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65 Brand-New Christmas Dessert Ideas

Get on everyone's nice list this year by serving these Christmas dessert ideas. We've got everything from air-fryer shortbread cookies for Santa to a peppermint bark trifle that'll please the whole family.

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Hot Chocolate Cookies

Using hot chocolate mix and marshmallow bits in the cookie dough really makes these cookies taste like hot cocoa. — Lisa Kaminski, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

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This recipe comes to us from Editor Lisa Kaminski. Check out our staffers’ holiday essentials.

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Chocolate Yule Log Exps Ft21 16063 F 0527 1 1

Chocolate Yule Log

For many years, this impressive chocolate Yule log recipe has been a favorite Christmas dessert for our family— everyone just loves it! Plus, I’m always asked to bring the rich chocolaty treat to our annual church Christmas function.

Don’t forget to stock your kitchen with essential Christmas baking supplies.

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Peppermint Bark Trifle Exps Tohdj222 264083 E08 05 2b

Peppermint Bark Trifle

We’re always looking for those showstopping Christmas dessert ideas. This one is very impressive, but couldn’t be easier to make. No one will ever know it’s made with a store-bought angel food cake. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Gingered Almond Truffle Tart Exps Tohdj23 169172 Dr 07 13 5b

Gingered Almond Truffle Tart

Fresh ginger complements the chocolate truffle filling in this elegant, almost sinful tart. Small servings are best! —Janice Elder, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Gingerbread Biscotti Exps Ft21 24558 F 1119 1 4

Gingerbread Biscotti

Cranberries and almonds pair well with the mild gingerbread flavor in these gingerbread biscotti from our Test Kitchen. The crisp cookies taste terrific with a steaming cup of coffee.
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Tart Cranberry Cake Exps Ft21 2849 F 1118 1

Cranberry Christmas Cake

The ruby cranberries in this recipe stay bright and beautiful, and their tartness is irresistible. I’ve made this cranberry Christmas cake many times to share. —Marilyn Paradis, Woodburn, Oregon
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Dark Chocolate Bourbon Balls Exps Toham22 132161 B11 10 5b

Dark Chocolate Bourbon Balls

Remember the days at Grandma and Grandpa’s house when you made these wonderfully traditional treats? The blended taste of bourbon and pecans is irresistible—the flavor is a must for Christmas desserts! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Cranberry Apple Sheet Pie Exps Thon21 264456 B06 18 8bv2

Cranberry Apple Sheet Pie

My husband loves pie, so I made one with apples, raspberries and cranberries. This apple cranberry slab pie is so good, I bend the rules and let the grandkids have it for breakfast. —Brenda Smith, Curran, Michigan
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Peppermint Meltaways Exps Hcbz22 41439 E11 18 7b 12

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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Pumpkin Chocolate Tart With Cinnamon Whipped Cream Exps Tohon21 262950 E06 22 6b

Pumpkin Chocolate Tart with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

This recipe is from my second cookbook, The Vintage Baker, and it is a personal fave. I love the (underappreciated) combo of pumpkin and chocolate. This tart has a chocolate cookie crust, but you can substitute a different cookie for the crust if you would like. Gingersnaps would be lovely, as would vanilla wafers flavored with cinnamon. —Jessie Sheehan, Brooklyn, New York, Jessie Sheehan Bakes
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Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies Exps Bw20 247164 B10 07 11b 2

Red Velvet Thumbprint Cookies

These festive sugar-coated red velvet cookies are perfect for Christmas. They're just as delicious as they are beautiful. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, Virginia
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Swirled Peppermint Chocolate Bark Exps Tohdj22 264202 E08 04 7b 11

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Bark

Classic dark chocolate peppermint bark gets a new look by swirling dark and white chocolate together. You can also layer them if you wish. Be sure to use real peppermint oil (not extract) so your chocolate won’t seize into a big clump. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Armagnac Chocolate Almond Tart Exps Tohca21 249387 E03 18 5b

