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Friday, December 4, 2009

Hershey's Kisses and the holidays: recipe review and giveaway

This is a compensated review from BlogHer and Hershey's

When the chocolate makers at Hershey's were looking for some bloggers to turn their kitchens into test zones and then blog about it, I was a little dubious. But the twinados nearly died of excitement when I asked them about it, so we signed up. We were told to choose three Hershey's Kisses recipes from the official web site and then give them a whirl. Needless to say, the girls and I had radically different criteria when it came to choosing recipes. They were drawn toward the most colorful, most candy-per-inch items, while I leaned strongly toward the things that had the least number of ingredients and steps (anyone who has ever cooked with Ro and Ree will attest to my wisdom).

In the end, we settled on three mutually agreeable choices (Kisses Candy Twists, Double Chocolate Kisses Cookies, and Hershey's Hugs and Kisses Crescents), tied on some aprons, and away we went! It was lots of fun and I'm happy to report that the kitchen is still standing.

Ro (pink flower barrette) and Ree (yellow flower barrette) heartily enjoyed unwrapping all the candies (and sneaking as many as they could):
DSC_7813LRs DSC_7806LRs

They also sniffed many, many of the chocolates quite deeply. Not sanitary, not sanitary at all, but I'm sure the germs all died in the oven...

The Kisses Candy Twists were fun and tasty—an easypeasy treat for kids of any age to make. We mixed it up with plain chocolate kisses and minty candy-cane ones.

The Hershey's Hugs and Kisses Crescents were really fun to make, and they looked awesome too. But I have to be completely honest and say that none of the adults liked the taste at all. The biscuit dough and chocolate flavor just did not work together, in my opinion. Maybe if it had been a sweeter puff pastry dough or something? Anyhow, they were awfully cute and the girls were mighty proud of them.

And, finally, the Double Chocolate Kisses Cookies were my favorites. They looked and tasted great. (Although the next time I'll add even more cocoa to make the cookies a little richer tasting. Yeah I tend toward excess like that...)


So there you have it, the results of our fun Hershey's Kisses baking. And, in keeping with one of our family holiday traditions, we'll be using the twist and double chocolate cookies in our annual holiday cookie exchange with friends so that we can sample even more deliciousness:

The Giveaway:
Hershey's is giving away a $100 Visa gift card to one lucky Salsa reader. To enter, leave me a comment below and tell me your favorite holiday recipe (Ro and Ree lovelovelove to cook and bake, so you'll make them smile extra big if you can give me the directions or a link to the recipe). The contest will begin right now (12/4/09) and will end at midnight on 12/31/09. Make sure that the e-mail address you leave is correct (feel free to use weird spaces and spell out "dot" or "at" or that sort of thing).

The Rules:
No duplicate comments. You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link in the comments. You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments. This giveaway is open to US-residents only. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail. You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. Please see the official rules here. If you'd like even more entries, check out the BlogHer.com special offers page to see the other reviews (you've got 8 chances to win).

For other recipes, and some craft ideas, take a peek at Hershey's Holiday web site.

~~ The giveaway is now closed, no more entries will be accepted, and I'll draw a winner at random and announce the winner sometime today (Jan 1st). Happy New Year! ~~


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JC said...


rainmommy said...

Well im simple...rice crispie treats!!

rainmommy said...


skytoucher said...

Rice Krispie treats have been an easy favorite with my kids. I use the recipe on the cereal box, add a couple of drops of coconut flavor to the marshmallow mixture, and then we decorate the tops by pressing in mini-chocolate chips or cute colored sprinkles shortly after smoothing the marshmallow/cereal mixture in the pan.

Susan C said...

OK, I really want some of those pretzel/kiss yummies! Wow!

As for a favorite recipe, I don't really have one, except that I love rice krispie treats made with cocoa krispies - chocolatey & gooey. Nom!

Anonymous said...

Loved your pics! Looks like you girls had lots of fun. We like Magic Cookie Bars with Eagle brand milk. So good anytime!

"Miss" Anita said...

My favorite Christmas recipe is for sugar cookies. (My mom calls them Tea Cakes, and they're awesome! Sorry, I don't have a link to the recipe.)

roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

"Miss" Anita said...

I blogged about this...


roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

"Miss" Anita said...

