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29 Impressive Recipes that are Worth the Effort

When you want to pull out all the stops, try one of these impressive recipes. We'll show you how to make homemade breads, savory main dishes and jaw-dropping desserts.

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Majestic Pecan Cake

This recipe truly lives up to its name. The pecan-dotted cake is stacked in three layers, and made-from-scratch frosting is the crowning touch.—Karen R. Jones, Claypool, Indiana
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Stuffed Chicken Rolls

Just thinking about this dish sparks my appetite. The ham and cheese rolled inside are a tasty surprise. Leftovers reheat well and make a perfect lunch with a green salad. —Jean Sherwood, Kenneth City, Florida
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Overnight Cinnamon Rolls

I like to try different fun fillings in these soft rolls, and each one is packed with cinnamon flavor. They are definitely worth the overnight wait. —Chris O'Connell, San Antonio, Texas
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Homemade Ravioli

I love to bake and cook, especially Italian dishes like this homemade ravioli recipe. In fact, my idea of a perfect day consists of cooking my family's favorite foods then watching them dig in!—Lori Daniels, Hartland, Michigan
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Spumoni Baked Alaska

For a refreshing end to a rich meal, try this freezer finale. Its intriguing interior and pretty color scheme are bound to garner oohs and aahs. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Crown Pork Roast with Apple-Cranberry Stuffing

For something different this holiday season, give your guests the royal treatment by serving this impressive pork roast. The fruity stuffing doubles as a side dish. —Donna Goutermont, Juneau, Alaska
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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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Stuffed Turkey with Mojo Sauce

I love Latin food so I created this recipe that combines wonderful spices and fresh ingredients. This is a traditional turkey recipe with a healthier twist because it uses chicken sausage instead of chorizo. —Melissa Lauer, San Antonio, Texas
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Lemon Meringue Angel Cake

I've been told that this dessert tastes exactly like a lemon meringue pie and that it's the best angel food cake anyone could ask for. I'm not sure about all of that, but it is delightful to serve, and each slice is virtually fat free. —Sharon Kurtz, Emmaus, Pennsylvania
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Lobster alla Diavola

I’ve cooked lobster alla diavola (devil’s style) since I was first married. We serve lobster at family celebrations, usually with linguine or capellini. —Marcia Whitney, Gainesville, Florida
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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 take 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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Ricotta Gnocchi with Spinach & Gorgonzola

When my family comes for a visit, they always ask me to make this unique dish for dinner. Homemade cheesy gnocchi is topped with a rich sauce made with butternut squash, spinach and Gorgonzola.— Brud Holland, Watkins Glen, New York
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Chocolate-Candy Cane Meringue Wreath

These stunning meringues melt in your mouth. Set the minty masterpiece in the center of the table to accent your spread, then enjoy it for dessert later. —Nicole Tran, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
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Blue Cheese-Mushroom Stuffed Tenderloin

Here’s my go-to entree for just about any special occasion. Filled with a savory stuffing, the sliced tenderloin looks and tastes like a specialty from an upscale restaurant. —Joyce Conway, Westerville, Ohio
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Favorite Pumpkin Cake Roll

This pumpkin roll recipe is great to keep in the freezer for a quick dessert for my family or unexpected guests, to take to a gathering, or to give as a yummy gift. The recipe is in such demand, I use a 29-ounce can of pumpkin to make four cake rolls at a time. —Erica Berchtold, Freeport, Illinois
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Royal Broccoli Souffle

Talk about impressive! This side dish never fails to impress even the toughest of critics--my family. —Linda Evancoe-Coble, Leola, Pennsylvania
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Baklava Cheesecake

With sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs, my unique baklava cheesecake makes a grand display for office parties and other special events. —Aryanna Gamble, New Orleans, Louisiana
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Grandma Nardi's Italian Easter Bread

My Grandma Nardi’s bread with dyed Easter eggs represents family and tradition. I fondly remember how she taught me the recipe when I was a little girl. —Pat Merkovich, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Oysters Rockefeller

My husband and I are oyster farmers, and this classic Oysters Rockefeller dish always delights our guests. It's deliciously simple! —Beth Walton, Eastham, Massachusetts
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Red Velvet Crepe Cakes

It's well worth the time to make this beautiful and delicious cake. Each moist layer is separated by a rich and creamy filling. Treat your family on special occasions with this cake. —Crystal Heaton, Alton, Utah
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Homemade Manicotti

These tender manicotti are much easier to stuff than the purchased variety. People are always amazed when I say I make my own noodles. My son fixed this recipe for several of his friends, and they were extremely impressed with his cooking skills. —Sue Ann Bunt, Painted Post, New York
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Overnight Cherry Danish

These rolls with their cherry-filled centers melt in your mouth and store well, unfrosted, in the freezer. —Leann Sauder, Tremont, Illinois
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Eggs Benedict with Homemade Hollandaise

Legend has it that poached eggs on an English muffin started at Delmonico’s in New York. Here’s my take on this brunch classic, and don’t spare the hollandaise. —Barbara Pletzke, Herndon, Virginia
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Chocolate Walnut Ring

This is an adaptation of my wife's recipe. It's terrific for a holiday brunch or as a midmorning snack. —Peter Halferty, Corpus Christi, Texas
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Roasted Citrus & Herb Turkey

Thanksgiving has never been the same since I tried this recipe. I have made it for the past three years, and it never fails to impress both in presentation and taste. This is a true showstopper! —Nancy M. Niemerg, Dieterich, Illinois
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Black Forest Chocolate Torte

If you're thinking about pulling out all the stops for a dessert that says wow, look no further. This cherry-crowned beauty—stacked layers of chocolate cake and cream filling—will have everyone talking. —Doris Grotz, York, Nebraska
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Maple Butter Twists

My stepmother passed on the recipe for this delicious yeast coffee cake that's shaped into pretty rings. When I make it for friends, they always ask for seconds. —June Gilliland, Hope, Indiana
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Chestnut-Onion Stuffed Turducken Bundles

A friend told me about turducken, and these bundles are my best attempt at creating an easy version. The flavor of all three birds comes through and goes wonderfully with the sauce. —Barbara Lento, Houston, Pennsylvania
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Giant Cinnamon Roll

This must-try cinnamon roll is all about the pillowy texture, the sweet spices and the homemade caramel drizzle. —Leah Rekau, Taste of Home food stylist

Katie Bandurski
Katie is an Associate Editor for Taste of Home, specializing in writing and email newsletters. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and combing through antique shops.
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