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Candyland Christmas

Create a whimsical holiday spread that will delight the whole family with these original recipes and fanciful decor ideas.

Recipes by Sarah Mccullen | Photographed by Joe Worthem

Christmas Light Cookies

1 package white melting chocolate

1 package golden sandwich cookies (such as Oreos)

½ cup milk chocolate chips

1 teaspoon coconut oil

Sprinkles or small candies

In a microwaveable bowl, microwave white melting chocolate in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted. Working 5 at a time, dip sandwich cookies into white chocolate, and place on a wire rack to cool. In another small microwaveable bowl, microwave milk chocolate chips and coconut oil in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until melted. Spoon melted chocolate into a plastic bag, and snip 1 corner to make a small hole for piping. Pipe 2 “strings” of chocolate across each cookie, and, using clean tweezers, place sprinkles or candies to create strings of Christmas lights. Let cool completely to harden.

Coconut Bonbons

½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut

½ cup uncooked old-fashioned regular rolled oats

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut, divided

1-2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

1-2 tablespoons coconut water

½ teaspoon coconut extract

Food coloring, optional

In a food processor, combine unsweetened flaked coconut, oats and ½ cup of the sweetened flaked coconut. Pulse until finely chopped, about 1 minute. Add maple syrup, coconut water and coconut extract, 1 at a time, pulsing between each addition to combine. Mixture should form a thick dough. If it gets too wet, add more coconut until dough sticks together in a ball.

To make bonbons, roll dough into 1- to 1½-inch balls. In a small bowl, toss remaining ½ cup sweetened flaked coconut with food coloring of choice (or leave white). Roll balls in coconut flakes, gently pressing to adhere.

Gluten-free Lemon Donuts

1 cup gluten free all-purpose flour

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 3 tablespoons

fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon), divided

¼ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 large egg

3 tablespoons butter, melted

½ cup milk, plus 2-3 tablespoons, divided

2 cups powdered sugar


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, butter, ½ cup of the milk, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice, and whisk into dry ingredients, stirring constantly, until just combined. Do not over mix. Spoon into a greased doughnut pan, and bake until doughnuts are risen and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of the milk, and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice until it creates a thick glaze, whisking in remaining 1 tablespoon of milk as needed for desired thickness.

When doughnuts are finished baking, turn out of the pan. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then dip in glaze and decorate with sprinkles.

Frozen Hot Chocolate

4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon hot chocolate mix

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature, divided

3 cups ice cubes

Whipped cream and sprinkles

In a microwaveable bowl, microwave chocolate chips in 20 second intervals, stirring after each interval, until smooth. Once melted, stir in hot chocolate mix and sugar. Add 1/2 cup of the milk, stirring until smooth. Cool to room temperature. In a blender, combine chocolate mixture, ice cubes, and remaining 1 cup milk, and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into glass mug, and top with whipped cream and sprinkles.

Peppermint Parfaits

32 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt

1 pound fresh strawberries, sliced


In a tall glass or bowl, layer sliced strawberries and yogurt to create a peppermint pattern. Garnish with sprinkles.

Cheddar Cheese Puffy Stars

1 sheet puff pastry

2 tablespoons butter, melted

¾ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Thaw puff pastry sheet, and roll out to almost double its size. Brush with melted butter, then scatter shredded cheese over pastry sheet, gently pressing to adhere. Cut out shapes with a star-shaped cookie cutter, and bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

Special thanks to Discount Building Materials and Hinton & Hinton for providing the decor and clothing pictured, and to models Sarah McCullen and Brooke Roberts.

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