I tweeted about this...


roseinthemorning [at] gmail [dot] com

Jennifer-Eighty MPH Mom said...

My favorite holiday recipe is my Pumpkin Bar. I have posted it on my cooking blog:

mandjregan at gmail dot com

P.S. Your kids are adorable!!

Jennifer-Eighty MPH Mom said...

I tweeted about your giveaway:

Jennifer-Eighty MPH Mom said...

I blogged about your giveaway!

mandjregan at gmail dot com

Janet and Maya said...

Oh, you and the girls have to try these Oreo Truffles from Bakerella - they are easy-peasey, fun to make and delicious.


mayacarpenter at verizon dot net

Janet and Maya said...

I tweeted here http://twitter.com/janetmom2maya/status/7082199107

mayacarpenter at verizon dot net

Janet and Maya said...

I blogged here http://giveawaysonblogs.blogspot.com/2009/11/december-giveaways.html

mayacarpenter at verizon dot net

Tami said...

we must have peanut butter blossom cookies for it to be christmas lol

Missa said...

We make struffoli for Christmas, but since it's a fried dough, I'm going to leave you the recipe for our traditional Easter cookies, taralles:

Makes approx 4 dozen depending on how big you make the cookies.

3 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs
Grated rind of half a lemon
Juice from the same half
Grated rind of 2 oranges
Juice from these oranges
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup shortening

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix together, combining the shortening last to make a soft dough...not sticky. You'll probably need to add a sprinkle of water to the dough. Lightly grease pan. Shape into S, 8, O or knots and bake at 350 for about 15 minutes until lightly browned.


1/2 Package of sifted powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla or anisette. Add boiling water until consistency to spread. Add sprinkles if desired.

sweetmissa at gmail dot com

Missa said...

Tweeted: http://twitter.com/hunniebee724/status/7096871766

sweetmissa at gmail dot com

buzzd said...

I know it is not super creative. But I get the thick pretzel rods and melt white and dark chocolate. Dip the end in whichever chocolate you like and put holiday sprinkles on right away. It is colorful and looks kind of fancy..lol

Mnemonix said...

I love mom's cinnamon coffee cake (which I now realize is actually cinnamon rolls left attached to each other. Unfortunately, until she teaches me to make it, I don't have the recipe! It's the one thing I always make sure to eat every Christmas!


Mnemonix said...

Tweet! http://twitter.com/chrisec/status/7128329491


Rebecca Graham said...

We like to make chocolate pretzels every Christmas.

rhoneygtn at yahoo dot com

miss_moneymaker said...


sarahjd766 at yahoo dot com

miss_moneymaker said...

One of my favorites to make for Christmas is M&M cookies, they taste like chocolate chip cookies but are colorful!! You just follow the recipe on a package of chocolate chips for choclate chip cookies but put in M&M's in place of the chips.

sarahjd766 at yahoo dot com

Kristen said...

My favorite holiday recipe is my mom's fudge! She gets the recipe from the back of the Kraft marshmallow creme jar:



Raesha D said...

OHH how fun!! My absolute favorite Christmas recipe is Double decker fudge which is so easy it's ridiculous!!!
And it's totally a Hershey's recipe:)
I found it in a magazine about 17 years ago and I've made it pretty much every Christmas since then:)


nightowl said...

My favorite holiday recipe is Marbled Cheesecake Bars.

CHOCOLATE CRUST(recipe follows)
3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 sections (1/2 oz. each) HERSHEY'S Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar, melted

Directions:1. Prepare CHOCOLATE CRUST. Heat oven to 300°F.

2. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk, beating until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.

3. Pour half of batter evenly over prepared crust. Stir melted chocolate into remaining batter; drop by spoonfuls over vanilla batter. With metal spatula or knife, swirl gently through batter to marble.

4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate several hours until chilled. Cut into bars. Cover; store leftover bars in refrigerator. 24 to 36 bars.

CHOCOLATE CRUST: Stir together 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (about 60 wafers), 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in medium bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter or margarine until well blended. Press mixture firmly on bottom of 13x9x2-inch baking pan.

candz said...

My favorite recipe is for drop sugar cookies - I usually roll them into balls, flatten on the cookie sheets, and decorate with sprinkles. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sugar-Cookie-Drops/Detail.aspx

Eileen said...

