12 Days of Christmas DIY: Homemade Goodies

And on the fourth day of Christmas. I'm giving you ideas for some tasty homemade Christmas goodies. Oh goodies. They truly are a big part of what makes the season for me. For as long as I can remember my mom, sister, and I have always set aside a day for baking. We haven't been able to do it the past couple of years so Mr. T and I have done it. And then we usually take what we've made to our families. It's so much fun. Not just baking, but spending time with the ones you love. Here are some ideas for some tasty goodies. They're actually the exact goodies I made this year.

Melted snowmen cookies

Melted Snowman Cookies

I saw this idea on Pinterest and had to do it. It was actually easier than I thought.

Here's what you'll need

  • Premade sugar Cooke dough (the kind that comes in a roll) or you can obviously make your own sugar cookie dough
  • Frosting (we used this recipe for the "melted" part of his body, then we bought the cookie icing in red and green for the scarf and buttons. We could have made the frosting for all of it, but we had already purchased the red and green)
  • A glass or round cookie cutter
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Gel for the eyes, nose, mouth, and arms (I could only find one color so I mixed a little candy coloring in it to make the colors I needed)

Here's what to do:

  1. Roll out dough and cut out circles. Bake according to directions on package.
  2. Once they're cool, put white frosting on cookie and add the head. You want to do this before the frosting starts to set up. Some people recommended melting the marshmallow a bit. But we didn't do that. We had a little tool that you fill with frosting and then you can just kind of push the frosting out of. You can also use the piping bag method or a squeeze bottle. I don't recommend spreading it because you want the frosting to look all deformed and melted like. You can squeeze frosting onto the cookie and then help it move around a bit with the back of the spoon.
  3. Pipe the scarf, buttons, arms, eyes, nose, and mouth. I learned to do the scarf first. Otherwise I kept hitting his eyes and nose and messing it up. I opted to give him a wide open mouth because I like that "holy shit I am melting" look.
  4. Let cookies sit for 24 hours. I recommend putting them in the fridge. But you definitely want to let them sit for 24 hours.

Cornflake wreaths

Cornflake Wreaths

These totally bring me back to my childhood and the best part is that they're so easy to make. They're basically Rice Krispies Treats with cornflakes instead.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 10oz package of marshmallows (I use mini)
  • Green food coloring
  • 6 cups cornflakes
  • Red cinnamon candies (I couldn't find these so I just used red M&Ms)

Here's what to do:

  1. Melt the butter in a pan.
  2. Add the marshmallows and stir until melted.
  3. Remove from heat and add green food coloring. I just add it in small amounts until it's a festive green color I like.
  4. Add the corn flakes and stir until everything is coated.
  5. Grease your hands and a 1/4 measuring cup. Scoop some mixture out with the measuring cup and place it on wax paper and then shape into a wreath with your hands. Immediately add candies.

Popcorn balls

Popcorn Balls

I basically followed this recipe over here. Then I made two kinds -- I used blue M&Ms for one batch and then red & green M&Ms and various sprinkles for another batch. I actually planned to use sprinkles with the blue batch as well, but didn't think I had any. I later realized I did and was quite disappointed.

Butterscotch clusters

Butterscotch clusters

These also bring me back to my childhood and they are one of my favorite things to make. I like them because they aren't as sweet as most holiday treats.

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 11oz package butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 can chow mein noodles

Here's what to do:

  1. Melt butterscotch chips and peanut butter together
  2. Stir in chow mein noodles until well coated (some of them will break up and that's OK)
  3. Drop onto wax paper and give them a few hours to set up

You can also add nuts or candies or even sprinkles to holiday them up.

Chocolate covered pretzels

Chocolate covered pretzels

We used to make these all the time when I was a kid. Like most other things I made, these are so easy.

Here's what you'll need

  1. Chocolate (I have used chocolate chips or melting chocolate. This year we had all of these melting candies left over from the wedding)
  2. Whit chocolate or vanilla (same deal here)
  3. Pretzels (you can use any kind of pretzels. I like the rods the best, I don't know why).

Here's what to do:

  1. Melt chocolate in a pan
  2. Dip pretzels in the pan until coated (you'll likely need to tap off some of the excess chocolate)
  3. Place on wax paper and allow to set

I usually cover with holiday sprinkles just after I've coated them. This year I also used this peppermint crunch stuff that I found at Michael's or Target and it make them so good.

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

I made this last year and swore I wasn't going to do it again. I had some issues with it last year even though everyone said it tasted great. For some reason I decided I really wanted to try it again this year. And I am really glad I did because it turned out really well and was quite easier than last year. I used this recipe over here only I added a bit more peppermint extract and I decided not to use molds or cookie cutters. I tried, but it made the pieces huge and I didn't want to only give out two pieces per family. It's also hard to eat when it's really huge. I also add red sprinkles to the top of mine with the candy canes. So good!