Baby, it's cold outside! Time to whip up some yummy festive treats!
Heading into the holidays, baking is high on the priority list. After the decorating and shopping is through, my sister and I set aside at least one full day to do some holiday baking.
Though our tradition could deem us experienced, we tend to find recipes that are very simple and straightforward. That way we can get way more done!
There is nothing better than putting a few ingredients together to wow your holiday guests.
These four recipes we have personally tried and tested to be incredibly simple and easy to make. Each one perfect for different holiday uses whether it be gifts for hosts or something to add to your holiday beverage.
None of our recipies have any sugar or sweetener added except good old fashioned honey. We have also used all local honey from here in town. Any chance we get to support our local bee community we are all for it!
Now get your ovens preheated and spatulas at the ready, because we are now commencing "Operation Holiday Baking" and we mean business.
Cinnamon Honey Butter
- 2 cups salted butter
- 1 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
It is important to make sure butter is room temperature. Once it is soft enough, beat with either a stand mixer, hand beater or wooden spoon until whipped. Add in the honey and cinnamon and combine until fully mixed. Pay attention that everything is evenly mixed together. Store in jars or containers. This recipe we used made 6 - 4oz jars.
This was the first recipe we tried and it was a wild success. Many recipes we saw called for both honey and sugar, but wanting to simplify, went for straight honey - and that was definitely the right choice.
Not only did it clean up the recipe, but it made the taste so authentic. Just some honey, butter and cinnamon is all you need to make an amazing treat. We also decide to use this as a gift. Whether it be for a mom, grandma or even a host of a party, this one is sure to please.
We have used this honey butter on toast, apples and even eaten some on its own (oops) and it will definitely be in the ranking for next years bake-a-thon.
So far the baking day was off to a great start.
Honey Glazed Party Mix
- 3 cups rice Chex
- 2 cups plain Cheerios
- 2 cups small pretzels
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 1/2 cup honey
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Combine the first 3 ingredients in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a separate bowl and add the honey to it. Drizzle the butter and honey mixture onto the cereal mix and evenly coat. Transfer everything onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Take out to cool and occasionally stir while cooling so nothing sticks together.
CAUTION: Addictive! It was so good in fact that we had to transfer it to a smaller bowl while taking photos because we ate too much!
This recipe felt so simple and turned out SO delicious. Just mix everything together and bake! The important part is to keep stirring so everything doesn't stick together.
The recipe itself is so versatile it can change to suit all your party mix needs. Nuts, M&M's, you name it! Add all the goodies and wow all your party guests with this amazing treat.
Honey Nut Candy
- 2 cups honey
- 1/2 cup nut butter (we used peanut)
Heat up honey in a medium saucepan until the candy thermometer reads 300 degrees (hard crack). This should take about 20 minutes. Take off heat and add in nut butter. For our recipe, we used peanut butter. Pour mixture onto parchment lined cookie sheet and place in fridge/freezer until hardened. Crack into pieces and keep refrigerated.
This one has by far the easiest list of ingredients, but does take a small amount of finesse. We were previously aware of the trickiness of candy but we borrowed a fantastic candy thermometer which was the key to our success. Though it is doable without one, I highly recommend getting one to make your candy creating much more tolerable.
Trickiness aside, we managed this recipe quite well and our candy turned out amazing! Hard at first but becomes very soft and chewy after a few bites.
We also used peanut butter for this recipe as it was what we had on hand, but many other nut butters could substitute including almond butter, sun butter (from sunflower seeds), tahini or dare we say nutella?! Endless opportunity!
Spiced Cranberry Syrup
- 1 cup cranberry juice (we used 100% cranberry, unsweetened, but cran cocktail can work too)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Let simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Let syrup cool completely and put into jars or containers. This recipe makes a little more than what's needed to fill our 8oz mason jar.
Nothing says holidays quite like cranberry! This syrup can be used for tons of holiday creations.
In this photo I have made a "mocktail" using the cranberry syrup, orange juice and sprite. Of course, there is always room for whiskey!
You could add this syrup to beverages, teas, baking and so much more. An idea I had to try next is to test it on morning waffles or pancakes! I wouldn't mind trying it on some vanilla ice cream either. I am keeping mine refrigerated but I'm sure it will not last long.
There we have it, tried and tested!
Using honey instead of sugar can have so many added benefits. Honey is better for you than refined sugar and not to mention versatile. We are always stocked up with local honey around the house, including the honey we used for these recipes which is made in town!
Please keep in mind that working with honey can - make that will - be sticky.
So have lots of clean up supplies at the ready. I used about 17 paper towels. Don't forget something to catch that inevitable drip of honey that lingers after every pour. We found a spoon or rubber spatula works well. On second thought, we would make a rubber spatula mandatory when working with honey.
We want to hear from you!
Even though we are crazy for these goodies, we want to know what you think! Try these recipes out at home for your family and friends during the holidays or better yet, modify them and send us your results! We would love to hear how they went over and what you did to improve them even more!