While most students are focused on final exams and freezing temperatures, we must remember the holidays are quickly approaching. Stay in high spirits with a few classic December snacks and staples.
It’s the season of candy canes and all things red and white, so pay homage to this exquisite plant as much as possible. To take peppermint to the next level, add it to hot beverages, such as tea or coffee, for an extra kick in the morning. If you happen to have extra candy canes lying around, sprinkle peppermint bits on top of cupcakes and brownies. It will add minty touch to holiday desserts.
For those who enjoy tart flavors, this is a great time to try new combinations with this seasonal berry. Add dried cranberries to oatmeal or yogurt for a delicious version of a breakfast favorite. If you have a stove, cook fresh cranberries with sugar and a hint of orange zest for tangy relish, which tastes great when paired with peanut butter, allowing you to add a holiday twist to the traditional peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Not tired of pumpkin after Thanksgiving? Still confused as to why most Americans love this squash? Have a slice of pumpkin pie and you will quickly understand why. Although there are many ways to integrate pumpkin into a meal, the best methods by far include pies, soups and the lesser known but equally delicious pumpkin ice cream or frozen yogurt. Though making it from scratch can be time consuming, 16 Handles offers a blend that will satisfy your pumpkin craving.
Cinnamon may be one of the best spices to use, regardless of the time of year, but it is especially great in December. To satisfy a cinnamon-laden apple pie craving, make apple crisp by simmering sliced apples with butter, sugar, a pinch of nutmeg and plenty of cinnamon. Be sure to grab a hot chai tea and sprinkle with a little cinnamon to increase the spiciness of the tea.
While it’s not necessarily tied to any particular month, chocolate makes for a rich and decadent December flavor. You can purchase the timeless chocolate Santa Claus, or chocolate coins if you are celebrating Hanukkah. Nothing compares to hot cocoa on a cold December afternoon, and adding a bit of chocolate liqueur can transform the holiday favorite into an adult beverage with a tasty kick. For those who favor a bitter taste, substitute dark chocolate for milk chocolate to dip strawberries, oranges and even coffee beans if you need to keep up with finals without overindulging.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Dec. 3 print edition. Gianna Collier-Pitts is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]