Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Advent Activity--Day 15--Reindeer Bites

Making reindeer bites is an annual event in our home. I found the recipe a few years ago and have made it every year since. Oftentimes this is called "Holiday Pretzel Treats"; I am not sure why I call it reindeer bites, but I do. This is a really yummy and easy treat to make. This year we made up a bunch to give to Sunday school teachers, bus drivers, etc. Both boys were involved in helping out. Their main job was to remove the wrappers from all the Hershey's kisses. Then they placed the kisses onto the waffle pretzels. It is essential to use the waffle type of pretzels. I don't think these are always available year-round in grocery stores, at least not where we live. However, I've always been able to find them at Christmastime. Below is a photo of the brand we use.

Like I said, the boys both helped to peel wrappers from the kisses. They stuck with this for a long time as we used three bags of kisses: dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and peppermint. I like to use a variety of types of kisses. However, I have found through experience that the melting times of the kisses varies. For example, the peppermint ones melt fastest, followed by the dark chocolate, then the milk chocolate. For this reason, I would recommend putting each type of kiss on a separate tray when baking.

Basically what you do to make these is place one kiss on each waffle pretzel. Then you bake them in an oven at a low heat. We baked ours at about 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Check them after 5 minutes. When they are ready to come out, they should be shiny and you should be able to easily push an M&M into the top of them. If they are too melted they will spread out too much. If they aren't melted enough, the kiss won't be soft enough to stick to the pretzel and will then pop off easily, which you don't want.

As soon as you remove them from the oven, gently press an M&M into each one. You can see from the photo below that the candy cane (peppermint) kisses melted faster and thus spread out more.

We packaged these in tissue paper in some little treat boxes I had bought at Hobby Lobby. These make a great little gift and they are GREAT to snack on, so be sure to make extra for yourself!

Here is what the little treat boxes looked like after they were all made up.

I am sure we'll be making these again next year. I like having special food we make every year. It creates nice memories for the boys. I remember, with fondness, two treats that my mom always made at Christmastime. She made these totally awesome peanut butter balls. She also made (and still makes) rice krispie marshmallow balls. She is the only person I have ever met that makes these. They are really yummy. I also remember my dad mixing up a HUGE bowl of hot chocolate mix almost every year. I think my parents gave this as gifts to their friends. I have some vivid memories of him sitting at our kitchen table patiently mixing all the dry ingredients together. He wasn't often found doing things in the kitchen other than eating, so perhaps that is why I really remember him doing that each year!!

What are some favorite food traditions in your family? I'd love to have a bunch of you send me a comment sharing your memories. It's so fun to hear about other people's traditions.


Anna said...

Yum yum!

When I was little we made peppermint creams in the shape of snowmen and choclate truffles decorated to look like christmas puddings. I ake them with my lovely children now and the funniest part is always when they ask me about "the old days when I was a child"! I'm 33!!!!!

Laura S. said...

We have always made these, too! However, I have always used the small circular pretzels which were available in Virginia. After moving to another state, I have not been able to find the circular ones. Thanks for the tip on using the grid pretzels. These are my husband's favorite holiday snack!

Jamie said...

I always made the rice crispy/carmel/marshmallow things growing up as well! We used a pretzel stick in the marshmallow for dipping and rolling the rice crispies! Small world! None of my friends/neighbors here have ever heard of such a thing. :) My mom just sent a bag of them via UPS over the weekend.

We do the usual things: caramels, english toffee, peanut brittle, Chex mix, etc. I need to get baking!

Thanks again for all of the great ideas! I really love your blog!

Happy Holidays!

(I need to change my pic on here, oops!)

rainbowmummy said...

Ugh, my comment didn't work. Try again.

Meat loaf! We only had it at Christmas My parents have made me one for this year, but I actually won't include it in the main meal. And pork tender lion, oh I used to love that smell when I was little.

Our tradition at home is trifle, it's a looooooooooong story. And a few others that I can't think of right now.. Egg got up EARLY....

Sadie said...

THose are cute! We usually make chocolate covered pretzels- with the big rods to give as gift....we may try these this year if I can find those small pretzels.