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The Best Christmas Recipe in Every State

As you deck the halls and stuff the stockings, whip up some of our best Christmas recipes. These highly rated dishes come from home cooks across America.

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Alabama: Carrot Fruitcake

Even those who don't care for fruitcake love this special holiday dessert. It's a fun way to "dress up" that old favorite, carrot cake. Try it—your friends and family will agree. —Ann Parden, Chunchula, Alabama

Don’t miss our comprehensive guide to Christmas cookies, complete with recipes, baking secrets and genius decorating advice.

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Alaska: Special-Occasion Chocolate Cake

This cake won grand champion at the 2000 Alaska State Fair, and you will see why once you taste it. My decadent chocolate cake boasts a luscious ganache filling and fudge buttercream frosting. —Cindi DeClue, Anchorage, Alaska
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Arizona: Twice-Baked Cheddar Potato Casserole

Bacon, cheddar and sour cream turn ordinary potatoes into an extraordinary twice baked potato casserole. It's one of our family's beloved standards for the holidays. —Kyle Cox, Scottsdale, Arizona

Check out more of our favorite Christmas side dishes you’ll want to make this year.

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Arkansas: Peanut Butter Christmas Mice

With their black licorice tails, candy noses and peanut ears, these chewy "mice" were always a hit at classroom parties. My children are in their teens now, but they still ask me to make these cookies for the holidays. —Nancy Rowse, Bella Vista, Arkansas
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California: Christmas Meatballs

Cranberry sauce and brown sugar create a tangy glaze for moist meatballs that are good Christmas appetizers or Christmas dinner ideas. We love them so much, I prepare them year-round. —Joyce Bentley, Redlands, California

Start your Christmas celebration off on the right foot with these tasty apps.

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Colorado: Candy Cane Punch

Peppermint ice cream makes this creamy drink taste—and look—more like a dessert than a punch! I've mixed it many times for ladies' lunches and buffets. For a fun garnish, hang mini candy canes around the punch bowl or on cups. —Neva Schnauber, Ft. Collins, Colorado
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Connecticut: Beef Tenderloin with Pomegranate Chutney

When I want to show family and friends some culinary love, I roast a tenderloin and serve it with a sweet-tart pomegranate and apple chutney. —Devon Delaney, Westport, Connecticut

Here are some more Christmas roasts that anyone can make.

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Delaware: Double Whammy Eggnog Cookies

These cookies are an amazing way to use extra eggnog. They've become a new family classic. — Teresa Morris, Laurel, Delaware
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Florida: Amber's Sourdough Stuffing

All my kids and grandkids absolutely love this sourdough stuffing, but especially my daughter-in-law, Amber. I usually make a big batch at Thanksgiving so I will have leftovers for my husband. But this recipe is perfect for two. —Kathy Katz, Ocala, Florida

You can feel good about loading your plate with these healthy stuffing recipes.

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Georgia: Italian Herb-Crusted Pork Loin

I like to change things up during the holidays with pork loin recipes that incorporate my favorite herbs and veggies. This showpiece dish really dazzles my family. —Kim Palmer, Kingston, Georgia
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Hawaii: Pineapple Pie with Coconut Cream

You’ll find pineapples and coconuts everywhere in the South Pacific, so we play them up in this creamy cool pineapple pie, dolloped with coconut cream. Divine! —Karen Naihe, Kamuela, Hawaii

Take a look at 30 more pies that would look great on your dessert table.

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Idaho: Eggnog Cutout Cookies

I created this cookie recipe because my sons liked eggnog so much. After frosting the cookies, you can add to their festive flair by sprinkling them with colored sugar. —Glenna Tooman, Boise, Idaho
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Illinois: Buttery Spritz Cookies

This tender spritz cookie recipe is very eye-catching on my Christmas cookie tray. The dough is easy to work with, so it's fun to make these spritz cookies into a variety of festive shapes. This is hands down the best spritz cookie recipe ever. —Beverly Launius, Sandwich, Illinois

You’re going to want to sneak a peek at our ultimate gingerbread guide

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Indiana: Bacon Cheese Wreath

My grandmother makes this smoky bacon and Parmesan spread for parties and holiday get-togethers. For a pretty yuletide presentation, decorate the cream cheese wreath with green parsley and red pimientos. —Lisa Carter, Warren, Indiana
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Iowa: Holiday Brunch Casserole

If you'll be having overnight company during the holidays, you may want to consider this hearty casserole. Guests will be impressed with its bountiful filling and scrumptious flavor. It's the perfect Easter breakfast or Christmas casserole. —Nelda Cronbaugh, Belle Plaine, Iowa

Make Christmas breakfast even more special by making these delicious recipes.

