A Twist on a Holiday Classic: Peppermint Hot Chocolate

With the holidays right around the corner, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for some new ideas to keep my friends and family joyful and excited about food and treats throughout the holidays.

 

Around this time of year, I always have a large group of friends over to my home for holiday movies, laughter, and most importantly, food and good company. One of my favorite wintertime treats is Hickory Farms Mini Meltaway Mints. To put a minty twist on a classic creation, I pondered combining the minty yummy goodness with another delicious winter tradition.

If there is one comforting beverage that is celebrated and prepared the most throughout the holiday, hot chocolate has got to be it. Hot chocolate has been a holiday staple for myself, my family, and as a party addition for as long as I can remember. This year, I knew I wanted to combine holiday hot chocolate and Meltaway Mints and make a super delicious, decadent twist on my standard drink.

I started by making my regular recipe of hot chocolate by adding vanilla soy milk, an adequate amount of cocoa powder, a dash of cinnamon, and a vanilla bean to the stove top. I mixed all of the ingredients and stirred slowly but consistently to alleviate the chance of any lumps.

Source: xkacha

This hot chocolate turned out to be such a beautiful shade of milky brown, I wasn’t sure what the Meltaway Mints would do to the color, so I left them out of the actual hot chocolate mixture. Instead, I topped each mug with a hefty amount of whipped cream, and sprinkled a pretty array of Mini Meltaway Mints onto the top.

Not only was it incredibly festive in appearance, but it also added a minty flavor and pastel hue to the whipped cream.

This new spin on a traditional drink was such a hit, I have no doubt I will be making this peppermint hot chocolate recipe in the very near future and for holidays to come.

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.