Mind-blowing Christmas Treats in 5 Ingredients or Less

(Bringing a couple of already-opened boxes of Girl Scout cookies isn’t gonna cut it.)
Trustedchoice.com Author Icon Written by Trusted Choice
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Written by Trusted Choice

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The holiday season can get pretty nuts. Heck, one minute it’s 12:00:01 a.m. on Black Friday and you’re hurdling other shoppers, and the next it’s Christmas Day and you forgot to make the cookies. Uh-oh, Aunt Jo-Jo is totally gonna get all judgy again. 

Now, before you go and have a mini heart attack, skim through these recipes from Taste of Home’s “Ultimate Five Ingredient Recipes” book. It’s full of simple, five-ingredient-or-less cookie recipes that make even the most-challenged cookiemaker look like a pro. You’ve probably already got everything you need in your cupboard, anyway. Aunt Jo-Jo’s gonna love ‘em, and you’ll still be in the will. It’s a win/win.

Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies

If you’re at a Christmas party and they don’t have these classics, is it even a Christmas party?

Prep: 20 min | bake 10 min + cooling

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 24 milk chocolate kisses

In a large bowl, cream the peanut butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla; beat until blended.

Roll into 1 1/4 inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until tops are slightly cracked. Immediately press one chocolate kiss into the center of each cookie. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans.

Yield: 2 dozen

Chocolate Truffles

When has chocolate ever been a bad idea? That’s what we thought.

Prep: 25 min + chilling

  • 14 squares of semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream 
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted

Coarsely chop 12 squares of chocolate; set aside. In saucepan, heat the cream over low heat until bubbles form around the side of the pan. Remove from the heat and add chopped chocolate, stirring until melted and smooth.

Cool to room temperature. Stir in the butter and extract. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until firm.

Grate the remaining chocolate, place in a shallow dish and add the nuts; set aside. Shape tablespoonfuls of chilled chocolate mixture into balls. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. (If truffles are soft, refrigerate until easy to handle.) Roll truffles in the chocolate-nut mixture. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Yield: 3 dozen

Peanut Butter Fudge

Mmmmmmmmm, peanut butter. Mmmmmmmmm, fudge. Mmmmmmmmm, together.

Prep: 15 min + chilling

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/3 cups peanut butter
  • 1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow crème

In a saucepan, bring sugar and milk to a boil; boil for 3 minutes. Add peanut butter and marshmallow crème; mix well. Quickly pour into a buttered 8" square pan; chill until set. Cut into squares. 

Yield: 3-4 dozen

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups

Reese’s schmeeses, these are the p-bee’s knees.

Prep: 20 min + chilling

  • 1 milk chocolate candy bar (7 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter

In a microwave or heavy saucepan, melt chocolate, butter and shortening and stir until smooth. Place foil or paper miniature baking cups in a miniature muffin tin. Place 1 tablespoon of chocolate mixture in each cup.

In a microwave or saucepan, heat peanut butter until melted. Spoon into cups. Top with remaining chocolate mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm. 

Yield: 1 dozen

Layered Mint Candies

We call these puppies ‘Ol’ Reliable.’ You just can’t go wrong with peppermint and chocolate. 

Prep: 15 minutes + chilling

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds white candy coating, divided
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Line a 13” x 9” baking pan with foil. Grease the foil with 1 tablespoon butter; set pan aside.

In a microwave or heavy saucepan, melt 1 pound candy coating and chocolate chips. Spread half into prepared pan; set aside. Melt remaining candy coating; stir in extract. Stir in cream until smooth (mixture will be stiff). Spread over first layer; refrigerate for 10 minutes or until firm.

Warm the reserved chocolate mixture if necessary; spread over mint layer. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Lift out of the pan with foil and remove the foil. Cut into 1” squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

Yield: about 2 lbs. (9 1/2 dozen)

Krispy Kiss Squares

Perfect for family Christmas parties, office potlucks and church bake sales.

Prep: 20 minutes + cooking

  • 6 cups Cocoa Puffs
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 40 large marshmallows
  • 1 package (11 1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 24 striped chocolate or milk chocolate kisses

Place cereal in a large bowl; set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and marshmallows. Microwave uncovered on high for 2 minutes; stir. Continue cooking until smooth, stirring every minute. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted.