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Kansas: Banana Pancake Snowmen

Both kids and adults will love these yummy pancakes. Invite your little ones to help decorate their snowmen and they'll jump out of bed in a hurry! —Phyllis Schmalz, Kansas City, Kansas
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Kentucky: 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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Louisiana: Contest-Winning Sweet Potato Bake

This is an easy dish to prepare and is a perfect addition to that special holiday meal. The topping is flavorful and gives a nice contrast of textures. —Pam Holloway, Marion, Louisiana
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Maine: Orange-Glazed Pork Loin

This is one of the best pork recipes I've ever tried. My family looks forward to this roast for dinner, and guests always want the recipe. The flavorful rub, and the glaze brightened with orange juice, are also outstanding on pork chops. —Lynnette Miete, Alna, Maine
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Maryland: Gingerbread Men Cookies

No holiday treat platter would be complete without gingerbread man cookies! This is a tried-and-true recipe I'm happy to share with you. —Mitzi Sentiff, Annapolis, Maryland
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Massachusetts: Sweet Potato Cranberry Bake

In October, my husband helps harvest cranberries at a friend's bogs, so I have access to the very freshest ingredients. Their bold autumn flavor pairs up perfectly with sweet potatoes to make a seasonal side dish my family looks forward to. —Jill Doyle, Kingston, Massachusetts
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Michigan: Peppermint Meltaways

This recipe for peppermint meltaways is very pretty and festive-looking on a cookie platter. I often cover a plate of these peppermint cookies with red or green plastic wrap and a bright holiday bow in one corner. And yes, they really do melt in your mouth! —Denise Wheeler, Newaygo, Michigan
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Minnesota: Santa Cupcakes

My kids leave out at least one cupcake for Santa on Christmas Eve. These seemed appropriate! —Sharon Skildum, Maple Grove, Minnesota
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Mississippi: Spruced-Up Cheese Spread

A neighbor who’s a wonderful cook gave me the recipe for this zippy cracker spread. It’s easy to shape into a Christmas tree for a festive occasion, but it looks enticing in a bowl or on a plate, too. —Judy Grimes, Brandon, Mississippi
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Missouri: Easy Potato Rolls

After I discovered this recipe, it became a mainstay for me. I make the dough ahead of time when company is coming, and I try to keep some in the refrigerator to bake for our ranch hands. Leftover mashed potatoes are almost sure to go into these rolls. —Jeanette McKinney, Belleview, Missouri
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Montana: Roast Turkey with Sausage-Cabbage Stuffing

This turkey and trimmings recipe is a staple in my family. No one guesses that there's cabbage in the stuffing! — Alma Winberry, Great Falls, Montana

These are the best recipes from Montana, hands down.

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Nebraska: Mocha Yule Log

This eye-catching dessert is guaranteed to delight holiday dinner guests. Chocolate lovers will lick their lips over the yummy cocoa cake, mocha filling and frosting. For a festive touch, I garnish the log with marzipan holly leaves and berries. —Jenny Hughson, Mitchell, Nebraska
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Nevada: Holiday Cutout Cookies

The only limit to these fun cutouts is your cookie cutter collection and your imagination! If you prefer crisp cookies, sprinkle with colored sugar before baking and skip the frosting. My family loves these easy holiday cookies! —Anne Grisham, Henderson, Nevada
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New Hampshire: Cranberry-Almond Apple Pie

My grandmother made this treat every year for Christmas. It’s much better than everyday apple pie. The recipe is a family treasure. —Maxine Theriauit, Nashua, New Hampshire
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New Jersey: Christmas Eve Confetti Pasta

This easy Christmas dinner has become a holiday tradition in our home. All the prep is done before we attend Christmas Eve service. On returning, I just boil water and saute. It's so colorful with a tossed salad and garlic bread — and always gets raves! — Ellen Fiore, Ridgewood, New Jersey
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New Mexico: Eggnog French Toast

This recipe is a favorite of our family and not only at Christmas. We especially like to prepare this hearty breakfast when we go camping. —Robert Northrup, Las Cruces, New Mexico
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New York: Touch-of-Gold Christmas Trees

You can decorate these pretty Christmas trees with other types of sprinkles if you don't have the gold dust. The filling alone makes the cookies special and so delicious! —Linda Sweet, Cornwall, New York
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North Carolina: Swirled Mint Cookies

