Holiday Recipes To Make With Your Children: Let Them Join In Preparing These Seasonal Treats

The holiday season is here, and making delicious goodies with your child is a fun, engaging way to pass an afternoon or two when they’re out of school for winter break. Letting them become familiar with sorting out and measuring ingredients gives them a small challenge that is a useful skill for them to have later on in life.

But mostly, baking and cooking treats with your child is fun!

So first make yourselves a nice cup of hot cocoa, then gather all the ingredients onto the table for these recipes, put an apron or old T-shirt on your little one and get started. Soon you’ll have a freezer full of tempting goodies ready to go when family and friends drop by for a holiday get-together.

Candy Corn Popcorn

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 6 minutes
Total: 21 minutes


  • One bag of microwave popcorn
  • Eight candy canes
  • 12 ounces of chocolate chips, chopped


  • Cover a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper. Set aside. (This is the perfect task for little hands).
  • Pop the popcorn, then empty it into a large bowl, getting rid of any kernels that didn’t pop.
  • Unwrap the candy canes, place in a food processor and pulse until they are crushed, but with a few larger pieces still visible. If you don’t have a food processor, smash the candy canes with a rolling pin, being careful not to spill the pieces over the counter.
  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl until it’s smooth and stirs easily. Add about one-third of a cup of the crushed candy cane to the chocolate. Stir.
  • Pour the chocolate over the popcorn, stirring to fully coat.
  • Spread popcorn on the baking sheet. Pour the remaining candy cane crush over the popcorn once it is spread out.
  • Let it set until the popcorn is firm, about 10 minutes.
  • Break it into sections and serve immediately.

Homemade turtle candies with pecans and caramel:

Total Prep time: 15 minutes (No baking!)

These chocolate and caramel confections are a huge hit at Christmas, and they’re a breeze to make at home. A child of almost any age can help with this recipe, especially if you put the pecans in clusters rather than placing them in the shape of “turtle legs.”


  • Six ounces of pecan halves, toasted
  • 12 ounces soft caramels – store bought make it easiest
  • Eight ounces of semi-sweet chocolate


  • Line a baking sheet with foil or waxed paper. Spray with cooking spray so the pecans and caramel won’t stick.
  • Arrange pecans in fours, each piece pointing out, so they look like turtle legs once covered in chocolate and caramel. Or you can simply put them in groups of four on the baking sheet. Be sure the pieces touch, or the caramel will drip down past each “turtle.”
  • Unwrap the caramels and put them in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt slowly and stir frequently, about every 30 seconds. If the caramel isn’t melting easily, add a spoonful of water to ease the thickness.
  • Once melted, set caramel aside to cool.
  • Once cooled a little (but be sure it’s still runny) pour a spoonful of caramel over each nut cluster. (This step is perfect for children to do, as the amount of caramel doesn’t have to be too precise).
  • Set aside while you melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl.
  • Spoon melted chocolate over each nut cluster.
  • Put the baking sheet in fridge to chill and set the clusters, but store in a vacuum-sealed container for up to two weeks. Serve at room temperature. This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily, and makes a great present for grandparents!

Colombian Buñuelos:

Are you looking for a savory treat to serve guests who drop by for a visit, but nothing too heavy? Looking at holiday traditions in South America is how we discovered this iconic Colombian Christmas dish that’s served in many other nations there, too.

The original recipe calls for queso costeño, a semi-hard and very salty Colombian cheese used frequently in Spanish recipes. We’ve substituted mozzarella in our recipe. These cheese fritters, which are served around the world in slightly different ways, are a warm and wonderful snack on a cold afternoon.  Let the children have fun rolling the dough into balls when the time comes, and serve these delicious tidbits with mulled wine, lemonade or hot chocolate. Feliz Navidad!


  • 1 cup of cassava flour (You can substitute corn flour or white flour).
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 & 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsps room temperature butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsps milk (A little less when using mozzarella cheese).
  • 3 cups vegetable oil for frying


  • In large bowl, mix together dry ingredients, then add in the rest.
  • Mix together with your fingers.
  • Bring the dough to a Playdoh-like texture.
  • Put oil in large pan and heat on low. (Keeping little chefs away, of course).
  • Divide dough into 32 separate sections.
  • Give the children a section to roll into a ball and place on a plate so they’re ready for frying.
  • Place three or four fritters in the pan. Once golden brown, remove to a plate with some paper towels. Serve immediately.

Note:  Ensuring the temperature of the oil is correct is vital: too low and the fritters will brown on the outside but soak up too much oil. Too hot and the fritters will burst and hot oil will splatter, and you definitely don’t want that when there are children in the kitchen! Heat the oil on low for three minutes.  Test the temperature by dropping one Buñuelo into the pan. If it rises in about five seconds, the oil is perfect! Cook four at a time.

*Also, the dough can rest in the fridge for up to three days, or in the freezer for up to two months.

These are three delicious holiday recipes that we hope you enjoy trying at home. No doubt you and your family have holiday food traditions of your own, but perhaps these goodies will find a place on your pantry shelf this season.