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
I use this recipe for special occasions with my wonderful family and friends. They're so easy to make and pack a festive rum punch. — Diane Duschanek, Council Bluffs, Iowa
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
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
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.
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
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
These pint-size Nutella hand pies made with puff pastry are too good to keep to yourself! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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.
Banana and chocolate is such a irresistible combination that I make this quick dessert often. I sometimes sprinkle on a dash of sea salt. You can also top with any leftover butter and brown sugar mixture.—Thomas Faglon, Somerset, New Jersey
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
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
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
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. You've got to try this peanut butter brittle recipe. —Grace Miller, Mansfield, Ohio
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.
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
My children and grandchildren often request these old-fashioned cookies. I freeze the unbaked dough so I can whip up a batch whenever my family comes for a visit. They are a good unfrosted choice for a cookie plate, too. —Betty Speth, Vincennes, Indiana
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
These sweet cookies feature white chocolate and cranberries for a delightful taste. And the red and white coloring add a great holiday feel to any cookie tray. —Donna Beck, Scottdale, Pennsylvania
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
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
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
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.
"These chewy coconut cookies start with a boxed angel food cake mix," explains Renee Schwebach of Dumont, Minnesota.
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
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
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
Kids will love making these easy cookies with mom, dad or the grandparents. They're dense and rich and absolutely perfect for dunking! —Elaine Stephens, Carmel, Indiana
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
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