Presenting the Winners from Our Holidays & Celebrations Contest

Updated: May 09, 2024

Home cooks showed some love to every holiday, not just Christmas. From St. Patty's Day soup to New Year's Eve bruschetta, you'll want to make these festive contest-winning recipes year after year.

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Grand Prize: Brandy Alexander Cheesecake

My husband and I really enjoy a good brandy Alexander, so I thought it would be fun to create a cheesecake with the same flavors. It’s not necessary to use both the dark and white creme de cacao in this recipe; six tablespoons of either one may be substituted. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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1st Place: Halva-Caramel Alfajores (Caramel Filled Sandwich Cookies)

A modern twist on a Latin American classic, my delicate butter cookies have an irresistible halvah-caramel center. —Andrea Potischman, Menlo Park, California
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2nd Place: Peach Bourbon Shrimp

After a whiskey tasting in Kentucky, I decided to create this shrimp recipe. Peach bourbon whiskey has notes of caramel, and peach preserves add sweetness to this easy weeknight dish. —Jennifer Gilbert, Brighton, Michigan
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3rd Place: Bacon, Blue Cheese & Fig Bruschetta

This is my decadent, robust version of bruschetta. I like to serve it at parties, especially on New Year’s or other winter holidays. If you don’t like blue cheese, you can substitute feta or goat cheese. —Kristyne Mcdougle Walter, Lorain, Ohio
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Runner-Up: Chocolate Cupcakes with Strawberry Filling

My husband and I got engaged on Valentine’s Day, so the holiday is extra special in our house. Each year we go all out with fancy desserts. —Kristin Bowers, Gilbert, Arizona
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Runner-Up: Meaty Wild Rice Meatballs in Cranberry Sauce

We celebrate Indigenous People’s Day in October. Native Americans in Minnesota have been harvesting wild rice for several hundred years. To honor them, I make these wild rice meatballs. —Joyce Moynihan, Lakeville, Minnesota
7 / 11

Runner-Up: Minty Pea Soup with Lemon

This is one of our favorite St. Patrick’s Day meals that also tastes great other times of the year. You can add cayenne or lemon pepper for a little kick. —Laura Wilhelm, West Hollywood, California
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Runner-Up: Mother’s Day Ham

After one bite, my husband informed me this slow-cooker ham was the best I’ve ever made. I invented it because I’m always buying international condiments and finding ways to use them. Sumac is the secret ingredient here. —Molly B. Johnson, Stevenson, Washington
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Runner-Up: Spicy Roasted Carrot Hummus

This is a wonderful appetizer for Easter, Mother’s Day or any spring gathering. The roasted carrots give this hummus a bright, fresh flavor. Even those who don’t like hummus end up loving this version. —Anne Ormond, Dover, New Hampshire
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Runner-Up: Sea Salt Sticks

When my daughter was in school, her class had a recipe exchange party. The kids would bring a food and accompanying recipe to share with the class. My daughter liked these crunchy breadsticks so well, she wanted to make them for the family. Needless to say, they were a hit. —Marina Castle Kelley, Canyon Country, California
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Runner-Up: Spiced Squash and Fruit Crumble

This sweet and savory dish is a side made for cold weather and is amazing with any meal. It is versatile and great for potlucks and family dinners. —Joan Hallford, Fort Worth, Texas