Are you stuck looking at your shopping list for Christmas? Is your ratio of money to gifts-yet-to-be-gotten running painfully low? Fear not! There’s plenty of cheap, easy, delicious and personal gift ideas out there, and since I suck at arts and crafts, all of my suggestions have to do with FOOD.
Let’s be honest. When you’re a student, you barely have time to cook real food, let alone desserts. Unless you’re a kitchen warrior, you also probably don’t know how to boil sugar to make candy or have the patience to glaze several dozen cake pops or fill the cream inside a home made donut. Meringue will always terrify you. It’s far simpler to grab a box of Duncan Hynes cupcakes than create a delectable Creme Brûlée Cupcake for your friends and you (yes, those cupcakes exist right here).
We want simple. We want fast. We want delicious. Pretty only matters as an added bragging point.
With that in mind, here are some fast, simple recipes that aren’t going to stress you out too much, but are guaranteed to get gasps from your friends! They’re fast enough to cross your list off quickly, and good enough to make it look like you slaved over a hot stove for hours.
1) Cookie Butter
Need I say more? I like to describe this one as peanut butter on steroids, without any of the healthy nutrients. It’s pretty much just a bunch of cookies blended together with coconut milk to make a spread you can use on celery, sandwiches, toast, fruit, or more cookies! This recipe is the closest to my recipe – try mixing different cookies together, such as gingersnaps, butter cookies, and honey graham crackers, or try using coconut milk instead of oil!
2) Chocolate Drops
Here’s another simple recipe that tastes two hundred times more difficult than it is thanks to it’s ingredients. Cocoa, oats and coconuts, topped with a cherry – you can even shape them into wintery shapes if you feel so inclined. Or just throw them on the table in blobs and have them ready to eat that much faster!
Bring 1/2 a cup of cocoa to a boil with 2 cups of white sugar, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1/2 of margarine. Stir it for five minutes, take it off the stove, and mix in 3 cups of oats and 1 cup of coconut. Then, scoop it with a spoon and plop it on a covered surface to cool!
3) Coconut Macaroons
These ones can be made gluten free as well, so that you can be considerate of all your friends no matter their personal diets! Pretty much you mix together coconut, egg whites and sugar (you can throw in sliced almonds and cranberries for a holiday taste) and then bake them for about twenty minutes. Added deliciousness? Melt some chocolate with a bit of milk or butter, and then dip the bottoms with it.
Whisk together 3 egg whites (you have to not have the yellow part in the bowl) with 1/2 a cup of sugar and 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla and 1/4 of a teaspoon of salt. Then, mix in 1 bag of coconut (they’re about 400 gram bags) and scoop onto a baking sheet. Put them in the oven at 325 degrees, rotating at 12 minutes, and bake for 25 minutes. They should be golden brown!
4) Oreo Cookie Balls
Sick of turning on an oven? Don’t have an oven? No worries! All this takes is some softened cream cheese and crushed oreos. Mix it together and role them into a ball and all of a sudden you have a delectable rolled delicacy that is will satisfy any cookie lover. It’s like a truffle, but with Oreo inside. You can dip them in chocolate, you can used coloured chocolate (Bulk Barn sells little circles of different coloured chocolate things that are meant to be used for glazing), and then you can top them with things like nuts, sea salt, more chocolate, more cookies…. The options are endless.
What you do is beat together a brick of cream cheese with three cups of crushed Oreos (usually that’s about a bag of cookies). Then, roll them into a ball. At this point you can dip them in any topping! Last but not least, stick them in the fridge for an hour.
Say you’re going to a potluck, or a house party, or are having a sleepover with friends because good lord somebody broke up with your best friend and that was just SO NOT FAIR. Seems like you need something impressive to show up with? A trifle may be just your thing – as the name suggests, it’s easy to make and just as delicious! Essentially it’s a layered dish, alternating between a creamy pudding layer and layers of fruit, cookies, or nuts, depending on the recipe. All you really need is a large see-through bowl and you’re set!
A really simple version uses 2 packages of lemon instant pudding. Mix them with 2 and 1/2 cups of milk for two minutes, then stir in 1 and a 1/2 cups of Cool Whip. Then, take a see-through bowl and line the bowl with Nilla Wafers, pudding, and berries, making layers of them. Then top with more whipped cream or cool whip and berries (maybe some chocolate sprinkles) and refrigerate for an hour!
6) Bits & Bites
Don’t forget my last recipe for homemade bits and bites, a little less sweet than the other suggestions! You can find it here.
There you have it! Six simple ideas for your Christmas baking! Happy holidays, everyone!