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Simple holiday treats: Cheese board, waffle cookies

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It’s time again to share recipes for simple holiday treats, one of our traditions here at this time of year.

A wreath of rosemary sprigs with cheeses, tomatoes and olives on a white plate.

Holiday Wreath Cheese Board

Prep time: 15 minutes. Serves 8.


8 to 10 fresh rosemary sprigs

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese balls, drained

8 ounces provolone cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup assorted olives, drained

3 ounces miniature peppers (or roasted red peppers, or Peppadews), drained


Arrange rosemary in a wreath shape on a serving board. Place mozzarella balls and provolone cubes. Fill in board with tomatoes, olives and peppers.

Source: Wisconsin Cheese (Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin)

Chocolate Waffle

Boot Tracks

Here’s a chewy chocolate cookie that’s easy to make in your waffle iron. It’s low in carbs, calories and sodium. Here’s a how-to video.

Prep and baking time: 30 minutes


½ cup salted butter

⅔ cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour

6 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon espresso powder (optional)

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting


Preheat a nonstick waffle iron (not a Belgian waffle iron, though).

Cream butter and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add pastry flour, cocoa powder, canola oil and espresso powder (if using). Beat until thoroughly combined.

Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto the preheated ungreased waffle iron. (To avoid burns, use two spoons – one to scoop and one to scrape dough onto the waffle iron.) Close waffle iron and cook until cookies are puffed and cooked through, 1 to 1½ minutes. Waffle irons vary, so watch closely and don't let the cookies get too dark. Transfer to a wire rack to cool until just warm.

Options for cookie coatings

  1. Dust cookies with confectioners' sugar while still slightly warm.
  2. Drizzle cooled cookies with melted bittersweet and/or white chocolate.
  3. Make a peppermint drizzle. Mix 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 4 teaspoons water and ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract. Add natural green food coloring, if desired.

Tip: If made in advance, store in an airtight container for up to 1 day. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar just before serving.

Nutritional information

Serving Size: 1 cookie

Per serving: 63 calories; 0.9 g protein; 6.9 g carbohydrates; 0.7 g dietary fiber; 4 g sugars; 3.8 g fat; 1.8 g saturated fat; 17.1 mg cholesterol; 93.9 IU vitamin A; 1.7 mcg folate; 3.5 mg calcium; 0.2 mg iron; 4.9 mg magnesium; 18.5 mg potassium; 24.5 mg sodium; 4 g added sugar.

Exchanges: ½ other carbohydrate, ½ fat

Source: Eating Well

Looking for more simple holiday treats? Here are some we’ve shared before:

Last year’s simple treats

  • Southern Snow Cream
  • Simple Shortbread

Simple treats from 2019

  • Peppermint Bark
  • Mini Gingerbread Houses
Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2021
Author: Jeff Ash