Holiday desserts can help keep the season magical

Lizzie Sheldon, Staff Writer

This holiday season may not be as festive as previous years, but that does not mean it should be excluded all together. Those huge family gatherings bustling with your great aunts and second cousins might need to stay off the agenda this year, but the amount of food does not need to dwindle down. Baking is a great way to relieve stress during the holiday season! Here are 5 holiday dessert recommendations:











Chocolate Fudge

A classic holiday treat that is made purely of sugar. Fudge is very rich and creamy in flavor and is a perfect treat to indulge.


2 squares of dark chocolate (baking chocolate)

2 cups sugar

1 cup milk

1 tsp. white corn syrup

¼ tsp. salt

2 tsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups marshmallow cream

Combine all the ingredients into a saucepan (except the marshmallow cream, which will be used later) on medium heat until you get a rolling boil. Continue stirring for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, add 2 cups of marshmallow cream, whip until well-combined. Pour the mixture into a 9×13” cake pan and refrigerate until hardened.











Pecan Snowball Cookies

A sphere shaped cookie with toasted pecans that’s rolled in powdered sugar. A very simple cookie recipe that is simply delicious.


1 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp, vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Mix the powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract into a large bowl until smooth. Then, add in the flour and mix that until well-combined. Pour in the chopped pecans and mix in with a spoon. Grab a teaspoon of the dough and roll it into a ball. Then place them on a cookie sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown. Remove them from the oven. Put 2 cups of powdered sugar into a zip-lock bag or a bowl. Place about 5 to 10 cookies (make sure they are still warm) into the powdered sugar and shake them until they are thoroughly coated. Place the cookies on a cooling rack.

Holiday sugar cookies are always a crowd-pleaser. (Creative Commons)
















Sugar Cookies

A traditional cookie that is a must-have during the holiday season. Sugar cookies can be decorated elegantly or chaotically–it’s all about preference!


1 ½ cups powdered sugar

1 cup margarine or butter

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. almond extract

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cream of tartar

Mix the powdered sugar, margarine, egg, vanilla extract, and almond extract into a large bowl until smooth. Then, mix in the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover the dough and refrigerate for 2 hours. After 2 hours, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and take the dough out of the fridge. Place the dough on a flat surface covered in flour, roll out the dough over the floured surface until about ¼ inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out the shapes you prefer. Place the cut out cookies on a cookie sheet and place them into the oven for about 5 to 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Frost and decorate as desired.











Chocolate Cherry Cookies

A fruitier addition to the cookie options, a chocolate cherry cookie features a soft chocolate cookie filled with a sweet cherry. They are always a huge hit during the holidays.\


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup butter

1 cup sugar

½ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt 

1 large egg

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

48 undrained maraschino cherries (save ¼ tsp. cherry juice)

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup chocolate chips

Mix the flour, baking soda, and cocoa powder together into a large bowl. In a separate bowl, cream the egg, butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the mixture. Once all the ingredients are combined, grab a saucepan and melt the chocolate chips on very low heat (no bubbles should form); add the condensed milk to the chocolate chips while they are melting. After the chocolate is completely melted, take it off the burner and set it aside. Grab a teaspoon to scoop the cookie dough, and roll them into balls–evenly space them apart on a cookie sheet. Use your thumb, and indent the center of each cookie and place a cherry in the indent. Then, take the chocolate/condensed milk mixture and pour a ½ teaspoon over each cherry (turns into a fudge once baked). Bake in the oven at 325 degrees for about 5 minutes (or until you see the dough rise halfway over the cherry). Take them out of the oven and place them on a cooling rack.











Puppy Chow (Muddy Buddies)

Puppy chow is the best sweet treat during the holidays for those of us who just want to snack. It’s a perfect chocolate-peanut butter mix on rice cereal covered in powdered sugar. This dessert is quick to make and will be just as quickly eaten! 


9 cups of rice Chex cereal

½ cup peanut butter

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 ½ cups powdered sugar

In a saucepan over low heat, melt the chocolate and mix in the peanut butter until it’s smooth. Remove from heat,  and pour the chocolate-peanut butter mixture over the rice cereal and stir softly until coated. In a zip-lock bag, pour the powdered sugar. Add the coated rice cereal into the zip-lock bag and shake it until it’s all completely covered in powdered sugar. Store in an airtight container.