Most of us spend more time in the kitchen during the holidays, making the season all the more merry. Serve up some delicious fun with these simple yet customizable treats. We visited Hammond’s Candy Factory, a Denver-based family business known for colorful candy canes, to source some inspiration and ingredients. The verdict: candy, cookies, and cocoa make for a trio that’s as flavorful as it is festive.
Cocoa for All
Cold, snowy night? Cozy up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa, but take the seasonal drink up a notch by setting up a serving station. These clever tips will help you kick things off:
- Sip from something celebratory, like this Santa mug similar to the one shown above, to make simple treats special. Order a few holiday mugs to have on hand—and use them for the years to come.
- Place a variety of candy in bowls for your kids to top off their cocoa. Sprinkle crushed up candy canes, fluffy marshmallows, and chocolate shavings on top of whipped cream.
- Make Hammond’s Candy Cane Crunch Cocoa rather than plain hot chocolate to really get into the spirit. You and your kids will both love the subtle hints of peppermint.
- Garnish each mug with a finishing touch. Try peppermint sticks or whole candy canes, which will slightly melt and add even more flavor to your drinks.
- Does the holiday stress have you feeling sleepy? Brew a cup of coffee and combine it with a scoop of hot cocoa mix to give yourself a boost. Top it with candy and whipped cream at the same time as your kids.
Cookies for Santa
Kids love the tradition of setting out cookies for Santa. Let them in on the fun by making your own sugar cookies, frosting them, then decorating each with your favorite candy. Or, to limit the mess and save time on cleanup, order cookies from a local bakery and decorate them yourself. Try these ideas:
- Use licorice laces to make bows, stripes, polka dots, and other patterns on your cookies.
- Find a use for broken candy canes by crushing them up and sprinkling the pieces on top of your frosting. Some other festive toppings: peppermint pillows, gumdrops, or rock candy.
- Taste test a few cookies, then set some on a plate for Santa. Don’t forget a glass of milk!