It may not be the most important aspect of the holiday season, but it’s hard to imagine having a properly festive Christmas without Christmas treats. Where would we be without recipes like crockpot hot chocolate, sour cream cookies, hot chocolate bombs, gingerbread houses (and their easier cousin, graham cracker houses), fudge brownies — I could go on and on!
While some of my favorite holiday treats are classics like sugar cookies and peppermint bark, I’ve also expanded my collection of recipes for tasty holiday snacks over the past few years! We just can’t get enough of these addictive Christmas treats, so I thought I’d share 3 Christmas goodie recipes with you here that not only would make fabulous snacks for Christmas, but wonderful gifts for family and friends, too!
The fact that all 3 recipes are easy Christmas treats is the icing on the cake (or the cream cheese frosting on the Christmas cake, so to speak!) In addition to being quick and easy holiday snacks, they’d make great Christmas party desserts or prizes for Christmas party games!
If you have a favorite Christmas treat that other OGT readers should know about, please share it in a comment at the bottom of this post!
My 3 Favorite Christmas Treat Recipes
1. Ritz Cracker Toffee
This is the recipe most often associated with the name “Christmas Crack,” and for good reason! It’s hard not to be hooked on this crunchy, chocolatey bark from the very first bite. Consider making a double batch of this easy holiday treat, because it will disappear before your eyes! It’s one of my very favorite Christmas treat recipes, and makes a fun Christmas dessert, too.
- 20 Ritz crackers or similar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Pinch sea salt (optional)
- Crushed candy cane, to garnish (optional)
Start by lining an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper, then arrange an even layer of Ritz crackers so that it covers the bottom of the pan.
Next, combine butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and heat until melted. Boil the mixture for 2-3 minutes — WITHOUT stirring — then immediately pour the caramel over the crackers, using a spatula to spread it into an even layer.
Place the pan in a 425 degree oven for 5 minutes to help set the caramel layer. Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the caramel, then put the pan back in the hot oven for 1-2 more minutes to melt the chocolate chips.
Immediately after removing the pan from the oven, spread the melted chips into an even layer, then sprinkle crushed peppermints or candy canes over the chocolate to give it a fun, festive look. Let the pan cool completely before breaking the finished toffee into snack-sized pieces.
Mix It Up!
- Instead of peppermint, sprinkle crushed pecans or walnuts on top, or add some Christmas cookie sprinkles.
- Use dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chip, or even butterscotch chips (or a mix!)
- Sprinkle crushed pretzels on top to give it even more of a sweet and salty flair.
2. “Pigeon Mix” (Christmas Chex Mix)
This recipe was shared with me by our long-time neighbors (and my daughter Britta’s in-laws) the Hopkins, who call it by the name “Pigeon Mix” (though I’m sure it’s known by other names, as Christmas Chex mixes often are!) This sweet, crunchy, buttery snack mix is as easy to make as it is hard to put down! If your family is anything like mine, you won’t be able to get enough of it.
- 1/2 box Corn Chex
- 1/2 box Golden Grahams cereal
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup white corn syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup butter
In a large bowl, combine the Chex, Golden Grahams, slivered almonds, and shredded coconut, then set the bowl aside.
To a saucepan, add the corn syrup, sugar, and butter, then place it on your stovetop over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Pour the liquid over the cereal mixture and stir to combine, then spread the mixture out onto a lined baking sheet. Allow it to cool before breaking it up and storing it in ziplock bags.
3. Snowstorm Popcorn
I made this soft and chewy popcorn treat one year while were stuck inside during a snowstorm, and that’s how it earned its moniker. Snacking on a big bowl of this popcorn while watching a Christmas movie in the glow of the lights of your Christmas tree sounds the perfect way to spend time with those you love around the holidays. It’s surprisingly easy to make, and goes great with a steaming mug of hot cocoa!
- 3 bags microwave popcorn, popped
- 2 sticks butter
- 16 oz marshmallows
- 1 cup brown sugar
Start by picking out any unpopped kernels from the popcorn and discarding them, then place the popped popcorn in a large bowl.
In a separate, microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, marshmallows, and brown sugar, then and microwave it for 2 minutes. Remove the bowl, stir, then microwave again for 1-2 minutes. Stir again, repeating until the mixture is thin enough to pour.
Pour the buttery marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and stir well with a spatula to ensure the popcorn gets coated evenly. Let cool and serve.
BONUS: Packaging Treats For Quick And Easy Holiday Gifts
These Christmas treats are fun and easy to make with your kids, and would make great gifts to boot! Here are a few ideas for packaging your delicious Christmas goodies to make them extra festive:
- Mold the popcorn into balls and wrap them in wax paper or plastic wrap. Use a fun Christmas sticker to secure the paper or plastic.
- Scoop Pigeon Mix into cellophane bags or holiday ziplock bag to give to coworkers, mail delivery people, neighbors, etc.
- Break the toffee into bite-size pieces, pile them into a cellophane bag, then tie the bag closed with red and green ribbon.
- Scoop any of these festive holiday treats into a mason jar for a delicious (and practical) gift!
What are your favorite Christmas treats to make during the holidays?
Ritz Cracker Toffee Recipe
- 20 Ritz Crackers
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 pinch sea salt (optional)
- crushed candy cane for sprinkling on top (optional)
- Start by lining an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper.
- Place Ritz crackers in an even layer covering the bottom of the pan.
- Next, combine butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan and heat until melted. Boil the mixture for 2-3 minutes WITHOUT stirring.
- After boiling, immediately pour the caramel mixture over the Ritz crackers in your pan. Use a spatula to spread the caramel out in an even layer.
- Place the pan in a 425 degree oven for 5 minutes to help thicken and set the caramel.
- Next, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips in an even layer on top of the caramel. Then pop the tray back in the oven for 2-3 minutes to melt the chocolate chips.
- Spread the melted chocolate immediately after removing the pan from the oven and sprinkle with crushed candy cane for a festive look! Let the whole thing cool completely in the fridge (about 2 hours) before breaking into serving-sized pieces.
Pigeon Mix Recipe (AKA Christmas Chex Mix)
- ½ box Corn Chex
- ½ box Golden Grahams
- ½ cup slivered almonds
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup white corn syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¾ cup butter
- In a large bowl, mix together the Chex, Golden Grahams, slivered almonds, and shredded coconut. Set the bowl aside.
- Combine the corn syrup, sugar, and butter into a saucepan and place it on your stove over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour the liquid over the cereal mixture and stir to combine. Spread out on a lined cookie sheet and let it cool before storing in airtight container.
Snowstorm Popcorn Recipe
- 3 bags Microwave Popcorn popped (9-12 cups popped corn)
- 2 sticks Butter
- 16 oz Marshmallows
- 2 cup Brown Sugar
- Start by removing any unpopped kernels from the popcorn to discard. Place the popcorn in a large bowl and set it aside.
- Place the butter, marshmallows, and brown sugar in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave it for 2 1/2 minutes.
- Take the bowl out, stir the mixture, then place it back in the microwave for another minute. Stir again. Repeat until the mixture is thin enough to pour easily.
- Pour the liquid mixture over the popcorn and use a spatula to stir them together, making sure that the popcorn is evenly coated.
- Let cool and serve.