Seasonal Sweets Holiday Addition (2021)


Maggie Maisano, Staff Writer

Seasonal Sweets: Holiday Edition

The Holidays are the most wonderful time of the year to bake in my family.  From peppermint candies to gingerbread houses, and Christmas cookies. There is no shortage of sweets during this time of the year. Baking holiday treats is a great way to experience the joy and magic of this holiday season. These desserts are perfect for Christmas dinner, holiday parties, or even just watching a Christmas movie marathon. Everyone is sure to enjoy these treats, no matter what you celebrate this time of year. 


Sugar Cookies:

Sugar cookies are a classic any time of the year but are especially popular around this season because you can decorate them to make them Christmas-themed. Personally,  I like to take three holiday M&M’s and press them into each cookie while they are still warm.


2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups white sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on a cookie sheet for two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.  


Christmas Cookies Bark:

This Christmas cookie bark is one of the ultimate holiday desserts and is perfect for holiday parties.


16 oz almond bark (chocolate and vanilla)

14 Oreos chopped into small pieces

1 ½ cup pretzels broken into small pieces

2/3 cup red and green M&M’s

Red and green sprinkles


Spread a sheet of wax or parchment paper (to prevent sticking) into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan. Evenly spread the pretzels, Oreos, and half of the M&Ms over the parchment paper. Begin heating the almond bark in a microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute and 30 seconds on high. Stir, and continue to heat for 30 seconds more until smooth. Stir again and heat for 15 seconds only if the mixture is not smooth when stirred, do not overheat. Evenly pour the melted almond bark over the ingredients in the pan. Use a rubber spatula to help spread the melted bark evenly over the top. While the bark is still wet, add sprinkles to the top along with the remaining M&Ms. Refrigerate the pan until the bark has cooled completely and hardened for about two hours. Break the bark into chunks using your hands and store it in an airtight container. Bark can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator.


Red Velvet Sugar Cookie Bars:

These red velvet sugar cookie bars are so delicious and addicting. 


Cookie Bars:

3 1/3 cups flour

1/4 cup unsweet­ened cocoa

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon bak­ing pow­der

1 cup but­ter softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons (one 1-ounce bottle) red food coloring

Cream Cheese Frosting:

2 (8 Oz) cream cheese softened

1/2 cup butter softened

2 cups sifted powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have a 9×13 inch pan ready lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream together 1 cup butter softened and sugar until light and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and food coloring until combined. Add the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Press into the bottom of the 9×13 inch pan. Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges start to pull away from the sides and a toothpick entered into the center comes out clean. Allow to completely cool before frosting. To make the cream cheese frosting, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat together until smooth. Frost the top of the bars and enjoy!



This fudge is like little bites of happiness. You can also sprinkle holiday sprinkles and decorations on top if you would like to add a more festive look to the dessert. Ingredients:

3 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter or margarine

2/3 cup evaporated milk

2 cups semi chocolate chips

1  jar of marshmallow crème, Kraft jet puffed 7 oz. jar

1 tsp. vanilla

Chopped nuts (optional)


Line a 9 X 13-inch pan with parchment paper. In a medium pot, mix sugar, butter, and milk. Bring the mixture to a full boil using medium heat, stirring constantly so the sugar dissolves and the mixture does not burn on the bottom of the pot. Boil for five minutes exactly. Remove the thickened mixture from the heat and add chocolate chips. Add the marshmallow crème and vanilla. Add nuts if desired. Pour into the prepared pan to cool.


Caramel Corn:

This caramel corn is one of my personal favorites at Christmas and is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. 


24 cups popped popcorn

½ cup light corn syrup

2 sticks butter

2 cups brown sugar

1 tsp salt


Mix the corn syrup, butter, brown sugar, and salt and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from stovetop and add 1 tsp soda and 1 tsp vanilla Pour over popcorn and mix well. Put on a cookie sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Baking is such a fun way to spend the holiday season with your family and friends. Desserts can bring people together and I hope that I can share that joy with others through these desserts. Happy holidays!