It’s the holiday season, which means lots of festive decorations, tableware, and food. Adults and kids love the special desserts that come with Christmas, and it’s even more fun when they’re simple to make and decorate.
The important part is being together, so here are 3 easy Christmas treats for home or school. Your kids will love helping make gifts made with brownie squares, puffed rice cereal wreaths, and a tree made out of cupcakes. You can make the base of the treats in advance and save the decorating for the kids. The best part is that they’re all so tasty!
For these palm-sized brownie gifts, you will need: a brownie pan, packaged brownie mix and icing, mini candy canes, and holiday sprinkles of your choice.
To make these brownie gifts into perfect squares, use a tray like this one, from Kitchen Stuff Plus. This brownie pan is perfect because many people like the edge pieces and, with this pan, everyone gets one! I like the stability and the clean edges of these perfect squares.
Bake and ice the brownies according to the instructions on the box or use your favourite homemade brownie recipe. Make sure you bake the brownies long enough so they aren’t gooey. I baked mine for 30 minutes in this pan. This way the candy canes will stand upright securely.
Place two mini candy canes in the centre of each iced brownie. This is the ‘bow’ of the gift. Slightly angle the candy canes into the brownies, so they look like a tied bow. Decorate with sprinkles or colourful icing. I like these colourful stoneware bowls and star spoons for keeping the sprinkles and candy pieces tidy. The brownie gift can even be picked up by the candy canes!
Puffed rice wreaths and ornaments
To make these festive wreaths and ornaments, you will need: a baking sheet with a 2 cm or ¾-inch height tray, like this one from Wilton, sprayed with cooking spray. You will also use circle cookie cutters, icing, and sprinkles of your choice.
To make the puffed rice base, you will need ¼ cup of butter, 40 large marshmallows, 1 tsp vanilla, 6 cups of puffed rice cereal, and 20 drops of green food colouring.
Cook the butter, marshmallows, and vanilla over medium heat, stirring until the ingredients come together in a smooth mixture and the marshmallows are fully melted. Add 20 drops of green food colouring and stir well. Remove from the heat and add the puffed rice cereal and combine. Spread into the pan so that the thickness of the cereal comes up to the edge of the pan. You may not fill the entire tray you’re using, especially if it’s as long as this 15 inch one. I used a spatula like this green silicone Christmas one, to smooth out the cereal and keep it even at the ends – silicone is great because it won’t stick to the marshmallow.
Wait until the spread cereal cools and hardens up a bit, at least two hours. You can make it the day before and cover it with plastic to use the next day. Use metal cookie cutters to cut out any shape you want. I used circles to make wreaths and decorated the inside cut-out pieces as ornaments. Get creative with icing and sprinkles.
To make this cupcake Christmas tree, you will need: 12 baked cupcakes, icing, sprinkles, pretzel rods or pieces, and a tray that is about 12 by 16 inches, like this red one, which also comes in white.
Bake and ice the cupcakes and then arrange ten cupcakes in a pyramid shape with four cupcakes forming the bottom of the tree and two cupcakes forming the trunk of the Christmas tree. I used a star cookie cutter to make the star at the top of the tree. Place the cutter into the icing and put the sprinkles carefully into the centre of the cutter. Shake the cupcake gently to spread the sprinkles around and invert the cupcake so the extra sprinkles fall out.
Decorate each row of the tree with a different, consistent design or have each person decorate a cupcake and keep it random. Use pretzel rods or pretzel pieces to create a wood-like tree trunk. ‘Hang’ mini candy canes on the tree by pushing them into some of the cupcake branches.
Place ornaments like this star one, paper gift boxes, and candy canes around the tree and on the tray. A cake mix cupcake recipe yields 24 cupcakes, so you can decorate the remaining 12 cupcakes and serve those, if you would like to keep the cupcake tree to grace your dessert table.
These three treats are really easy to make and are a great opportunity for a kids’ get-together or a family holiday decorating session. The end result is a beautiful and colourful dessert spread.
You can create a festive table to wow your guests by using tableware like this tartan table runner, tiered plate, red cake plate, Christmas snowflake dish, snowflake placemats, and old-fashioned milk bottle drinking glasses, all available here from Kitchen Stuff Plus. I also love these ‘vintage’ Christmas napkins with the truck and tree motif.
3 easy Christmas treats to enjoy all season
I hope these ideas inspire you to use your favourite candies and chocolates to create some fun Christmas memories with family and friends!
Keep your holiday season stress-free and visit Kitchen Stuff Plus – your one stop shop. You’ll find great gifts at amazing prices plus everything you need to make these 3 easy Christmas treats. Check out the entire holiday collection at kitchenstuffplus.com/christmas or shop Mary’s picks here.
Ready for holiday baking? Learn how you can support the Sick Kids Milk & Cookies campaign with us to help put smiles on more kids’ faces this Christmas.