Stunning and delicious, there’s something for everyone in our DIY holiday treats guide .
Whether your kitchen skills are beginner level or advanced, our curated list of gorgeous (and easy!) recipes will get you in the mood for celebration this Christmas.
Americans are continuing their love affair with all things food and drink as they emerge from the pandemic with a newfound appreciation of the benefits of cooking at home. This trend is reflected in the latest data released by digital subscription service Readly which shows a 21% increase in the Food & Drink category over the last year. Inspiration-hungry consumers are particularly drawn to baking, as sales of pantry staples like flour and sugar reach new highs.
Chris Couchman, Head of Content at Readly says, “Especially during the holiday season, magazines are used as a source of inspiration to get creative. Food and drink is the way to everyone’s heart during Christmas time and brings people together. As a result of this, it’s no wonder that Readly’s Food & Drink category works overtime during this time.”
To help you keep it fresh in the kitchen, Readly is collaborating with Liz Capozzoli, the mastermind behind OwlbBaking to bring you brilliant holiday hacks to make this Christmas a dazzling one.
Edible craft ideas
Popular and engaging, edible crafts are a Christmas party mainstay for good reason. Liz says, “There are so many ideas when it comes to getting creative with your food, but the holidays bring a burst of extra special treats. Homemade, crafty treats not only make a great gift to brighten someone’s holiday, they also make a great activity for parties.”
Liz suggests making these homemade treats as a great, affordable gifts for friends, neighbours, and teachers: “Pair a homemade Hot Chocolate Bomb with a cute mug, or package up a Mini Gingerbread House along with a small bag of icing and assorted candy to help fuel a festive activity night.”
Mini Gingerbread Houses: https://owlbbaking.com/mini-gingerbread-houses/
Hot Chocolate Bombs: https://owlbbaking.com/hot-chocolate-bombs/
“When it comes to cookies the best place to start is to ask yourself: How many do I need and how fast do I need them. Bar cookies are super fast and easy to make since you can bake all the cookies at once. Cut outs on the other hand, like decorated sugar cookies or gingerbread, can be more time consuming and require a little practice, but allow you to create truly unique and beautiful cookies with an infinite number of options.”
Impressively decorated sugar cookies are the ultimate cookie for holidays and special events but many bakers shy away from them due to the complexity, cost and time required to make them. Liz’s fast and easy method that she calls “Cookie Transfermation” will enable you to plate up beautifully decorated cookies time after time.
Cookie Transfermation Cookies: https://owlbbaking.mykajabi.com/CT
Painted Sugar Cookies: https://owlbbaking.com/painted-sugar-cookies/
Search for ‘Christmas Cookies’ on the Readly app for some incredible ideas.
Activities for the kids
“Kids love to get messy and have fun in the kitchen. The best way to channel all that excitement and energy is to choose recipes that you can break into “kid friendly jobs”. Keep it easy with no-bake recipes or recipes you can prep ahead of time.”
Liz suggests making mini gingerbread houses with the kids as a fun treat: “Prep the gingerbread house cookie pieces ahead of time and let kids decorate using colourful candies, sprinkles and icing. These are the perfect size for kids and a great way for them to be creative.”
Painted sugar cookies are another way for kids to unleash their artistic side and it’s easier than you think. These can also be made ahead of time and set up as little art stations with decorating kits for each child.
Last of all, butterscotch haystacks are an incredibly easy and tasty treat that only requires two simple ingredients. “Kids can have fun forming the cookies and enjoy getting a little messy at the same time,” says Liz.
Recipes for beginners
For kitchen novices, Liz is a fan of easy and quick no-bake solutions like a dessert charcuterie board. Best of all dessert boards are completely customisable and a breeze to assemble: “Who doesn’t like an assortment of delicious baked goods, candy, fruit, nuts, and whatever else your heart desires! I like to think of it as the Venetian Table for your dining room table!”
For something a little more out of the ordinary, try making Liz’s exotically decadent Brazilian chocolate truffles. The silky melt-in-your-mouth confections can be packaged up in a box or tin to make the perfect gift for family and friends.
“These Brazilian chocolate truffles are AMAZINGLY SIMPLE to make and will have you and your guests asking where they have been all your life! Don’t be surprised if they become a weekly ritual,” says Liz.
To search for endless Christmas inspiration for food, drink, gifts and decorating, Readly has it all from around the globe.