Peppermint pretzel bites
These easy, colorful treats require a bag of waffle pretzels and 1 to 2 bags of Hershey's peppermint kisses.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread pretzels flat on a cookie sheet. Place an unwrapped piece of candy on each pretzel, and then place the cookie sheet in the oven for 2 to 3 minutes. When the candies look glossy and soft, take the sheet out of the oven and place a waffle pretzel on top. Gently press down. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes or until firm.
These are fun for children to make.
Dipped pretzel sticks
Cover the table with butcher paper and set out jimmies, chopped nuts and dried fruit in small bowls and let the kids go crazy. You'll need 1 bag of pretzel rods, 1 bag of semisweet chocolate chips, and chopped nuts, sprinkles and dried fruit.
Melt chocolate in microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring until smooth and liquid-like. Dip one end of each pretzel stick in the chocolate. Pull out the stick, turning each to remove excess chocolate. Dip in cup of topping or lay flat on wax paper and sprinkle topping over chocolate. Refrigerate 15 to 20 minutes until candy sets.
Fill each of these cookies with a personalized message of good will and give them to your family and friends for the holidays, new year or any other significant event.
Bake the cookies in small quantities, because you have to work very quickly to fill and shape them once they come out of the oven before the delicate
mixture becomes dry, brittle and impossible to fold.
¾ cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of salt
3 large egg whites
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with nonstick parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, ground ginger and salt. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and whisk until combined. Stir in the sifted dry ingredients, then add the melted butter, and blend until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Draw 2-by-2½-inch circles on each sheet of parchment paper and spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto each circle. Using either the back of a spoon or a palette knife, spread the mixture in an even layer to fill the circles. Bake 1 sheet on the middle rack of the preheated oven and the other on the shelf below for about 6 to 8 minutes, until the cookies are starting to turn golden at the edges.
Working quickly, remove one sheet of parchment paper from the oven at a time, leaving the other baking sheet inside and, using a palette knife, carefully and quickly lift the cookies off the parchment paper. Flip the cookie over, lay your fortune message in the middle, and fold the cookie over it in half. Bring the points of the cookie together to make the fortune cookie curl and leave to cool in a muffin pan (this will help them to keep their shape). Repeat with the remaining cookies.
Once you have used up all of the mixture and all of your cookies are baked and shaped, slide the muffin pan into the oven for another minute to brown them evenly.
Leave to cool in the pans before packaging in takeout boxes. Stored in an airtight container, they will keep for up to 3 days.
This recipe is from "Gifts from the Kitchen: 100 Irresistible Homemade Presents for Every Occasion," by Annie Rigg (Kyle Books, $24.95).