Holiday Treats to Make in Your South Walton Vacation Rental Kitchen

Making holiday popcorn treats in your 30A beach vacation rental.

Your South Walton Vacation Home for the Holidays

One of the best things about renting a South Walton vacation home—besides the sparkling white sand, warm turquoise water, and gentle sea breezes—has got to be the kitchen.

Wait—did we just say the kitchen? Yup. Hear us out.

Renting a home with a fully-equipped kitchen eliminates a majority of your vacation stress. Think about it. Particularly when traveling with large groups, finding a place you can all agree on to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day can feel like an impossible feat.

But once you have a comfortable, spacious kitchen available to you 24 hours a day, suddenly that stress is eliminated. This is particularly true during holiday vacations to the beach. Before you even arrive at your Dune Allen Realty vacation rental, you can have groceries delivered and ready for you.

When your gang wakes up in the morning, they can have their pick of easy-peasy toast and cereal—or elaborate omelets and pancakes. The kitchen makes it a breeze to pack up some quick beach snacks, blend up a frosty afternoon cocktail, and even grill up some fresh seafood for dinner.

A fully-equipped kitchen is truly the unsung hero of a family beach vacation.

Find rentals in 30A and Destin on the beach and with large kitchens for hosting a holiday family get together or reunion. Great for Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Years, and other holidays. You can fix your own holiday meal in one of our vacation rentals or order a delicious meal from a local supermarket, restaurant, or meal delivery service!

To take full advantage of your beach vacation rental kitchen this holiday season, Dune Allen Realty has come up with some fun and festive treats you can make with your family. Each one is traditional, but with a distinctive South Walton twist.

If you make any of these while visiting us, please share photos on Facebook and tag us–we would love to see your results! Happy Holidays!

Palm Tree Sugar Cookies

This easy and oh-so-traditional holiday sugar cookie recipe gets a beachy vibe with palm tree cookie cutters. Use ready-made green cake icing to fill in your palm tree leaves. With their soft, thick centers and yummy buttery flavor, these cookies will be gobbled up before they are even cool. They have a perfect, flat surface for decorating and stay soft for days—although there’s no way they will last that long!


  • ¾ cup unsalted butter—softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

To make the cookie dough, cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Add the egg and mix. Fold in the sugar, then the flour, then the baking soda, and lastly the vanilla extract and the salt. Mix it all together until well blended. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it’s about ¼ inch thick. Chill the rolled out dough in the refrigerator for a few hours. Chilling the dough helps with cutting the cookies into their palm tree shapes. Place the cookies on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. Before decorating with icing, make sure the cookies are completely cooled.

Beach Ball Popcorn Balls

So easy to make—and always a crowd-pleaser. To add that beachy twist, use cake icing to add festive beach ball stripes!


  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 7 quarts popped popcorn
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup

Place the popped popcorn in a large baking pan and place it in a 150-degree oven to keep it warm. Combine the sugar, corn syrup, water, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat. Use a candy thermometer to bring the mixture to about 235 degrees. Remove the mixture from the heat and add the butter, vanilla, and some festive food coloring if desired. Pour the mixture evenly over the warmed popcorn. Once it’s cool enough to handle, quickly shape the popcorn mixture into 3 inch balls. Have cool water nearby to dip your hands into—this helps prevent sticking!

Once the balls have cooled completely, use piped icing to decorate with South Walton inspired beach ball stripes.

Beachcomber Gingerbread People

Just like regular gingerbread people. But instead of scarves and boots, pipe your gingerbread men and ladies wearing colorful swim trunks and bikinis. Maybe cut out some paddleboard shapes too!


  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. Beat the softened butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the molasses, egg, and the vanilla to the butter mixture and stir. Gradually stir in the wet mixture into the flour mixture on low until it’s all well mixed. Press the dough into a thick flat disk and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for about 4 hours or—even better—overnight. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly flour your workspace and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into gingerbread people shapes with a cookie cutter like this one. Place each ginger person about 1- inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges of the cookie people are set and just beginning to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Move to wire racks to cool completely.

Dress you ginger people in swimsuits, swim trunks, tropical shirts, and flip flops!

Sandbar Cookies

Toasted coconut, toffee bits, broken pretzel pieces, chocolate bits—dump it all in for a delicious treat that kinda looks like a sandbar. But tastes like heaven.


  • 3/4 c. caramel sauce
  • 1/4 c. toffee bits
  • 1/4 c. broken pretzels
  • 1/2 c. toasted coconut
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter—softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line the pan with tin foil, then spray the foil. Mix together the butter, brown sugar and salt until creamy. Mix in the egg and the vanilla. Fold in the flour until it’s all just combined, then spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the mixture is golden brown around edges. Once cooled, spread the crust with the caramel sauce. Top with crushed toffee bits, broken pretzel pieces, coconut, and chocolate bits. Chill for about an hour in the refrigerator before cutting.

Gingerbread Beach House

Make this traditional gingerbread house recipe and add some cute, beach cottage details.


  • 2 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 ½ cups light brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups margarine
  • 9 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cloves

In a saucepan, heat the corn syrup, brown sugar, and margarine in a bowl until smooth. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, and spices. Add the sugar syrup mix to the dry mix until it’s smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl easily. Wrap the dough in plastic and let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Heat the oven to 350 F. Roll out the dough ¼ inch thickness onto a sheet of parchment.

Cut out your gingerbread beach house shapes with a sharp knife, and remove and reserve the excess dough. Transfer the parchment paper onto a baking sheet. Bake your beach house for 15 minutes or until the pieces are firm and lightly browned.

Re-roll dough scraps for the remainder of the pieces, and use them to create your beach house decorations. Let your imagination run wild! Cut out shutters, beach towels to hang over the railings, paddleboards to prop against the house. Use heavy royal icing as the “glue” that holds your structure together. Gumdrops, M&Ms, and licorice whips can be used for shingles, pathways, and landscaping. Use crushed graham crackers for the “sand.”

An Unforgettable South Walton Holiday Vacation

Holiday rentals with kitchen big enough to cook Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!For an unforgettable South Walton holiday vacation, rent a beachfront home from Dune Allen Realty with an amazing kitchen. We know it doesn’t sound as enticing as the sugary sand and the warm turquoise water you’re dreaming about. But trust us—an awesome kitchen will be one of your favorite parts of the trip. The kitchen is where everyone gathers together—to bake, to talk, to make holiday memories together.

Contact us today, order your palm tree cookie cutters, and get ready for a South Walton holiday beach vacation you’ll never forget.

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