59 Holiday Treats to Make This Season

Updated: May 09, 2024

Add some magic to the cold winter season with these holiday treats. From adorable Santa cookies to candy cane chocolate bark, your next celebration won't be complete without a few of these recipes.

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Holiday Meringue Miniatures

My kids love these light melt-in-your-mouth cookies, and we have fun making them. These were always on our Christmas cookie plate when I was a kid, and now the tradition continues. —Susan Marshall, Colorado Springs, Colorado
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Mini Sweet Potato Pies

My son Levi was only 2 years old when he helped me create this delicious recipe, and it was the first time he told me I love you! I’ll always remember making these with him. —Emily Butler, South Williamsport, Pennsylvania
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Mini Pumpkin Spice Trifles

These miniature trifles are so fun for fall holiday parties! The assembly takes a little longer than making one big trifle, but it's worth it to see everyone's reaction to getting their own! —Rhiannon Brownell, Newport News, Virginia
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Santa's Stuffed Belly Cookies

I have been seeing "surprise inside cookies" for a few years and really wanted to come up with my own version. After a little brainstorming, I came up with the idea of making Santa's belly cookies and filling them with miniature cookies. These are so much fun to give as gifts—just wrap in colored cellophane and tie with a festive ribbon. You can exchange the mini cookies for candy or anything you'd like; if desired, you can color the cookie dough red, too. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Chocolate Almond Pizzelles

If you love fun baking gadgets, you'll enjoy making these crispy, almond-flavored cookies, which get their unique waffle design from a pizzelle maker. They bake up golden brown in only a few minutes. Feel free to double the chocolate drizzle if you'd like to cover the cookies more generously. —Hannah Riley, Norwalk, Ohio
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Coconut Christmas Mice

Off-the-charts cuteness makes it nearly impossible for guests to resist these fluffy, coconutty treats. Luckily, they’re really easy to make—no oven needed. Merry Christ-mouse to you! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Snow Globe Keepsake Cookies

Make holiday magic! These extra-special ornaments are totally customizable—each filled with a little snowfall of edible sprinkles. Let it snow in your house with the prettiest of decorative cookie keepsakes. —Josh Rink, Food Stylist, Taste of Home magazine
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Fudgy Layered Irish Mocha Brownies

My husband and I are big fans of Irish cream, so I wanted to incorporate it into a brownie. I started with my mom's brownie recipe, then added frosting and ganache. These decadent treats are the result, and we really enjoy them! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Finger-Licking Good Mini Cream Puffs

This recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and the kids will love it! They are perfect to pack for a picnic or to have as a snack for family game night. I guarantee you can't eat just one—they are so addictive and perfect for satisfying any sweet tooth! —Jennifer Erwin, Reynoldsburg, Ohio
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Spiced Rum Fruitcake

This fruitcake not only can be made weeks ahead, it tastes better that way! You can substitute Brazil nuts, pecans and hazelnuts for the walnuts—or use a combination of nuts. —Jason Boor, Manchester, New York
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Sparkly Meringue Snowmen

For my son’s first Christmas home from Iraq, I wanted everything to feel magical. He loves meringue cookies, so I made a big batch of minty snowmen and snowflakes. —Patricia Lindsay, Independence, Kansas
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Raspberry Coconut Balls

My family loves Hostess Zingers, especially the raspberry flavor coated with coconut, inspiring this treat to make for school bake sales. We can make about four dozen in 30 minutes, and they sell out fast! —Pam Clark, Wheaton, Illinois
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Frosty Polar Bears

I love spending time in the kitchen with my nieces. This is the perfect recipe to make with the little ones. Dang cute, easy and portable! —Emily Tyra, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Drizzled Gingerbread Biscotti

After stumbling across a community recipe for gingerbread biscotti, I made several batches and tweaked it to our tastes. These became an instant obsession at our house.—Susan Board, Palmer, Alaska
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Mincemeat Cookie Bars

My daughter won the grand champion title at the Alaska State Fair with these bars when she was 10. The topping is delicious but a bit crumbly; for neatly edged cookies, freeze before cutting. —Mary Bohanan, Sparks, Nevada
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Never-Fail Cutout Cookies

I have tried numerous recipes for cutout cookies over the years—this one is foolproof. My daughter and my granddaughter love making these for holidays and social events. Most of all, we enjoy decorating them. You can try almond flavoring or another flavoring of choice. This recipe is easily doubled. —Irene Palm, Mansfield, Ohio
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Mini Fruitcakes

