As the countdown to the holidays gets shorter and shorter, you're probably in the full swing of holiday meal planning. Which is great, as cooking and enjoying a good meal together can bring the entire family closer. Let's not kid ourselves, though—it's dessert that brings the kids running to the table.
But, you can bring that excitement into the kitchen by crafting holiday-worthy treats with the kids. We've tested a few desserts that aren't just simple and delicious, but perfect for the kids to help make.
Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
- red food coloring
Coat a 9" square baking pan with cooking spray and a small amount of confectioners sugar. Microwave 1/2 cup cold water, granulated sugar and light corn syrup for 8 minutes. Stir, making sure sugar is fully dissolved. Microwave 2 to 3 minutes longer if necessary to dissolve sugar.
Lightly mix 1/2 cup water and 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin in a stand mixer. Let sit about 5 minutes. Slowly add sugar mixture to the gelatin beating (beginning on low and increasing to high) until mixture turns white and begins to peak (about 15 minutes), add in peppermint extract.
Then, add mixture to the pan. Add food color to the top of the marshmallow mixture, swirl with a toothpick. Cover with 1/3 cup confectioners sugar and refrigerate overnight. Add remaining confectioners sugar to a bowl, cut and remove marshmallows from backing dish and coat all sides with confectioners sugar. Shake off the excess and serve in hot chocolate!
Mint Strawberry Jello Pie
- 1 prepared graham cracker crust
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 large box sugar free strawberry JELL-O
- 2 tubs Cool Whip Extra Creamy
- Andes mints and whip cream for garnish
Microwave 1/3-cup water for 2 and 1/2 minutes. Remove from microwave and add to JELL-O, whisk until JELL-O is dissolved. Let cool about 2 minutes. In a separate bowl, fold together both tubs of Cool Whip. Fold in the Jello mixture, use a spatula to mix Jello and Cool Whip. Pour into prepared graham cracker crust. Garnish with whip cream and crushed Andes mints.
- 1 bag popcorn
- 1 bag vanilla candy melts
- 1 cup broken pretzels
- 1/2 cup Christmas M&M's
- Christmas-colored sprinkles
Make one bag of popcorn according to directions. Once popped, place popcorn in a large bowl. Melt candy melts in 30 second intervals, stirring until completely melted. Then, mix melted vanilla candy with popcorn carefully while using a spatula. Once covered, mix in the pretzels, M&M's and sprinkles. Place parchment paper on a large cookie sheet, lay mixed popcorn flat on parchment paper and allow to harden about 30 minutes at room temperature or place in refrigerator.
Peppermint Candy Oreos
- 1 package Oreo cookies
- 1 package white candy melts
- 1 package peppermint candy (crushed)
Melt white candy melts in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until fully melted. Unwrap peppermint candies, place in a bag and crush peppermints with a rolling pin. Dip half (or whole if preferred) Oreo cookie in melted white candy. Then, sprinkle with crushed peppermint. Place coated cookies on parchment paper and allow to harden for about 30 minutes.
Fruity Santa Hats
- Strawberries (washed and cut)
- Bananas (sliced)
- Mini Marshmallows
Place a toothpick through a grape and top with a sliced banana, strawberry and mini marshmallow. Finish and serve with snowflakes (mini marshmallows).
Christmas Tree Brownies
- 1 package prepared brownies
- 1 tub squeezable green icing
- 1 bag Christmas M&M's
- 1 box candy canes (tops off) or candy cane sticks
Make brownies according to directions and allow to cool. Cut into triangles using a knife or Christmas tree cookie cutter. Decorate with icing and top icing with M&M's.