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What is Your Favorite "Hip" Holiday Recipe/Treat?

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With the Hip2Save Holiday Challenge in full swing, I have received quite a few emails from readers who are interested in learning more about favorite Holiday recipes, treats, snacks etc. Check out the email below from reader, LeeAnn…

With the upcoming holiday season upon us, and your frugal holiday ideas post yesterday, I would LOVE to see a post where everyone can submit their favorite yummy cookie/candy/treat recipe.  I’m making gift baskets and would love to hear traditions other people create/bake during the holiday season.  Thanks!

So….What are some of YOUR favorite holiday recipes? What fun treats do you make to bring to holiday parties and/or school events?

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368 Hip Readers Commented

  • Tracy says:

    I bake tons of cookies, brownie bites (i always add chocolate chips or peanut butter in the middle), fresh banana nut bread, and oreo truffles . I always make up several different bags and send them to work with my hubby for his co-workers. Now I can’t wait to add a few new goodies to the bags this year!

  • Cindi Hartshorn says:

    Quick and easy Peanut butter cookies

    1 cup Peanut Butter or Almond butter
    1 cup Sugar
    1 egg

    preheat oven to 350
    mix all ingredient and spoon on to cookie sheets ( u can line them with wax paper or spray)
    bake 15 to 20 min till golden brown let cool on cooling racks and enjoy. They are very heavy so have a glass of milk with them. I have added nuts and candy to these cookies let your imagination run wild. also have made with Splenda

    • Laura says:

      I also use this simple recipe whenever we feel like we need a sweet treat on the fly since we always have all the ingredients! My 4 year old son loves to help roll the dough balls and squish them with a fork! :)

    • Melissa A says:

      I think I’m going to try these tonight! How easy and we always have those ingredients!

    • MommySpendsLess says:

      These are great for people on a gluten and/or dairy free diet. Those ingredients are usually on hand and they’re much cheaper than the specialty baking mixes and flours.

  • Janice H says:

    I box of cake mix any kind you want to use…bake it like the box says…while the cake is still warm crumble it up in a large bowl, stir in the whole can of frosting, until it is mixed up real good.. now use a melon baller or small scoop to form the cake mix into balls…place on a cookie sheet in the refrigerator for a few minutes, just to help them get a little firm .. now melt one whole almond bark..white or chocolate.. in the microwave on defrost…or in a metal bowl over a pan of water on the stove until smooth….now remove the cake balls and dip them in the chocolate with a toothpick or fork..lay them on waxed paper to set…. You can roll them in sprinkles, nuts,coconuts or whatever you like. You can also use a( little, very light) food coloring in the white chocolate if you want a different color icing. I think they taste like little pe’tit fours…very easy to me….Here’s a few different combos….German chocolate with coconut pecan icing…chocolate coating ….Spice or Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting…white chocolate coating…..Red Velvet cake…vanilla or cream cheese frosting…white coating…..Devil’s food cake with fudge frosting..white chocolate coating…. Lemon cake with lemon frosting…. white chocolate coating… White or yellow cake with butter cream or vanilla frosting… .with vanilla coating,,,also with red and green sprinkles or candies.,, you can also do these for other holidays like Halloween or Valentines Day..

  • Emma says:

    oreo truffles… YUMMYYY

    • MommySpendsLess says:

      A subcontractor brought those in for Christmas one year. Everybody LOVED them and begged for the recipe. We never would have guessed that they were made with Oreos. The poor little truffles didn’t survive the afternoon :) I’m hoping to make some for Christmas this year.

  • Teresa says:

    I love to make the greek cookies Koulourakia. There are several recipes online. They make really good gifts if you put them in a glass jar with a ribbon on the top (you can use jars you already have!). They look decorative, and people love them because they’re just a little bit sweet, and very attractive.
    Happy Baking!

