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Sweet holiday treats without using your oven

Treats are a part of most holiday celebrations. Finding the time to bake holiday treats can be difficult. It is always handy to have an array of no-bake treats in your recipe arsenal. Whether you are going to a party and want to bring along a hostess gift or you are throwing your own party, these treats are sure to please even the most discriminating hostess or guest.

Rum balls are an adult treat. They really have rum in them and since they are no bake, it is not cooked off. This recipe comes from this writer’s daughter who has made them for several years. The original recipe was given to her by a fellow worker Deb Brown.

3¼ cups of ground vanilla wafers (a 12 ounce box)

1½  cup of ground walnuts (some recipes use pecans)

¾  cup powdered sugar

¼ cup Hershey cocoa powder

3 tablespoons corn syrup

½ cup light rum or up to a cup if you like your booze

If you want a non-alcoholic version, substitute ½ cup of orange juice and 1 teaspoon of orange zest for the rum.    

Mix all the ingredients in large bowl then add corn syrup and rum blend well  shape in one inch ball a and roll into balls. Roll the ball in powdered sugar or colored sugar. Store in an air tight container for at least a few days but up to a few weeks before serving, Re-roll in powdered sugar before serving.

Peanut butter munchies are a very simple treat but the taste is amazing. They can be made very pretty with whatever you decide to roll them in. This recipe also came from Deb Brown.

2 cups sifted confectionery sugar

1¼ cup crunchy peanut butter (Skippy preferred)

¼ cup stick margarine

Dash of salt

2 cups Rice Krispies

A bar of semi-sweet or sweetened Barkers chocolate or a bag of milk chocolate chips or semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips

Just about any chocolate that will melt can be used in this recipe and even butterscotch chips make a different but very interesting taste.

Mix the first 4 ingredients with an electric mixer, add Rice Krispies and fold in.  Melt the chocolate. Form mixture into one inch balls and dip in melted chocolate. The balls are then rolled in coconut, jimmies, chopped peanuts or colored sugar. Place on a piece of parchment paper until the chocolate hardens. These can be refrigerated for several weeks or they freeze well.  

Dates are the perfect treat to serve at the holidays. They are naturally sweet and once the pit has been removed they can be stuffed with a variety of foods both savory and sweet. One easy way to serve dates is to stuff them with cream cheese and pecans.

12 pitted dates

2 ounces softened cream cheese

2 tablespoon of chopped pecans

1 tablespoon honey

Split the dates along one side to make a pocket for the filling. Combine the other ingredients in a small bowl. Spoon the cheese mixture into the dates and place on a tray to serve.

Giada De Laurentiis presented a recipe on the Today Show for dates stuffed with booked hot Italian sausage which all the hosts loved and it certainly does sound delicious. Here is the recipe.

Truffles are a favorite treat that is enjoyed year round but there are a variety of ways to make them special for the holidays.

Basic truffle recipe

½ cup of heavy cream

2 tablespoons butter

8 ounces good quality semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Place the heavy cream and the butter in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Pour over the chopped chocolate and stir until melted. At this point you can add a flavoring. Two tablespoons of espresso for coffee or orange liqueur or one tablespoon of almond or mint flavoring are all great choices. The balls can also be rolled in things such as crushed cookies or coconut. Crushed candy cane would be a nice choice with mint for the holidays. These are just a few of the possible combinations. Form into one inch balls and chill.

When you need some quick no bale treats for the holidays, these are just a few of the options that are available to you. For more recipes check out the Food Network website.