Pour over cereal; stir until well-coated spread evenly in a greased 13” x 9” pan. Arrange kisses in rows over the top. Cool before cutting. 

Yield: 2 dozen

Marshmallow Fudge

Like S’mores only without the fire and all the kumbayas.

Prep: 15 min + chilling

  • 1 1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2/3 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 2 whole reduced-fat graham crackers, broken into bite-size pieces

Line an 8” square pan with foil and coat with cooking spray; set aside. In a heavy saucepan, melt chocolate chips with milk over low heat and stir until smooth. Remove from the heat; cool for 2 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Fold in the marshmallows and graham crackers.

Pour into the prepared pan. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Lift out pan and remove foil; cut into 48 pieces.

Yield: 4 dozen

Salted Nut Squares

Salty. Nutty. You can’t make enough of these finger-lickers.

Prep: 15 min + chilling

  • 3 cups salted peanuts without skins, divided
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups peanut butter chips
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows

Place half of the peanuts in an ungreased 11” x 7” baking pan; set aside. In a large saucepan, melt butter and peanut butter chips over low heat; stir until smooth. Remove from the heat. Add milk and marshmallows; stir until melted.

Pour over peanuts. Sprinkle the remaining peanuts on top. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Cut into bars. 

Yield: 30 servings

Truffle Cups

They’ll be stuffin’ their cargo pants pockets with these chocolate truffle bombs.

Prep: 30 min + chilling

  • 1 package (11 1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 pound white confectionery coating, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

In a double boiler or microwave, melt chips and shortening. Stir until smooth; cook for 5 minutes. With a narrow pastry brush, “paint” the chocolate mixture on the inside of 1" foil candy cups. Place on a tray and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.

Remove about 12 cups at a time from the refrigerator; remove and discard foil cups, and return chocolate cups to the refrigerator. For the filling, melt the confectionery coating and cream; stir until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Beat filling for 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Use a pastry star tube or spoon to fill the chocolate cups. Store in the refrigerator. 

Yield: 5 dozen 

Chocolate Pudding Sandwiches

Dessert sandwiches, how friggin’ cool is that?

Prep: 15 min + chilling

  • 1 1/2 cups cold fat-free milk
  • 1 package (1.4 ounces) sugar-free instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
  • 2 packages (9 ounces each) chocolate wafers

In a bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Fold in whipped topping and marshmallows.

For each sandwich, spread about 2 tablespoons of pudding mixture on a chocolate wafer; top with another wafer. Stack sandwiches in an airtight container. Freeze until firm, about 3 hours. Remove from the freezer 5 minutes before serving. 

Yield: 43 sandwiches

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

No flour, no problem.

Prep: 15 min | bake: 20 min

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients. Roll level tablespoons into balls. Place on an ungreased baking sheet; flatten with a fork.

Bake at 350° for about 18 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

Yield: 2 dozen

Christmas Candies

Here’s your chance to finally show off your pistachio game.

Prep: 20 min + chilling

  • 3 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Finely chopped pistachios

In a small saucepan, bring the cocoa, milk and butter to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook and stir until thickened.

Transfer to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled. Form 1” balls and roll in pistachios. Store in the refrigerator.

Yield: about 2 1/2 dozen

Lemon Snowflakes

For all the chocolate haters out there. Pucker up.

Prep: 5 min | bake 10 min

  • 1 package (18 1/4 ounces) lemon cake mix with pudding
  • 2 1/4 cups whipped topping
  • 1 egg
  • Confectioners’ sugar

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, whipped topping and egg until well blended. Batter will be very sticky.

Drop by teaspoonfuls into confectioners’ sugar; roll lightly to coat. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned and tops are cracked. Remove to wire racks to cool. 

Yield: 5-6 dozen

Sweetheart Cookies

They’re like adorable little mini danishes. Cuuuuute.

Prep: 15 min | bake 10 min

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk 
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry preserves

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg yolk; mix well. Stir in the flour by hand. On a lightly floured surface, gently knead dough for 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly combined.

Roll into 1” balls. Place 2” apart on a greased baking sheet. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each. Fill each with ¼ teaspoon preserves.

Bake at 350° for 13-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks. Cool.

Yield: about 2 dozen

Apron’s on, and good luck.

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