Easy Holiday Treats for Your Next Gathering

The holiday season is stressful, to say the least. Juggling between getting gifts for family and friends, attending an assortment of holiday parties and finding time to relax and enjoy with your loved ones can send stress levels off the charts. Luckily, Campus Cooks discovered some easy holiday treat recipes that you can quickly whip up and bring along to any of your holiday gatherings, or even give as gifts! These recipes require only a few ingredients and one method of cooking at most.

Grinch Popcorn

This popcorn is not only a fun holiday/Grinch theme, it is a perfect snack to satisfy both salty and sweet cravings.

Ingredients:
  • 10 Cups of Popped Popcorn
  • Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Butter (Sweet Cream Salted)
  • 3 cups Mini Marshmallows
  • Food Coloring – Yellow
  • Food Coloring – Blue
  • 1/2 Cup Mini Marshmallows
  • Red M&M Candies
Instructions:
  1. Make popcorn using your method of choice.
  2. Salt popcorn and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in medium saucepan on medium heat.
  4. Add mini marshmallows to pan and stir until melted.
  5. Turn off heat.
  6. Add yellow food coloring to the marshmallow mixture.
  7. Add a small amount of blue food coloring to the marshmallow mixture to get a perfect shade of Grinch Green.
  8. Coat popcorn with marshmallow mixture to taste.
  9. Pour coated popcorn into a prepared cookie sheet.
  10. Drizzle remaining marshmallow mixture over popcorn.
  11. Add mini marshmallows and Red M&M’s while popcorn still warm.
  12. Allow to cool and serve.

Recipe via Two Sisters

Peanut Butter Balls

These are no-bake treats make the perfect snack for peanut butter lovers everywhere. Highly addictive and easy to transport, these can be made for a variety of holiday events.

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 cup crushed graham crackers
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • 8 ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Instructions:
  1. Combine peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, confectioners sugar, and butter in a large bowl. Stir or work together with hands until well combined.
  2. Shape into teaspoon-sized balls & place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Chill at least 30 minutes in the freezer.
  3. Melt chocolate in 30 second intervals in the microwave, stir gently until smooth.
  4. Using a fork, dip peanut butter balls into melted chocolate & transfer to lined baking sheet.
  5. Chill at least 30 minutes to set chocolate.

Recipe via Kleinworth & Co.

Chocolate Pretzels

These tiny treats are a holiday favorite, only requiring three ingredients and 12 minutes of your time! Put them in snack bags to give out as gifts or whip them up for your next holiday movie night.

Ingredients:
    • Circular or Snap Pretzels
    • Milk Chocolate Candy Kisses
    • 1 package of Christmas M & M’s
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place pretzels on baking sheets. Unwrap candy kisses and place one in the center of each pretzel.
  3. Place in preheated oven 1 to 2 minutes, until kisses melt. Remove from oven and place one candy-coated chocolate in the center of each pretzel. Chill in refrigerator until set.

Recipe via AllRecipes

Strawberry Santas

If you are looking for a treat on the slightly healthier side, these Strawberry Santas are perfect for you! Not to mention, they are adorable and allow you to be a little creative.

Ingredients:
  • 1 container of strawberries
  • 1 tube icing, or substitute whipped cream for a fluffier Santa
  • Mini chocolate chips
Instructions:
  1. Slice the tops off the strawberries to create a flat surface for them to sit on. Slice the tip off the strawberry to make the hat.
  2. Squeeze some frosting or whipped cream on the strawberry and replace the tip.
  3. Decorate the rest with a piping bag if you’d like.
  4. Add the mini chocolate chips for eyes.

Recipe via Tasty

Reindeer Chow

This DIY chex mix is perfect for customization. All this requires is for you to throw some ingredients together and serve! This would also be a great thing to place in a decorative bag and give as a gift.

Ingredients:
  • 6 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup dry brownie mix or 1 cup powdered sugar mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 package of Christmas M&M’s 
  • 2 cups  mini peanut butter cups
  • 2 cups pretzel twists
Instructions:
  1. Place the cereal in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Microwave the chocolate mixture for 30 second intervals until melted; stir until smooth.
  2. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal and use a spatula to gently toss the cereal in the chocolate until completely coated.
  3. Place the brownie mix inside a resealable gallon sized plastic bag. Add the chocolate coated cereal. Seal, then shake until cereal is coated in the brownie mix.
  4. Spread the cereal out in a single layer on a sheet of parchment paper; cool completely until dry.
  5. Combine the cereal, M&M’s, peanut butter cups and pretzel twists, then serve.

Recipe via Dinner at the Zoo

Reindeer Cookies

These reindeer are not only extremely cute, they are so simple to make. With no baking required, these cookies are sure to wow your guests.

Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 pounds dark chocolate candy coating, chopped
  • 1 package of Nutter Butter cookies
  • 32 miniature marshmallows, cut in half crosswise
  • Decorative icing of your choice
Instructions:
  1. In a microwave, melt candy coating; stir until smooth. Dip one cookie in chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper.
  2. Attach two marshmallow halves onto cookie for eyes; add decorating icing for pupils and a mouth. Add an M&M or Red Hot for nose. Attach pretzels or pretzel pieces for antlers.
  3. Let stand until set.

Recipe via TasteofHome

Festive Cookie Sticks

This is another quick 3 ingredient recipe!

Ingredients:
  • Pirouette French Vanilla Cookies
  • Vanilla Candiquik
  • Holly Sprinkles
Instructions:
  1. First, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat the Candiquik according to package directions.
  3. Use a spoon to spoon melted Candiquik onto the cookie sticks – make sure to leave about 1 1/2 inches of the cookie stick with no chocolate so you can handle the cookie sticks.
  4. Place the holly sprinkles on the cookie sticks (can use tweezers to help).

Recipe via Crafting Chicks

Apple Cobbler

This buttery apple cobbler is highly addictive and a perfect dish to impress family and friends alike. It too requires only 3 ingredients!

Ingredients:
  • 1 can of canned apple pie filling (could also use blueberry, cherry, etc)
  • 1 stick of butter – sliced
  • 1 box of jiffy cake mix
Instructions:
  1. Spray baking dish with Pam
  2. Pour pie filling in bottom of dish.
  3. Spread cake mix over top of pie filling.
  4. Add slices of butter on top of cake mix.
  5. Bake on 375 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until the cake is done. Test with a toothpick.

Recipe via Just a Pinch

Wishing everyone a joyous and carefree holiday season. If you try out any of these recipes, be sure to tag us @campuscooks on social media to show off your work!