  • yada yada says:

    Cranberry Bread
    1 yellow cake mix, 4 eggs, 1 pkg(3.4oz) Vanilla pudding, 1 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup veg. oil,
    1 tsp. vanilla, 1 (16oz) can cranberry sauce, 1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
    Preheat oven to 350 Mix first 6 ingredients together. Then add the last two ingredients. Makes two 9×5 loaves plus one 3×6 loaf pan. Big loaves take 35-40 min. Small loaves 25min

    Thought this was gonna be gross when first given as gift; not huge cranberry fans here, but it is yummy just not healthy;)

  • judy k says:

    pumpkin cheese cake, mexican wedding cookies, lemon poppyseed creamcheese poundcake, pecan pie cookies, pumpkin role……not a good time to diet.

  • Janice says:

    pumpkin roll, always a hit where ever I take.

  • christina h. says:

    Spiced nuts! We make bunches, bag them in those cute cellophane holiday bags or put them in jelly jars and tie with ribbons. People love having a savory, healthy option at the holidays.

    Take a 6 quart crockpot, fill with whatever mix of nuts you like. We usually use a combination of almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, peanuts & cashews. The recipe is Here: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/12/crockpot-roasted-spiced-nuts-recipe.html

    You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like. I think this year we’re also going to try making sugared almonds.

    • jen s says:

      oh, a girl at work did her own nuts one year. They were a hit. There are so many recipes out there and they always come out good. Some for sweet ones too!

  • Jaime says:

    This isn’t a recipe really, but it’s my favorite goodie to make with my young son and he can totally participate.

    Take the thick pretzel rods or pretzel twists and dip them (either all the way or halfway) into melted candy melts (from your craft store – it’s like chocolate) in seasonal colors. Then add fun sprinkles and let the treats harden on wax paper.

    It can be messy but requires no prep and is cute as can be. And kids of all ages can do it and love the results!

  • Stacy says:

    Rice Krispie treats are easy to make and loved by everyone.

  • Erika C. says:

    Watch for sales on mini Reese’s cups and brownie mix for this one. Super simple but everyone loves it:

    Brownie mix for a 9×13 inch pan (nothing fancy)
    water, oil and eggs as needed to follow brownie batter recipe on box
    48 mini Reese’s cups
    Assorted sprinkles

    Unwrap Reese’s cups. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray MINI cupcake pan with oil spray or line with paper liners. Prepare brownie batter according to package directions. Fill cupcake pans, filling just a little more than half way. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, but watch them closely. As soon as you remove from oven, Very carefully set a Reese’s cup onto each brownie bite, pressing down but not squishing the candy. After you’ve put candy into all the brownies, go back and sprinkle with whatever sprinkle you like. Allow to cool thoroughly, placing in fridge if necessary.

    • jen s says:

      my mom does this but she buys a roll of refrigerated choc chip cookie dough. Just scoops a bit in each mini muffin wrapper and bakes, then pops the peanut butter cup in. They’re always gone in no time. I’ll have to remind her to hit up the after halloween candy sales!

    • Anonymous says:

      I also make these but I use Peanut Butter Cookie Dough. Tastes amazing!!

  • theresa says:

    collin can you post a button to go directly to your holiday challenge I had to go back a while to find the recipes it would help alot for people makin this in middle of week or making there shopping list maybe include a rundown of stuff we may have to buy

  • Christine says:

    So many good recipes!!! I love this site!

  • KathyT527 says:

    This is a treat I have my younger kids help with. First take a mini pretzel and place a chocolate kiss on top. I place them in the oven until the chocolate looks shiny. After I take them out I have them place a red or green M&M on top.

  • Elise says:

    I bake fudge, cookies, and brownies then put them in a fancy box or basket to give out for the holidays. It is very popular! One year I decided not to do it and started getting people asking for them!!!!!!

  • Aimee says:

    I found this recipe when I was about 14 and I used to make it when I was babysitting my younger brother as something to keep us busy (and not use the stove!) It is really moist and yummy and you use the MICROWAVE! I make it now for breakfast when my oven is packed full with turkey and stuffing!

