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Need Some Sweets to Brighten Up Your Week?

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Do you want to make some tasty treats to enjoy in front of the fire, but you think it’ll be too hard and time consuming? Fear no more! Compiled here are three super easy, winter-inspired recipes for your enjoyment.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Courtesy of Number-2-pencil.com

Ingredients

2 cups of milk

2 cups of heavy cream

1 to 1 1/2 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract

Whipped cream

Crushed candy cane

Directions

Measure chocolate chips into a large heatproof bowl. Heat milk and cream over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. Stir occasionally while heating. Once hot, pour mixture into bowl over chocolate chip. Add vanilla and peppermint extract. Whisk until chocolate chips are completely melted. Serve with whipped cream and crushed candy cane sprinkled on top.

Puppy Chow (aka Muddy Buddies)

Courtesy of showmetheyummy.com

Ingredients

1.5 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1 (12.8 oz) box rice Chex cereal

¾ cup peanut butter

½ cup unsalted butter

1.25 teaspoon vanilla extract

4.5 – 5 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Start by taking the whole box of Chex cereal and place it into a very large bowl. If you don’t have a big enough bowl, you can use a garbage bag (for real!). Set this aside. Place chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 60 seconds and then stir until smooth. If the chocolate chips haven’t melted enough, microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between, until the mixture is completely melted. Then stir in vanilla extract. Pour the chocolate mixture over the Chex cereal and stir together gently with a spatula. If using a garbage bag, shake gently, until all the Chex pieces are completely covered in chocolate. DON’T OVER MIX. The chunks are the best part! Next, you’re going to pour in the powdered sugar. Usually, I don’t measure, but just keep pouring, mixing, and pouring more in again, until the Chex are completely white. You’ll definitely have extra powdered sugar at the bottom of your bowl, but that’s nothing to worry about. Store in an airtight container.

Pecan Tarts

Courtesy of relish.com

Ingredients

Crusts:

1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

1 stick butter

1 cup all-purpose flour

Filling:

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon butter, softened

¾ cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chopped pecans

Directions

For the crusts, mix all “crust” ingredients together in a bowl. Then roll into 21 balls. Work each ball into a mini-cupcake or mini-tart pan, forming a crust. Preheat oven to 325F. For the filling, mix egg, butter, sugar and vanilla. Fill each crust 1/2 full with filling. Top with chopped pecans. If desired, glaze with an egg wash before baking. Bake 25 minutes. Should yield 21 tarts.

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