It’s the most wonderful time of the year … but we all know that the holidays can also be stressful — especially when the neighbours drop in unexpectedly, the work potluck/cookie exchange is actually tomorrow (not Friday, like you thought), or your parents decide to visit early. Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered with three easy holiday snacks you can serve in any situation.
The three snack recipes you need during the holiday season
These recipes only require about 10 min of active prep time, so you can get right back to your regularly scheduled programming (a.k.a. gift wrapping) quickly. Bonus: all of the ingredients have a healthy shelf life and will keep for at least 1 month when stored properly; half of them can probably be found in your own fridge or pantry right now.
What to shop for
Frozen puff pastry sheets
Unsalted mixed nuts
Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
35% cream or milk
The short notice visit: Puff Pastry Cheese Straws
Crispy and airy, cheese straws are as easy to make as they are to eat. If your puff pastry is frozen, thaw it on the stovetop as your oven is preheating. The heat from the oven will help it defrost faster. Then it’s all about a few gentle twists and a light sprinkling of seasoning before they go in the oven.
The drop-in visit: Spicy And Sweet Nuts
They’re the snack no one can resist dipping into, and one we always make extras of (they disappear FAST). One of the easiest appetizers to make on the fly, these spiced nuts also last for up to month when stored properly, so if you can, whip up an advance batch. Kitchen Tip: Measure out your ingredients while your oven preheats.
Tomorrow’s cookie exchange: No-Bake Millionaire Shortbread Bark
Forget to bake cookies for a cookie exchange? No problem. This easy cookie bark transforms the classic Millionaire Shortbread into a no-bake version. We used Presidents Choice’s cranberry shortbread stars to add festive flair, but you can also coarsely crumble regular shortbread cookies and dried cranberries over top.
- 500-g dark, semi-sweet or milk chocolate
- 200-g pkg shortbread stars or coarsely crumbled cookies
- 200 g chewy caramels, unwrapped
- 2 tbsp 35% cream or milk
- Temper chocolate, then pour over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Using an off-set spatula or the back of a spoon, spread chocolate to a 1/4-in. thin layer.
- Arrange half of cookies over chocolate. Set aside until firm, about 30 min.
- Melt caramels with cream in a medium saucepan over medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until just melted and smooth, 5 to 7 min. Drizzle hot caramel over chocolate. Carefully arrange remaining cookies overtop. Set aside until cooled completely, about 15 min. Cut into smaller pieces.