Cary, NC — Each Christmas, I make batches of Christmas goodies to give out to friends, family, neighbors, coworkers – anyone, really! It’s an easy way to show people you’re thinking about them. This year, I made three tasty, but easy, recipes to share with you.
I probably make at least ten different types of goodies to give out around the holidays each year. When I was a kid, I’d bring plates of these assorted snacks to my teachers, bus driver and friends’ parents. Today, I still carry on that tradition and surprise people with bags of goodies around the holidays. Of course, I save some for myself to snack on at home, too.
This year, I wanted to share three easy recipes that are all delicious – trash, turtles and homemade cheese crackers. Two are old favorites, and one is new. Mix these with the recipes I published last year and you’ll have the perfect mix of “sweet and salty” to give away to friends.
Even though most people probably call this recipe “Chex mix,” my family has always called this stuff “trash.” We put our own spin on the recipe found on the back of Chex cereal boxes years ago, and I’ve made it the same way ever since. The secret ingredient? Bugles.
- 3 cups Corn Chex cereal
- 3 cups Rice Chex cereal
- 3 cups Bugles chips
- 1 cup peanuts
- 1 cup bite-size pretzels
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Mix the cereal, chips, pretzels and peanuts in a large microwaveable platter or bowl.
- Melt the butter, add the Worcestershire and seasonings.
- Pour butter mixture over cereal and gently toss with spatula.
- Microwave for two minutes, remove, and stir again.
- Repeat the last step two more times.
- Gently dump the trash out onto paper towels and let cool.
- Store in airtight containers.
Caramel Pecan Turtles
Every good holiday platter has a little chocolate in it. This is a new recipe I tried this year from Ree Drummond. It is so incredibly easy that I had to share it with you.
- 24 pecan halves
- 24 pretzel twists
- 24 individually wrapped soft caramel squares (unwrapped)
- 8 oz. milk chocolate, melted
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Put the pecan halves on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until lightly toasted (5 to 6 minutes). Transfer the nuts to a plate to cool.
- Line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange the pretzels neatly on the baking sheet, then top each pretzel with a caramel.
- Bake until the caramels soften (4 to 5 minutes).
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently press a pecan half onto each caramel, just enough for the caramel to fill the pretzel.
- Set aside to cool completely.
- Remove the cooled pretzel/caramels from the baking sheet. Spoon 24 small dollops (1 1/2-teaspoon helpings) of the melted chocolate all over the baking sheet, then lightly drop a pretzel onto the middle of each dollop, making sure the pretzel is centered.
- Allow them to cool completely before serving (you can hasten this along in the fridge).
- Store in fridge in airtight containers.
You’ve probably heard of “cheese straws,” a popular snack to giveaway and serve at parties around the holidays. My family has made an easier alternative – homemade cheese crackers – for as long as I can remember, and people always love them.
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 cups Rice Krispies
- 1/2 tsp. Sriracha
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Line baking sheets with baking parchment.
- Using your hands, combine all ingredients.
- Form into small balls, approximately 1-inch in diameter.
- Placed on lined baking sheets about one inch apart.
- Flatten each ball slightly with a fork that has been dipped in water.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned.
- Store in airtight containers.
Story and photos by Jessica Patrick.
CaryCitizen is sponsored in-part by Thai Spices & Sushi in Preston Corners.