Armagnac Chocolate Almond Tart

I am a pecan pie lover…this is my twist on pecan pie. I use almonds instead of pecans and golden syrup instead of corn syrup. Both chocolate and Armagnac make this tart really special. Don’t skip on toasting the almonds, it brings out the nuttiness of the pie. — Phoebe Saad, Framingham, Massachusetts
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Holiday Cranberry Cobbler Exps Tgbz22 13982 P2 Md 04 29 4b 4

Holiday Cranberry Cobbler

For a change of pace from pumpkin pie, I prepare this merry berry cobbler at Christmas. Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchild all enjoy it.
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Hot Chocolate Peppermint Cookies Exps Hcbz22 152253 P3 Md 06 02 3b

Hot Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

This is a variation of the cookies my mother made when I was growing up. Now my 13-year-old daughter and I bake them together. They’re always a huge hit! The taste is like rich hot chocolate baked into a scrumptious cookie. —Larry Piklor, Johnsburg, Illinois
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Keto Snowball Cookies Exps Ft20 247165 F 1118 1 14

Keto Snowball Cookies

If you’re on the ketogenic diet or just looking to lower carbs, making keto snowball cookies from scratch is a wonderful option for a sweet snack or after-dinner treat. Look for erythritol, which is made by multiple brands, near the sugar substitutes in the baking aisle. —Dawn Parker, Surrey, British Columbia
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Spiced Pomegranate Pear Cake Exps Hca20 124359 E08 20 4b 1

Spiced Pomegranate-Pear Cake

This Christmas dessert idea is a delicious combination of tender cake, tart fruit and rich buttercream. It is also beautiful and stays moist for days. —Kelly Koutahi, Moore, Oklahoma
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Snowman Oreo Balls Exps Ft19 246822 F 1114 1 1

Snowman Oreo Balls

Get the kids involved with making these adorable snowman Oreo balls. They can help roll, dip and decorate! A small box of these cuties makes a delicious food gift during the holidays. —Carla Giorgio, New York City, New York
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Peppermint Cheesecake Exps Thca22 92933 G07 09 2b 8

Peppermint Cheesecake

People are thrilled when they see me coming with this rich, smooth cheesecake—it’s always a crowd pleaser. Not only does it look sensational, but it is so scrumptious. —Carrie Price, Ottawa, Illinois
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Festive Meringue Cookies Exps Ft20 138913 F 1119 1

Festive Meringue Cookies

Try these meringue cookies without cream of tartar! This Christmas dessert idea sparkles not only during the holidays but for other occasions year-round. Use colored sugar or food coloring to change things up. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Mocha Butter Cream Yule Log Exps Hca22 6273 Dr 12 08 3b 9

Mocha Buttercream Yule Log

Yule logs are one of the most classic Christmas dessert ideas. Preparing one has become a tradition at our home. The filling recipe came from my aunt, and the buttercream frosting was my creation. —Rosie Flanagan, Buchanan, Michigan
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Christmas Pavlova

Christmas Pavlova

Crisp and crunchy on the outside, soft and almost marshmallowy on the inside, this elegant pavlova gets dressed up for the holidays. —James Schend Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Holiday Mocha Spritz

Holiday Mocha Spritz

When I began to use my spritz press, this mocha recipe was the first flavor combination I tried. It took a few attempts to get the hang of it, but now I’m playing with a new dough and disc every time I make them. I plan on making several batches throughout the year. —Shelly L. Bevington, Hermiston, Oregon
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Cranberry Nutella Sandwich Cookies

I created these cookies for my family after I realized that we had been without Nutella for far too long! The tart dried cranberries are a natural pairing to the hazelnut flavor. We can’t get enough of these sweet treats!
—Nancy Mock, Colchester, Vermont
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Chocolate Velvet Dessert Exps Thca22 19457 G07 09 4b

Chocolate Velvet Dessert

This creamy concoction is the result of several attempts to duplicate a dessert I enjoyed on vacation. It looks so beautiful on a buffet table that many folks are tempted to forgo the main course in favor of this chocolaty treat. —Molly Seidel, Edgewood, New Mexico
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Lingonberry Cardamom Cake Exps Rc21 261830 B07 15 10b 10