    Microwave Coffee Cake
    Cake:
    1 1/2c Bisquick
    1/4c sugar
    1/2c milk
    1 egg
    2Tbl vegetable oil
    Topping: (I like to double this because I love the topping!)
    1/3c Bisquick
    2Tbl butter (melted)
    1/3c brown sugar (packed)
    1tsp cinnamon
    1/4c chopped nuts (optional)

    Stir together 1 1/2c bisquick and sugar. Add milk, egg and oil. Beat by hand until smooth. Pour into greased 8×8 microwave safe dish. I use a glass pyrex. In another bowl mix the topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle over cake mix. Microwave on high 5-7 minutes. Cool 15 minutes.
    You can drizzle with a mix of 3/4c powdered sugar and 1Tbl milk but I like mine just by itself!

    • Lana says:

      This sounds great! I have severe oven crunch on holidays because I have a 30 year old Jenn-Aire and it has a tiny oven so I have to be creative.

  • judy k says:

    A little clarity this morning….i tried these two things last year and remembered wrong. Not gingerbread pecans….I made gingerbread popcorn (as gifts..and ate a ton) and kahlua spiced pecans (ate too many of these, too) both amazing. Both recipes are found here. This guy also has some of the recipes that have been mentioned.

    http://desertculinary.blogspot.com/2007/12/our-2007-holiday-gift-baking-spree.html

  • Renee says:

    I make this for Thanksgiving every year: Double Layer Pumpkin Pie (from Kraft Foods website)
    1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
    1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. milk, divided
    1 Tbsp. sugar
    1 tub (8 oz.) COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, thawed, divided
    1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)
    1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
    2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Vanilla Flavor Instant Pudding
    1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp. ground ginger
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves

    BEAT cream cheese, 1 Tbsp. milk and sugar in large bowl with whisk until blended. Stir in half the COOL WHIP. Spread into crust.

    WHISK remaining milk, pumpkin, dry pudding mixes and spices 2 min. (Mixture will be thick.) Spread over cream cheese layer.

    REFRIGERATE 4 hours or until firm. Serve topped with remaining COOL WHIP.

  • Heather says:

    Here is my favorite Holiday Recipe.. I use the cute little treat boxes from Michaels crafts and give them as teacher gifts.

    2 1/2 pkg. (8 squares each) BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate (20 squares), divided
    1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened

    MELT 8 chocolate squares. Beat cream cheese with mixer until creamy. Blend in melted chocolate. Refrigerate until firm.

    SHAPE into 36 balls. Place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet.

    MELT remaining chocolate. Use fork to dip truffles in chocolate; return to baking sheet. Decorate, then refrigerate 1 hour. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator

    I sometimes melt white almond bark also and make some white. Then I drizzle opposite colors across each one.. Other ideas.. roll in cocoa powder, crushed almonds, crused peppermind, or simply place one candies pecan on top of each truffle.

    Everyone LOVES these and they look amazing for only having 2 basic ingredients..

  • Amy says:

    Oreo Cookie Bark
    It is sooo delicious and so easy.
    Crush up oreo cookies and mix with white chocolate. Put wax paper on a cookie sheet. Spread the mixture thin on the sheet and put in the fridge to cool. Break it apart after its completely hardened. You can also freeze them after you break them apart to save for Christmas…….yummmmm!

  • Margie says:

    For some reason it’s the only Tim of year I make fudge (Rachel Ray recipe), brittle (Martha recipe) and spritz cookies ( recipe on the side of the spritzer box).

  • I LOVE white chocolate peppermint cheesecake. It is amazing!! Here is the recipe.

    http://theroyalcook.blogspot.com/2010/10/white-chocolate-peppermint-cheesecake.html

    • judy k says:

      That looks delicious…I may try that. I also have a peppermint marshmallow recipe that I haven’t made yet. They’d make a nice gift with some cocoa and maybe a photomug.

