Meet the Cook: While these are delicious year-round, you could easily turn them into an edible Christmas gift. They look festive on a decorative tray wrapped in red or green cellophane or tucked into a giveaway cookie plate. And don't forget to include the recipe so your recipient can enjoy this treat over and over again!
I'm planning to share my muffins with the ladies in my church group and also with the Alabama Farmer's Federation, of which I'm a member.
-Pat Schrand, Enterprise, Alabama
When baking this chocolate chip cookie recipe, I am a stickler for using one stick of butter and one stick of margarine—the combination of fats gives the cookies terrific texture. And do not use a scooper—the tool compacts the cookies too much. —Lee Ann Miller, Millersburg, Ohio
I received this recipe from a co-worker who made these heavenly bars for a potluck. Since they combine two favorite flavors—chocolate chip cookies and cheesecake—in one bite, they were a hit with our three grown children.
I bake dozens of different kinds of Christmas cookies to give to family and friends. I came up with this recipe when I had leftover candy canes I wanted to use up. The snowballs are dipped in a white candy coating, then into crushed peppermint candy.
I can turn any meal into a celebration with this cake. When they cut into it, people are bowled over by this moist not-too-sweet cake. The pecan filling is another unexpected treat.—Linda Van Holland, Innisfail, Alberta
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
Get all the nutritious benefits of quinoa, spinach and cranberries paired with the crunchy texture of nuts in this easy and scrumptious salad. A light, flavorful dressing splashed with citrus tops everything off! —Sharon Ricci, Mendon, New York
One of my mother's friends used to bring this over at the holidays, and it never lasted long. With the tangy raspberry filling, tender cake and crunchy topping, it has become a favorite at our house.
-Amy Mitchell, Sabetha, Kansas