50 Last-Minute Holiday Desserts
Chocolate-dipped, candy-topped and more. Get to the best part of the holidays in under 30 minutes with these speedy holiday desserts.
Oats, chopped peanuts and peanut butter frosting make this a nice change of pace from a traditional peanut butter cookie. After folks sample these, compliments and recipe requests always follow. —Alicia Surma, Tacoma, Washington
Mention turkey legs made of pretzels and chocolate, and the kids come running. Let them help by unwrapping caramels for this easy, no-bake treat. —Amy Lents, Grand Forks, North Dakota
During college, my student job was in the bakery. These Red Velvet Cookies take me back to that special place and time. —Christina Petri, Alexandria, Minnesota
We enjoyed these rich, buttery cookies at a bed-and-breakfast in Galena, Illinois, and the hostess was kind enough to share her simple recipe. The pretty nut-topped treats are so special you could give a home-baked batch as a gift. —Laurie Knoke DeKalb, Illinois
To keep my holiday cooking quick, I've come to rely on fast recipes like this one. The crunchy-chewy tidbits are our youngster's favorite.
I received the recipe for these soft ginger cookies from a dear lady, who has since passed away. A comfortng classic like this always satisfies. —Karyn Rogers, Hemet, California
These are so tasty and simple to prepare! Each delightful little cookie is loaded with cranberries, nuts and vanilla, giving them the taste of a treat that’s been slaved over. —Louise Hawkins, Lubbock, Texas
Lots of moist, fruity flavor and nutty crunch give these sweet/spicy bites a kind of gumdrop richness. They make a delicious addition to cookie trays. Sneak one early—they’ll be gone before you can lick the sugar off your fingers! —CORLEEN HEIDGERKEN, MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN
You don't need a fancy fondue pot to make this melt-in-your-mouth concoction. I serve the dip in my small slow cooker. Folks love the chocolate-raspberry combination.--Heather Maxwell, Fort Riley, Kansas.
I doctored up a recipe I found in the newspaper years ago. When you see the gooey chocolate dripping out, you know you're in for an awesome dessert. —Genise Krause, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
During the holidays, I make a lot of candy for friends, and this simple recipe seems to be a favorite. The white chocolate and chunky peanut butter make a perfect blend. —Deloris Morrow, Lake City, Iowa
Gloria tucks a rich chocolate surprise into each of these cute bites. Candied cherries add a colorful finishing touch.
Folks who love the flavor of the classic cookie will enjoy that same great flavor in these chocolate chip bars. This blondie recipe can be mixed up in a jiffy, tastes wonderful, and is perfect for occasions when company drops by unexpectedly or you need a treat in a hurry. —Rhonda Knight, Hecker, Illinois
I wanted to put a spin on the traditional chocolate chip cookie, and who doesn't love cinnamon? Depending on what you use to drop your cookies, the quantity served will change. —Cassie Colosimo, Reading, Pennsylvania
Because so many people seem to love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, I came up with this no-bake cookie recipe.—Geraldine Sliwa, Elgin, Illinois
Living in New England, I've come to appreciate the unique qualities of our area. Many people here enjoy the flavor of maple in their recipes, and I love this adaptation of an old favorite. —Connie Borden, Marblehead, Massachusetts
Two of my favorite things, gingerbread and fruitcake, meet in a truly great cookie. You’d never know this recipe starts with a mix. It's brimming with fruit, nuts and gingerbread flavor and topped with a delightful orange glaze. —Jamie Jones, Madison, Georgia
I've been making this candy for the past few years and serving it at Teacher Appreciation lunches and bake sales. It's special because it never fails to win praise from everyone who tries it. For bake sales, I break the candy up and package it in little cellophane bags from the craft store. —Anna Ginsberg, Austin, Texas
I got this recipe from my daughter years ago. I've taken these chewy filled cookies and the treasured recipe to many cookie exchanges.
I made this sweet, peanut-packed candy for Christmas and sent some with my husband to work. His co-workers liked it so much they asked for more. It has a lovely glossy look and the cinnamon is a delightful surprise. —Grace Miller, Mansfield, Ohio
Latkes are crispy fried pancakes, often made with potatoes. But this sweet version with apples, orange juice, cinnamon and vanilla falls in the dessert realm. —Candy McMenamin, Lexington, South Carolina
After picking an abundant crop of pears, I was looking for new ways to enjoy them. A friend suggested warming them with butter and brown sugar. This tasty recipe was the result! We like them with vanilla bean ice cream, but plain vanilla or cinnamon are also quite delicious! —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
I'm one of the cooking project leaders for my daughter's 4-H club, where these soft, delicious cookies were a great hit with the kids. —Marietta Slater, Augusta, Kansas
If your gift list is long, here’s a yummy solution. The recipe makes nearly 10 dozen chewy, nutty, sweet-and-salty bars.
These mouthwatering mini cakes make the perfect treat for a twosome. My mom used to make these when I was a little girl. Now I whip them up for a speedy dessert. —Debora Simmons, Eglon, West Virginia
Notes Vicki Lair of Albert Lea, Minnesota, "This recipe is the compilation of many years of baking. I make these cookies for a holiday bazaar and year-round for our family. They freeze well."
This is my favorite confection to make at Christmas. Not only is it easy, it's delicious as well. I like to fill small bags with the crunchy candy to place in gift baskets.—Nancy Shelton, Boaz, Kentucky
These chocolate chips and brownie mix cookies pack a rich chocolate taste while remaining simple to make. Rolling the dough in powdered sugar gives them their inviting crackled appearance. —Ellen Govertsen, Wheaton, Illinois
"These chewy coconut cookies start with a boxed angel food cake mix," explains Renee Schwebach of Dumont, Minnesota.
This chunky, chewy malted milk chocolate bar is a feast for your eyes. Malted milk flavor fills this bar from top to bottom. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
A friend gave me this fresh take on traditional crispy treats. My husband loves them. —Anne Powers, Munford, Alabama
This easy oatmeal cookie recipe is great with a glass of cold milk! With their peanutty flavor, these scrumptious cookies hit the spot. Plus, they couldn't be easier to make! —Marilyn Blankschien, Clintonville, Wisconsin
These cookies are the next best thing to a good old-fashioned malted milk. With malted milk powder, chocolate syrup, plus chocolate chips and chunks, these are the best cookies I've ever tasted…and with six kids, I've made a lot of cookies over the years! —Teri Rasey, Cadillac, Michigan
I love the combination of flavors in this tropical treat! It takes mere minutes to make. If you need something for a school or church bake sale this will get you out of the kitchen in a flash. —Julie Beckwith, Crete, Illinois
Canned frosting, peppermint extract and chocolate candy coating quickly turn crackers into these wonderful little no-bake cookies. My children and I like to assemble them for parties and holidays. I hope you and your family enjoy them as much as we do. -Melissa Thompson, Anderson, Ohio
Want a quick treat that's delicious and easy to make? These tartlets will do the trick. You can serve them right away, but they're even better after chilling for about an hour in the refrigerator. —Ashley Eagon, Kettering, Ohio