  • Mary S. says:

    I make about a billion different types of cookies but the most unique and the favorite are usually the rosettes. You need a special rosette iron (http://www.target.com/Bethany-Housewares-Rosette-Scandinavian-Recipe/dp/B0009RMIHC/ref=sc_pd_gwvub_1_title) and the recipe comes with it. But basically you whip up a really quick batter with eggs, flour and a few other ingredients then dip the iron in, fry it in oil and dust with powdered sugar. It is pretty easy but not something I would suggest doing with children since you have to be careful of the hot oil.

  • Heidi W. says:

    I always love to make rice crispy treats and then use a festive cookie cutter and sprinkles to decoriate them with!

  • CarolK says:

    The best Oatmeal raisin cookies ever are found on the Quaker Oats barrel lid.
    If you like chewy cookies use the regular oats. DO NOT use the Quick Oats or they will turn out cake like instead of flat and chewy. I found this out after bragging about my wonderful moist chewy cookies and ended up serving the opposite. uuuugh! Also you MUST use the raisins from the bakers aisle. They are in pouches and very plump and moist. Do not use the boxed dried raisins.
    Seriously the best cookies ever! My husband is a firefighter and the guys request them all the time!

    • Pam says:

      Totally agree!

    • MommySpendsLess says:

      Ooooh, so that’s why my cookies weren’t the greatest. I’m so glad you explained why – thanks! :) I just impulsively made oatmeal cookies one day because I saw the recipe on the lid of the tub of quick cook oats and we had all the ingredients on hand. They tasted good but the texture wasn’t the greatest. I’ll have to try them again with the regular oats.

  • Erin says:

    I always make peanut clusters. They are SO easy and you only need 2 ingredients!
    One can of salted peanuts
    One king size Hershey bar
    Melt the Hershey bar in the microwave in a medium size bowl.
    Stir in peanuts once the chocolate is melted.
    Take a tablespoon size scoop and place on parchment paper.
    Wait until cool and then serve or freeze!

  • jen s says:

    I love anything pumpkin. Nice fall recipe. Buy a box of spice cake mix. Beat one can of pumpkin in with the dry mix. NOTHING else. It will be very thick and that’s OK. bake it in a bundt pan according to time/temp on box and sprinkle with some sifted powder sugar – this works nice if you have a pretty pan you want to show off. I usually make some cream cheese frosting for the cake because I just love it.

  • Hannah says:

    Ginger molasses cookies–they never fail.

  • jenny says:

    Currently I’m obsessed with homemade pumpkin scones, but I always, always have Fantasy Fudge for my holiday celebrations. It’s a tradition from my childhood that just can’t let go. :) Our new tradition is Showhouse cookies with chocolate chips, white chips, and toffe bits. Yum!!!

  • julie jack says:

    Anyone have any good dips or appitizers they make that are there favorites?

    • Valerie says:

      Crabmeat Dip

      8 oz cream cheese
      1 can white crab meat (lump or shredded) rinse and drain out as much water as possible
      1 bottle cocktail sauce (my favorite is Heinz Spicy)
      1 box Triscuits

      In the center of a plate mush the cream cheese into a thick circle. Top with drained crab meat and top off with the cocktail sauce. Serve with Triscuits all around. It doesn’t sound that great but it’s fantastic! Everyone always likes this one.

    • danielle says:

      Lazy man’s ham roll ups:

      1 8 oz. cream cheese brick
      1 TBSP milk
      1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch (dry) dip seasoning
      1/3 cup sliced green onions
      1 cup deli ham, chopped into small squares

      Soften cream cheese with milk. Add ranch seasoning and mix well. Fold in green onions and ham. Serve with crackers of choice ( though I have had rants and raves for serving them with Triscuits… in a variety of flavors. Oh.. this is a guesstimate on the green onion and ham. Add as much to make it have the thickness you want… but my is this yummy.)

