Mint to Be

Michaela Fath I Photos by Jessica Koynock

The upcoming holiday season is a time for gift-giving, gratitude and spending time with loved ones. There is no better way to host a successful gathering than having great friends, family and, of course, food. Before planning your holiday party, check out these Backdrop recipes guaranteed to pep up your guests for the most wonderful time of the year.

Peppermint Punch:

Total time: 10 minutes I Serves: 6 servings


  • 3 cups eggnog 

  • 1 cup peppermint schnapps

  • 8 scoops peppermint ice cream

  • 8 crushed candy canes

  • 5 tablespoons corn syrup

  • red or green food coloring (optional)

  • holiday straws

*For a non-alcoholic option, replace the peppermint schnapps with an extra scoop of peppermint ice cream and half a cup of whole milk (soy and almond milk are acceptable substitutes for dietary restrictions). 

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Directions: In a large bowl, blend eggnog and peppermint ice cream until smooth. Add drops of red or green food coloring until desired color is reached. Pour peppermint schnapps into the mix and stir until thoroughly blended. Put corn syrup in a shallow dish and the crushed candy canes on a separate plate. Dip the rim of the glasses into the corn syrup and then roll it on the candy cane pieces, to give the drink a peppermint crunch. Pour holiday punch into glasses, serve with festive straws and enjoy!

Crunchy Cake Cookies

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minutes

Serves: 2 dozen cookies


  • 1 box white cake mix

  • 8 tablespoons butter

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • A splash of peppermint extract

  • 4 ounces cream cheese

  • 1 cup chocolate chips

  • 1 ½ cups crushed candy cane pieces

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Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit In a large bowl, blend the cake mix, butter, egg, extracts and cream cheese until a soft dough is formed. Mix the chocolate chips and crushed candy canes evenly into the dough. Roll the dough into 24 balls and place on a lightly-greased cookie sheet, 1-2 inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies should be extremely soft. Let sit for 20 minutes until completely cool, then enjoy!