Friday, December 23, 2011

Quick Homemade Treats

One thing I love about this time of year is making home made treats for people. Whether it's a plate of cookies for some co-workers or some home made Chex Mix, I love creating little things to give out. So, here are so super quick ideas that don't take a ton of time to make or a ton of ingredients!

 Muddy Buddy Chex Mix
Warning...this stuff can be as addictive as crack!!! It seriously takes 10 minutes to make and it's so good!

Here's what you need..2 boxes of plain Corn Chex cereal, 1 bag of chocolate and peanut butter chips (if you have a peanut allergy, plain chocolate chips will do the trick!) and some powdered sugar (you probably need about 3/4 of a cup..I have a mammoth bag because I buy it bulk for frosting.)

Separate the 2 boxes of cereal into 3 large ziploc bags. Melt the chips..I prefer a double boiler since I burn them in the microwave..just take a small saucepan, put some water in it, place a glass bowl on top. Throw the chips in the bowl, heat the water, and it takes about 7-10 minutes to melt them. Once the chips are melted, spoon melted chocolate into the ziploc bags. I use 1 bag of chips for 2 boxes of cereal. Once it's in there, seal the bags...make sure they're sealed to avoid a shower of melted chocolate cereal on your kitchen floor...and shake them to coat the cereal. Sometimes I'll do some melted chocolate, shake, them put more in vs. putting it all in at once. Once the cereal is coated, add some powdered sugar...seal it again and then make sure it's sealed!..and shake some more..the powdered sugar will help separate the cereal. You can choose how chocolate-y and how sugary you want it! I throw it in a huge bowl, let the chocolate harden a bit and them put it in a tin or little treat bags.

2. Homemade Peppermint Marshmallows

I saw these on Martha Stewart's show a couple years ago..when she was on real tv and not booted to the Hallmark channel, which we don't even get. I loved this idea and these were pretty easy to make!

It starts off with some sugar, corn syrup, and water. Boil it in a small sauce pan. while it's heating up, you take some gelatin and water and get the mixer going! Once the ingredients in the saucepan are combined, add it to the mixer and let it mix...

Once the ingredients are combined, I took a 8 by 8 brownie pan. Cover it in saran wrap with an overhang. Spray it with Pam or another non stick spray..this is important or you'll never get the marshmallows out of the pan! Here's what mine looked like..

After about 2 hours, they should be ready to cut. You can cut them as large or as small as you'd like!
Then comes the powdered sugar bath....

Here are the real play by play directions! These are perfect for a hostess gift..or pair it with a mug, a container of hot chocolate and maybe even a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps!

3 (1/4-ounce) packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Confectioners' sugar, sifted, for coating


Lightly spray a 9-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line pan with plastic wrap, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water; let stand for 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1/4 cup water. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil; boil rapidly for 1 minute. Remove from heat, and, with the mixer on high, slowly pour the boiling syrup down the side of the mixer bowl into gelatin mixture. Add salt and continue mixing for 12 minutes

Add peppermint extract and mix until well combined. Spray a rubber spatula or your hands with cooking spray. Spread gelatin mixture evenly into pan using prepared spatula or your hands. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place, spray side down, on top of marshmallows. Let stand for 2 hours.

Carefully remove marshmallows from pan. Remove all plastic wrap and discard. Cut marshmallows into 2-inch squares using a sprayed a sharp knife. Place confectioners' sugar in a large bowl. Working in batches, add marshmallows to bowl and toss to coat. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days.

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