Holidays, Party Ideas

18 Unique Twists on Traditional Holiday Treats

By Heather Roonan

‘Tis the season for festive candies and delicious goodies! If you’re anything like us, you’ll probably spend a good portion of your pre-Christmas week baking. Grandma’s recipes are great, but why not try something a little different this year? Here are some of our favorite twists on the tried and true classic holiday treats!

Special Sugar Cookies

There’s a reason sugar cookies are a favorite Christmas treat—they’re delicious and easy to make! Don’t rely on that bell-shaped cookie cutter you’ve been using for years to transform your cookies into holiday treats. Stretch those DIY skills and come up with something a bit more unique.

Do you wanna build a snowman?

You can do so many fun things with just some icing, food dye, and various Christmas candies. Our personal favorites are melted snowmen. Use a cylindric treat, like marshmallows or peanut butter cups, for the head, and pour some white frosting over the top to create a sweet snowman that’s been left out in the sun. Complete the look with sprinkles and colored icing for his face and accessories.

It doesn’t have to be a snowman

You don’t have to be an artist or have fancy cookie cutters to create cool designs for sugar cookies. There are many simple ways to decorate basic round cookies that will wow your friends and family. Make some festive wreaths by cutting out the center and decorating the outside with red and green icing. Or stack them with some green icing in the middle to make delicious Christmas trees.

🎅 Invite a special visitor! Hire a Santa and/or Mrs. Claus to deliver presents, take photos, and share in your delicious cookies.

Simplified Holiday Desserts

If you’re in charge of bringing the Christmas dessert, go with something simple this year. These recipes offer all of your holiday season favorites but with fun and easier presentations. People will be delighted by these sweet treats, and the serving will be a breeze!

Serve holiday classics…but smaller!

Christmas cakes and puddings are a staple of holiday desserts. Skip the big elaborate dishes in favor of small, individualized options. For an easy alternative to a full-sized cheesecake, go with little no-bake white chocolate peppermint cheesecakes in small serving glasses with candy canes for garnish. Or, if holiday pudding is a family favorite, make some mini Christmas puddings for an easy and delicious treat.

Make Christmas cake… but on a stick!

Cake pops are a fun and tasty twist on a classic holiday treat. Since plates and forks are not required, they’re perfect for parties with limited seating. There are so many ways to turn cake pops into easy Christmas treats. You can do simple chocolate-covered cakes with red and green sprinkles or get creative by creating holiday symbols like reindeer, ornaments, Christmas trees, and presents.

🍬 Bring in the professionals! Take your holiday party to the next level with a full candy & dessert buffet. These expert bakers and designers can create the perfect spread of Christmas treats for your celebration.

Healthy Holiday Eats

Some people can’t eat sweets or simply don’t like them (we know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true). So, having a selection of fresh fruit and veggies for your guests to enjoy is a great idea. You can still get creative! There are many ways to make your healthy holiday treats as festive as your desserts.

Have a merry strawberry Christmas

Strawberries are sweet and delicious, so they make the perfect dessert replacement. And bonus, they are already red so they fit the Christmas theme! You can create some adorable strawberry Santas with a little icing or whipped cream. Or you can add bananas and grapes to make Grinch fruit skewers.

Have a very veggie tray holiday

There are actually a lot of fun ways to turn a boring veggie tray into a festive holiday treat that everyone will enjoy. This is one instance where it’s okay to play with your food! Grab a bunch of broccoli, cherry tomatoes, cauliflower, peppers, and any of your other favorite vegetables, and get to sculpting. You can make a holiday wreath platter with some dip in the center or construct a towering veggie Christmas tree!

👩‍🍳 No time to prepare food this year? Hire a local caterer to take over the mass production of holiday treats—both savory and sweet! It can be your little secret… we won’t tell!

Yuletide Beverages

Sure, a cup of hot chocolate or a glass of eggnog is all you need when watching your favorite Christmas movies. But if you’re hosting a holiday party this year, you can take your drink choices up a notch with a few creative twists.

Grab a cup of cocoa cheer

A hot cocoa bar will be a surefire hit at any holiday celebration. But don’t settle for just chocolate and marshmallows. Try some unique recipes with other favorite flavors like peppermint bark and salted caramel. Or, if you do want to stick with a traditional hot chocolate bar, add fun accessories like peppermint stir sticks or caramel and sea salt spoons.

Get in the Christmas spirits

Whether you’re planning a work holiday party or a small gathering with friends and family, adult beverages are a must! Turn your classic Christmas favorites into specialty cocktails that all of the grown-ups will enjoy. Forget plain ol’ spiked eggnog and try an eggnog mudslide instead. And for peppermint lovers, a candy cane cocktail is perfect.

🍸 Need a hand with those drinks? Hire a professional bartender to be on hand to mix up and serve the perfect Christmas cocktails for your holiday event.

Whatever you choose to make, we know it’s going to be delicious. And if you need any help with the rest of your holiday party planning, we’ve got you. Just hop on over to GigSalad and search for whatever entertainment or event services you need!

📌For more holiday inspiration and links to festive recipes, check out our Holiday Treats board and follow us on Pinterest!

Find holiday party entertainment on GigSalad

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