cup.

Place in the refrigerator to harden; about one hour. Remove the outer cup. 

When they are ready to eat, peel away the inner cup and swirl the pop in a cup of 8 oz hot milk to dissolve the chocolate and make peppermint hot chocolate. 

Texas Christmas Pickles

  • 1 gallon jar dill pickles
  • 5 oz hot pepper sauce 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 lb granulated sugar

Drain all juice from the jar and discard. Slice pickles lengthwise, and replace in the jar. Pour in hot pepper sauce, add garlic, and about 1/3 of the sugar. Close the lid tightly. 

Gently tip the jar back and forth several times to allow everything to mix well. Leave out on the counter at room temperature for about 1 week.

As the sugar in the jar dissolves, gently tip the jar back and forth to mix and continue the process all week until all the sugar is used. When all of the sugar has been absorbed, pickles will be dark green and crispy—a nice complement to a sliced veggie tray. Store in the refrigerator, and enjoy within one month.

Stained Glass Shortbread

  • ~20 Jolly Ranchers hard candies 
  • 1 cup softened, unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Unwrap and separate Jolly Ranchers into each color then place in separate small resealable bags. Crush into small bits using a meat mallet, set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream together butter, sugar, and salt until well combined. 

Mix in eggs one at a time then blend in vanilla.

With mixer on low, slowly add in flour and mix until well combined.

Scrape dough out and shape into a rectangle, wrap in plastic wrap and chill one hour.

Cut chilled dough into thirds. Leave one portion out
to work with and chill remaining.

Roll dough out onto a floured surface ~1/5″ thick. Cut out large shapes using a cookie cutter.

Transfer cut shapes to baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat. Cut a smaller from the center of each and remove with fingernail or toothpick. Re-roll and cut scrap dough.

Fill cut out centers about 3/4 of the way with crushed jolly ranchers.* Chill cookies in refrigerator until firm, about 15-20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. 

Bake cookies until set and candy center has melted, about 12-14 minutes.

Let cool on baking sheet until candy is set and hardened. Repeat process with remaining refrigerated dough. Store in an airtight container.

*Use a straw to poke a hole at the top if you plan to hang with ribbon or string. 

Christmas Crinkle Cookies

  • white cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • Red and/or green food coloring

Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs in a medium bowl. If dough is sticky add 1-2T of flour and knead until less sticky.

Cut dough in half and dye to desired color. 

Place dough in the fridge covered with plastic wrap or lid 30 minutes.

Roll tablespoon size balls in powdered sugar and place on baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Bake for 8 minutes at 375°. 

Remove and let cool before serving.