My husband and I host both sides of our families on Thanksgiving every year. I came up with this candy-topped cheesecake a few years ago, and everybody went nuts over it. —Tammy Baker, Bowling Green, Kentucky
I won first place in a pumpkin baking contest with this snappy dessert. The judges gave high marks to its gingersnap-pecan crust and creamy marbled filling. If you wish, substitute cinnamon graham crackers for the gingersnaps.
—Lisa Morman, Minot, North Dakota
Topped with toasty pecans, this sweet-and-savory cheese ball makes a festive hostess gift for holiday parties. Says Heidi: “It’s always a hit; there’s never anything left over, and everyone asks for the recipe.” At home, make it ahead of time for convenience, then bring to room temp and serve.
Heidi Blaine Hadburg - Safety Harbor, FL
Cherry tomato quarters form the wings of these adorable little ladybugs dreamed up by our Test Kitchen. The delightful creatures are perched on crunchy crackers spread with a seasoned cream cheese mixture.
When I was a new bride almost 50 years ago, my husband gave me a mixer for my birthday. The lemon filling recipe was in the small book that came with it. The tangy flavor always takes me back to those days of trying out recipes on my husband. —Alyce McCrary, Leighton, Alabama
Meet the Cook: When our children come home for the holidays, I make sure to bake this coffee cake. I always use fresh berries in season, then put a few bags in the freezer for later on. That way, we can enjoy this moist cake anytime we want!
-Mildred Schwartzentruber, Tavistock, Ontario
After tasting a similar soup in a restaurant, I went home and cooked up my own version. It's so soothing on a winter evening served with crusty French bread. For a change of pace, try substituting ham or turkey for the chicken. —Kathleen Rappleye, Mesa, Arizona
This coconut cake is a guaranteed showstopper at any holiday meal. The beautiful flakes of coconut are reminiscent of snow. But one taste of the sunny pineapple will transport you to the tropics.—Monica Kennedy, Johnson City, Tennessee