Binge-Worthy Holiday Snack Recipes
When November comes around, it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Gift-buying and holiday dinner planning can easily take over your immediate priority list, leaving you stressed and burnt out. With the pressure to maximize productivity, it's easy to miss out on the real reason we celebrate the holiday season.
This year, Mattress Firm is encouraging you to indulge. So, take a break and spoil yourself with something sweet: sleep in an extra hour, get seconds of your favorite holiday dish and treat yourself to something special.
Of course, one of our favorite ways to indulge in rest is spending the day in bed, binge watching our favorite shows and munching on delicious snacks. Here are five of our favorite holiday snack recipes that are easy to make and the perfect pairing for a day of R&R.
Chai Tea Latte
Chai tea is the perfect way to warm you up and keep you cozy. The rich, warm spices of chai tea blended with creamy and thick milk and a dash of sweetness is a decadent treat that works well as a dessert drink or a mid-afternoon snack. Go ahead a splurge on the best quality chai tea you can find — it will be well worth it once you taste it.
Makes: 1 serving
2 Chai Spice black tea bags
1/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup whole milk (or preferred milk substitute)
2-3 Tablespoons honey or real maple syrup
Cinnamon or nutmeg to sprinkle on top (optional)
Whipped Cream (optional)
Steep the Chai tea bags in the hot water for 3 to 5 minutes.
Warm milk in a pan and whisk to prevent milk from scorching.
Slowly pour in maple syrup or honey, whisking fairly constantly, until the maple syrup has fully combined.
Add Chai Tea to the milk mixture. Whisk to form a froth.
Pour into a mug and garnish with whipped cream and cinnamon or nutmeg on sprinkled top.
Rosemary Parmesan Popcorn
The fresh rosemary and real Parmesan cheese will make this popcorn a homemade favorite. Garlic, rosemary, and olive oil combined is what gives this dish a true gourmet flavor. With a little help from microwave popcorn, this gourmet popcorn is a cinch to whip up in no time.
Makes: 12 cups
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 large garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
12 cups freshly popped popcorn, lightly buttered or unflavored
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place 1 sprig rosemary and smashed garlic clove in the bottom of a small saucepan. Pour olive oil on top and set on the stove over low heat. Heat until very warm but not simmering. Turn off heat and allow to sit until room temperature.
Strip the leaves from the second sprig of rosemary and finely mince. Set aside.
Remove rosemary sprig and garlic clove from the warmed olive oil. Stir in salt and black pepper, to taste.
Drizzle olive oil over popped popcorn and toss to coat.
Sprinkle popcorn with grated Parmesan, 1 teaspoon fresh minced rosemary, and salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.
Pumpkin Spice Puppy Chow
Muddy buddies, puppy chow, or whatever you know this popular kid's favorite treat as gets a seasonal makeover that adults will love. With the addition of pepitas and a bit of pumpkin spice, this yummy snack is the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
Makes: 8 cups
13.5 oz box Cinnamon Chex cereal, or Rice Chex
12 ounces pure white chocolate chips
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 cup confectioners' sugar
¼ cup toasted, salted pepitas
¼ cup Reese's Pieces (optional)
Pour the cereal into a large bowl. Set aside.
In 20 second increments, melt the white chocolate chips in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Stir after each increment until melted and completely smooth.
Stir in 1 teaspoon the pumpkin spice until combined.
Pour mixture over cereal and toss gently to coat each square.
Pour the confectioners' sugar and the remainder of the 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice into a large zipped-top bag.
Add the coated cereal and shake until each piece is coated. Pour back into a large bowl and discard excess confectioners' sugar.
Cover and store puppy chow for up to 2 weeks.
Salted Caramel Dip
Once you've tried freshly made caramel sauce, you'll never touch the store-bought stuff again. Nothing compares to the buttery richness of homemade caramel. The best part is, that it's not really all that hard to make. With the addition of sea salt at the last minute, this caramel sauce takes on a new level that will send your taste buds into flavor nirvana.
Makes: 2 cups
2 cups granulated sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sea salt
Add the sugar in an even layer over the bottom of a medium saucepan.
Heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking it as it begins to melt. The sugar will begin to form clumps, but that's normal. Continue to whisk and as it continues to cook the sugar will melt back down again.
Discontinue whisking once all of the sugar has melted. Swirl the pan occasionally while the sugar cooks.
Continue cooking until the sugar has reached a deep amber color. It will have a slightly toasted aroma.
As soon as the caramel reaches the amber color, add the butter all at once. The caramel will bubble up when the butter is added.
Whisk the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted. Remove the pan from heat.
Slowly pour the heavy cream into the caramel. The mixture will once again bubble up ferociously.
Whisk until all of the cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth sauce. Add the salt and whisk to incorporate.
Let the sauce cool for 10 to 15 minutes and then pour into a glass jar. Let cool to room temperature. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 month.
Hot Spiced Apple Cider
Unlike apple juice, apple cider is unfiltered and unsweetened. Nonetheless, it possesses a strong apple flavor that pairs well with many flavors. Warming and comforting, hot spiced apple cider is perfect for a cool day and sipping in bed on a lazy weekend morning.
Makes: 16 cups
1-gallon apple cider
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
Pinch grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon whole cloves
1 orange, sliced in half
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
In a large pot over medium heat, add the apple cider. Stir in the brown sugar, allspice, and nutmeg until the sugar is dissolved and bring to a low boil.
Add the orange, cinnamon sticks, and cloves to the cider and reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and continue cooking for 20 minutes.
Serve in warm mugs with an extra cinnamon stick garnish. Add a shot of bourbon to individual mugs, if using.