What do all of these holiday cookies have in common? Not one of them requires an oven. That, and with the help of a handful of store-bought ingredients, each idea is simple enough that even kids can help.
Nutter Butter Reindeer
Using white icing as glue, break a mini-pretzel into "antlers" and set in place using the icing. Repeat for the red M&M nose and make a larger white dot for each eye. Press a mini-chocolate chip right into the white icing and you'll have reindeer faster that you can say: "To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
Santa Hat Brownies
You may have seen this idea with strawberries but red icing works even better when you're making treats in advance. Just use a large tipped pastry bag to apply the red hat, adding white trim around the edges. For best results, wait until the red icing has partially set up before adding Santa's fluffy tip at the top.
Pretzel Christmas Trees
Using 4 pretzel sticks, create a tree shape. Drizzle melted chocolate over the whole thing and finish with sprinkles. Cool in the fridge for 1 hour before eating.
Use parchment paper or a non-stick baking liner as your working surface. The whole tree will easily peel right off when the chocolate has dried.
Draw antlers onto gingersnaps, make dots for eyes and use a bit of icing or melted chocolate on the back of a red M&M to make a nose. Serve these up to Santa on Christmas Eve... and don't forget the milk!
Start with two sets of 5 pretzels for each wreath. Dip the rounded end of each pretzel in melted chocolate, then arrange in a circle. Repeat with the second set of pretzels, placing the second layer on top of the first and slightly askew. Decorate with M&Ms then refrigerate for 2 hours before affixing the wire ribbon in place. Almost too cute to eat. Almost.
Plunge an Oreo into melted almond bark (or white chocolate), using a spoon to pull it out. Place on parchment paper or a non-stick baking liner. Allow the almond bark to set up for about 10 minutes before proceeding, then place the peanut butter cup at the top. Add two mini chocolate chips as the eyes, put the candy corn in place for the nose, and draw on a smile with the writing gel as a last step. Don't you want to dip these cookies into a mug of hot cocoa?!
On a piece of parchment paper, arrange two mini pretzels side by side with the curved bottoms touching. Next, pierce a regular marshmallow with a lollipop stick. Once on the stick, dip your marshmallow into a bowl of melted chocolate. Gently wipe off the excess and place on top of the pretzels. Allow to set up for about 5 minutes before adding the red M&M as a nose. Refrigerate for 2 hours, then pipe two white dots for eyes. Wrapped in clear cellophane, kids will have fun giving these out to friends during the holiday season.
Use dry beans or nuts with shells in a decorative bowl to secure the ends of your pops.