Finding the Perfect Winter Dessert Treat: Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

We recently had our first snow of the season in Ohio. I much prefer the warm weather months, but since harsh, brittle winters are inevitable in Ohio, I’ve learned to make the best of it. I often have guests over to help make the time spent at home a little more fun. Since I tend to have a lot of people over, I am always looking for flavorsome treats to have in dishes throughout my home for people to snack on. My favorite winter snack to have ready while entertaining is peppermint dessert treats. I am always on the hunt for new variations on this classic candy that my guests will love.

Anything made with peppermints around this time makes me incredibly happy – peppermint sticks, peppermint brownies, peppermint martinis…the list goes on and on.

Now that we are entering into the start of the chilliest months here in Ohio, my primary focus was to get my hands on the mintiest treat I could find from Hickory Farms.

I had some amazing minty options, but my sights were set from the beginning. Hickory Farms Peppermint Snow cookies were my choice. I can’t think of  a better treat than combining crunchy chocolate cookie with crushed peppermints.

 

I was first drawn to the appearance of these amazing peppermint Christmas cookies.   These tasty indulgences are concealed within white and dark chocolate. As if that isn’t enough, they are then sprinkled with crushed peppermints. the crushed peppermints not only add a crunchy, minty finish, but they make the presentation of these chocolate peppermint cookies so impressive that they make for an incredible after dinner dessert treat at a dinner party or family gathering.

The Peppermint Snow Mint Cookies were put to the test when I hosted a small holiday gathering. I knew my guests thought they were as enchanting as I did when I realized an hour into the party that there were none left for me!

There were two lessons I learned that night. The first was that for every winter gathering from this point on, Peppermint Snow Mints have to be a dessert treat for guests to nosh on. The second lesson is that I always need to buy an extra bag for myself.

Cheese, Fruits and Nuts: Family-Friendly Snacks

With tons of calcium, protein, fiber and vitamins, snacks consisting of fruits, nuts and cheese are healthy and delicious treats for the whole family. Be ready to combat hunger in a healthy way with these fun snack ideas for kids, that are made with ingredients from Hickory Farms’ gourmet fruits and nuts baskets.

Cheese snacks from Hickory farms
 

Make a fun twist on a traditional cheese sandwich by substituting crackers for delicious cheese snacks.  Simply cut up an assortment of our creamy cheeses, such as the Smoked Cheddar or Creamy Swiss Blend, add the cheese to the cracker and top with either sliced pickles or your favorite flavor of our Farmstand Fruit Spreads.

Kid-friendly snacks from Hickory farms

Source: Spoonful

Transform extra bits of gourmet fruits and nuts into a delicious granola. Start by drying apples and pears in a food dehydrator. Then, on a baking sheet, combine rolled oats and mixed nuts with honey, maple syrup, cinnamon and a pinch of salt before baking. Allow the mixture to cool and toss in the dried fruit.

Fruit sandwich from Hickory Farms

Source: Whole Foods Market

 

Turn an apple into a sweet and delicious fruit sandwich. Begin by cutting your apples into rings, carefully removing the core. Top half of your apple slices with peanut butter, chopped nuts, chocolate chips and coconut. Finally, finish by adding a second apple slice.

Fun snack ideas for kids from Hickory farms

Source: Eating Well

Give your cashews a whole new flavor profile by currying them. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, curry powder and salt, and then bake the nuts until dry.

 

Kid-friendly snacks from Hickory Farms

Source: Spoonful

 

For a kid-friendly snack that’s sure to delight, top crackers with mouse-shaped cheese. To make the mice, cut a large slice of Farmstead Cheddar and, with your knife, round the corners to form the mouse’s body. Finish with almonds for the ears, raisins for the eyes and the nose, and a long piece of chive for the tail.

Cheese snack from Hickory Farms

 

With the gift baskets from Hickory Farms’ Fruits and Nuts collection, such as the Fresh from the Farm basket–featuring creamy cheeses, assorted gourmet nuts and fruits — or the Hickory Tropical Delight – which includes fruits, pistachios, a variety of cheddars and a bottle of wine–you’ll have nearly everything you need to create one of these easy, healthy snacks for your family.


Host an Elegant Wine and Cheese Party

There are few culinary combinations that work together as well as wine and cheese. By learning just a few basics of wine and cheese pairings, you can create combinations that bring out the true complexities of both, allowing you to experience new nuances of flavor. Use these five tips to host an elegant wine and cheese party for your friends and family.

Wine and cheese pairings from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

Start by gathering your wines and cheeses. While as a general rule, white wines make better pairings, you can also use a lighter-bodied red. When creating your pairings, choose to contrast your flavors. If you’re using a creamy cheese, for example, a dessert wine will bring out its natural sweetness, while dry wines will add a pleasing acidic note. To make sure you enjoy your selections, try out your pairings before serving them at a party.

Wine and cheese pairings from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

Next, send out your invitations. For something unique, make your wine and cheese invitations with personalized coasters that your guests can bring along to the party.

 

Wine & cheese from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

 

Prepare your wine and cheese. Place sliced cheeses on slate trays with the name and description of each cheese written on the platter and remove your cheese from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Chill your white wines to about 45 degrees and your reds to 60.

Wine and cheese party ideas from Hickory Farms
 

Put out some snacks. Options that pair well with cheese platters include Hickory Farms’ Mixed Nuts or Colossal Cashews from the Hickory Holiday Celebration, or the Shortbread Cookies and  Signature Beef Summer Sausage included in the Winter Wonderland Basket.

Wine and cheese pairings from Hickory Farms

Source: James Merrell via Real Simple

Create a festive atmosphere. Prepare a few tasteful decorations, such as fresh flowers and candles, and a sophisticated playlist featuring jazz and classical music.

With these simple wine and cheese party ideas and one of Hickory Farms’ gourmet wine and cheese baskets, featuring fine wines, creamy cheeses, fresh fruits and delicious snacks, you’ll have everything that you need to throw an elegant wine and cheese party.