Freezer aisle finger foods are the key to no-sweat holiday parties. With these quick, from-scratch upgrades, no one will guess you’re serving store-bought!
New hot chocolates are pushing the kiddie classic in delicious new directions–and leaving plain powdered mixes in the dust. Here are our six favorite new mixes. BYO marshmallows!
Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Hot Cocoa K-Cups
The old-school packets catch up with the times thanks to these single-serving cocoa capsules. No need to stir out the lumps–the machine takes care of that for you! $8.79 for 12 servings
Ghiradelli Chocolate Caramel Premium Hot Cocoa
The San Francisco chocolate company does its classic hot chocolate mix one better by blending it with sweet, buttery caramel. $4.89 for 9 servings
Chuao Chocolatier Deluxious Dark Drinking Chocolate
A cocoa for true chocolate lovers: This powdered mix has big chunks of Venezuelan dark chocolate that melt into a rich, smooth cup. $15.95 for 9 servings
City Bakery Hot Chocolate
New Yorkers are hooked on this Manhattan cafe’s decadent mix of heavy cream, whole milk and dark chocolate. Thanks to these handy cartons, now the rest of the country can taste what all the fuss is about. Just heat and drink! $3.99 for 2 servings
Land O’Lakes Arctic White Hot Cocoa Mix
Instant cocoa lightens up with this sweet, creamy white-chocolate blend. Simply add hot water, stir, then sip. $5.49 for 12 servings
CocoaPlanet CocoaMint Chocolate
Delicious straight out of the package, these peppermint-flavored organic dark-chocolate disks can also be stirred into hot milk to make a refreshing twist on hot chocolate. $2.99 for 1 serving
Written by Robin Jones
Pillsbury Gluten Free Thin Crust Pizza Dough delivers one large crust or six personal pies for an almost-instant pizza party! ($4.99)
Why You Should Buy It
With so many people on a gluten-free diet, play it safe with this dough that tastes and feels just like the regular stuff.
How You Should Use It
Did someone say pizza party? Forget the marinara and mozzarella–try one of these pizza alternatives:
A slew of tasty new extracts are making the baking aisle look not quite so, um, vanilla anymore. Spike everything from dinner to drinks with these flavor boosters.
Cinnamon Extract does double duty in pancakes: Stir 1/2 tsp cinnamon extract into 2 cups pancake batter before cooking. Then, use it to spike your syrup!
(Pictured: McCormick Cinnamon Extract, $4.25 for 1 oz.)
Anise Extract makes a super flavorful broth for mussels in white wine: Saute chopped onions and garlic in butter; add white wine, chopped tomatoes, a few dashes of anise extract and mussels. Cover and cook until mussels open; serve with lots of crusty bread.
(Pictured: J.R. Watkins Pure Anise Extract, $3.49 for 2 oz.)
Coffee Extract brings new flavor to steak: Spike a classic marinade of EVOO, garlic and rosemary with a few drops of coffee extract and some cracked pepper. The coffee really perks up the steak and gives it a flavorful crust.
(Pictured: Nielson-Massey Pure Coffee Extract, $5.95 for 2 oz.)
Peppermint Extract adds a homemade feel to brownies: Stir 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract into a prepared boxed brownie mix. Transfer to pan; top with walnuts and bake. White heavy cream with confectioners’ sugar and a dash of extract for a minty topping!
(Pictured: Simply Organic Peppermint Flavor, $4.39 for 2 oz.)
By Alexa Weibel