Woodson Students Reveal Their Favorite Pre-made Holiday Treats

Cavalcade Staff and Rebecca Heimbrock

     With the holidays upon us, it is imperative to stock up on the treats that make this season jolly. Eggnog, gingerbread and pumpkin pie—all classic staples of winter—are foods whose presence is necessary in order to celebrate the holidays.

Photo courtesy of Lydia Falardeau.

     Having a song named after it in The Polar Express, hot chocolate has created an arguably important role for itself in holiday movies. Would a Hallmark movie be complete without the characters cuddling up by the fireplace with a mug of hot cocoa? This particular trope has bled into the real world as well, becoming somewhat of a seasonal tradition for some on cold winter nights.

     The preparation of this ancient drink dates to the Mayans, circa 500 B.C.E., who drank chocolate made with ground cocoa seeds, water, cornmeal and chili peppers. The recipe has since evolved, and a more basic form of hot chocolate—bought in the individual packets—is what runs through most family homes this season. Best served with marshmallows, and whipped cream if you’re feeling fancy, this is a drink you have to drink at least once during the holidays.

     Although hot chocolate may be the most well-known treat, many students have unique preferences on what their go-to holiday treat is. Senior Lydia Falardeau explained that her favorite holiday treat is her mom’s sugar cookies with icing that are shaped like Christmas trees, candy canes, “anything that reminds [her] of the holidays.” 

     Lydia explains that she has eaten them for as long as she can remember, and they’ve become a tradition to eat within her family. She makes the cookies and icing with her mom and little sister, using a recipe from one of her mom’s old recipe books. Having had this book for so long, Lydia “always equates it with [her] mom and happy Christmas memories.”

     For another senior, Olivia Andrew, snowball cookies take the place of favorite holiday treat. These flaky cookies, made from ground pecans and lots of butter, are surrounded with a thick layer of powdered sugar, creating their resemblance to actual snowballs. 

     She explains that, since her mom makes these for Christmas, this traditional cookie has been eaten in her family for years. However, Olivia sadly admits that she is only adept at eating these treats, instead of making them, because her interference in her mom’s baking one year “almost burnt down the house.” From that point on, her mom proudly held the title as the star baker in the Andrew household.

Photo courtesy of Lydia Falardeau.

     Bitter sweetness of semi-dark chocolate is the first thing you taste when you bite into these tiny treats. Then the delicious mint chocolate shortbread breaks through the chocolate coating. Remarkably similar to a Girl Scout cookie – though possibly higher quality – these holiday-themed mini mint chocolate star cookies are addictive! 

Photo courtesy of Trader Joe’s.

     As we enter the holiday season, many Woodson students have different favorite holiday treats. “My favorite holiday cookie would be the chocolate chip cookie,” says senior Marcus Smith. “I think that it’s a classic and I enjoy eating them warm.” 

     Junior George Sullivan also likes cookies, but not chocolate chip. “My favorite holiday cookie is the gingerbread man because it honors Mondo from Shrek 2”. 

     For many, this holiday season will look different as the country continues to struggle under the second wave of COVID-19. But not everything has to change, and we’ll always have holiday treats.