Fruitcake always looked so festive to me but I did not like the hard citron fruit so I came up with my own recipe using dried fruits and nuts. I place these in Christmas themed petit fours paper cups and give them to neighbors and friends along with the many other cookies and candies I bake. These keep well in the freezer in an airtight container. Just thaw to room temperature and they taste fresh baked and moist. —Lisa McDermith, Highland, California
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Anise Gumdrops

With their bright color and frosty sugared look, these homemade gumdrops are irresistible. They're softer than the store-bought kind and have tongue-tingling anise flavor. —Richard Bunt, Painted Post, New York
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Peppermint Cheesecake on a Stick

Surprise guests with a fun holiday treat—dipped cheesecake wedges you can eat without a fork. Whenever my son has one, he jokes that he wants to quit his job so he can sell them! —Maria Morelli, Kelowna, British Columbia
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Coconut-Rum Cake Pops

Plan your own tropical escape with these surprisingly light-tasting pops. Angel food cake is a nice change of pace.
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Tangerine Chocolate Semifreddo

When I wanted a new frozen treat for my family, I came up with this citrusy, chocolaty version of classic Italian semifreddo. For an elegant presentation on special occasions, top each serving with whipped cream, a tangerine section and baking cocoa. —Claire Cruce, Atlanta, Georgia
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Hazelnut Macarons

You don’t have to be an expert in French cooking to whip up these sandwich cookies. The crisp, chewy macarons require attention to detail, but they’re not hard to make—and they’re simply a delight, both for personal snacking and giving as gifts! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Amaretto Cherries with Dumplings

You can't beat the combination of almond flavor with cherries. These light and fluffy dumplings are heavenly. Topped with the sauce and ice cream, it makes for a scrumptious dessert. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Almond Wafers

When my children were younger, we’d make dozens of cookies and candies each season. Then we’d pack up assortments and deliver them to our friends and family. These wafers were always a favorite. —Phyl Broich-Wessling, Garner, Iowa
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Creme de Menthe Cream Puff Tree

A tower of creme de menthe-flavored puffs makes a spectacular centerpiece for your dessert table. Guests will have this sumptuous pyramid deconstructed in no time at all! —Agnes Ward, Stratford, Ontario
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Apricot-Nut White Fudge

We look forward to this luscious apricot fudge recipe every Christmas. It's easy to make, and it melts in your mouth. I wrap up small squares of the candy with ribbon and silk holly.
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Angel Food Christmas Candy

It was my dad who inspired me to first try making this candy. He remembered it from when he was a boy. The ultimate compliment was when he told me my version tasted even better! My husband is a driver with a parcel service, so he works long hours around the holidays—which gives me time to make treats! —Shelly Matthys, New Richmond, Wisconsin
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Chocolate Reindeer Cookies

Add a touch of whimsy to your holiday spread with these chocolaty treats. They're perfect for getting little ones involved. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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My Christmas Fudge

This fudge is virtually foolproof and so creamy you won't believe it. I've searched for years for the richest fudge, and this one does it for me. You can add just about anything you like to customize it.—Barbara Miller, Oakdale, Minnesota
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Cranberry-Kissed Chocolate Silk

I combined fresh cranberry salad with the rich custard known as pots de crème, and the result is ever so elegant compared to the usual desserts. —Carmell Childs, Clawson, Utah
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No-Bake Christmas Wreath Cookies

Cornflakes take the place of traditional rice cereal in these sweet, no-bake Christmas wreath cookies. Dressed up with green food coloring and red candies, they’re a pretty addition to cookie platters and dessert buffets. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Perfect Peppermint Patties

I make lots of different candy at Christmas to give as gifts. It can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it to see the delight it brings people. Calling for just a few ingredients, this candy is one that is quite simple to prepare. —Joanne Adams, Bath, Maine
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Caramel Snickerdoodle Bars

What did I do when I couldn’t decide between two of my favorite desserts? I combined them! This snickerdoodle-blondie hybrid proved even better with caramel, always a favorite ingredient. —Niki Plourde, Gardner, Massachusetts
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Layered Christmas Gelatin

Christmastime always means that this recipe comes out of my recipe box. The traditional holiday colors in this salad make the buffet table look so pretty. —Diane Schefelker, Ireton, Iowa
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Oreos and Candy Cane Chocolate Bark

