Thursday, December 14, 2017

Quick and Easy Last Minute TREATS!

Christmas is a week and a half away.  Time is ticking.  In case you are still rushing around shopping, decorating and wrapping (shame on you) - here are a few ideas for quick and easy treats.
I like to stick with simple treat ideas.  I can make several and everyone enjoys them. 

1/4 C butter or  margarine
1 pkg. (10 oz.) marshmallows (4 cups mini)
5 C rice crispy  cereal
Melt butter in a large sauce pan on low heat.  Add marshmallows and stir until melted.  Cook 3 - 4 minutes longer, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.
Stir in cereal until well coated.
Spread evenly into a 13 x 9 pan.  Cut into squares when cool.
**You can use rice cereal, corn flakes, Chex, or any type of cereal you have on hand.  I once made with Honey Bunches of Oats, and it gave it a great new flavor.
Add a few drops of food color if you want to make it Christmas colors.
You can spread out in pan and cut into shapes as well.

1 lb. powdered sugar
2/3 C cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 C milk
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 C butter
1/2 C chopped nuts (optional)

Sift sugar, cocoa & salt in a microwave safe bowl.  Stir in milk and vanilla.  Place butter in pats (pieces) on top.  Microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add nuts at this time.  Spread in a buttered 8 x 8 pan.  Chill 1 hour.  Cut into 36 pieces.

1 - 18 oz. box of cake mix (any flavor you have)
1/2 C oil
2 eggs
3/4 C chopped nuts (optional)
Combine all ingredient and drop by teaspoon onto a non-stick pan.  Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

Want to have iced cookies or pretty cookies, but don't have the time to decorate all those cookies?  Get simple.  You can either make cookies with store bought mixes or even buy a plain store bought cookie - THEN dip half of the cookie in melted chocolate.  You can use chocolate chips, white chips, or even peanut butter chips.  Add a few sprinkles and you have pretty cookies.

1 1/2 C smooth peanut butter (I have used crunchy too)
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 stick butter or margarine (melted)
6 oz. chocolate chips
Original recipe calls to combine peanut butter, sugar, vanilla and melted butter.  Roll into balls about the size of a buckeye or acorn (smaller than a walnut).  Chill 1 hour.  Melt chocolate in double boiler.  Insert toothpick into balls and dip in chocolate.  Leave a small piece of ball showing to represent the buckeye look.  Lay to dry on wax paper.
**MY VERSION - combine all except chocolate as stated.  Spread out in a lightly buttered 8 x 8 pan.  Chill.  Spread the melted chocolate over the top.  Allow to dry.  Cut into 1 inch pieces. 
You get the taste (not that look), and they are so much easier and less time consuming!!!!

1 Tbsp. egg white (basically I use 1 egg white)
2 C pecan halves
1/4 C sugar
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
In a bowl, beat egg white until foamy.  Add pecans and toss until well coated.  Combine sugar and cinnamon:  sprinkle over pecans and toss to coat.
Spread in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 300 for 30 minutes or until browned.  Cool on wax paper.
So easy and these are the best!!!!!!!!  ALWAYS A HIT!
Truthfully you can use about any type of nut you want - but pecans are so good.

Another easy-peasy treat is homemade "Turtle" type treats.  I use small pretzels - top with a Rolo (chocolate & caramel candy).  Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in a 250* oven for 2 - 3 minutes.  (You want to candy to be pliable - not melted!).  Remove from oven and place a pecan half on top of candy, pushing it gently down.  These are always a hit.
Pretzels can be used with Hershey kisses (any flavor) as well.  Fun and easy and so tasty.  Same direction as above.

I also like to melt a bag of chocolate chips and add couple cups of salted peanuts.  Stir and drop onto wax paper by teaspoon.  Let dry.  Yummy salty sweet treat.  You can also add broken pieces of pretzels to the mix.
DON'T forget about chocolate covered (dipped) pretzels.  Again, easy and tasty.

So many tricks to making simple and easy treats.  It doesn't take a master chef or baker to have fun yummy goodies.  Simple things can be the best!

Don't forget you can also change up your sweet bread recipes as well.  If you have a good recipe for zucchini or banana bread - think about changing things up.  Maybe use a different kind of squash, whatever you have. 
I am making banana bread today, but only using half the amount of banana and filling in the rest with thawed strawberries!  YUM  You can use applesauce or any type of pureed fruit.
Get creative, use what you have, and make some yummy treats for your family and friends.



  1. You had me at quick and easy! Those sugar coated pecans sound so good! They will be on my list. I dug out some bread this morning out of the freezer so that was quick for a busy snow clearing day (8 inches).

    1. Oh my, 8 inches of snow!!!!! We have had cold and winds, just a flurry or two yesterday. YUK!

      Yep, me and quick and easy are becoming a duo!!!! You will adore the pecans. So easy and oh so good.
      I got 6 mini loaves of sweet bread cooling right now!

      Be safe and stay warm!

  2. So many great ideas! I don't know where to start.

    1. I hope you get a few you can use and save yourself a little time. ENJOY!

  3. Oh yum, they sound delicious! I love peanut butter, but the buckeyes are so time consuming, and mine never look that pretty, so I don't make them. Thanks for your version.
    I'm still shopping and wrapping but should be finished soon. :D

    1. I hope you enjoy the 'bar' version. They are so time consuming - this really helps.
      Get some time to relax!

  4. Thank you! I am going to try making that fudge for sure!

  5. I think we got 6 inches only, but dh had a time getting the snow blower running, I think it would be easier to wait for me to come home or get me up early to help him shovel it all!

    I have some cookie dough in the fridge ready to bake, I usually make a double or triple batch, bake one and set the others aside until closer to the holidays, then I can bake as needed.

    1. Sorry about the snow. I haven't had to use the snow blower in 2 years. If I need it, I sure hope it will start.
      Good idea on the cookies. That way you can enjoy them fresh over time.

  6. These all sound so good, Cheryl. My daughter likes the Rice Krispy treats, while I like the buckeyes. Now that school is almost out for the season, I hope to be able to make a few things. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas holiday with your family and you enjoy all these delicious treats. :)

    1. Thanks Belinda. Enjoy baking and eating your goodies! Enjoy your vacation as well.
      Have a great week.