The holidays are here! If you and your family have been looking forward to this special time of the year, then you no doubt have a calendar filled with festivities. But, as the Christmas cheer ramps up, so does your to-do list.
There can be a lot to balance during the holidays including shopping, community activities and family time. It’s the perfect opportunity to lean on recipes that help you stick to your budget and please your friends and loved ones. Whether you’re tasked with entertaining little ones, older kids or adults, you’re going to want helpful holiday recipes for desserts and appetizers that won’t break the bank. After all, Christmas should be fun — even for the cook of the house!
If you’re looking for some tasty, easy-to-make sweets and snacks, try these recipes this holiday season:
At Christmas time, sweets are the stars of the show. Cookies, candy, cakes, all-chocolate everything — you name it! When it comes to the holidays, desserts are always top of mind, so it’s the time to pull out all the stops. Luckily, there are plenty of darling desserts that have charming homemade touches but don’t take too long or too many ingredients to prepare.
If you make a double batch of rice cereal marshmallow treats, then you can pull together not one but three adorable, Christmas-shaped sweets: Holiday Rice Krispie® Stockings, Reindeer Rice Krispies® and Rice Krispie® Wreaths. Forming them into shapes is easy with cookie cutters, and then common pantry items like pretzel sticks, sprinkles, candies and chocolate pieces transform them into playful desserts that are almost too cute to eat! These are great projects for the little ones involved, too.
Speaking of cute, Melted Snowman Cookies are guaranteed to bring some smiles to your table! These Pinterest-worthy cookies look like they took all day to make, but they’re actually a breeze, thanks to refrigerated cookie dough (or baked sugar cookies from our Bakery department), cookie icing and marshmallows. Have some fun creating the surprised expressions on the snowman faces with black decorating gel.
No one wants coal in their stocking … unless it’s Oreo Coal! These clever chocolatey bites use Oreo cookie crumbles, rice cereal, marshmallows and chocolate chips to mimic the look of the dreaded coal given to those on Santa’s “naughty list.”
Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups are another cheery idea that takes inspiration from a familiar Christmas shape: a mug of hot cocoa! These are a bit more involved than the others, as the recipe requires making cookie dough and then baking it in muffin tins, with mini marshmallows added at the last minute for a melty effect. The whole thing still comes together in just about half an hour, and kids will love putting on the finishing touches like candy canes and chocolate drizzle.
Evergreen wreaths are a welcoming symbol of the holiday season, and there are a bunch of fun, celebratory appetizers that are inspired by this shape! These wreath appetizers rely on a few smart shortcuts, too — they look very handcrafted, but they come together in minutes flat.
A Christmas Antipasto Wreath incorporates many of the ingredients you’d find on a traditional cheese board but in a beautiful, colorful arrangement. Various Italian cheeses, cured meats, olives and peppers always make a fabulous start to a meal, and when they’re artfully displayed, it’s even more festive!
For a kid-friendly snack, try a Pigs-in-a-Blanket Christmas Wreath. These classic finger foods never looked so cute! Simply roll up mini smoked sausages in packaged crescent roll dough, assemble them in a circular pattern and bake for 15 minutes. A sweet and tangy cranberry dipping sauce is a nice seasonal touch and looks pretty served in the center of the wreath.
Everyone loves a great dip, but why serve it in a bowl when you could shape it into a merry wreath? This Bacon Cheese Wreath starts with a classic cream cheese-based dip and provides instructions on how to form it using a circular cookie cutter.
Snacks That Are a Snap
Putting together hearty, tempting snacks for a holiday get-together is all about preparing just a few dishes and then filling out the table with finger foods like chips, party mix, pickles, olives and sliced vegetables.
A tray of cheesy Christmas Pull-Apart Bread can’t be beat as a delightful centerpiece. Using prepared pizza dough, mozzarella sticks and jarred marinara sauce saves time, and the presentation is stunning. It’s the perfect holiday snack!
A cheese ball is a popular appetizer because it looks great and comes together easily! To make a Bacon Cranberry Cheese Ball, simply mix a few kinds of cheese, bacon, cranberries, cashews and a handful of other ingredients in a stand mixer, and then form it into a ball and refrigerate. Once it’s firmed up, roll it in a mixture of dried cranberries and chopped nuts, and serve it with pretzels or your favorite crackers.
Asparagus Puff Pastry Wrap with Bacon is a unique twist on regular pigs-in-a-blanket and makes an elegant platter. You don’t need to cook the asparagus spears first; just wrap them with strips of bacon and thawed puff pastry and bake them to a crunchy golden brown.
Skewers are shareable and fun, and these Caprese Meatball Skewers echo the traditional Christmas colors with grape tomatoes, fresh basil and mozzarella sticks. To save even more time, use premade or frozen meatballs instead of making your own.
A recipe that can be made the night before is a great secret weapon to have on hand at the holidays! This Savory Sausage and Cheese Spread can be prepared in advance, either a few hours or up to two days. Strips of sausage, shredded cheddar, mayonnaise and seasonings are mixed into a creamy cheese spread that’s shaped and chilled. The recipe makes enough for two logs, which can be placed at either end of the snack table so everyone can enjoy.
When you Holiday the Food Lion Way, prepping for Christmas parties big or small is easy! We’ve got you covered with fresh, affordable ingredients across all our departments whether you’re making decadent desserts, adorable appetizers or savory snacks (or all three). Stop in to your neighborhood Food Lion today to stock up on your favorite holiday essentials.