With so many traditions and ways to celebrate the holiday season, the options are nearly endless for families looking to spend special moments together. One of the tastiest and most enjoyable activities you can engage in with family and friends is to team up and create sweet eats in the kitchen.
Whether you’re a chocolate lover or prefer traditional seasonal flavors like peppermint and gingerbread, these tasty, dairy-inspired treats from Milk Means More provide heartwarming ways to tingle your taste buds while bringing everyone together.
Cranberry Orange Bread Pudding provides a sweet, fruity, hearty dessert while Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies combine chocolatey goodness with creamy cheesecake and peppermint. Or, for a classic holiday combination, you can turn to Gingerbread Cupcakes with Whipped Vanilla Buttercream.
Find more ways to celebrate the season with sweet eats at milkmeansmore.org.
Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies
Recipe courtesy of Sarah Bates of “The Chef Next Door” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Non-stick cooking spray
8 ounces low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup peppermint baking pieces
Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. To make cheesecake batter: Place cream cheese in bowl of stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and peppermint extract; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and beat mixture until blended.
To make brownie batter: In medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder and salt until combined. In separate bowl, whisk sugar, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until blended.
Pour brownie batter evenly into prepared pan. Carefully pour cheesecake batter over top, spreading evenly. Carefully swirl layers together using knife tip. Bake 20 minutes.
Sprinkle top of brownies with peppermint baking pieces and bake 10 minutes until brownies are set. Cool brownies completely in pan on wire rack before cutting into 16 squares.
Make marbleized paper at family wrap party
By DONNA ERICKSON
Whether we’re children or adults, we all like to feel useful and part of the holiday festivities. Now’s the time to enlist the kids in the fun and creative job of gift-wrapping. But before you go out and purchase rolls of wrap, save money by making a beautiful batch for this year’s gifts.
Gather big paper bags from your recycling bin, plus marbles and bright poster paint, and you’ll be ready for family fun.
Here’s the stuff you’ll need:
— One large, sturdy cardboard gift box approximately 12 by 18 inches, or similar container with sides
— several marbles (one for each paint color)
— liquid poster paint in several colors
— spoons (one for each color)
— plain brown paper grocery bags, construction paper or butcher paper
— recycled deli or margarine tubs
Here’s the fun:
1. Cover your work surface with newspaper. Cut open the paper bags and trim a sheet to fit the bottom of the box. (Or, if using construction paper or butcher paper, cut to size.) Place the paper inside. Pour a small amount of each color of paint into the containers.
2. Drop a marble in one of the paint containers. Shake the container gently until the marble is thoroughly coated with paint, or use a spoon to move the marble around in the paint. With a spoon, drop the marble in the box and shift the box back and forth so the marble rolls in all directions, leaving paint on the paper. Repeat the process, using a different marble for each color of paint desired.
2. When the colorful, abstract design is complete, remove your paper of modern art and let it dry.
TIP: For smaller packages, “shake and create” gift wrap using a clean, large cylindrical potato chip can with a lid. Loosely roll a sheet of paper inside the can so that it lines the interior. Using one color at a time, roll a marble or two in paint (as described above) and drop in the can. Snap on the lid, shake a few times, remove the lid and put the marble or marbles onto newspaper. Repeat with a marble or two in another color. Remove the paper to reveal your art. You might want to paint jingle bells along with the marbles for a fun, festive sound while shaking.
©2020 Donna Erickson King Features Synd.