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Saturday, Dec. 2
The Indiana Daily Student

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COLUMN: Three dessert recipes guaranteed to hit this holiday season


It’s finally that time of year when you can eat all the sweet treats you desire and blame it on the holiday season. If your family is hosting Christmas or you need a simple dessert to bring to your next holiday party, here are a few simple recipes to make.  

Chocolate Chip M&M Christmas Bars 

I made these holiday bars for my family last week and they loved them. If you love chocolate chip cookies but want to try something new for the holidays, read the following recipe:  


  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened 
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar  
  • 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips  
  • 1 cup red and green M&M’s 

Related: [Constellation Stage and Screen to welcome ‘Elf the Musical’ Dec. 15


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with non-stick spray.  
  2. Grab a large mixing bowl and add in the butter, light brown sugar and granulated sugar. Stir together for about a minute until the mixture looks almost creamy. Slowly add the vanilla extract and eggs.  
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Once combined, add the mixture to the large mixing bowl.  
  4. Stir until the mixture looks creamy, carefully add in the chocolate chips and M&M’s. 
  5. Grab a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and spread the mixture onto the greased baking pan evenly. Chef’s tip: sprinkle some extra M&Ms on top. 
  6. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until the edges look golden brown. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes and cut into squares.  

Puff Pastry Christmas Tree 

Whenever I make this dessert for my family and friends, it disappears within 10 minutes.  


  • Two frozen puff pastry sheets
  • Nutella 
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Star shaped cookie cutter  


  1. Take the puff pastry sheets out of the freezer to thaw for about 40 minutes on your kitchen counter. Once the dough is soft, set your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk or heavy whipping cream to make an icing you will drizzle over the dessert at the end. Place in fridge once it is mixed to set.
  3. Roll out the first puff pastry sheet on a baking sheet. After it is all rolled out, evenly spread a layer of Nutella on top of the puff pastry sheet. Next, cover the Nutella up with the second puff pastry sheet.
  4. Grab a sharp knife and cut a skinny triangle shape on the dough to form the base of your tree. Use the extra dough to make a star with your cookie-cutter and place the star on top of the triangle.
  5. To make your triangle into a tree, take your knife and cut about 3 cm into each side of the triangle, leaving the bottom, your tree trunk, uncut. As you go down, each cut should get a little bigger and each side should have an equal number of lines cut. Start at the top, take the branches, and twist them up, making the triangle look more like a tree.
  6. Take a beaten egg and brush it evenly over the dough before placing it into the oven. Bake it in the oven for 12-15 minutes.
  7. When it is out of the oven, let it cool for about 8 minutes. After it cools, lightly drizzle the icing over the Christmas tree and sprinkle some powdered sugar on top. Start tearing your branches and enjoy!  

Related: [The Kinsey Institute unveils Dr. Caroline Beebe Gallery

Christmas Rolo M&M Pretzels 

These candied pretzels are great because they are small enough that you can eat a handful as a snack or put a bunch in a bag to go. If you need a quick salty-but-sweet Christmas snack, follow the recipe below:  


  • 1 bag Christmas M&Ms
  • 2 bags Rolo candy
  • 1 bag pretzels snaps (squared) 


  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or lay down a parchment lined baking sheet on top.
  2. Unroll all the Rolo candies and lay out all the pretzels evenly on the baking sheet. Put the Rolos on top of each pretzel. Place red and green M&Ms on top of the Rolos (I like to evenly add the red and green after each other).
  3. Bake in oven for 4-6 minutes and let them cool for about 5 minutes. Set the pretzels in a candy jar or take a handful to enjoy!
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