Lingonberry-Cardamom Cake

Our family is Scandinavian, and we love using almonds, cardamom and lingonberries in desserts, as in this cardamom cake. If lingonberry jam is difficult to obtain, you can use pureed cranberry sauce with a little lemon juice to get a similar sweet-tart flavor. Whipped cream is a perfect topping for this Scandinavian-inspired dessert. —Barbara Kvale, Cologne, Minnesota
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Candy Cane Souffle Exps Tohca21 83081 E03 18 2b

Candy Cane Souffle

Trying to think of Christmas dessert ideas? I came up with this one by modifying one of my mom’s gelatin-based recipes. The pretty pink sweet is a welcome sight on the table.—Joni Hilton, Rocklin, California
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Southern Sweet Potato Tart Exps Hca20 172973 B11 01 1b 6

Southern Sweet Potato Tart

Our family loves sweet potatoes, so I try to incorporate them in as many dishes as I can. My secret ingredient is the bourbon—it’s what makes this tart so delicious. —Marie Bruno, Watkinsville, Georgia
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Gnome Cookies Exps Hccbz18 228359 D05 22 4b 9

Gnome Cookies

Everywhere we went on our trip through Copenhagen, these sprightly wee folk greeted us. I just had to create a cookie!
—James Schend, Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin
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Gluten Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Exps Hcbz21 254026 E06 15 7b 5

Gluten-Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

These gluten-free chocolate crinkle cookies are a family favorite. The ground almonds make them even better. —Karen Kelly, Germantown, Maryland
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Almond Custard Cake Exps78677 Th133086c07 18 3b Rms 8

Almond Custard Cake

This white cake pairs well with all sorts of frostings and fillings, but the chocolate frosting in this recipe is one of my favorites. Pressed for time? Add 1/2 tsp. of almond extract to a white cake mix instead. —Diane Shipley, Mentor, Ohio
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Christmas M M S Cookies Exps Ft20 259958 F 1119 1 1

Christmas M&M’s Cookies

These M&M Christmas cookies make any cookie platter feel festive. Swap in pastel M&M’s for Easter and orange and brown for Halloween. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Holiday Sweet Potato Cheesecake Exps Thca22 130259 B10 19 3b

Holiday Sweet Potato Cheesecake

Family and friends can’t seem to get enough of this deliciously different cheesecake that combines my two favorite desserts—sweet potato pie and cheesecake. I think the dessert tastes best if made 24-48 hours prior to serving. —Melanie Bauder, Manlius, New York
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Rosemary Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies Exps Hcbz21 220040 E07 01 3b

Rosemary Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies

These lovely treats are a traditional part of our Christmas cookie platter. Because the scent of rosemary and the shape of its leaves remind me of pine needles, I cut these using a Christmas tree-shaped cookie cutter. They are fragile, so handle the dough and baked cookies carefully. —Amy Bartlett, Depew, New York
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Coconut Cranberry Alaska Exps Thca21 19485 B01 28 1b 3

Coconut Cranberry Alaska

This impressive treat is my favorite company dessert and it’s one of my best Christmas dessert ideas thanks to the flavor combo. I always receive raves when I serve it and predict that you will, too. — Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
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Scottish Shortbread Exps Thn17 1889 D06 21 4b Basedon 16

Air-Fryer Scottish Shortbread

Give air-fryer baking a try with this easy cookie recipe. It was my mother’s recipe, and she passed it on to me. I make a triple batch of it each year at Christmas, to enjoy and to give as gifts. —Rose Mabee, Selkirk, Manitoba
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Bread Pudding with Sauce

This warm pudding is a traditional winter favorite, and for a good reason. The rich, cinnamony flavor is perfect for the holidays, and the decadent, buttery sauce is such an amazing complement. You can use actual rum instead of extract, just for grown-ups. —Peggy Goodrich, Enid, Oklahoma
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Tiramisu Cookies Exps Ft19 246259 F 1101 1 3

Tiramisu Cookies

These tiramisu cookies bring out the delicious flavors of tiramisu, sandwich-style. Pack these treats in a decorative container for an easy edible hostess gift. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Pumpkin Cannoli Cake Roll Exps Pcbbz21 190413 B04 22 5b

