I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaack!  At least for the next three weeks, until the spring semester starts.  Wow, were those last couple weeks of the semester busy. I made it through with flying colors (all A’s, even in Chemistry!) and can’t believe how much I learned. One semester down, only seven more until I’m a Registered Dietician…

And now, onto Christmas 🙂  Instead of my typical “Eat This” format with one ingredient, I’m going to offer up some fresh recipes to include in with your typical batch of Christmas cookies.

Classic:  Holly Cookies

These are my absolute favorite and so addicting my green tongue often gives me away after I’ve had too many…  If you’ve never made them, RUN, don’t walk, to the store and pick up the ingredients.  Adults and children alike will love the “rice krispy-like” texture and appreciate a break from some of the heavier desserts on the table.  For a change this year, consider using red food dye instead of green and yellow candies instead of red to make poinsettias instead of wreaths.  My mom has done both before and I’m always surprised when someone doesn’t know they’re edible because they’re so pretty!

Classic: Peanut Butter Kisses

I don’t know what makes these cookies such a holiday staple, but they pop up everywhere this time of year.  I whipped up two batches just yesterday morning before trekking to DC to spend Christmas with my family!  To change it up, try making chocolate cookies and using Hershey’s Mint Truffle or Candy Cane Kisses for a fresh flavor.

Classic: Chocolate-Dipped Pretzels

One thing my mom has mastered is the art of candy-making when it comes to chocolate.  The woman will dip just about anything!  She makes more chocolate-dipped pretzels than even my husband can eat and her latest specialty are dipped Oreo cookies.  Anything dipped in chocolate, white or milk, is better and they make beautiful goodies to give away.  There are so many variations on this one; consider making reindeer faces with the kids, classic pretzel rods or flavoring chocolate with extracts or oils and making candies.  For a fresh (and slightly healthier) take on chocolate dipping, use dried apricots.

Classic: Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark has got to be another of my favorites, but don’t limit yourself to just white chocolate and crushed candy canes!  The toppings are limitless; pick a theme and go with it.  For Christmas giveaways one year, I made white chocolate bars with chopped cashews and dried cranberries and apricots–yum!


Holly R. Layer received a B. A. in Journalism from Penn State and served four years in the U. S. Air Force before deciding to go back to school to become a Registered Dietician.  She loves running, reading, fine stationery, colorful kitchen gadgets and ALL things food-related.  An avid cook and baker, you can find her in the kitchen most days whipping up something yummy.  Too bad her husband, Andrew (an East Aurora native) is the pickiest man alive!  You can find her at www.thefrozenpineapple.com.