Holiday Baking Ideas
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If You're Tired Of Christmas Cookies, Try These 10 Delicious Treats Instead

Even if you're not tired of Christmas cookies, you should still try these treats.

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If You're Tired Of Christmas Cookies, Try These 10 Delicious Treats Instead

Holiday baking is hands down my favorite Christmas tradition. The holidays are just the perfect time to bake delicious treats and form new memories with your family. I have many fond memories of making Christmas cookies with my mom, dad, sister, and Grandma Betty.

Cookies, however, are not the only thing you can make around the holidays, though they are my favorite. There are literally millions of baked goods and treats you can make around the holidays.

I was, fortunately, #blessed to be born to the best baker in the entire world: my mom, and I will fight anyone else who claims their mom or their grandma or their whoever is the best baker...Just kidding, I won't actually fight you. But, my mom is probably a better baker than your mom/grandma/whoever.

Because my mom is the absolute best baker in the world, that means my family has no shortage of delicious recipes for me to share with you. So, if you are, for some bizarre reason, tired of boring old Christmas cookies, then here are some great non-Christmas cookie treat ideas for you to make with your family this holiday season. Even if you're not tired of Christmas cookies, these are still worth making.

1. Pumpkin pie

Who says that pumpkin pie is just a Thanksgiving dessert? It’s too bad pumpkins are only in season during the fall and winter because if I could eat pumpkin pie all year, I would. It's my favorite type of pie. I’d say I also like cherry, but I only like the cherry pie filling, not the entire pie because pie crust is bland.

My family and I use the recipe off of the cans of Libby's pumpkin, but we also add a little bit of McCormick's pumpkin pie spice in addition to the other spices. The Libby's recipe produces enough pie filling for two pies plus a cute little tart or two (tarts are like baby pies for those who don’t know). And, if you don't want to make your crust from scratch, try looking around some small, local stores for frozen premade crusts.

2. Nut roll

My mom and I were adventurous last year and we made a nut roll, also called potica, using one of the family recipe's from my dad's family, and it was absolutely delicious. Of course, we modified it a bit (sorry ancestors) because the baking time and temperature were totally wrong, but it was actually surprisingly easy to make. And you can put them in the freezer for enjoyment later in the year!

Now, this Slovenian treat does take several hours to do, so clear your schedule, put on some Christmas music (I recommend either the classics or Trans Siberian Orchestra), and get baking.

I'm not going to go around giving out my family recipe, but here's a recipe that looks pretty similar. If it looks hard to understand, you can search for a different one.

Just be warned: most online nut roll recipes call for sour cream for some reason, but I'm not entirely sure why they keep saying to add sour cream. That actually sounds gross. Some also say to use cake yeast, but no. Always use active dry yeast. And it'll help if you have a dough hook attachment for your mixer.

Also, pro-tip: if it's snowing or there is snow outside or it's below freezing, put a lid on the pot with the honey and walnut mixture and set it outside on the porch so it cools faster instead of waiting a bajillion years for the boiling honey to cool down. You don't want it to match the temperature outside, but you also don't want it to be boiling. Work smarter, not harder.

3. Pumpkin fudge

I really like pumpkin, can't you tell? Seriously though, I'm not much of a fudge eater but I could eat pumpkin fudge all day (if wouldn't make me sick to my stomach). The particular recipe we use does not have nuts in it, and it is absolutely delicious. So if you're not a fan of nuts or you're allergic, this is the perfect pumpkin fudge recipe for you! If you do want some nuts in it, I believe most pumpkin fudge recipes add one cup of chopped pecans.

There are also many other kinds of fudge out there if you don't like pumpkin for some bizarre reason. Just Google fudge recipes and I can guarantee you'll find several.

Whatever fudge recipe you decide to make, just remember to keep constantly stirring it until you pour it into the pan, or else you will have burnt fudge on the sides of your pot. It may help to have someone helping you.

4. Garlic pretzels

This is literally the easiest thing you could probably make. All you need are some 9" x 13" cake pans, pretzels, ranch dressing mix, garlic powder, oil, and an oven. They are perfect for bake sales, school lunches, snacks, gifts, and holiday parties.