My favorite holiday treat is to make homemade toffee with:
3/4 cup butter, 1 cup brown sugar and 2 tablespoons white Karo syrup in a 3 quart saucepan. I use a candy thermometer and boil (on medium) the mixture to 300 degrees. Take off hear and add 3/4 cup chopped pecans and spread in a buttered glass baking dish. Cool for about 10 minutes. THEN, place broken pieces of Hershey candy bars WITh Almonds on top. Let them melt on top and then cool a bit more till you can cut them into 1 to 2 inch squares. I use a huge heavy metal spatula to "score" them and then cut with a slightly buttered knife. YUMMY!!!

ejrichter60 at gmail dot com

Skinny Minnie said...

Oh , I'm not a very good cook .... nor a frequent cook. Recipe = whatever I google today :(

but man your kids are a d o r a b l e and I just might have to make some of these now !!

target here I come for some clearance candy :) jtrophy at gmail dot com

Skinny Minnie said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/jtrophy/status/7182356687 jtrophy at gmail dot com

fashionfrugality said...

My favorite holiday cookie is Smores Cookies!! Everyone loves them!! I found them here - http://twopeasandtheirpod.com/recipe-for-smores-cookies/

kkondek at gmail.com

fashionfrugality said...

Tweet! http://twitter.com/ktkatherine/status/7182937038
kkondek at gmail.com

Houseonahillorg said...

Those were the cutest pics! I am ALL for baking with the kids!

Those recipes sounded SO scrumptious and seemingly simple they might be my new holiday favs - as for this household, I baked a chocolate chocolate chip with fudge frosting sheet cake but kiddo ate it all in a day before xmas and well, luckily other family members brought goodies!

Ann said...

I love my co-worker's Pumpkin Cheesecake with pralines. I don't have the recipe nearby me, however it is so delish!!!

Anne J said...

My kids favorite holiday treat is chocolate chip pumpkin bread. We just take a standard pumpkin bread recipe and add a bag of mini chocolate chips. It is the kids favorite part of Christmas dinner.

ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

Anne J said...

I blogged

ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

Anne J said...

I tweeted

ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this! My girls love to bake and decorate gingerbread men. We use the recipe in the Betty Crocker cookbook.
mirabisep at yahoo dot com

Jessica said...

One of my favorite holiday recipes is a homemade Mounds Bar that my Mom used to make every Christmas. I don't have the actual recipe (Mom does!). But it is a little like this:
The only difference is, we make a graham cracker crust (just your typical butter and graham crackers) on the bottom of a small square baking pan (like one for brownies). Then you layer it with the coconut mixture. On the top you melt Hershey chocolate chips. You then chill until cool and cut into squares. So rich and so yummy! Christmas isn't Christmas without these bars.

girlygirlugh at gmail dot com

Jessica said...

I tweeted!

girlygirlugh at gmail dot com

Fab Kate said...

wow, I just got in under the wire!

My favorite holiday recipe?

open bag of hersheys dark chocolate kisses.


I don't bake anymore during the holidays because of my change of diet and health issues. What I do, however, is allow myself a couple pieces of dark chocolate during the day. That way when everyone is eating pies and cookies, I don't feel deprived, and enjoy the taste I prefer.


Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug} said...

Two of my favorite holiday recipes are Muddy Buddies and Snowball Cookies :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug} said...


Cheryl F. {The Lucky Ladybug} said...


pam said...

Those pretzel kisses look great; we may try them for New Year's.
Our favorite recipe this year has been cake balls.
I really don't have a recipe as they are too easy. Using a box cake mix (any flavor you like-we do devils food or red velvet) I bake a cake, them using my food processor crumble it up and add a can of cream cheese whipped frosting.
I put this in the refrigerator for an hour, then make into ball and dip into melted white chocolate. We then add sprinkles. It's too fun and my 5-year-old loves it.

pamprevatte @ gmail.com

Eve said...

I love making my grandmother's green bean casserole during the holidays. it reminds me of her cooking and warmth.

Eve said...


Eve said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/shopgurl/status/7221376407

anthy said...

My favorite holiday recipe is broccoli and chicken omelets with holinday sauce. We have it for breakfast Christmas morning every year!

anthy_stl [ATT] yahoo [DOTT] com

anthy said...

