By Lindsey Jeschelnig

We all experience those cold-weather desires. Warm socks, fuzzy sweaters, and especially sweet treats. In an expedition to find the best goodies that will squash the grumbling in your tummy, I came upon four easy peasy recipe-sies. I am positive when telling you that these simple goodies will exterminate all those winter season cravings.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

It’s like a hug in a mug. When i found this recipe online, I could already taste it in my mouth. I really enjoyed the peppermint hot chocolate, because there was just the right amount of each ingredient so that none of them were too overwhelming. During my first try, I didn’t put any whipped cream on top, and it was still good, but the peppermint taste was a little too strong. Once I tried putting the whipped cream on while making it for my sister, the sweetness balanced out all the flavors. If you do not like whipped cream, you can always create a different ratio of the ingredients to your liking while making it. The only problem that I faced while making the peppermint hot chocolate was that I needed to get a slow cooker and a food processor, but once I got that it was SO easy to make!! I am not exactly the best chef in the kitchen, but I found it quite easy to make. This may not be the best treat if there is no occasion to go along with it, considering that the cook time lasts 2 hours. So if you’re looking for a sweet beverage to hype up your next holiday party, this definitely is one recipe that you will want to try.

Preparation Time: Approx. 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Serves: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup hot water
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (roughly chopped)
  • 4 cups (1 quart) milk
  • ¼ cup half and half (can be replaced by milk)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 5-7 candy canes (pulsed in food processor)

Optional:

  • Marshmallows
  • Whipped cream
  • Sprinkles
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Chocolate shavings

Extra Materials:

  • 3 quart slow cooker
  • Food processor
  • Small bowl

Instructions:

  1. Turn on the slow cooker and let it heat up on low

     

  2. In the food processor, crush up your desired amount of candy canes


  3. Put the hot water and cocoa powder into a small bowl, then mix them together until smooth


  4. Take your cocoa paste that you just made, and put it in the slow cooker for 2 hours along with the bittersweet chocolate, milk, half and half, sugar, and crushed up candy canes.

     

  5. Stir every 30 minutes (If it has been an hour, and the chocolate hasn’t melted yet, then turn the cooker onto the high setting for the remaining hour; still stir every 30 minutes)


  6. Enjoy!! You can serve with toppings of your desire.

Chanukah Themed Chocolate Covered Pretzel Sticks

Chanukah is already filled with many traditional sweets and goodies, but these Chanukah themed chocolate covered pretzel sticks certainly will enlighten your taste buds! They are a perfect way to bring friends and family together to celebrate the season with a touch of fun. Not only did I find the process of making them exciting, but they also tasted A M A Z I N G. I’m usually not the chocolate type, but the salt from the pretzels really evened out the sweetness of the chocolate. The textures were also very pleasing. I was definitely satisfied with my end results.

Preparation Time: Approx 20 minutes

Cook Time: Approx 7-10 minutes

Freeze Time: 10 minutes

Serves: As many as you would like

Ingredients:

  • Package of long pretzel rods
  • Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate
  • Baker’s white chocolate
  • Blue food dye
  • Blue and white assorted sprinkles or toppings

Extra Materials:

  • 2 boilers
  • 2 bowls
  • Baking tray
  • Foil lined baking sheet

Instructions:

  1. Heat up both boilers on low heat


  2. Melt the chocolates in separate boilers until fully melted. Stir throughout the process.

     

  3. Take chocolates out of heat and into 2 separate bowls

     

  4. Mix blue food coloring into the white chocolate

     

  5. Cover about ½ of each pretzel with the brown chocolate with a spoon. Turn pretzel over bowl until excess chocolate is off.

     

  6. Drizzle the blue chocolate with whichever designs you prefer onto the pretzel

     

  7. Decorate with your desired toppings

     

  8. Place on foil lined baking sheet

     

  9. Once the sheet is full with the pretzels, place in freezer to set for 10 minutes


  10. Enjoy!

Candy Cane Cookies

These sweet delights are a treat for the whole neighborhood! Of all the recipes that I found, the candy cane cookies were definitely my favorite. The amount of time that was spent on them chilling was long, but definitely worth the wait. My entire family was amazed by both their taste and display. If you’re looking for a delightful cookie that will be able to impress your friends and family, this is the one for you.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Chilling Time: 3 hours

Serves: 36 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 stick, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons peppermint extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 ¾ cup (385 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon liquid red food coloring
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoon sparkling sugar

Extra Materials:

  • Stand mixer
  • Baking sheet
  • Plastic wrap 
  • Parchment paper or silicone baking mat

Instructions:

  1. Place butter, sugar, peppermint, vanilla, baking powder, and salt in the stand mixer. Mix until a paste forms, and starts to stick on to the side of the bowl.

     

  2. Scrape the paste into the middle of the bowl

     

  3. Add in the egg, and beat down into paste until it is fully absorbed

     

  4. Add in the flour and mix until no dry flour can be seen

     

  5. Divide paste in half, and remove one half from the bowl

     

  6. Add in the red food coloring to the dough that is still in the bowl

     

  7. Mix until the food coloring is evenly distributed among the dough

     

  8. Remove the dough

     

  9. Form disk-like figures from the doughs, and then wrap them separately in plastic wrap

     

  10. Refrigerate for 3 hours, or overnight

     

  11. Preheat oven to 350°

     

  12. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat

     

  13. Pinch off 1 inch piece from each dough and roll into about 5 inch long ropes

     

  14. Place ropes next to each other and twist together

     

  15. Transfer to the baking sheet, and form into shape of a candy cane

     

  16. Repeat with the remaining dough, placing each cookie about 2 inches apart on the sheet

     

  17. Beat egg white with 1 teaspoon of water until foamy to make egg white wash

     

  18. Brush top of cookie with egg white wash

     

  19. Sprinkle the cookie with the sparkling sugar

     

  20. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes until edges are a slight brown

     

  21. Let cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes
Posted by:hbinretrospect

Reporting not for school, but for life.

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