A month post-Christmas and I’m just getting around to posting the Christmas treats. Great. However, none of these treats is Christmas-specific, so you could make them anytime, yes? Yes.
Instead of making cookies this year, I made toffee. (I looooove toffee.) I was tentative about using a candy thermometer and standing at the stove for 30 minutes stirring the pot, but I had my mom present to keep me company. This recipe from Martha’s website is delicious and couldn’t be easier for fledgling candy-makers. I substituted Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips for the French chocolate and used regular dry-roasted, salted almonds.
Family also received these simple pretzel candies in lieu cookies this year. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, arrange one layer of pretzels on the paper and place a Hershey kiss in the center of each pretzel. Bake in a 275 degree oven for 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven and press an M&M into the center of each kiss. For the “turtle pretzels,” use caramel kisses and toasted pecan halves. Cool completely before packaging. In the future, I might those Dove squares instead of kisses.
When I was a kid, my mom always put a mini loaf of pumpkin bread in my stocking. Thus, I couldn’t resist sending some mini loaves to family this year for Christmas! I love this Martha recipe because it uses melted butter instead of oil. Instead of 2 tsp. ginger, I used 1 tsp. cinnamon + 1/2 tsp. ginger + 1/4 tsp. cloves + 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. I also skipped the sugar glaze and added raisins to some of the loaves. Probably the best pumpkin bread I’ve tasted!