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The Blue & Gray Press | May 20, 2018

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Relax During the Holidays with Easy to Bake Treats

By SARA KELLY

I’ll be honest with you; I do not like Christmas at all. I like the idea of Christmas and all that comes along with it: snow, hot chocolate and evergreens. The thing is, though, I always feel the pressure to make each one the “best Christmas ever.”
I go all out with holiday crafts and bake twelve different types of cookies with unpronounceable German names. “Would you like a handmade Apricot Schnorkendoodle?” I imagine myself saying as I welcome friends into my candlelit home. “Why of course!” they will say. In this scenario I’m wearing a red cowlneck-sweater and smiling my best all-American girl smile.
Inevitably, the holidays always turn into me nearing a state of exhaustion: final papers, sparkly pinecones and tears.
I can foresee my future now. I will be slumped on the floor in my apron. “I’ve ruined Christmas for everyone!” I will struggle to say through bursts of sobs as the flour on my face turns to a dough-like consistency. “Well, that’s certainly true!” my friends will say.
Which brings me to this week’s article. If the holidays are really meant to show our love for friends and family, why not simplify the whole gosh darned thing?
This year, I’m going to do just that. I’m big on the idea that, even though life may never be a studio-production snow-scape, it’s still a pretty nice place to be.  In order to keep things simple, I made some easy, but incredibly delicious, homemade treats I’ve adapted from pbfingers.com.
I got a head start on baking treats this weekend, and plan to give them out as gifts throughout the season. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled as needed.

Ingredients:

1 bag Snyder’s Snaps pretzels
1 bag Hershey’s Hugs
1 bag M&M’s Mint candies

Makes approximately 40 pieces
Directions:
Set your oven to 250 degrees. While you’re waiting for the oven to heat up, lay out the pretzels on a large baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Then, unwrap the Hugs and place one on the center of each pretzel.
The next step is a little tricky. Place the baking sheet in the oven for about five minutes. The chocolate should look shiny, but not completely melted. Since ovens vary, I suggest checking back every minute or so.
When they’re done, remove the baking sheet from the oven and place an M&M into the center of each one. Wait a good two hours for them to cool before placing into gift bags.
There’s something about these little green and white gems that just warms my heart. Here’s to a holiday season free of stress, full of good memories and, as always, happy baking.