    • I love cheese balls. Here is my favorite recipe.

      http://theroyalcook.blogspot.com/2010/10/susans-cheese-ball.html

  • Brandi Lonas says:

    Turtle Brownies

    1-14 pkg caramels
    2/3 cup evaporated milk
    1 box (18 1/2 oz) German Chocolate Cake Mix
    3/4 cup softened margarine
    1 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans)
    12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate pieces

    Combine caramels & 1/2 cup evaporated milk on top of double boiler. Stir mixture until melted. Combine cake mix, remaining milk and softened margarine. Blend until mixture holds together. Stir in nuts. Press1/2 cake mix in 13×9 pan and bake 6 minutes @ 350. Remove from oven and sprinkle on chocolate pieces. Pour melted caramels evenly over top. Add remaining cake mix. Bake @ 350 for 20 minutes. Cool and serve.

  • Melissa A says:

    This really isn’t a ‘holiday’ thing, but I bought an air pop popcorn popper for a ‘family’ chistmas gift a few years ago. The popcorn is so much better than microwave and ultimately cheaper. I’ve started bringing it to work for food days. Everyone LOVES it and it’s much cheaper and healthier than baking a cake or brownies!

  • osborne601 says:

    Every year the kids and I make Wreath Treats. They are fun with little ones and look so festive, plus they are really easy, tho a little messy. Make a batch of Rice Krispy Treats, only instead of using Rice Krispies substitue corn flakes. Add some green food coloring to the marshamllow mixture before you add the cereal (this makes it look like green leaves). Then shape the mixture into wreaths and place on waxed paper to set. Adding some small red cinnamon candies to the wreaths makes them look very festive.

  • Amy C. says:

    Ok, so I just wrote down like 8 recipe cards full of CHRISTMAS GOODIES. I feel the need to add to yours! ;)

    Microwave Peanut Brittle:

    1 c. Sugar
    1/2 c. light corn syrup
    1 3/4 c. dry roated unsalted peanuts
    1 tbsp. butter or margarine
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon baking soda

    Generously grease baking sheet. In 2 quart microproof bowl. Combine sugar and corn syrup. Cook on hi (max. power) for four minutes. Stir in peanuts with wooden spoon. Cook on hi for 4-5 minutes longer or until 300 degrees on microproof candy thermometer. Stir in butter and vanilla. Blend in soda. Stir until mixture is light and foamy. Pour onto prepared sheet; spread quickly…cool completely. Seperate into tins for gifts! AWESOME RECIPE! I’m not lyin’!

    • Susie Juergens says:

      My Aunt makes this recipe every year during the holidays and it ROCKS!! Everyone loves it and we couldn’t believe it when she told us it was a microwave recipe. YUM!

  • Liz says:

    I make these Sticky Buns every year on Christmas morning. They are super easy and taste amazing! The recipe is from Barefoot Contessa.

    Makes 12
    12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    1/2 cup pecans, chopped in very large pieces
    1 package (17.3 ounces/2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, defrosted for the filling
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
    3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    1 cup raisins
    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a 12-cup standard muffin tin on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper (wax paper).
    In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the 12 tablespoons butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. Place 1 rounded tablespoon of the mixture in each of the 12 muffin cups. Distribute the pecans evenly among the 12 muffin cups on top of the butter and sugar mixture.
    Lightly flour a wooden board or stone surface. Unfold one sheet of puff pastry with the folds going left to right. Brush the whole sheet with half of the melted butter. Leaving a 1-inch border on the puff pastry, sprinkle each sheet with 1/3 cup of the brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the cinnamon, and 1/2 cup of the raisins. Starting with the end nearest you, roll the pastry up snugly like a jelly roll around the filling, finishing the roll with the seam side down.
    Trim the ends of the roll about 1/2 inch and discard. Slice the roll in 6 equal pieces, each about 1 1/2 inches wide. Place each piece, spiral side up, in 6 of the muffin cups. Repeat recipe with the second sheet of puff pastry to make 12 sticky buns.
    Bake for 25 minutes, until the sticky buns are golden to dark brown on top and firm to the touch. Allow to cool for 5 minutes only, invert the buns onto the parchment paper (ease the filling and pecans out onto the buns with a spoon), and cool completely.