Pumpkin Cannoli Cake Roll

My family has been serving this pumpkin roll every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember. This last Christmas was no exception. Traditions are so heartwarming. This cake is not too sweet—the perfect ending to a special dinner. —Carolyn Rockwell, Milwaukie, Oregon
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Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies Exps Tohcaj19 220682 C03 12 5b Rms 4

Italian Chocolate Spice Cookies

I recently found this old family recipe in my mom’s kitchen. I made a few adjustments to streamline the process, and the cookies turned out wonderfully. —Shawn Barto, Winter Garden, Florida
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Pecan Date Pudding Exps Tohca20 153957 B07 24 1b 11

Pecan Date Pudding

This date pudding recipe was passed down from my great-grandmother to my grandmother. They lovingly served it with whipped cream on top. We never had a holiday without it. —Patricia Rutherford, Winchester, Illinois
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White Chocolate Cast Iron Tart Exps Tohrc20 251650 E06 23 14b 1

Cast-Iron White Chocolate Tart

This decadent dessert is worth every calorie. If you aren’t a fan of citrus, leave out the orange flavoring and the white chocolate will shine through. —Phoebe Saad, Framingham, Massachusetts
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Glazed Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies Exps Hcbz19 241947 B05 19 2b 13

Glazed Brown Sugar Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies are classics and always welcome on my table. But when I want to punch up the flavor a bit, I reach for the brown sugar. It gives these tender cookies a subtle caramel flavor. —Shirley Gardiner, Clearwater, Manitoba
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Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake

After making some delicious dessert bars, I was determined to turn the recipe into a chocolate peppermint cheesecake. This festive dessert is the result and one of my favorites to serve for the holidays. Whether I share it with family or give it as a gift, it always receives rave reviews. —Sue Gronholz, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin
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Peppermint Cream Sandwich Cookies

My mother and I made these crisp chocolate peppermint sandwich cookies together. They are a perfect addition to any party. —Donna Williamson, Round Rock, Texas
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Eggnog Tres Leches Cake Exps Tohdj21 132005 B07 29 12b 3

Eggnog Tres Leches Cake

When the holidays roll around, my family eagerly anticipates sampling this cake. Its rich eggnog flavor is delightful. —Jan Valdez, Chicago, Illinois
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Peanut Butter Cinnamon Snap Cookies Exps Bw20 225538 B09 17 8b 13

Peanut Butter Cinnamon Snap Cookies

These peanut butter cinnamon cookies are an amazing Christmas dessert idea. Use fun cookie cutters for any occasion you are celebrating. The cookie glaze dries shiny, so they look professional. —Kallee Krong-McCreery, Escondido, California
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Frozen Snowflake Gingerbread Cookies

These snowflake cookies will melt in your mouth as soon as they hit your tongue. Experiment with your favorite colors and give your cookie trays an unexpected twist. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Shortcut Peppermint Layer Cake Exps Tohca19 132539 B03 20 1b 2

Shortcut Peppermint Layer Cake

When I first made this cake it was snowing outside, the entire family was home, and we enjoyed it all together. A perfectly pretty holiday cake for a perfect holiday moment! Be sure to measure the peppermint extract carefully—it’s strong, and a little bit goes a very long way. —Mindie Hilton, Susanville, California
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Buddy Bark Exps Tohdj22 264205 E08 04 5b 9

Buddy the Elf Bark

Drawing inspiration from one of our favorite holiday movies, this Christmas dessert idea incorporates ramen noodles with chocolate, candy and everyone’s favorite—marshmallows. —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Heavenly Orange Cranberry Bars Exps Thca20 55691 B10 31 6b 1

Orange Cranberry Cookie Bars

These cranberry cookie bars combine two beloved holiday flavors and top a delicious soft crust with cream cheese icing. We enjoy these during the holiday season. —Jennifer Blakely, Visalia, California
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Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake Exps Ft21 263447 F 0420 1

Chocolate Bourbon Pecan Cheesecake

This bourbon pecan cheesecake will wow your guests and your taste buds. Serve at any other special occasion throughout the year. —Rashanda Cobbins, Taste of Home Food Editor
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Santa Elf Cookies Exps Hcbz19 242044 B05 19 7b 16

