Though our family doesn’t have a specific holiday tradition every year (besides decorating the tree while listening to Christmas music, of course), we do always make some sort of holiday themed food creation to decorate (and EAT) every year. Sometimes it’s gingerbread, Christmas tree, or wreath cookies that we decorate with lots of frosting and sprinkles, or sometimes we make gingerbread houses or candy houses and decorate with lots of goodies, but no matter what we do we always have fun. I mean, what’s more fun than spending time with family creating and eating?!
When we had this opportunity to use Hostess snacks to create something we were super excited. Not only do we LOVE Hostess snacks (I grew up on Ding Dongs and Cupcakes were one of my pregnancy-and beyond- cravings), but we knew this would be another fun way to create an edible holiday decoration and maybe a yummy dessert too.
Ideas were swirling through my head (the possibilities are endless, really) but I finally settled on a few things and headed to Target to pick up all of my supplies- I love that Target is a one-stop-shop for everything I need. First, something fun for the kids and I to create and decorate: Ho-Ho Reindeer!
- 1 box of Ho Hos
- pretzel sticks
- mini pretzel twists
- red and brown mini M&Ms
- white Good & Plenty
- black gel frosting
- Sno Balls
- Powdered sugar
Here’s how to make them:
- Unwrap the Ho Ho and, using a sharp knife, slice
- Break pretzel sticks in half and carefully poke into the bottom of the large Ho Ho for legs- making sure to not go through the top.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the Good & Plenty in half. Gently press into the ‘face’ of the small Ho Ho near the top for eyes.
- Gently press either a red or brown mini M&M into the center of the “face’ of the small Ho Ho for eyes.
- Break apart the pretzel twist and- using the outside loops of the pretzel- gently place them on the top of the small Ho Ho for antlers.
- Dust powdered sugar onto serving plate and place Sno Balls where desired.
- Place reindeer bodies in desired spots on Sno Balls.
- Gently rest the small Ho Ho atop of the large Ho Ho.
- Squeeze a drop of the black gel frosting onto the white candy eye.
*Tip: if you’re having trouble penetrating the chocolate shell of the Ho Ho, use a toothpick to poke a few small holes, then insert your pretzels
We also love to bake, and I look forward to making a new, delicious dessert for our huge family Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. Sweet Potatoes are my favorite and I make them for both holidays, so I wanted to come up with a yummy dessert using sweet potatoes and Hostess Snacks. I give you… Twinkie Sweet Potato Pie Bars with Pecan Crumble Topping!
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup pecans, chopped fine
- 3 sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs), cooked and peeled
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 5-10 Twinkies, cut into bite sized pieces (more if you want more Twinkie bites)
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 350°.
- To make the crust, combine flour, butter and sugar in bowl.
- By hand, cut in the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- Fold in pecans.
- Press crust mixture evenly onto bottom of ungreased 13″x9″ baking pan.
- Bake 15-18 minutes at 350°or until edges are a light golden brown (partially baked).
- While the crust is baking, mix sweet potatoes and butter in large bowl and mix with mixer until smooth. Add brown sugar, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and mix until smooth. Gently fold in Twinkie pieces. Pour evenly over the hot, partially baked crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- While it is baking, make the topping. Combine the flour, pecans, butter and brown sugar in a small bowl. When the casserole is done baking remove from oven and sprinkle topping over the top. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes.
- Let it sit for about 30 minutes before serving. Cover and refrigerate any remaining dessert.
- I cook my potatoes in the microwave. Pierce with a fork on both sides, cook for 6 minutes, flip (careful, they're hot!) and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Potatoes should be soft. Allow to cool a bit before removing the skins.
We had such a fun time in the kitchen together baking and creating. Have our creations and ideas inspired your imagination? For more inspiration- like tablescapes and festive recipes the entire family will love, plus DIY ideas-follow Hostess on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and on Tumblr. Be sure to like Hostess on Facebook for all this, plus the latest on information, events and giveaways too!
Also be sure and enter the Hostess & SocialMoms #HostessHolidaySweeps Pinterest Sweepstakes for a chance to win the following prizes:
Grand Prize: One random winner will receive a $1,000 Walmart gift card and Hostess products.
First Prize: One random winner will receive a $500 Walmart gift card and Hostess products.
Second Prize: One random winner will receive a $250 Walmart gift card and Hostess product.
Be sure and check out this page for all of the details on the sweepstakes.
And since you’re here, you might as well comment on the blog post (in the comment box below) for a chance to win a $100 Walmart gift card!
Which of these fun family treats would you most like to make?!