By Tanya Steel, Epicurious.com
It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas with it, gulp, 26 days away. One tradition I instituted and maintain is making a Christmas treat with my boys (seen in the gingerbread house video and now taller than me) the first weekend of December. It gets us into the holiday mood, and is a great way to create memories. Here are five easy treats you can do with kids of all ages, plus, they make unique and inexpensive gifts:
Related: Our Favorite Christmas Cookie Recipes
Graham-Cracker Gingerbread House: Assembling a gingerbread house can be almost as complicated, time-consuming, and messy as building a real house. But if you use this method, which employs empty milk or juice box cartons, graham crackers, Royal Icing, and some decorative candies, this will be no-stress and low-mess, and the result is pretty magical.
Donut-Hole Croquembouche: An edible tree made only at Christmastime, the standard French croquembouche recipe is a lengthy process, but if your little ones simply use donut holes, toothpicks, and a $2 styrofoam cone, you can impress friends and neighbors with your munchkin's talents. (Young kids should be reminded of being careful with toothpicks.)
Yodel Buche de Noel: This kiddie version of the traditional buche de noel is a perfect project for preschool and kindergartners. Little ones simply frost and decorate a semi-frozen Yodel that has been peeled and sliced to look like a log.
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Stained-Glass Ornaments: This easy recipe requires a basic cookie dough and some crushed hard candies (like Life Savers or sour balls). Older children can do just about all of it, from making the dough, to crushing candies in a food processor, and placing them in the center of the dough.
Christmas Wreaths: These festive cookies (pictured above) can be made with ingredients you probably already have on hand: cornflakes, marshmallows, and food coloring. The marshmallows are melted then cornflakes and food coloring are added; kids of any age can do the adding and stirring but shouldn't touch the warm dough in case it burns sensitive skin.
More from Epicurious.com:
• The Ultimate Christmas Guide from Epicurious
• Easy Holiday Cocktail Party Bites
• One-Dish Wonders: Our Favorite Casserole Recipes
• Blue-Ribbon Chicken Recipes
SUPPER CLUB PICK
My after-school snack was a sacred ritual. I sat on the carpet in my parents' bedroom at a low table, the television turned to "I Dream of Jeannie," and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into neat squares. I wasn't fussy about crusts. I just loved the sticky pairing of creamy peanut butter with syrupy golden sweetness drizzled from a honey bear in diagonals across the soft white bread. Nothing else--save for maybe apples and peanut butter in a pinch--could have made for as sweet an