Rice Krispie Treats, Holiday Style

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Nostalgia Alert: last weekend marked the official beginning of the holiday season in my house. As we strung up lights and ornaments on a crazy tree branch perched in my living room (It's very Post-modernism meets Charlie Brown), I began to feel what can only be described as extreme pangs of nostalgia, induced by Bing Crosby Christmas tunes playing at an overly festive volume.

Sure, I was dreaming of a white Christmas, but I was also dreaming of slipping a glug of eggnog into my coffee and baking cookies all day in the kitchen with my mom. And first up on the nostalgia cookie baking checklist? Those bizarre holly wreath shaped Rice Krispie treats.

There's something undeniably fun about baking cookies on a snow day, an experience that in my opinion should be granted to schoolchildren everywhere once a year, regardless of the actual presence of snow. As a kid, my mother would cross her fingers to get a snow day too and we'd bake all day long. A little bit fancier, a few more steps here and there, holiday cookies were always more special than your everyday cookie.

One of my favorite cookies to make wasn't actually baked at all, but a variation on the classic Rice Krispie treat enjoyed year round. Perhaps these began as something easy to make with kids, or a recipe easy to churn out as filler amongst more complicated treats on a gifted cookie plate. Either way, I loved and still love these holly wreath shaped cookies made with Corn Flakes instead of Rice Krispies, held together by melted marshmallows dyed green, and dotted with a few red hot candies to signify berries.

Sure, I hate using food coloring and, yes, it's a lot of sugar. But hey: nostalgia. Check out these recipes:

The classic Rice Krispie treat recipe is a perfect jumping off base for all sorts of holiday variations, and a perfect project for kids when they're bored with gingerbread houses. Here are a few other interesting variations worth a try:

What cookies are you nostalgic for at the holidays?

(Image credits: Bonibella under CC BY-ND 3.0)