T he holiday season is in full swing and your schedule is probably packed with parties.

You'll need to have a few things on hand for those last minute invitations, like an ugly Christmas sweater, a gift for dirty Santa and a quick recipe for holiday treats.

Try these quick and affordable munchies that are sure to spread some holiday cheer.

Bacon candy cane bark

A sweet and salty flavor combo will make Christmas carnivores salivate at this unusual holiday treat.

What you need:

1 12-ounce bag chocolate chips

1 12-ounce bag peanut butter chips

Candy canes

Bacon bits

Directions: Chop candy canes into small pieces. Put crumbs into a bowl and mix in bacon bits. Set aside. Melt the chocolate chips. Once melted, pour into a baking pan. Place in the refrigerator to harden. Melt peanut butter chips. Once melted remove chocolate from fridge and pour peanut butter on top. While peanut butter layer is still warm, sprinkle the candy cane bacon mixture over the top. Place in refrigerator. Once chilled, break bark into pieces for sharing.

Source: Adapted from http://bacontoday.com/bacon-candy-cane-bark/

Set it and forget it cider


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Adding some spiced rum to this tangy cider will give a whole new meaning to that warm and fuzzy feeling this holiday season.

What you need:

8 whole cloves

1 gallon apple cider

1/2 gallon orange juice

1 quart grapefruit juice

6 cinnamon sticks

Directions: Place the cloves into a tea ball, and place the tea ball in a slow cooker. Pour the apple cider, orange juice and grapefruit juice into the slow cooker, and drop in the cinnamon sticks. Stir once or twice. Set the cooker to high, cover, and cook until the mixture is hot. Then keep warm on low setting. Serve in mugs.

Juice from apples drain into a stainless steel bucket to be made in to cider. Add a twist to your cider this Christmas with some spiced rum and a little
Juice from apples drain into a stainless steel bucket to be made in to cider. Add a twist to your cider this Christmas with some spiced rum and a little grapefruit juice. (MARK LEFFINGWELL)

Source: http://bit.ly/12kB7jK (allrecipes.com)

Green bean casserole

For sit-down holiday dinners, this super-simple side will compliment any feast, traditional or not.

What you need:

2 14.5-ounce cans green beans, drained

1 10.75-ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 6-ounce can French's fried onions

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place green beans and soup in a large bowl and microwave until warm, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cups of cheese and heat mixture for another 2 to 3 minutes. Pour mixture into a casserole dish and add French fried onions and remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and the onions just begin to brown.

Source: Adapted from http://bit.ly/TWs2XO (allrecipes.com)

Cranberry Christmas dip

This festive dip is so tasty it might even make Santa's belly a little jollier.

What you need:

12 ounces cranberries

1 cup white sugar

1 cup apricot jam

1 cup chopped pecans

1 8-ounce block of cream cheese

Pretzels or crackers

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine cranberries and sugar in a baking dish with a lid, stirring well to coat all the berries. Bake, covered, for about 30 minutes, until the cranberries pop and release their liquid. Remove from oven and stir in the apricot jam and pecans. Refrigerate overnight to blend the flavors. To serve, pour dip over the block of cream cheese. Serve with crackers or pretzels.

Source: Adapted from http://bit.ly/XAjffq (allrecipes.com)

Melted snowman cookies

If you don't have time to make sugar cookies from scratch, just dress up the store-bought ones -- everyone at the party will be too distracted by the cuteness to care.

What you need:

1 package of sugar cookie dough

1 bag large marshmallows

1 tub of white cookie icing

Multi-colored sprinkles and frosting tubes

Directions: Bake cookies as directed on package and let cool. Then spread white frosting on top to look like a puddle (the snowman's body). Microwave the marshmallows for about 20-30 seconds and then stick one onto each cookie for the snowman's head. Add faces, hats and scarves with sprinkles and frosting tubes.

Source: Adapted from http://somewhatsimple.com/melted-snowman-cookies/