I love Christmas time and especially giving to our neighbors and friends. I realized that Trav and I have two different kinds of giving and it matches our personalities perfectly! I like to do a lot of different kinds of treats, all rather simple, quick and easy! The more people who can get those yummy treats the better. (Haha I’m the extrovert and he is the introvert) Trav on the other hand likes to make a more one or two difficult candies to be enjoyed by us and close family. But you see that’s why we make the perfect team!
This year we did peppermint candy cane puppy chow, Buckeyes, marshmallow popcorn balls, peanut clusters and chocolate pretzels. Trav made delicious chocolates covered salted caramels. That recipe will come later!
Here are the recipes for this years neighbor plate of treats!
Marshmallow Popcorn Balls
- 16 cups popped popcorn (1/2 cup kernels)
- 10 oz mini marshmallows
- 5 TBS butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp vanilla
- Sprinkles if desired
- (3 TBS coconut oil- only if you pop your own kernels)
- You can use bagged popcorn or I always pop my own on the stove. To do that, you need to heat 3 TBS coconut oil in a large pot on the stove. Add the kernels and covered slightly with a lid. I always leave an opening to allow the steam to escape or the humidity won’t allow the kernels to properly pop. Move and shake the pot occasionally so that the kernels don’t burn. Once the popping has slowed down and the pot it full, dump into a large bowl.
- Separate any remaining kernels from the popped popcorn and discard. Keep the popcorn in a large bowl.
- Melt butter and marshmallows in the same pot. Once both have melted removed from heat and pour over popcorn in bowl.
- Stir until all is coated. Wait two minutes and pour in some sprinkles if desired. Stir to combine.
- Once cool enough to handle, either wet your hands or spray them with PAM and make into small balls. You can place them on a baking sheet until cooled.
- 1 1/2 cups of CREAMY peanut butter, (1- 16oz jar)
- 3 cups of powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 2 cups Rice Krispies
- Melting chocolate for dipping, I’ve used both milk and dark chocolate
- Combine the peanut butter, powdered sugar and butter into a large mixing bowl. Slowly mix until smooth. (If you don’t want a big mess, add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. Or you can have a little adventure like I do and mix it all! Haha)
- Add Rice Krispies and mix just until combined.
- Make small balls out of the dough and place in a container to freeze. (I like to put tin foil or wax paper between layers to prevent sticking.)
- Freeze for at least 1 hour or overnight is best! You need them to be frozen or they will break apart when dipping.
- Melt your chocolate according to the directions on the package.
- Poke a toothpick in the middle of the ball and turn on its sides in the chocolate. Place on baking sheet to cool.
Peppermint Candy Cane Puppy Chow
- 8 cups Rice Chex Cereal
- 16 oz white chocolate (you can also use Andes chocolate mint chips if you can find them…I never can haha)
- 12 peppermint candy canes
- 3/4 powdered sugar
- Measure out cereal and place in a large bowl.
- Unwrap all candy canes and crush in a quart size ziplock bag. I use my marble rolling pin or a big metal water-bottle.
- Melt white chocolate in microwave according to package directions.
- Pour over cereal and stir to combine.
- Add the crushed candy canes and stir again until evenly mixed.
- Add powdered sugar to a gallon bag and pour in the cereal mixture. Close and shake until all pieces are covered.
- You can store it in that bag or pour out on a baking sheet to dry and then separate onto plates.
Peanut clusters and Pretzels
The next two I just whipped together. Trav had some extra caramel and so I mixed in long peanuts. You want to have 1/2 peanuts 1/2 caramel. Scoop into balls and place on cookie sheet. I also like to covered these in white chocolate!
The pretzels were super last minute as a filler for the plates. I just spread the pretzels around a baking sheet and poured melted chocolate over them and spread the sprinkles.