There are incredible surprises in this festive bark, including dark chocolate, candy canes and cream-filled cookies. We keep a big supply ready for gift-giving. —Robin Turner, Lake Elsinore, California
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Frosted Nutmeg Log Cookies

"This is my son's favorite Christmas cookie. It is a very old recipe that I have used many times." These delightful gems have great nutmeg flavor and are a perfect way to ring in the holidays. – Janie Colle, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Homemade Holiday Marshmallows

This recipe was my grandpa’s favorite. Every year, he would busy himself by making Christmas marshmallows for his family and friends. —Diana Byron, New London, Ohio
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Rudolph Treats

These adorable goodies are a fun treat for kids, neighbors and friends. Get the little ones involved and let them help you create a new holiday tradition. —Abigail Vandersaul, Saint Paul, Missouri
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Chocolate-Dipped Phyllo Sticks

Looking for a little something special to share with friends or family? Try these crunchy treats. They’re wonderful with coffee or a glass of milk. —Peggy Woodward, Shullsburg, Wisconsin
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Gingerbread Sandwich Trees

Fun and festive, these cookie sandwich trees will be a huge hit with kids of all ages. They're a super-cute holiday treat! —Steve Foy, Kirkwood, Missouri
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Candy Cane Blossom Cookies

We like to stir different flavored candy canes into the dough for fun variety. —Joan Cossette, Colbert, Washington
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Marshmallow Puffs

With peanut butter, chocolate and marshmallows, these treats were very popular with our three kids as they were growing up—and now I make them for our two grandchildren. They're perfect for the holidays when time is so precious. —Dody Cagenello, Simsbury, Connecticut
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Three-Chip English Toffee

With its melt-in-your-mouth texture and scrumptiously rich flavor, this is the ultimate toffee! Layered on top are three kinds of melted chips plus a sprinkling of walnuts. Packaged in colorful tins, these pretty pieces make impressive gifts. —Lana Petfield, Richmond, Virginia
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Festive Thumbprints

I never cared for jam-filled thumbprints, so I decided to fill them with frosting instead. This makes them easy to ship, which you can’t do with the sticky jam filling. I sent these to my daughter while she was serving in Iraq, and they made the long haul in perfect condition. —Wendy Schlueter, Babbitt, Minnesota
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Peanut Butter Penguins

Could these be any more adorable? To treat your guests to this chocolaty, peanut buttery goodness, just cover Nutter Butter cookies with chocolate and decorate! They’re a lot of fun to make and even more fun to eat. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Chocolate-Dipped Meringue Sandwich Cookies

These light, airy morsels are twice as nice with two meringue cookies and velvety ganache in between. —Donna Pochoday-Stelmach, Morristown, New Jersey
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Melting Snowman

After an afternoon of sledding, kids will love to warm up with hot chocolate and these special snowman toppers. The snowmen will disappear as they sip and so will the chill on their fingers and toes! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Creme de Menthe Truffles

I found this in a box of recipe clippings and decided to give them a whirl. I'm so glad I did! The minty flavor is perfect for Christmas. —Joe Mattes, Amana, Iowa
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Mini Chocolate Wafer Cakes

I first made these cakes for a friend when I lived in the dorms at college and had no access to appliances. Little did I know I would be making them 20 years later for my children! —Lara Pennell, Mauldin, South Carolina
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Peppermint Puff Pastry Sticks

I wanted to impress my husband's family with something you'd expect to find in a European bakery, and these chocolaty treats are what I came up with. The flaky pastry melts in your mouth. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Coconut Yule Trees

People say they love my coconut macaroon-like Christmas trees because they look so festive. Once decorated, these trees light up a room—just like the real thing. —Michelle Retterer, Marysville, Ohio
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Fluffy Cranberry Delight

This was originally my daughter's recipe, and she or I will make it for one or more of our holiday get-togethers. It can be served as a fruit salad along with the meal or as a light dessert. It's particularly pretty in a cut-glass bowl on a buffet. —Ruth Bolduc, Conway, New Hampshire
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Mocha Baked Alaskas

Make these baked Alaskas ahead of time—you can torch the completed desserts and freeze them up to 24 hours before serving. —Kerry Dingwall, Ponte Vedra, Florida
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Molasses Cookies

Making these soft, chewy cookies with a rich flavor has been a family tradition since my children were small. At Christmastime, I shape the dough into gingerbread men with tasty raisin eyes and buttons. —Sue Bartlett, Berlin, Wisconsin