Christine A Howard

Fun Family Christmas in 6 Easy Steps – One Dozen 3 Ingredient Cookies

Every parent has had the unfortunate situation where a little person comes to them at 8:30pm with the most innocent and sweet face handing them a note from the teacher that reads,

Your child has signed up to bring homemade treats to school for our winter holiday party. We thank you! Sincerely your child’s teacher.

Immediately the panic begins, because of course the the date of the party is in fact tomorrow.   Images of disappointed children start to enter the mind, followed by visions of phone calls from angry parents explaining how their child’s holiday party was ruined. So what does a busy parent do?  They get prepared.

Over the years I too have fallen victim to the late night baking session, and I vowed not to let this happen to me again.  Instead, I have a collection of very easy recipes that I can make ahead and freeze.  This way when I am bombarded with last minute cookie obligations, I can simply go to my freezer and make up a tray.

Ways to Use These Recipes

What I am about to share with you has saved me more than once, and I have even been known to use these goodies as simple holiday gifts in the event that I happened to forget someone.  Adding some treats to a mason jar with a decorative topper works very well for a substitute teacher or a white elephant gift.

If you are looking for something unusual to add to an advent calendar, you could place one recipe in each of twelve days.  Then when that day is opened, the family has a fun activity and a yummy treat waiting.  If you are one that likes to do book Advent Calendars, you could match a recipe to a book for even more family fun.

Each of the following twelve recipes use only three simple ingredients.  In fact, most of the necessary items can be found in your kitchen already.  And, because these recipes are quite simple, children should be able to do most, if not all, of the steps involved.  There are some recipes in this list that my children can complete independently, making holiday baking that much easier!

Disclaimer:  Some of these recipes include allergens, so please watch the ingredients to determine which recipes are right for your family, school or occasions.

Buttercream Mints


  • 1 Stick Unsalted Butter (Softened)
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Mint Extract

** Soften butter in a large bowl, add the powdered sugar in small increments until a firm dough forms, add mint extract.  You may also add food coloring if desired.  Roll dough into a long one inch snake.  Cover and chill for one hour.  Remove from fridge.  Cut dough into small circles, and press with a fork.  Keep chilled until served. **

Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars


  • 1 1/2 Cups Peanut Butter
  • 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • One Bag Milk Chocolate Chips (Melted, and Divided)

** In a large bowl, mix peanut butter and powdered sugar until the mixture is a stiff dough.  Set aside.  Melt half of the milk chocolate and pour into the bottom of a lined 9 x 9 pan.  Let chill for 15 minutes or until hardened. Remove from fridge.  Press peanut butter mixture on top of the chocolate, pour remaining melted chocolate over the peanut butter mixture. Decorate with sprinkles if desired.  Chill for one hour.  Cut into one inch squares.  Serve.  **

Holiday Pinwheel Cookies


  • 2 Boxes of Cake Mix (Different Flavors)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup Oil (Divided)

** In two different bowls, add one package of cake mix, two of the eggs and half of the oil.  Mix together the ingredients in each bowl fully.  On a floured surface press one of the cake mixtures into a flat square.  Place the other cake mix on top of the first until the first cake mixture is completely covered.  Roll into a cake roll.  Wrap in foil or wax paper, chill for one hour.  Remove from the fridge.  Cut the roll into 1/4 inch thick slices, and place onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are slightly golden brown on the edgers. **

Holiday Hearts


  • Small Peppermint Candy Canes (Unwrapped)
  • White Chocolate (Melted)
  • Sprinkles or Colored Sugar

** Place candy canes on a lined cookie sheet in the shape of a heart.  Melt white chocolate and place in a sandwich bag.  Cut a small hole into one corner of the bag, and pour white chocolate into each candy cane heart until filled.  Decorate with sprinkles or colored sugar.  Allow the chocolate part of the hearts to harden fully before serving. **

Chocolate Crunch Cookies


  • Pretzels (Crushed)
  • Peanuts (Not in the Shell)
  • Milk Chocolate or White Chocolate (Melted)

** Crush the pretzels in a zip lock bag, set aside. Melt chocolate in a large bowl, add crushed pretzels and peanuts.  Mix together until chocolate has coated all of the peanuts and pretzels.  Drop mixture onto foil or wax paper with a spoon or ice cream scoop.  Allow chocolate to harden before serving.  This is a good way to use up extra pretzels and chocolate from other recipes. **

Oreo Truffles


  • One Package Regular Oreos
  • Tub of Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Milk Chocolate Chips (Melted)

** In a large zip lock bag, crush the Oreos into crumbs.  Pour Oreo crumbs into a large bowl, add cream cheese frosting until mixture is a sticky dough.  Cover and chill for one hour.  Remove from fridge. Roll mixture into balls, and place on a lined cookie sheet.  Freeze until Oreo balls have hardened.  Dip each ball into the melted milk chocolate.  Place each Oreo ball on foil or wax paper.  Let sit until chocolate hardens.  Serve. **

Peppermint Pretzels


  • Pretzels (Holiday or Regular, Not Sticks)
  • White Chocolate (Melted)
  • Candy Canes (Crushed)

** Melt the white chocolate in a large bowl, dip pretzels into the white chocolate, drain to remove excess chocolate, place dipped pretzels onto foil or wax paper.  Sprinkle crushed candy canes on the top of each pretzel while the chocolate is still wet.  Allow chocolate to harden before serving. **

Sugar Cookies


  • 2 1/2 Sticks of Salted Butter (Softened)
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Cups All Purpose Flour

**  Cream together the softened butter and granulated sugar.  Add flour in small increments until it forms a stiff dough.  Cover and chill for one hour.  Remove dough from fridge.  Roll out and cut shapes or roll into balls and press with a fork.  Decorate as desired. **

Red Velvet Cake Balls


  • Red Velvet Cake (Baked according to direction, Cooled)
  • Tub Cream Cheese Frosting
  • White Chocolate (Melted)

** In a large bowl, crumble the red velvet cake, add the tub of cream cheese frosting, mix together until a sticky dough forms.  Chill for one hour covered.  Remove from fridge. Roll cake and frosting mixture into one inch balls.  Place onto a lined cookie sheet.  Once all the mixture is rolled, place the cake balls into the freezer until hardened. Dip cake balls into the melted white chocolate and place on foil or wax paper until white chocolate hardens.  Serve. **

Reindeer Eyes


  • Pretzel Rings
  • Hershey’s Hugs
  • Holiday M&Ms

** Place pretzel rings on a foil lined cookie sheet, place a Hershey’s Hug in the middle of each ring. Place in a 300 degree oven until Hugs are melted. Watch closely so Hugs do not burn.  Add an M&M to the middle of each cookie.  Chill for one hour.  Enjoy. **

Three Ingredient Fudge


  • One Tub Vanilla Frosting
  • One Bag Milk Chocolate Chips
  • tsp Flavoring (ex. Vanilla, Strawberry, Mint)

** Melt the bag of milk chocolate chips in a large bowl in the microwave.  Add the entire contents of the tub of vanilla frosting into the melted chocolate, add your favorite flavoring.  Spread into a 9 x 9 pan that has been lined with foil or wax paper. Decorate as desired. Chill for one hour.  Cut into 1 inch squares.  Serve. **

Peanut Butter Ritz Cookies


  • Ritz Crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Milk Chocolate Chips (Melted)

** Spread peanut butter onto a Ritz cracker and place another Ritz cracker on top to make a cracker sandwich. Dip Ritz cracker sandwiches into the melted milk chocolate, let drain until excess chocolate has dripped off.  Place on wax paper or aluminum foil until chocolate is hardened. **


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