Holiday Treats Bring Families Together

Jabril Mohamed, Contributing Writer

Winter break is right around the corner for students and faculty at RHS. Students are commemorating this upcoming time off by wearing holiday-themed sweaters and clothes. One popular holiday-themed activity during this time of year is baking holiday goods.

During the holiday season, many families come together to celebrate, so what better way to spend time with your family than to make holiday treats?

Popular treats include decorated sugar cookies, gingerbread houses, holiday bread, fruit cake and even pie. Making a delicious holiday treat may seem like a simple thing to do with your family, but it can create unforgettable memories.

“I’m going to be going to Tennessee this winter break to visit some family,” junior Andrew Perez said. “My favorite treat over this break is warm chocolate chip cookies. They’re made by my grandma.”

Making these holiday treats can bring families together and create memories. It also makes the time spent with family better, because who wouldn’t enjoy a sweet holiday themed cookie?

Not only students but also staff at RHS have already begun to spread the holiday spirit through making holiday goods. Assistant Principal Elizabeth Sandall spoke about her winter break plans and her view on holiday treats.

“I’m spending the holidays with my family and then going to Rome with some friends,” Sandall said. “I don’t [make holiday treats], but I have five brothers and they all make food, and each family has their own dish they bring to our Christmas dinner.”

RHS cooking teacher William Ripley, or “Chef Ripley,” talked about how traditional family foods bring his family together during this time of year. Although Ripley does not make any special treats himself, he does have a family dish that signifies the start of the holiday season.

“Growing up my mom always made this ‘Ham Quiche,’ so it’s not Christmas morning without the smell of the quiche,” he said.

One special treat to try at home is the holiday reindeer cookie recipe from the Bakergirl cooking blog ( The cookies are popular among children and adults and can be made with a minimal amount of time, which can be helpful for busy families during the holidays.

Peanut Butter Reindeer Cookies

The ingredients include:

3/4 cup peanut butter

1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup shortening 3 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 egg

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt, chocolate-covered mini pretzels

Mini brown M&Ms,
and regular-sized red M&Ms.

You start off by preheating oven to 375 F. Then you combine brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add egg; beat until just blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.

Form dough into 1-inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, then gently flatten with your hand. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until set or just beginning to brown.

Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer’s antlers. Press two mini brown M&Ms in for the eyes and one red M&M for the nose.

Allow to cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel to cool completely.

This recipe will make about 40 reindeer cookies.