7 Easy Holiday Treats

These quick and easy treats will become instant holiday staples. Perfect for gift giving or enjoying at home!

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

1. Pecan Snowballs

Recipe courtesy of Mimi Woods

1 cup pecans
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place parchment paper on two baking sheets and set aside.
2. Toast pecans on a separate baking sheet for 8 minutes, until fragrant. Cool completely, chop and set aside.
3. Cream together butter and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla extract, almond extract and salt.
4. Slowly add flour, mixing on low speed until just combined. Stir in pecans.
5. Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing balls 1 1/2 inches apart, and refrigerate 30 minutes.
6. Bake 18 – 22 minutes until golden. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Toss warm cookies in remaining sugar and sprinkle them again before serving.

2. Sherry Cakes

Recipe courtesy of Dorothy England

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1 box classic yellow cake mix (Dorothy uses Duncan Hines.)
1 (5-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix
3/4 cup cooking sherry
3/4 cup pure Wesson oil
4 eggs
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray miniature muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Blend cake mix, pudding mix, sherry, oil and eggs in mixer at low speed about 30 seconds, then mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Fill muffin tins to half full.
2. Bake for 9 – 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool for 5 – 7 minutes.
3. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Shake excess sugar from cakes. Place in airtight container, using wax paper to layer sherry cakes. Sherry cakes will keep for up to 1 week, or they can be frozen before sprinkling with sugar. Yields approximately 6 dozen

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

3. Marshmallow Fudge

Recipe courtesy of Joe Hyland

3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (Joe uses Eagle brand.)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted 
2 cups miniature marshmallows
dash of salt

1. In a heavy saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with condensed milk and salt. Stir well. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Add melted butter. Fold in marshmallows. 
2. Spread evenly onto an 8 or 9-inch square pan lined with wax paper.
3. Chill for 2 hours until firm. Turn fudge out onto cutting board. Peel off paper. Cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator. Makes about 2 pounds

Photo by Todd Douglas

4. Blizzard Fudge

Recipe courtesy of EllenJay

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12-oounce) bag white chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Using a double boiler, heat condensed milk over medium heat until thinned.
2. Add chocolate chips. Stir until melted.
3. Add marshmallows. Stir until smooth.
4. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Stir in walnuts.
5. Line 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper and transfer fudge mixture into pan.
6. Let cool for 8 hours before slicing. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to 1 week. Serves 24

5. Chess Bars

Recipe courtesy of Betty Luce, as found in “One of a Kind,” a cookbook by the Junior League of Mobile

1 package butter cake mix
1 egg
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese
16 ounces (1 box) powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, egg, butter and vanilla. Spread into a greased 9-inch by 13-inch pan.
3. In a clean bowl, beat eggs, cream cheese and sugar. Pour on top of cake mixture and bake 30 – 40 minutes. Cool and cut into bars. Yields 24 bars

Photo by Elizabeth Gelineau

6. Oatmeal Scotchies

Recipe courtesy of Bradley King

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashioned oats
5.5 ounces good quality butterscotch-flavored morsels
5.5 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate morsels

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and morsels.
3. Grease a baking dish or jelly roll pan. Spread dough into prepared pan. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely on wire rack. Cut into squares, like brownies. Makes 2 dozen

Photo by Elise Poche

7. Ginger Chocolate Truffles

Recipe courtesy of Sallye Irvine

1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, softened
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
5 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
cocoa powder, powdered sugar and/or chopped nuts

1. Beat cream cheese with a mixer. Add in confectioners’ sugar a little bit at a time.
2. Melt chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.
3. Add chocolate to the cream cheese and sugar mixture. Beat until well blended, gradually adding in ginger.
4. Refrigerate for an hour or so.
5. Roll into little balls, then roll in cocoa powder, powdered sugar or chopped nuts to coat. Makes approximately 5 – 6 dozen

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