No one will believe that these rich and buttery cookies are light, but they are! With their colorful swirls, each one of these minty, sugary bites has its own look. —Lois Hill, Thomasville, North Carolina
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North Dakota: Cranberry Fluff

This fluffy fruit salad gets its sweet-tart flavor from cranberries and whipped cream. We like it because it's not as sweet as many other "fluffs." I'm often asked for the secret to this luscious holiday salad. —Lavonne Hartel, Williston, North Dakota
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Ohio: Cranberry Layer Cake

I adapted a Bundt cake recipe to create this layer cake. Cranberries, walnuts and homemade frosting make it taste so delicious that you'd never guess it starts with a convenient cake mix. —Sandy Burkett, Galena, Ohio
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Oklahoma: Pecan Meltaways

This sweet, nutty pecan balls recipe is a tradition in our house at Christmastime, but the treats are delightful any time of the year. —Alberta McKay, Bartlesville, Oklahoma
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Oregon: Cranberry Honey Butter

If you are traveling to a friend's or loved one's for the holidays, bring them something even better than a bottle of wine—this easy to whip up treat! —Arisa Cupp, Sherwood, Oregon
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Pennsylvania: Italian Christmas Cookies

A single batch of these ricotta cheese cookies is never enough. I usually make one to give away and two more to keep at home. The ricotta cheese makes the morsels extra moist. —Doris Marshall, Strasburg, Pennsylvania
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Rhode Island: Italian Leg of Lamb with Lemon Sauce

I wasn't a big fan of lamb until I tried this wonderful recipe. The sauce has bold lemon flavor, which pairs perfectly with the seasoned roast.—Pauline Morelli, Riverside, Rhode Island
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South Carolina: Red Velvet Cheesecake

Festive and oh, so good, this cheesecake will become a fixture on your Christmas dessert menu. The red velvet filling is spiked with cocoa, topped with cream cheese frosting and baked in a chocolate cookie crumb crust. —Karen Dively, Chapin, South Carolina
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South Dakota: Easy Mini Caramel Apple Cheesecakes

Cheesecake is the ultimate comfort food, but a big slice can be too rich. These bite-sized cheesecakes topped with apples and creamy caramel dazzle the senses. —Brandie Cranshaw, Rapid City, South Dakota
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Tennessee: Almond Cherry Fudge

Cooked in the microwave, this fast fudge is a sweet addition to any holiday gathering. I make it when I need a quick treat for a school party or to take to a neighbor. —Shellie Tucker, Hendersonvlle, Tennessee
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Texas: Lemon Snowflakes

You’ll need just four ingredients to make these delightful cookies. Confectioners’ sugar highlights the cracked tops to give them their snowflake appearance. —Linda Barry, Dianna, Texas
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Utah: Butterscotch Gingerbread Cookies

Every time I make these wonderful cookies, the spicy aroma takes me back to my childhood. I helped Mom make them and delivered them to neighbors. —Kara Cook, Elk Ridge, Utah
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Vermont: Candy Cane Coffee Cakes

I make my festive-looking coffee cakes at Christmas and for breakfast company. My husband doesn't usually care for apricots, but he loves these. —Kelley Winship, West Rutland, Vermont
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Virginia: Sugar-Glazed Ham

This old-fashioned ham glaze gives a pretty, golden brown coating—just like Grandma used to make. The mustard and vinegar complement the brown sugar which adds a tangy flavor to this glazed ham recipe. Be prepared to serve seconds! —Carol Strong Battle, Heathville, Virginia
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Washington: White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

Friends sometimes ask me to make these for wedding receptions. For a fancier presentation, I cut the bars into triangle shapes and drizzle white chocolate over each one individually. —Erika Busz, Kent, Washington
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West Virginia: Eggs Florentine Casserole

For our Christmas brunch, I make this variation on a classic eggs Florentine recipe, adding sausage and spinach to make a snappy casserole. Sometimes I mix in fresh peppers or green chiles, so play with it. —Karen Weekley, Washington, West Virginia
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Wisconsin: Chicken Crescent Wreath

Here's an impressive-looking dish that's a snap to prepare. Even when my cooking time is limited, I can still serve this delicious crescent wreath. The red pepper and green broccoli add a festive touch. —Marlene Denissen, St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin
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Wyoming: Cinnamon Brownies

For Christmas one year, a friend gave us a pan of these delicious brownies. Before I figured out their secret was cinnamon, half the pan was already gone! —Gail Mehle, Rock Springs, Wyoming

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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