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Holly, Jolly Holidays
Create and Celebrate With the Red and Green

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Miniature Snowmen
Peppermint Candy Cookies
Nuggets of Joy
Greet 'n' Eat Gifts

It's not Christmas until you unpack Santa's sack of red and green chocolate candies. So, open the bags, gather all the little elves in your neighborhood and have fun making jolly holiday décor, sweet treats to give as gifts, festive party favors and yummy cookies like these. (And don't forget to fill up that candy dish.)

For even more jolly holiday ideas and recipes, visit brightideas.com.

Miniature Snowmen

Even the tiniest tykes can help make these miniature snowmen!

  • Materials needed: Standard cupcake pans, mini cupcake pans, standard paper cupcake liners, mini paper cupcake liners, resealable plastic bag
  • 1 (10 or 12-ounce) bag Pop'ables
  • 3 Musketeers, Pop'ables Milky Way or Pop'ables Snickers Candies
  • 1 (10.5-ounce) bag Dove Promises Milk Chocolates
  • 1 (14-ounce) bag M&M'S Milk Chocolate Candies for the Holidays
  • 1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
  • 1 (16-ounce) can vanilla frosting
  • 1 (14-ounce) bag shredded coconut, optional
  • 1 tube black decorating frosting
  • 1 tube orange decorating frosting

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 16 standard cupcake cups and 16 mini cupcake cups with paper liners.
    2. Prepare cake mix according to package instructions.
    3. Reserve 16 Pop'ables and chop remaining. Fold chopped candies into batter.
    4. Transfer batter into each cupcake cup. Bake mini cupcakes 12 to 15 minutes and standard cupcakes 18 to 21 minutes.
    5. Remove cupcakes from oven, transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.
    6. Put 1/4 cup vanilla frosting in resealable plastic bag; set aside.
    7. Frost all cupcake tops with remaining vanilla frosting, then sprinkle with shredded coconut, if desired.
    8. Place 1 frosted mini cupcake on its side on top of each frosted standard cupcake, using vanilla frosting to attach.
    9. Decorate snowmen as follows: Make hats by using vanilla frosting to secure unwrapped Promises milk chocolate on top of each mini cupcake. Snip corner of resealable plastic bag of vanilla frosting. Pipe a dot of frosting on top of each Promises milk chocolate, and attach a Pop'ables.
    10. Add details by using vanilla frosting to attach M&M'S as buttons. Pipe eyes with black decorating frosting and noses with orange decorating frosting.

Makes 16 snowmen

Peppermint Candy Cookies

Bring these pretty, candy-speckled treats to your party!

  • Materials needed: 3-inch round cookie cutter, 24 pieces 12 x 12- inch clear squares cellophane, 1/2-inch holiday ribbon
  • 1 (14-ounce) bag M&M'S Milk Chocolate Candies for the Holidays
  • 1 (18-ounce) tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • Green food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 (16-ounce) container vanilla frosting

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Tint cookie dough with food coloring and flavor with peppermint extract. Roll to 1/4-inch thickness, and press out 24 circles using cookie cutter. Bake 10 to 12 minutes.
    3. When cookies are cool, spread with frosting. Before frosting dries, arrange red and green M&M'S over frosting.
    4. When frosting is firm, gently wrap cookies in cellophane and tie ends with ribbon.

Makes 24 cookies

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Tip: For extra minty flavor, use M&M'S Mint Chocolate Candies for the Holidays.

Nuggets of Joy

Add these powdery nuggets of perfection to your holiday dessert table!

  • Materials needed: 2 non-stick cookie sheets
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag Milky Way Milk Chocolate Covered Caramels
  • 1 (18-ounce) roll refrigerated sugar cookie dough, softened
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup ground pecans
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Unwrap 18 Caramels; set aside.
    3. Combine cookie dough, flour, cocoa powder, pecans and cinnamon; knead until smooth.
    4. Divide dough into 36 pieces, each about diameter of a quarter. Cut Caramels in half, and tuck one piece into center of each piece of cookie dough. Roll dough into balls, completely covering candy. Place balls on non-stick cookie sheet.
    5. Bake 15 to 17 minutes.
    6. Roll warm cookies in confectioners' sugar to coat.

Makes 36 nuggets

Greet 'n' Eat Gifts

These giveaway gifts are a great way for kids to share the holiday spirit with their friends!

  • Materials needed: Aluminum foil, 9 x 13-inch pan, clear plastic bags, holiday ribbon
  • 11 M-azing Milk Chocolate Bars Filled with M&M'S Minis Chocolate Candies
  • 1 (14-ounce) bag M&M'S Peanut Chocolate Candies for the Holidays
  • 1 (14-ounce) bag M&M'S Milk Chocolate Candies for the Holidays
  • 8 cups popped corn or puffed rice cereal
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 (16-ounce) bag regular-size marshmallows

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Line pan with foil, and arrange unwrapped M-azing bars at bottom. Place in oven 2 minutes, just to soften, and then set aside.
    3. In large bowl, mix cereal, mini marshmallows and peanut M&M's.
    4. In large pot, melt butter and regular-size marshmallows over medium heat.
    5. Pour marshmallow mixture over cereal mixture, mixing to coat well. Spread resulting mixture evenly on top of chocolate bars.
    6. Then, sprinkle milk chocolate M&M's on top, pressing in slightly. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Cut into 1 1/4- inch squares.
    7. Fill clear plastic bags with some squares, and tie with ribbon.

Makes 54 squares

SOURCE: M&M'S Seasonal Brands

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