A non-cookie baking Christmas

When I was a child, my mom was the Christmas cookie maker in our family.  By the time I was a teenager, I took over baking cookies at Christmas.  This is saying a lot considering I didn’t really cook much of anything else or know how to.  The Christmas cookie tradition has continued every year since then.  Even in 2009 when I had a newborn, I still managed to get cookies baked.  However, this Christmas is going to be different because I can’t be on my feet for very long.  Not much cooking is getting done in our house period.  The cookies aren’t going to happen like they usually do thanks to my modified bedrest.

My daughter taking Christmas cookie decorating seriously last year. With some help, we'll do this again in a couple of weeks.

So, I’m coming up with some alternative plans.  I’ve got to say, it will be different, but it’s going to work.  While iced sugar cookies aren’t my favorite cookie (chocolate chip cookies take that spot!), I like decorating them.  Last Christmas I had a great time decorating sugar cookies with my kiddo, husband, brother-in-law, in-laws and parents.  Lexiana has already asked about doing this again.  I talked to my mom and we’ve come up with a plan to use premade dough that she’ll help me bake out so we’ll be able to decorate them just like last year.  This year we won’t make as many cookies and the dough won’t be made from scratch, but the memories we’ll make will more than make up for those facts.

I’m also using premade dough to do some baking with the kiddo as early as next week.  She loves baking with me.  We’ve not gotten to do so recently.  Then last week she told me she dreamed about making chocolate chip cookies with me.  When my husband went to the grocery store for us this past weekend, the list included cookie dough.  We may not be mixing them from scratch like I like, but we’ll have fresh cookies we made together nonetheless.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve also found inspiration on Pinterest.  Last year I tried a recipe called Christmas White Trash in place of making puppy chow like I usually did.  I was super pleasantly surprised.  It was even easier to make than puppy chow and was so incredibly good.  My husband loved it.  The kiddo kept asking for “trash candy.”  It was a hit.  This year, I’m going to make it again because the hardest part of the recipe is melting the vanilla candy coating in the microwave.  Even better, I found some candy coating on sale a while back and have had it in the freezer just for this purpose.  I can’t wait!

Christmas White Trash
Recipe adapted from Cooking with K

24 oz. vanilla flavored candy coating (almond bark)
6 cups Kellogg’s Crispix cereal
3 cups small pretzel sticks
16 oz. Peanut Butter M&M’s in Christmas colors

1. In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate in the microwave for 2-4 minutes at 30-second intervals until chocolate is melted; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, add cereal, pretzels and M&M’s.
3. Pour melted chocolate over the cereal mixture.
4. Using a large spatula to fold all together making sure not to break up the cereal to much.
5. Once all the mixture is coated really well with the chocolate, pour out onto a table lined with waxed paper.
6. Once cooled, break up into piece and store in an air tight container.

I am trying another new recipe this Christmas as well that doesn’t even involve using the microwave or anything else.  It’s an easy Christmas S’mores Snack.  It’s a cool recipe that only involves dumping some Golden Grahams cereal, some mini marshmallows and some M&M’s together in a bag.  Yeah.  That’s perfect for this Christmas.  I can sit at my kitchen table and assemble this and the kiddo can help.  I like that!  It’s not what I’ve traditionally done, but sometimes you have to be flexible with tradition and look for ways to be creative.  I’ll still make good memories with my kiddo and have some yummy treats to share with my loved ones.  And that’s what I’m striving for anyway!

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