  • Renee says:

    I live in Ohio so I make buckeyes- balls of peanut buttery goodness dipped in milk chocolate! Only rolling those balls is hard on the back!!!!

    • Brandy says:

      We moved all over while I was growing up, but one of the places we lived was Ohio! The first time I took Buckeye’s over to my in laws home who live in Philadelphia area they thought I was crazy!!! They had never heard of them!!!! Now, they are addicted also! YUMMM!!!

  • Crystal says:

    I love making Peanut Butter Bars…and they dont have to be cooked either! Super fast to make and absolutely YUMMY!

    http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/buckeye-bars-111450.aspx

  • Brenda D says:

    You can’t beat chocolate dipped and decorated pretzels for a yummy and fun holiday treat. You can use any shaped/size pretzel, colored, flavored white chocolate, dark chocolate or milk chocolate. I was so well known for these at my kids room parties over the years that last spring, when I was volunteering at post prom party, the prom king, now 18, 6’5″ and college football bound, ask me if I brought any of those pretzels. I didn’t even recognize him at first but he remembered the pretzels from elementary school days. I’ve dipped and decorated long pretzel logs and wrapped them in decorative bags to make add to a basket. Lots of variations possible, use your imagination.

  • judy k says:

    Divinity! the candy that is

  • Jessica C. says:

    One of my family favorites to make is Peanut Butter Haystacks. The ingredients are:

    3 C. Rice Krispies
    2 C. Marshmallows
    2 C. Dry Roasted Peanuts
    1 C. Peanut Butter
    1 package Almond Bark ( you can use white or shocolate)
    2 t. Vanilla Extract

    Mix together all dry ingredients and set aside. Melt Bark in a 200 degree oven .Add peanut butter and vanilla to melted almond bark, mix well. Add dry ingredients into melted mixture and stir well. Drop onto wax paper and allow to set. Enjoy! My family loves these especially in the white chocolate.They don’t last long at our get togethers.

  • Jenny Walz says:

    One of my favorite items to take anywhere is super simple to make!
    1 block cream cheese
    1 can crescent rolls
    3-4 T dill weed
    assorted crackers and veggies
    Roll out crescent rolls so they can cover block of cream cheese. Coat the cream in the dill weed, Wrap the dough around the cream cheese. Brush with beaten egg if desired. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until the crescent is nicely browned. Serve with crackers and veggies. This is amazing!!!! There is never any leftovers!

  • bella says:

    we make easy homemade Reeses Peanut Butter Cups where we melt chocolate chips (we especially like dark chocolate) in the bottom of a cupcake liner, spoon 1 TBSP peanut butter on top of that and soften a little, then melt a layer of chocolate chips on top of that…amazing. You can substitute coconut instead of peanut butter.

  • Amber R. says:

    All of these recipes sound so delish!! I wish I had a recipe to contribute but Im a newly wed and have only just started home cooking. All of your recipes are putting me on the right path though! Thank you all so very much!

    • Takako says:

      I went to local library very often for finding good recipes when I was newly wed. They have tons of great cook books and they are all free to borrow!! Good luck!! :)

  • justinetamayo says:

    Bake your favorite pie in little mason jars. Single serve and very cute.

  • Eve says:

    My absolute favorite, to make and package alone or to add to a cookie tray, is Barefoot Contessa’s Thumbprint cookies. It’s a few steps long. My daughters and I usually assemble an assembly line. These are beautiful and I feel fool proof! I make half with rasberry jam and the other with apricot jam. Yummy and pretty. I can’t get enough of these and usually make several batches.

  • jessica C says:

    Does anyone have a good dessert recipe for diabetics? One that non diabetics can also enjoy?

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