Santa’s Elf Cookies

These rosy-cheeked elf cookies will make a showstopping addition to your holiday cookie tray. Or set them atop cupcakes for an extra-cute treat. —Josh Rink, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Mocha Walnut Macaroons Exps Tohdj21 134548 E08 04 4b 1

Mocha-Walnut Macarons

These mocha macarons perfectly capture the chocolate, nutty flavor of my favorite gourmet coffee. Store in an airtight container. —Christine Venzon, Peoria, Illinois
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Bread Pie Exps Toham20 244686 E11 08 9b 26

Bread Pudding Pie

This unique dessert is a bread pudding-pie combo. It was created by my paternal grandmother’s family. They had a farm and made their own bread, which made this a low-cost dessert. — Kelly Barnes, Lexington, Indiana
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Winning Cranberry Cheesecake Exps Tbz21 9563 B05 28 5bv1 8

Winning Cranberry Cheesecake

The holidays wouldn’t be complete without cranberries and eggnog. I use them both in this flavorful cheesecake that’s the perfect finale for a special dinner. Set it out at the start of the meal, not just to solicit “oohs” and “aahs,” but to remind folks to save room for dessert! —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Anise Pizzelle Exps Hca20 136961 E10 18 4b 2

Anise Pizzelle

These lovely, golden brown anise pizzelle cookies have a crisp texture and delicate anise flavor. I create them using a pizzelle iron. —Barbara Colucci, Rockledge, Florida
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Creamy Coconut Peppermint Pie Exps Tohca19 83641 B03 19 5b Rms 8

Creamy Coconut Peppermint Pie

Garnished with toasted coconut and more peppermint candy, this creamy Christmas dessert welcomes the holidays! Look for premade shortbread crusts in the baking aisle of the grocery store. —Cheryl Perry, Hertford, North Carolina
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Festive Meringue Christmas Trees  Exps Hcbz19 241949 B05 14 7bc 2

Festive Meringue Christmas Trees

These meringues are eye-catching on the dessert table at a holiday party, and they taste heavenly! Look no further for the perfect treat to get you into the Christmas spirit. —Jenni Sharp, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Red Velvet Pound Cake Exps Tohca20 97956 E10 31 3b 5

Red Velvet Pound Cake

This delicious red velvet pound cake is the perfect combination of flavors. Make sure the cake has cooled before icing it; for extra crunch sprinkle some roasted pecans on top. —Robin Smith, Old Fort, North Carolina
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Andes Mint Chip Cookies Exps Ft20 257900 F 0826 1 1

Andes Mint Cookies

Transform your favorite candy into a baked treat! These Andes mint cookies are better than any after-dinner mint. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Apple Gingerbread Skillet Cake Exps Cimzw20 242321 B09 01 8b 1

Apple Gingerbread Skillet Cake

This gingerbread recipe came from my grandmother, and we always ate it with warm applesauce. I adapted it into a one-pan dessert by layering the apples around the bottom of a cast-iron skillet and topping them with the gingerbread batter. The skillet creates a wonderfully thick crust on the gingerbread. —Mary M. Leverette, Columbia, South Carolina
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Mint Swirl Fudge Cake Exps Tohca19 78874 B03 21 1b 10

Mint Swirl Fudge Cake

Mint pairs with a silky, mild chocolate flavor for this colorful, beautiful cake that will be the talk of the holiday party. —Heidi Kelly, Norwood, Missouri
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Gingerbread Amaretti Cookies Exps Hcbz19 242105 B05 10 2b

Gingerbread Amaretti Cookies

The classic Italian cookie gets a new gingerbread twist! Don’t overbake—they should be slightly chewy. —Tina Zaccardi, Eastchester, New York

Christina Herbst
Christina is a Social Media Editor for Taste of Home. She enjoys trying out local restaurants and coffeehouses and adding copious amounts of garlic and cheese to any recipe she can get her hands on. In her free time, you can find her hunting down one-of-a-kind furniture pieces at thrift and vintage stores and DIYing trendy home decor crafts.
Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.