Popcorn Balls

I haven’t had popcorn balls since I was a kid, and when they popped up as fun ideas for holiday gift baskets, I thought they would be cute! I found this recipe on My Baking Addiction, and I didn’t change anything at all. They were simple and were a hit especially with kids. We will definitely include them next year, and I think they would also be cute for summer parties with something like red, white, and blue sprinkles.


Chai Eggnog Cookies

This was another recipe I had saved from Southern Living because it looked like a winner for holiday cookies – and it was! This got a lot of thumbs up. I made some without icing as well, and I think people with a bit less of a sweet tooth preferred that version.

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Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods

I think these were the prettiest thing in our holiday baskets for sure, and SUPER easy to make in large volume. There’s no recipe here, bags of pretzel rods, melted chocolate chips – two bags of semi-sweet worked for one bag of pretzel rods – and decorative sprinkles. Once the chocolate has melted over a double broiler on low, dip the pretzels (I did need to spread the chocolate a bit with a spatula), put them on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and decorate! They were fun to make and very pretty in clear cellophane bags.

Turtle Cookies

The first cookie for our holiday baskets was definitely a hit this year! This seemed to be everyone’s favorite, especially the chocolate lovers. It’s fairly easy, and you could probably get more cookies out of each batch than I did – I just made them a little larger. The original recipe, which came from an old Southern Living issue, called for chopped caramel squares, and they ARE delicious if you’re up for cutting up the candy. If not, I tried subbing butterscotch chips, and the cookies still got good reviews – even if they were no longer, “turtles.” As an aside, I did not modify anything in our holiday baskets, but you certainly could make these gluten free, though I’m not sure how well they would come out if you subbed out the butter to make them dairy free. Worth a try for someone who loves chocolate, though!

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Spiced Cranberry Sangria

This was an easy and festive holiday cocktail that was quite popular with our Thanksgiving appetizers! One of my friends shared this recipe from PBS, of all places, and I’ll definitely look through their recipe archives after this! The recipe below is as is, but I doubled it for Turkey Day, and would do that again when making this for a crowd.

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