The recipe we use is in a really old cookbook that I think was made in the 90’s or the 80’s (I’d have to check the copyright), so the recipe isn’t online. This recipe looks similar to the recipe my family uses, but you can go ahead and omit the dill. Also, Snyder’s sourdough nibblers work the best. They’re the easiest to work with and they really soak up the flavor.

If you want to be efficient, double the recipe.

5. Swedish nuts

Remember how I said garlic pretzels are the easiest thing you could make? Well, Swedish nuts are just as easy. My mom uses pecans, and personally I think they're great. She found the recipe in a baking magazine and I’m pretty sure this recipe is the exact same one. We substitute cinnamon for cardamon. Because honestly, who has cardamon on hand?

6. Lemon pudding cake

This is the cake I always beg my mom to make for my birthday because it's my favorite. We alway use the recipe off of the Duncan Hines lemon cake box (I don't think this recipe specifies, but use lemon pudding mix), and it is so good. Just thinking about it makes me want some lemon pudding cake.

If you want, get some lemon frosting (I think we use my good friend, Betty Crocker, but we might use Duncan Hines; I can't remember which one off the top of my head), put it in the microwave for a little bit so that it kind of becomes a glaze, and drizzle it over the cake.

It sounds like a lot of lemon between the cake mix, pudding, and frosting, but it absolutely great. You won't regret it.

7. Cupcakes

Cupcakes are perfect for any time of the year. You can go with some classic yellow or white and chocolate cupcakes and use some festive frosting (red, green, blue, etc.). Or if you're super talented, you can decorate them and make them all cute like the adorable little snowman above. Strawberry, red velvet, and lemon cupcakes are some of my personal favorite.

Cupcakes are just the easiest baked good to make (besides refrigerator walnut cookies, seriously those things are so simple). You don't even have to make them from scratch. Personally, Betty Crocker is my BFF when it comes to cupcakes (and pizza dough), and I am absolutely not ashamed of that.

Just follow the directions on the back of the box of cake mix. If you follow them exactly, nobody will know the difference. And if anyone has an issue with the fact you didn't make cupcakes from scratch, well they can shut up and go make their own cupcakes the way they want to.

8. Chex mix

We used to make Chex Mix all the time, but my sister and I would pick out the pieces we didn’t like (*cough*Wheat Chex*cough*) and we can’t find bagel chips anywhere now. When I was little, I think there was only classic Chex Mix, but now you can make all kinds of Chex Mix. Just Google “Chex Mix” recipes and a bunch of different kinds will pop up.

Also, we do it old school in the oven and not the microwave. Making Chex Mix in the microwave just sounds bizarre to me. I mean, does your microwave heat it as evenly as an oven does? Probably not.

9. Pizzelles

Technically, pizzelles aren't a Christmas cookie, so I can add them to this list. Literally everyone who has tried pizzelles loves them. They are super simple to make and you can make them any time of year you want to. They also go great with tea (not as good as sugar cookies and sandtarts, though).

You're going to need a pizzelle iron for sure. You don't really want to go with the cheapest one you can find because these can be a little finicky to make. Generally, if it's not completely metal (besides the handle), don't buy it.

Most recipes for pizzelles take vanilla and some even add lemon zest or lemon juice. My grandpa loved anise in his, which has a bitter licorice flavor. Actually, you can add any kind of flavoring to them for a unique twist on this Italian classic.

10. Pumpkin bread

Pumpkin bread is actually more of a loaf cake than it is a bread and it's absolutely great. Got a bake sale coming up? Pumpkin bread. Want something pumpkin that's sweet and has nuts in it? Pumpkin bread. Just make pumpkin bread and it will solve all your problems in life. (I may be exaggerating slightly).

We only ever add walnuts to ours, but this recipe also gives you the options of raisins. If you add raisins, let me know how it tastes. I’ve made cranberry cookies with Cranraisins before, but I’ve never baked with raisins.

As you can see, there are so many absolutely delicious treats you can make for the holidays besides Christmas cookies. And even though baking is always better around the holidays, these are treats that you can make any time of the year, not just for Christmas.

Many of these recipes can be easily followed by novice bakers. I think the nut roll recipe is probably the most complex on this list, so you may want to have an experienced baker by your side when you try that one (especially because it has so many expensive ingredients).

Happy baking!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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