do you feel like you’ve mastered my peppermint bark? are you still looking for some fresh new ideas for holiday candies to spice up that dessert tray? are you tired of the traditional treats that you see year after year? well then this is the post for you! i’ll help you make a dish of treats that looks just as fun, colorful, and delicious as this one!
in this second part of my “minty sweets and holiday treats” series, i’ll be showcasing delicious cream cheese mints as well as marzipan almonds and caramel pretzel sandwiches. all three take just five ingredients or less to make and can be whipped up in less than 10 minutes flat! let’s get started!
the star of this “non-traditional holiday candies” post is really the cream cheese mints. sometimes people call them “party mints” and they are similar to those multi-colored candies that restaurants have in bowls up front for guests to take as they leave. but, unlike that chalky consistency, my cream cheese mints are soft and sweet and i make them in three different flavors and holiday colors. they are almost stupid easy!
the shopping list:
-4 oz. softened cream cheese (1/3 fat or regular– not fat free)
-3 cups powdered sugar
-your choice of flavorings (i used raspberry extract, almond extract, and peppermint extract)
-food coloring (i used red and green)
-1/2 c. regular white sugar to roll the mints in
to start, grab a medium sized bowl and add the softened cream cheese. to the cream cheese, add the three cups of powdered sugar and start to combine them with a fork. this process tends to take a little while because the sugar and the cream cheese don’t seem to like each other very much. you might find that using your hands will speed up the process slightly :) here’s what mine looked like in stages:
i like to make three different color and flavor mints just to add some variety to my christmas treat plates. so at this point, i divided the mixture in to thirds and put each section into a little glass bowl. i decided to make a green mint, a red mint, and leave the third one white. using just a drop or two of food coloring, dye your mints and stir well.
next for the flavoring. i chose to make the green mints peppermint flavored, the white mints almond flavored, and the red mints raspberry flavored. i added 1/2 tsp. of each flavoring to their correct color bowl and stirred around well. now its time to form the mints!
take a ball the size of a nickel of your “dough” and roll it around in your hands until its round. then, drop it in a little dish of white sugar and coat it completely. lastly, take a fork and press the mint down in to a flat disk and carefully remove the fork to create pretty grooves in the mints. they should look like this!
and voila, you’re done! store these in the fridge for the long-term until you’re ready to give them out. these are sure to be a big hit at your party!
the next treat we are going to make is super simple: marzipan apricots sprinkled with nutmeg or dipped in chocolate. delicious!
the shopping list:
-1 bag whole (and pitted) dried apricots
-1 log of marzipan (ground almond paste)
-melted chocolate OR ground nutmeg
i am telling you… this is the simplest but most crowd-pleasing dessert out there! there are like three steps:
one) find where the apricot has been pitted– there should be a small slit opening. open it further to expose the inside of the apricot but don’t pull it in half
two) take a small ball of marzipan and place it right inside the split apricot, and then press the apricot halves together to seal the marzipan inside
three) either sprinkle the apricots with a little fresh nutmeg, or half dip them in dark chocolate for a more decadent version of this fruity treat! serve them up in a little cupcake liner and enjoy!
*note: this was taken right before the nutmeg sprinkle, but serve them whichever way you prefer!