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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.

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Frosted Peanut CookiesTaste of Home

Frosted Peanut Cookies

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

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Chocolate Caramel Turkey LegsTaste of Home

Chocolate Caramel Turkey Legs

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

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Holiday Rum BallsTaste of Home

Holiday Rum Balls

I use this recipe for special occasions with my wonderful family and friends. The treats are so easy to make and pack a festive rum punch. — Diane Duschanek, Council Bluffs, Iowa

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Frosted Red Velvet CookiesTaste of Home

Frosted Red Velvet Cookies

These dreamy morsels take me back to a special place and time—when I was in college and my student job was working in a bakery. Red velvet cake lovers will appreciate this fun riff on the classic, and the color makes them a natural fit for holidays! —Christina Petri, Alexandria, Minnesota

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Scandinavian Pecan CookiesTaste of Home

Scandinavian Pecan Cookies

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

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Dipped Peanut Butter Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Dipped Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

You’ll love to give tins of these chocolate-coated cookies to your lucky friends. The shortcut holiday recipe is almost too simple to believe! Here's how to make peanut butter cookies without eggs. —Jackie Howell, Gordo, Alabama

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Chocolate Caramel WafersTaste of Home

Chocolate Caramel Wafers

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.

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Frosted Gingerbread Nut CookiesTaste of Home

Frosted Gingerbread Nut Cookies

I received the recipe for these soft ginger cookies from a dear friend, who has since passed away. A comforting classic like this always satisfies. —Karyn Rogers, Hemet, California

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Quick Chocolate Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Quick Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

These cookies freeze well, so it's easy to keep some on hand for last-minute munching. In summer, I often make them larger to use for ice cream sandwiches. —Mary Rempel, Altona, Manitoba

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Cranberry Pecan CookiesTaste of Home

Cranberry Pecan Cookies

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

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Gluten-Free SugarplumsTaste of Home

Gluten-Free Sugarplums

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

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Nutella Hand PiesTaste of Home

Nutella Hand Pies

These pint-size Nutella hand pies made with puff pastry are too good to keep to yourself! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Chocolate-Raspberry FondueTaste of Home

Chocolate-Raspberry Fondue

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.

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Molten Peppermint-Chocolate CakesTaste of Home

Molten Peppermint-Chocolate Cakes

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

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Chocolate Banana BundlesTaste of Home

Chocolate Banana Bundles

Banana and chocolate are such an irresistible combo that I make this quick dessert often. You can also top them with the butter and brown sugar mixture left over from coating the bananas, or sprinkle on a dash of sea salt. —Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey

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Peanut Butter CandyTaste of Home

Peanut Butter Candy

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

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Cherry Surprise CookiesTaste of Home

Cherry Surprise Cookies

I tuck a rich chocolate surprise into each of these cute bites. Candied cherries add a colorful finishing touch.
—Gloria McBride, Payson, Utah

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Chocolate Chip BlondiesTaste of Home

Chocolate Chip Blondies

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

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Cinnamon White & Dark Chocolate Chip CookiesTaste of Home

Cinnamon White & Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies

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

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Chocolate Peanut Butter GrahamsTaste of Home

Chocolate Peanut Butter Grahams

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

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Traditional Popcorn BallsTaste of Home

Traditional Popcorn Balls

Kids of all ages enjoy this popcorn ball recipe as an old-fashioned holiday treat. One batch goes a long way. —Cathy Karges, Hazen, North Dakota

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Frosted Maple CookiesTaste of Home

Frosted Maple Cookies

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

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Gingerbread Fruitcake CookiesTaste of Home

Gingerbread Fruitcake Cookies

Here’s a recipe that combines two Christmastime classics—gingerbread and fruitcake—into one yummy favorite. I spread on a simple glaze of confectioners' sugar and orange juice. The dough for these cookies can be made ahead of time, making it effortless to fit them into a holiday baking plan. —Jamie Jones, Madison, Georgia

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Sweet & Salty CandyTaste of Home

Sweet & Salty Candy

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

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Chocolate Mint Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies

I got this recipe from my daughter years ago. I've taken these chewy filled cookies and the treasured recipe to many cookie exchanges.