I tweeted about the contest: http://twitter.com/my_twitraccount/status/7223691379

anthy_stl [ATT] yahoo [DOTT] com

icefairy said...

Here's my favorite:

Holiday Rice Pudding

3 cups cooked rice
3 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine rice, milk, sugar and butter in 2- to 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, 20 minutes. Add cranberries and lemon rind; cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat; add vanilla. Spoon into serving dishes.

Thanks for the giveaway and happy new year!

Erin from Long Island said...

we love to have a major sugar cookie session with tons of stuff to decorate them with! it can get pretty competitive

Erin from Long Island said...



Cheryl said...

Here is a Christmas treat we like to make.

1/4 (16 ounce) package saltine crackers
1/2 pound butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

1. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar, and bring to a low boil. Continue boiling, stirring constantly to prevent burning, approximately 3 minutes.
2. Arrange crackers on a cookie sheet in a single layer, and drizzle with sugar mixture. Bake at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) for 5 minutes, or until edges begin to brown.
3. Remove from oven and spread chocolate chips evenly over the top as they melt. Sprinkle with nuts, gently pressing into the melted chocolate. Cool until chocolate has hardened, and break into pieces. Store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Allow to cool, and break into pieces.

Cheryl said...



Angie said...

Turtle Kisses!!

Take mini pretzels and place on lined cookie sheet. Place an unwrapped Rolo candy in the middle of each pretzel. Place in 200 degree oven until chocolate begins to soften BUT NOT MELT! When ready remove sheet and press a pecan half into the middle of each Rolo causing the candy to squish down into the pretzel. You can then drizzle or decorate the tops of each "turtle" as you wish!


Skinny Minnie said...

blogged about it here :


jtrophy at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Wassail! A bunch of fruit juice and mulling spices in the crock pot. easy and holiday smelling.

kathleenpoling (@) gmail (dot) com

Buttons and Bows said...

My favorite recipe is Chocolate Gravy and biscuit.
I cannot post the recipe cause my hubby makes it and I do not.

It is Heavenly.


Buttons and Bows said...


I posted this giveaway on my blog and linked back to your site.

Thanks and stop by and follow me.


AStarrA said...

Red Velvet Cookies, yum
OK so I cheat and use a box mix, so what haha

1 Box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

Mix all ingredients together. Roll into balls and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Flatten down slightly (depending on the thickness you desire). Bake at 350° until the tops crackle (about 8-10 minutes)

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 8 ounce package cream cheese -- softened
1/4 cup stick margarine or butter -- softened
2 teaspoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

Beat cream cheese, butter, milk and vanilla in medium bowl until smooth.
Gradually beat in powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, until smooth and spreadable.
Spread or dip half the cookie in cream cheese.


Short On Cents said...

I really and truly am not a good cook so I leave the receipes on the holidays up to the kin folk but I will for sure try the cresents that your babies made those look delicious lvn777 at charter dot net

Courtenay said...

Our favorite holiday recipe is this Popularity Cookie recipe (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/popularity-cookies/detail.aspx). We always make them for Christmas and Thanksgiving and everyone loves them!

Anonymous said...

My daughter had a baby in Sept. I asked if I could bring anything, or if she needed anything. She said Christmas Cookies. She wanted peanut butter blossom cookies. Not diapers, or supper , cookies. How fun is that.


Nelsby said...

Since I was just a kid, my favorite holiday tradition has always been baking cookies. My favorite recipe is for Peanut Butter Heaven cookies. These bad boys are LOADED with peanut butter and have a mix of milk chocolate & peanut butter chips.
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

Nelsby said...

* Tweet *
sierranelsby (at) gmail (dot) com

Michelle Hart said...

My favorite holidy recipe is actually a new one this year. Cranberry, oatmeal, chocolate chip. They are o so simple to make and very good to eat!

valmg @ Mom Knows It All said...

Our favorite recipe for dinner is not sweet - it's a big ham dinner. for our sweets and treats it's all store bought because I just don't have time to bake what with work and all. This year I discovered a Ghirardelli chocolate cake and a Bostom Cream cake at BJ's and they were sinfully good!

M3 said...

The giveaway is now closed and I'll draw a winner at random and announce the winner sometime today (Jan 1st). Happy New Year!

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