Sweet Eats: Holiday Recipes

This is the first year I’m spending Christmas away from my family, and even though I’m excited to celebrate the holiday with Harrison and puppy Paul, there are a ton of things I’m going to miss at home: spending time with my loved ones, watching my niece open up her presents from Santa, indulging in a wonderful Christmas meal, to name just a few. And without a doubt, I’m definitely going to miss all the sweet treats my sister-in-law whips up every year.

My sister-in-law is one of those women who’s great at everything, whether it’s crafts and sewing or decorating and baking. Especially baking. Each holiday, she makes an array of the most delicious treats, from cookies and pies to chocolate-covered pretzels and peanut clusters. And even though I love them all, there are three of her desserts that I go absolutely crazy over: Puppy Chow, Chocolate and Butterscotch Haystacks, and Fudge.

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Chocolate and Butterscotch Haystacks

To keep some semblance of family tradition going this year, I knew I needed to make this trio of treats myself. So this past Saturday, I gathered all of my ingredients, cranked up the Christmas tunes and got to work in the kitchen creating all of these tasty goodies.

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Puppy Chow

Not only are these sweets totally delicious, but they also happen to be extremely easy to make. They can be whipped up in minutes, and they’re perfectly snack-sized, so they were great for nibbling on at the little dinner party we had with friends on Saturday night.

Check out these simple recipes below, then let me know what sweet eats you’re making (and indulging in) for the holidays!

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Chocolate Pecan Fudge

Chocolate and Butterscotch Haystacks

Yield: 48 haystacks (via CDKitchen)

2 cups butterscotch chips

2 cups milk chocolate chips

12 ounces chow mein noodles

1. Melt butterscotch and chocolate chips in large saucepan over low heat. Stir in noodles, then remove from heat.

2. Using a spoon, drop small “stacks” onto wax paper, then chill until firm. Store covered in refrigerator.

Puppy Chow

Yield: 9 cups

9 cups crispy rice cereal squares

1/2 cup peanut butter

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. In saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate. Add peanut butter, and mix until smooth.

2. Remove mixture from heat, then add cereal and stir until coated.

3. Pour confectioners’ sugar into large plastic bag. Add coated cereal, and shake until well coated. Store in airtight container.

Easy Chocolate Fudge

Yield: 2 pounds (via AllRecipes.com)

3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Dash salt

3/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. In saucepan, melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt over low heat. Remove from heat, then stir in nuts and vanilla extract.

2. Spread mixture evenly into wax paper–lined 8- or 9-inch square pan. Chill 2 hours, or until firm.

3. Lift fudge out of pan and place onto cutting board. Peel off paper and cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator.

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