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Cinnamon Peanut BrittleTaste of Home

Cinnamon Peanut Brittle

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. You've got to try this peanut butter brittle recipe. —Grace Miller, Mansfield, Ohio

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Winning Cranberry Chip CookiesTaste of Home

Winning Cranberry Chip Cookies

Chock-full of cranberries, chocolate chips and nuts, these cookies are fun to eat. They offer a change of pace from traditional Christmas cookies...but don't wait until December to make them. My family requests them all year-round.

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Vanilla & Cinnamon-Kissed Apple LatkesTaste of Home

Vanilla & Cinnamon-Kissed Apple Latkes

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

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Caramelized PearsTaste of Home

Caramelized Pears

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

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Chewy Almond CookiesTaste of Home

Chewy Almond Cookies

My children and grandchildren adore these old-fashioned cookies, and they make a good unfrosted choice for a holiday cookie plate. But they’re wonderful year-round, too—I even keep unbaked dough in my freezer so I can whip up a batch whenever my family comes for a visit. —Betty Speth, Vincennes, Indiana

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesTaste of Home

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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

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Salted Peanut SquaresTaste of Home

Salted Peanut Squares

If your gift list is long, here’s a yummy solution. The recipe makes nearly 10 dozen chewy, nutty, sweet-and-salty bars.

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White Chocolate Cranberry CookiesTaste of Home

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

These sweet cookies feature white chocolate and cranberries for a delightful taste. They add a perfect holiday feel to any cookie tray. —Donna Beck, Scottdale, Pennsylvania

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Mocha Pudding CakesTaste of Home

Mocha Pudding Cakes

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

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Cinnamon Crackle CookiesTaste of Home

Cinnamon Crackle Cookies

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. —Vicki Lair, Albert Lea, Minnesota

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Double Chocolate Pecan CookiesTaste of Home

Double Chocolate Pecan Cookies

I received this recipe from my sister-in-law more than 35 years ago. Chock-full of chocolate, these crispy cookies have a tantalizing aroma while baking. —Marilyn Spangler, Oak Creek, Wisconsin

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White Chocolate Peppermint CrunchTaste of Home

White Chocolate Peppermint Crunch

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

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Brownie CracklesTaste of Home

Brownie Crackles

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

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Classic Sugar CookiesTaste of Home

Classic Sugar Cookies

Use cookie cutters to cut seasonal shapes from a few cups of Gloria's dough. Prepared frosting and colored sugar make it a snap to decorate these classic Christmas cookies.

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Angel MacaroonsTaste of Home

Angel Macaroons

"These chewy coconut cookies start with a boxed angel food cake mix," explains Renee Schwebach of Dumont, Minnesota.

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Chocolate Malt Crispy BarsTaste of Home

Chocolate Malt Crispy Bars

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

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Cookie SticksTaste of Home

Cookie Sticks

If you have a craving for cookies and you want them now, these yummy strips take just a few minutes to make from start to finish. —Kathy Zielicke, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

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White Chocolate Cereal BarsTaste of Home

White Chocolate Cereal Bars

A friend gave me this fresh take on traditional crispy treats. My husband loves them, and I feel so efficient with their quick prep time. —Anne Powers, Munford, Alabama

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Easy Peanut Butter Oatmeal CookiesTaste of Home

Easy Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

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

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Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter CookiesTaste of Home

Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Cookies

These tempting fudgy cookies need only five ingredients—what could be easier? The melt-in-your-mouth goodies go over big with kids and make a fantastic pick-me-up for adults. —Elaine Stephens, Carmel, Indiana

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Chocolate Malted CookiesTaste of Home

Chocolate Malted Cookies

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

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Lime-in-the-Coconut Almond BarkTaste of Home

Lime-in-the-Coconut Almond Bark

I love the combination of flavors in this tropical treat, and 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

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Mint Sandwich CookiesTaste of Home

Mint Sandwich Cookies

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

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Baklava TartletsTaste of Home

Baklava Tartlets

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

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Peppermint Puff Pastry SticksTaste of Home

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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