Last minute holiday treats for your boss, BFF, or girlfriend's mom

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The holidays — the time of the year where I always regret not complete my holiday shopping earlier and am scrambling to assemble gifts for everyone on my list while vowing to not make the same mistake in the following year. This year was especially tricky. It was my first year with a grown up job, and that means having even more people to shop for, including my boss, and I have to be budget-friendly with my teacher salary. Thankfully, there’s a solution friendly to my wallet and my schedule — baking. Baked treats (or baked treats, though probably not a good option for your boss) are thoughtful and show effort, even if you are last minute baking at midnight. And by baking, I mean melting and stirring a bunch of shit. Seriously, so easy.

Here are the five recipes I used that will keep everyone on your list happy and satisfied, with minimal effort on your part:

Peppermint truffles

Don’t spend $20 on a bag of Godiva truffles. Instead make these truffles and pretend they’re Godiva.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup of cream
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 16 ounces of semisweet or milk chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • Crushed candy canes

Directions:

Melt the butter in a pot and add the cream. Pour the chocolate chips in a separate bowl and set aside. Bring the butter and the cream to a boil. Once boiling, pour the cream and butter over the chocolate chips, add the vanilla, and stir the mixture until it’s smooth. Then, cover the bowl with foil and place it in the fridge to chill.

*Crush the candy canes in a gallon sized bag.

Wait about two hours, or until the mixture is firm, and then scoop into balls and roll in the crushed candy canes. (Your hands will be very messy.)

*If you’re like me and live in an apartment with thin walls and are baking at midnight, you probably don’t want to crush the candy canes with a hammer inside. Do this during the day, or crush candy canes in the alley at night.

White chocolate peppermint bark

It sounds super fancy, but it’s super easy.

What you’ll need:

  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup crushed candy canes

Directions:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper so your festive creation doesn’t stick to the pan. Melt the white chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave at 30 second intervals and stirring after each interval. Once the chips are melted, pour it into the baking sheet and spread it until the mixture is even and not too thin. Then, sprinkle the crushed candy cane on top and pop in the fridge until it hardens.

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Fudge

Another no bake option, this recipe is simple and sweet (and maybe just as good as See’s).

What you’ll need:

  • ½ stick butter
  • 4 cups marshmallows
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)

Directions:

Line a 9x13 pan with foil. Melt the butter on low heat in a large pot, and then add the marshmallows, cream, sugar, and salt. Allow this mixture to simmer for five minutes stirring the whole time. Arm workout and baking at the same time! After five minutes, remove the pot from the burner and stir in the chocolate chips until it’s smooth. Then, just spread the mixture in the pan and let it chill in the fridge.

White chocolate fudge

What should have been a simple recipe because it’s the same recipe as the one above, except white chocolate instead, was a fucking disaster. Don’t make the same mistakes I did — otherwise, you’ll end up with a tray of festive-looking jizz. (see pic below)

What you’ll need:

  • ½ stick butter
  • 4 cups marshmallows
  • 1 cup cream
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 cups white chocolate chips
  • Red and green sprinkles

Directions:

Just follow the same steps as you did for the regular chocolate fudge, except this time use white chocolate chips. After spreading in the pan, add red and green sprinkles for a pop of festivity before placing the pan in the fridge to chill.

How I f*cked up (AKA what not to do):

I didn’t buy enough cream and instead of going back to the store late at night, I added about ½ a cup of milk to what little cream I had to make 1 cup. The problem? It was way too runny and the consistency was not thick enough.

The next mistake: I didn’t have a second 9x13 pan and the other fudge was still chilling so I took an 8x8 dish and lined it with parchment paper. I then poured half the mixture in the pan and then stuck another layer of parchment paper and poured the rest of the mixture on top of that layer. The top layer just sort of sunk into the bottom and did not properly shape up (also due to the fact that I used mostly milk instead of cream).

Festive dipped pretzels

So so so so easy. Seriously. You just melt white chocolate chips, dip pretzels in the melted chocolate and decorate with sprinkles. Place the pretzels in a mason jar tied with a ribbon and store brand pretzels suddenly look fancy.

What you’ll need:

  • A bag of mini pretzels
  • 12 ounces white chocolate chips

Directions:

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Then, pour the white chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave at 30 second intervals until it’s smooth. Quickly dip the pretzels in the melted chocolate before it cools and hardens and then decorate with sprinkles. Stick in the fridge to chill.

With just a little bit of effort and not a lot of money, you have holiday treats ready for everyone on your list!


Meghan is a pug enthusiast interested in social justice, environmental issues, Latin America and women’s rights (both here in the U.S. and around the world). When she’s not worrying about postgraduate plans, Meghan binge-watches Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Jane the Virgin. She’s still uncertain about the career path she will pursue after graduating, but would like to work in international development and public policy one day. Until then, she’ll keep watching videos of Doug the Pug while sipping whatever bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon is on sale.