Make the holidays a little sweeter with caramel sea salt truffles and peppermint cake-mix cookies.

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Festive food and drink are at the heart of holiday gatherings. The hustle and bustle of this busy time can make creating that delicious spread a challenge. Here are a few quick tips and no-fuss recipes to help ease the kitchen squeeze so everyone can enjoy more time together.

Holiday Cooking Tips

Use the best ingredients: Using quality ingredients is always important, but for special holiday fare, choosing the best you can find will elevate any dish.

Make ahead: When hosting, the day can quickly go from wonderful to chaotic without the right preparation. The key to a seamless day is to make most dishes ahead. This Easy No-Roll Pie Crust makes whipping up a homemade pie … easy as pie! Both the crust and filling can be easily made ahead and stored in the freezer for a stress-free feast.

Save time: Shortcuts and time-saving tips make holiday cooking a breeze. Cooking the holiday bird in an oven bag will reduce cooking time by up to 35 percent. Mix sweet, unsalted butter with spices, herbs and more, like Cranberry Sage Butter or Roasted Garlic Rosemary Butter, to easily add a delicious punch of flavor to the turkey, vegetables, rolls and more.

Cook with family: The holidays are all about spending time with family (and eating delicious food!), so why not get the kids involved in preparing the big meal? They can help by making this Maple Vanilla Whipped Cream to top any pie – simply put heavy whipping cream in a mason jar and have the kids shake it for 5-7 minutes, adding the flavorings halfway through. Fun, plus exercise!

Bonus recipes

These sea salt and caramel truffles and peppermint cake-mix cookies are perfect for the holiday dessert tray, or for tucking into a holiday gift box.

Caramel & Sea Salt Truffles

Servings:34

Preparation Time:20 minutes

Refrigeration Time:1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

8 ounces Lucerne™ Cream Cheese, softened

3 Tbs Lucerne™ Caramel Macchiato Creamer

1/4 cup powdered sugar

3 cups milk chocolate chips, divided sea salt sprinkle

(Albertsons Safeway)
(Albertsons Safeway)

Directions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, whip cream cheese until fluffy. Add creamer and powdered sugar. Mix well.
  2. Melt 1 cup of the chocolate chips in the microwave or double boiler. Add to cream cheese mixture and stir until fully incorporated
  3. Press plastic wrap onto the surface of the cream cheese mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Using a small scoop or spoon, portion truffles on a waxed paper lined sheet. If they become to warm, return to refrigerator before dipping.
  5. Melt remaining 2 cups chocolate chips and dip truffles, allowing excess chocolate to drip off before placing back on waxed paper. Garnish with a sprinkle of sea salt immediately. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Nutritional Information. Servings per recipe: 34-36 Serving size: 1 tablespoon-sized truffle Calories 122.3, Total Fat 8.3 g, Saturated Fat 4.6 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g, Monounsaturated Fat 0.5 g, Cholesterol 13.6 mg, Sodium 32.0 mg, Potassium 8.7 mg, Total Carbohydrate 13.8 g, Dietary Fiber 0.0 g, Sugars 12.4 g, Protein 1.8 g

All recipe ingredients should be cooked to a safe internal temperature according to USDA guidelines. After preparing a recipe, please store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Peppermint cake-mix cookies (Albertsons Safeway)
Peppermint cake-mix cookies (Albertsons Safeway)

Peppermint Cake Mix Cookies

Servings:28

Preparation Time:10 minutes

Cook Time:9 minutes

Ingredients

1 box chocolate cake mix

1/2 cup Lucerne™ Peppermint White Chocolate Creamer, divided

1 Lucerne™ egg

1 stick Lucerne™ Butter

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

Peppermint Cake Mix Cookies (Albertsons Safeway)
Peppermint Cake Mix Cookies (Albertsons Safeway)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk egg and 1/3 cup creamer. Continue to whisk while adding melted butter. Stir in cake mix until most of the lumps are smooth. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate batter for one hour.
  3. Drop by tablespoonfuls with a cookie scoop on a baking sheet (best to cover it with parchment paper or use a silicone baking mat). Bake for 8-9 minutes. Remove and let cool on the sheet.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons creamer to make a glaze. Drizzle the glaze on each cookie or gently drop a teaspoon or so of the glaze in the middle of each cookie (glaze should spread on its own). Immediately sprinkle some crushed peppermint candies in the middle. Let cool.

Servings Per Recipe: 28, Serving Size: 1 cookie Calories 128.1, Total Fat 5.7 g, Saturated Fat 3.2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g, Monounsaturated Fat 1.0 g, Cholesterol 15.5 mg, Sodium 138.7 mg, Potassium 3.6 mg, Total Carbohydrate 19.1 g, Dietary Fiber 1.1 g, Sugars 12.8 g, Protein 1.0 g

All recipe ingredients should be cooked to a safe internal temperature according to USDA guidelines. After preparing a recipe, please store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

 

Albertsons Safeway understands the need to make every dollar count, especially during the holiday season. Lucerne’s affordable, farm-fresh dairy products, available exclusively at your local Albertsons and Safeway stores, help home cooks create tastier holiday fare.