When the holidays are in full swing, ovens are hot, and cookies are baking. Mix things up this year, and try your hand at one of these 10 festive goodies instead.
Large platters filled with festive treats tend to be a hit. They look gorgeous, provide plenty of delicious options, and everyone loves grab-and-go desserts. All of your guests will adore these merry little sweets.
Bites and Bars
Small bite-size bars always make an impression. Try either of these yummy and delightful desserts:
- Santa Hat Cheesecake Bites: Adorable and simple to make, these mini cheesecakes are perfect if you don’t have much time. The recipe also includes a “cheater version,” for which you can use frozen cheesecake bites, but we all know homemade tastes best. Fresh strawberries and a homemade whipped cream bring these bites to life and turn them into cute Santa hats.
Get the Recipe: Cooking Classy
- Christmas Goody Bars: From a swirl of chocolate fudge to a buttery oatmeal pecan crust, these Christmas goody bars are a hit. They’re also especially cute with the red and green M&M’s on top. Give these to Santa this year, and you might get an extra gift under your tree.
Get the Recipe: Together as Family
Some call it bark and some call it crack because, with each sweet bite, you become more addicted. Try any of these Christmas bark recipes this holiday season—they’re sure to be a hit:
- Peppermint Bark: If baking isn’t your thing, this is the solution. For this recipe, you just crush some peppermint candies, melt some chocolate, chill it in the fridge, and then your sweet treats are ready to go! You’ll love the flavor of the combined sweet milk and white chocolates finished off with a cool, peppermint aftertaste.
Get the Recipe: All Recipes
- White Chocolate Holiday Bark: This recipe has easy-to-follow instructions, and you can put it all together without even using the oven. For a tasty holiday twist, you fill the white chocolate bark with dried cranberries and pistachio nuts. The salty crunch from the pistachios combined with the tart, tangy cranberries create a phenomenal Christmas treat.
Get the Recipe: Food Network
- Christmas Crack: This recipe does require the oven, but it’s beyond worth it. The simple ingredients (saltines, chocolate, and homemade toffee) create a flavor that’s out of this world! It’s no wonder the author called this treat “crack” because you won’t be able to stop eating it. If there’s one dessert you should make for the holidays, it’s this one!
Get the Recipe: Dinner at the Zoo
Muffins and Tarts
Tarts and muffins can be a hit, especially when they come in a mini form. Try any (or all) of these recipes for your next holiday party:
- Cranberry Orange Muffins: These citrusy sweet and oh-so-moist muffins are perfect for Christmas morning or any holiday party. Pair them with a cup of hot coffee or cocoa, and you’ve got a yummy breakfast for the whole family.
Get the Recipe: Joyful Healthy Eats
- Gingerbread Apple Muffins: The spicy ground ginger and cinnamon, coupled with freshly diced apples, come together so nicely in this recipe. Each bite is packed with flavor and warm holiday spices. You can bake a batch within an hour, and the ingredients are healthy, too.
Get the Recipe: Well Plated
- Cranberry Brie Mini Tarts: Ah, soft brie and tart cranberry sauce join forces once again to create a delightful treat. These work great as an appetizer or a dessert.
Get the Recipe: Fox and Briar
Brownies and Blondies
Brownies and blondies always go fast at parties or get-togethers. For a chic look, try the raspberry lemon blondies or the Christmas tree brownies if you want a more obvious holiday theme:
- Raspberry Lemon Blondies: You can make these stunning blondies any time of year. The fresh lemon and raspberries make quite an impression on the taste buds. If you don’t get around to making them this winter, definitely save the recipe for a delightful summertime treat.
Get the Recipe: Bake Eat Repeat
- Christmas Tree Brownies: Your guests will find these both delicious and adorable. A little baking and frosting go a long way, but you don’t have to be a pastry chef to create these. Follow the video if you need a bit of extra guidance.
Get the Recipe: Dinner at the Zoo