How to make Christmas-themed treats

There’s no better way to get in the holiday spirit than by creating some festive treats. If decorating sugar cookies feels a bit basic to you, try out these ideas for a truly unique dessert. Your friends and family will be thankful you did!

Winter Cupcakes

img_1495Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

Materials:

  • Undecorated chocolate cupcakes
  • White Candy Melts (sold at Michaels)
  • Baking Sheets/Parchment Paper
  • Ziploc bags
  • Star shaped icing tip
  • Food coloring
  • Mint frosting (I used the recipe from bettycrocker.com)

Procedure:
1. Melt multiple handfuls of white candy melts in a Ziploc bag by microwaving them at 30 second intervals while stirring/kneading in between. Once this has been done, cut off a very small corner of the Ziploc bag so it can act as a piping bag.
2. On a medium piece of parchment paper, pipe out three intersecting lines, creating six spokes.

img_1366Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

3. On each of the spokes, pipe out a “v” shape as shown below. This is your snowflake.

img_1367Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

4. Continue to make snowflakes until you have one for each undecorated cupcakes.
5. In the space between the snowflakes or on more parchment paper, pipe out three shorter intersecting lines. This is a mini snowflake. Make a mini snowflake for each cupcake.

img_1369Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

6. Let the candy melts settle and set aside.
7. Using green food coloring and a little bit of blue, dye the mint frosting green.
8. Place the star shaped icing tip into a Ziploc bag and cut a corner so that the tip is sticking out. Scoop the icing into the bag.
9. Starting at the center of a cupcake, pipe out the frosting in a spiral.

img_1374Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

10. Gently peel the snowflakes off of the parchment paper. Take a snowflake and a mini snowflake and arrange them on a cupcake to your liking. Gently press them into the frosting to make sure they stick.

img_1500Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

11. Enjoy your winter cupcake while staying out of the winter weather.

Reindeer Cake Pops

img_1498Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

Materials:

  • Undecorated cake pops (I used German Chocolate flavored cake pops. The brown coloring makes it easier to coat it with candy melts, because you won’t have to worry as much about the cake’s color showing through.)
  • Brown and white candy melts
  • Cake Pop sticks
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Ziploc Bags
  • M&M’s
  • Toothpick
  • Cake Pop bags (sold at Michaels)

    img_1360Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier
  • Brown pipe cleaners

Procedure:
1. Melt multiple handfuls of brown candy melts in a bowl by following the same instructions in the first step of the previous recipe.
2. Insert the end of one cake pop stick into an undecorated cake pop about mid-way through and then remove.

img_1389Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

3. Dip one end of the cake pop stick into the melted candy in the bowl and reinsert into the cake pop. This will help prevent the cake pop from sliding off the stick.

img_1391Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier
img_1393Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

Note: It helps to remove and reinsert the stick a couple of times while pushing the candy melt into the hole.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the rest of the cake pops. Set them aside until the candy melts have settled and the cake pops are firmly attached.
5. Add a spoonful of shortening to the melted brown candy and microwave it again for 30 seconds.

img_1396Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

When you take it out, stir the mixture. If the shortening is not completely melted, microwave it again and stir. The candy melt should now have a pretty thin consistency, which will make coating the cake pops easier.
6. Once the cake pops have set, take one and dip it into the candy melt that you just thinned out. You can also use a spoon to pour the candy melt over the cake pop to help you coat the entire thing.

img_1404Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier
img_1405Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

7. Hold the cake pop over the bowl and let excess candy melt drip off. Set it aside to dry (I suggest to place them in cups or to stick them into pieces of styrofoam so nothing will be touching the candy coating).

img_1406Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

Repeat with the rest of the cake pops.
8. Smear some melted brown chocolate on the back of a red M&M and attach it to the middle of a cake pop. Repeat for the rest.
9. Melt a handful of white candy melts in a Ziploc bag according to the instructions in the previous recipe.
10. Using the white candy melts, pipe out two dots above the M&M (the cake pop stick should be pointing upwards) for each cake pop .

img_1415Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

11. Dip the end of a toothpick into the melted brown candy melt, then touch it to the white dots you piped out, making a small dot at the center. These will be the eyes of the reindeer.

img_1417Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier
img_1418Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

12. Once the candy melt has settled, place each cake pop into a cake pop bag.
13. Wrap a brown pipe cleaner around the top of the bag right above the cake pop. This will tie the bag together.

img_1501Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

14.  Fold and twist the leftover ends as shown below to make antlers.

img_1491Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier
img_1492Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier
img_1494Michelle Zhang | Conant Crier

15. Your reindeers are now complete! They make a great little holiday gift that will sweeten someone’s day.

Michelle Zhang

Michelle is a junior at Conant Highschool, and this is her second year on the Crier staff. This year she is going to be the editor of the new Lifestyle section. During the school year she is on the golf team and the math team. Outside of school she loves to bake, read, and spend time with her family.

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