With the holiday season in full swing, now is the perfect time to create some special new memories with your loved ones. From making a cranberry cheese ball to mixing up some holiday-themed snack mix to get you through a day on the slopes or the trails, these fun, festive treats will make your holidays extra merry and bright this year.
Brighten up a cold winter day by making a big batch of wassail. In a large saucepan, combine 2 quarts apple cider, 1-1/2 cups orange juice, 3/4 cup pineapple juice, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 cinnamon sticks, and a dash of cinnamon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks before serving the spicy cider medley hot in mugs.
Cranberry Cheese Ball
Cranberries and cheeseballs are both popular holiday foods, so why not make the holidays even more memorable by combining these classics? Combine 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, 1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, and 1/4 cup sliced green onion. Shape the mixture into a ball, then roll in additional chopped pecans to coat. Serve with crackers or vegetables.
Snow Day Snack Mix
If you need a little extra fuel the next time you hit the slopes or head to a nearby town to go Christmas shopping, whip up a batch of holiday-themed snack mix. Place 12 cups of popped popcorn on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Melt 16 ounces of white chocolate candy coating according to package directions and pour over the popcorn. Use tongs to coat the popcorn, then add 3 cups of miniature pretzels and stir to combine. Add 10 ounces of red and green M&Ms, 1/2 cup holiday sprinkles, and 10 ounces miniature marshmallows. Stir everything until combined. Let the snack mix set for 30 minutes to harden, then break apart. Store leftovers in an airtight container.
If you’re looking for a simple yet delicious snack that guests of all ages are sure to love, you can’t go wrong by making a batch of holiday meatballs. Place 32 ounces of frozen meatballs in a 2-quart slow cooker and top with 1/2 cup barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup grape jelly. Cook on high until heated through (around 2 hours), stirring occasionally. Serve the meatballs with toothpicks.
Fig and Walnut Baked Brie
Gather your friends and family around the fire this holiday season to share memories and a big wheel of warm, gooey cheese. Make this festive cheese dish by microwaving 3 tablespoons of fig jam until softened, then combining half of it with 1/4 cups each of dried, sliced missions figs; shelled, chopped pistachios; and chopped walnuts. Place a 13-ounce round of French brie in a cast-iron skillet or microwave-safe dish. Use a small knife to coat the brie with the remaining jam, and then top it with the nut/fig mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the brie softens. Remove from the oven and let it sit for 3 to 5 minutes before serving it warm with crackers.