Anyone can put some candy canes in a jar and whip up a pot of mulled wine for a holiday party. But if you're hosting a holiday gathering this late in the season, people are already seasoned out. So you're going to have to spice things up for them. Your guests are going to be tired of cinnamon this and peppermint that. They've had enough Christmas cookies and roasted brussels sprouts to last a life time. So this is your one opportunity to have that '90s throwback party that you've been dreaming of. You know, the one where you serve '90s inspired foods like semi-mature versions of Pizza Rolls and pudding snacks and your guests have a grand old nostalgic time and you win as best holiday party hostess of the year?
It's totally possible to have a seasonally appropriate party with edible adult food and drinks, that still reference everything we loved about the '90s. It's going to take a little bit of creativity and willingness to go for the more adult version of the snack than you might have originally thought. Here are a few of my favorite '90s snacks, reimagined with modern recipes that are just as tasty, but a whole lot healthier ... all of the awesome, without all of the food coloring.
1. Fruit Roll Ups
Real fruit leather's are actually super easy to make and healthy, too! No added flavors or colorings necessary with the recipe by The Kitchn.
2. Rice Krispie Treats
They're soft, they're chewy, they're crunchy, they're sweet — they're literally everything you want in a dessert, and you can mold them into any shape you please. Check out this recipe on Gluten-Free on a Shoestring.
3. Pizza Rolls
Pizza Rolls were the all time best after school snack. But they just so happen to also work as the perfect appetizer to get a party started. Check out this '90s inspired recipe on Damn Delicious and then serve them with toothpicks if you want to be classy!
4. Rachel's Trifle
This half-dessert-half-shepard's-pie disaster was maybe a top ten moment on Friends, but will also be a show stealer at your holiday party. You can check out the recipe here, though I might suggest you swap out the beef for chocolate, otherwise no one is going to touch it.
5. Princess Diaries Pizza
Remember when Michael brings Mia the apology pizza, and when she opens it you can see that he wrong "SORRY" in M&Ms, making it the perfect dessert pizza? Yes, make that. Technically, it's early 2000s, but we get a pass on this one because it's so iconic. In fact, while you're at it, just go full dessert and make a pizza that's got chocolate sauce instead of tomato sauce.
6. Candy Cigs
Thankfully, cigarettes are no longer considered cool. But that doesn't mean your guests won't enjoy a tasty, chalky fake puff up a candy cigarette. Luckily, you can get them in bulk and at a super cheap price on Amazon.
7. Cheesy Poofs
I never even watched South Park, but somehow knew this song and was obsessed with Cheesy Poofs because of it. Sure, you could put out any brand of cheese-dusted puffs, but if you really want to go the homemade route, you might want to consider these uber adult cheese puff pastries from A Pretty Life in the Suburbs.
8. Sugar Frosted Milk
Of the many disgusting but intriguing things that were created on the Ren & Stimpy show, sugar frosted milk was one. For a more mature version of this sweet milk drink, let's go with this milkshake recipe from A Cozy Kitchen.
9. Gimme Pizza
This is basically garbage pizza. For a fun activity, order some plain pizzas, and set up a Mary Kate & Ashley sleepover party-style pizza station, where guests can add a wide range of brave toppings to their slice.
10. Cosmic Brownies
Pick up any old brownie box mix at the grocery store, plus tons of rainbow colored sprinkles for decoration. One cooked and cooled, cut the brownies into small bite-sized pieces and serve for dessert.
11. Hot Pockets
Eating Hot Pockets was like eating a meal wrapped up into a toasty pizza-like shell. This grilled cheese recipe inspired by Hot Pockets on Big Girls, Small Kitchen will totally hit the spot. No defrosting necessary.
Little pudding snack packs were a lunchtime and party night staple. Try an adult version that's just as tasty, just as nostalgic, but a bit more refined. Check out this s'mores pudding recipe on A Cozy Kitchen.