Minimal effort, maximum taste: Wow your roommates with this college-friendly cookie platter

Peppermint Squares: perfectly festive and great practice for the new baker. Brittney Matthews | Photo Editor

By Lucy Ruscitto | Staff Writer

This holiday season, with the business of finals and premature trips home for the long break, students may not have as much time to whip up festive goodies for their friends.

With limited time together, these simple, college-friendly recipes are perfect to pair with a holiday movie or some Michael Bublé Christmas tunes and the company of close friends or roommates. Bring a platter of these mouthwatering sweets home for your mom and dad over the holiday break, and they’ll think you were turned overnight-baker!

Saltine Cracker Candy with Toasted Pecans

Who doesn’t have saltines wasting away in their back of their pantry, “just in case?” Put these typically abandoned snacks to yummy use with this unique treat.


35 Saltines

1 cup butter, cubed

1 cup brown sugar, packed

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped pecans, toasted


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with foil and grease it. Place the saltine crackers in a single layer on the foil.
  2. In a large saucepan, use medium heat to melt the cubed butter. Stir in brown sugar; bring to a boil and cook and stir for 3 minutes or until sugar has completely dissolved into butter mixture. Spread butter and sugar mix over the saltine crackers.
  3. Bake for 8 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with chocolate chips as soon as crackers come out of oven. Let the chips soften for 2-3 minutes, and then spread over the top. Top lightly with pecans, and cool.
  4. Put in fridge for 1 hour uncovered. Break into pieces and store in airtight container. Enjoy!

Peppermint Squares

Perfectly festive, and great practice for the new baker.


6 squares (1 oz. each) white chocolate

½ cup unsalted butter, softened

⅔ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

3 egg whites

2 tablespoons milk

½ cup crushed candy canes (4 to 6)

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two 8×8-inch baking pans with nonstick foil.
  2. Melt two squares of white chocolate in the microwave for one minute on “high” setting. If necessary, heat in 15-second intervals until smooth. Stir until completely smooth.
  3. In an electric mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and butter for about one minute. Add the cooled-off white chocolate and vanilla, and beat for one more minute. Add milk and egg whites to mixture, adding and beating in slowly. Add and beat in salt and flour. Slowly add ¼ cup of the crushed candy canes. Spread dough evenly between prepared pans, smoothing each layer.
  4. Put in the oven for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until top layer looks dry. Use foil to remove bars from pans. Cool on wire racks.
  5. Melt remaining four squares of white chocolate. Spread half of the melted mixture onto 1 cookie square. Top with second square. Spread with remaining chocolate; sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup candy. Cut into 1-inch squares. Refrigerate until firm, for about an hour. Serve and enjoy!

Seven Layer Magic Cookie Bars

Can’t decide what kind of cookies or flavor you want? Have no fear, because you can have it all with these delish bars.


1 stick (or ½ cup) butter

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1 cup (6 oz.) butterscotch flavored chips

1 cup (6 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 ⅓ cup sweetened coconut flakes

1 cup chopped nuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350°, or to 325° for a glass dish. In a 13×9-inch baking pan, melt butter in the oven.
  2. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over the butter and pour condensed milk on top of the crumbs. Top with leftover ingredients in the order in which they’re listed, and press down firmly with fork.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes or until browned slightly on top. Let cool, and chill. Cut into bar-shape, and store at room-temperature. Makes 24 to 36 bars. Enjoy!

“Everyone’s Favorite” Fudge

… enough said! A classic to stand the test of any COVID-19 holiday.


1 can evaporated milk

4 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 sticks of butter

1 jar marshmallow cream

3 packages (12 oz. each) of semisweet chocolate chips


  1. In a large bowl, mix chocolate chips, marshmallow cream, butter and vanilla. Set to side.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine sugar and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil and let boil for five to six minutes. Stir intermittently.
  3. Pour hot saucepan mix over dry mix and stir until creamy and smooth. Pour into buttered cookie sheet and put in fridge to set overnight. Enjoy!

Cherry Christmas Cookies

Classic and timeless chocolate chip meets cherry for a seasonal scrumptious confection.


½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon butter, softened

1 large egg

1 ½ teaspoon maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

5 teaspoons baking cocoa (optional)

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup dried cherries

¼ cup sweetened shredded coconut

1 cup white chocolate chips

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix butter, gradually adding sugars in, until fluffy. Beat egg in slowly, along with maple syrup and vanilla.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together baking cocoa (optional), flour, salt and baking soda. Slowly beat into smooth, fluffy mixture until just mixed, making sure to not overbeat. Mix in semisweet chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, cherries and coconut.
  3. From tablespoon-sized balls of dough about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake until golden, about 11 minutes. Cool for five minutes on pans. Enjoy!