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Christmas Treats! – Unit Study and Badge Resources

Christmas Treats!

There are so many ways to celebrate the Christmas season from decorations to music to my personal favorite, FOOD! Christmas treats are as artistic as they are tasty and a wonderful way for the family to make memories. Use our free Christmas Treats unit study to earn your Holiday Treats badge for Christmas. Other badges you may wish to earn alongside include badges such as Gingerbread, Baking, Christmas Around the World, Holiday:Christmas, or even your Patience badge as you wait for cookies to finish baking.

Any Treat Can Be a Christmas Treat

Sometimes making Christmas treats can be as easy as adapting things you already have around the house. Adding a bit of red and green food color, some shaved coconut, or red and green candies can turn any treat into a Christmas treat.

To Do:  Make a treat that isn’t usually considered a traditional holiday treat and turn it into a holiday treat.  For example popcorn is not usually a Christmas treat, but if you drizzle it with white chocolate, and mix with Christmas colored M&M’s and candy cane bits into it then you have a fun Christmas themed treat.  Add red and green sprinkles to peanut butter on toast. Make a fruit salad using nothing but red and green fruits like grapes, strawberries, red and green apples, etc. Get creative!

Fulfills Level 1 requirement #2.

Gingerbread Houses – Edible Art!

Gingerbread houses are a mainstay of holiday decor, but they are also delicious! People from all over the world create intricate and sometimes HUGE edible masterpieces in the effort to erect the most amazing edible architecture. Eater has a great article showcasing 10 colossal gingerbread houses from around the world. Disney World is known for the many giant gingerbread houses they erect every year. If you have not yet seen this years creations you can do so on the Disney Tourist blog website.

The largest gingerbread house on record according the Guinness Book of World Records is one made by Traditions Club (USA) at Traditions Club, Bryan, Texas, USA on 30 November 2013. It had an internal volume of 1,110.1 m³ (39,201.8 ft³) and was 18.28 m (60 ft) long, 12.8 m (42 ft) wide and 3.07 m (10.1 ft) tall at its highest point. Visitors to the house were able to meet Santa Claus, in exchange for a donation to St Joseph’s Hospital in order to raise monies to build a new trauma center.

To Do: Build your own gingerbread house. If you don’t have time to bake your own gingerbread, use a premade kit, or create a graham cracker house instead. If you have never made a gingerbread house before you will need royal icing to act as your glue. Regular frosting won’t work as it doesn’t harden. Spend with Pennies has a great royal icing recipe specifically for gingerbread houses.

To Do: Look through photos of award winning gingerbread houses from around the world. Learn about the support structures needed under the gingerbread to ensure these creations do not fall down!

Fulfills optional requirement #6

Healthy Christmas Treats

Holiday baking is lots of fun, but can be full of fat and sugar. There are plenty of options for healthy Christmas treats if you are willing to get creative. You can tweak an existing recipe to use whole grains instead of white flour, or alternative sweeteners instead of processed sugar. Or you might use fruits, cheese or veggies to create delightful snacks in the Christmas spirit.

To Do: Make 3 different healthy Christmas treats. Examples might include:

  • Make a Christmas tree out of kiwi slices and pomegranate seeds.
  • Make a snowman out of banana slices with strawberry hat and an apple slice scarf.
  • Make a charcuterie board with meats and cheeses in the shape of a Christmas tree.

Fulfills Level 4 requirement #2 or optional requirement #4

Christmas Treat Contests

From the Holiday Baking Championship on the Food Network to a variety of cookie contests hosted by local newspapers, people everywhere love to find the tastiest and most beautiful treats for the Christmas season. If you create the tastiest Christmas treat using Hershey products you may even win a walk-on role in a Hallmark movie!

To Do: Find out if there are any local Christmas treat contests such as baking, cookie decorating, or gingerbread building in your town. What are the rules? What are the prizes? Participate in one if possible.

To Do: Organize your own Christmas treat competition. Will you compete for the best decorated cookie? The tallest gingerbread house? Or maybe the the tastiest fruit cake? Make fun certificates or prizes to give to the winners.

Fulfills optional requirement #13

Christmas Treats Around the World

Every country around the world has their own special treats based on local ingredients and traditions. Four Around the World has a wonderful article with Christmas treats from 21 different countries. From German Pfeffernusse to Finnish Fruit Soup, there are Christmas delicacies for every taste bud. Each treat has its own unique history. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, Pfeffernusse for example as been popular since around 1850. “Pfeffernüsse , also called pepernoten in Dutch, is linked to the December 5th feast of Sinterklaas in The Netherlands, when children receive gifts from St. Nicholas. It is celebrated the following day in Germany and Belgium. The word means “pepper nuts,” mostly because the piquant cookies are not much bigger than nuts, though they do not always contain them.”

To Do: Make a Christmas treat that is popular in another country. Learn the history of that treat. Click on the recipe below from The Daring Gourmet to get you started.

Fulfills Level 2 requirement #2

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