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95 Super Festive Recipes to Get You in the Christmas Spirit

Fire-up the Christmas Spirit by turning on some holiday music and whipping up these festive cookies, cakes, beverages and more!

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Candy Cane Shortbread Bars

I created these bars for my daughter, who loves peppermint. The buttery shortbread texture just melts in your mouth. It’s a hit wherever I take it. —Susan Ciuffreda, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

Up next: Here’s every Christmas cookie you’ll ever need.

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Snow Globe Keepsake Cookies

Make holiday magic! These extra-special ornaments are totally customizable—each filled with a little snowfall of edible sprinkles. Let it snow in your house with the prettiest of decorative cookie keepsakes. —Josh Rink, Food Stylist, Taste of Home magazine

These cookies are seriously incredible. Watch our video to see how they’re made.

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No-Bake Christmas Wreath Treats

Cornflakes take the place of traditional rice cereal in these sweet no-bake Christmas cookies from our Test Kitchen. Dressed up with green food coloring and red candies, they're a fun addition to cookie platters and dessert buffets. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Christmas Morning Sweet Rolls

These make-ahead rolls have been a holiday tradition for years. The eggnog in the frosting makes them extra special on Christmas morning. —Kimberly Williams, Brownsburg, Indiana
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Finnish Mulled Wine

I found this recipe stuck in the pages of my Finnish grandmother's Bible. It takes 24 hours to make. Store tightly bottled in the fridge for up to two weeks. —Judy Batson, Tampa, Florida
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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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Spiced Rum Fruitcake

This fruitcake not only can be made weeks ahead, it tastes better that way! You can substitute Brazil nuts, pecans and hazelnuts for the walnuts—or use a combination of nuts. —Jason Boor, Manchester, New York
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My Christmas Fudge

This fudge is virtually foolproof and so creamy you won't believe it. I've searched for years for the richest fudge, and this one does it for me. You can add just about anything you like to customize it.—Barbara Miller, Oakdale, Minnesota
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No-Churn Gingerbread Ice Cream

Thanksgiving or Christmas is gingerbread time! And this ice cream says it all. I've found that dark brown sugar works better than light. —Jacqueline, McComas, Paoli, Pennsylvania
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Snowman Cookies

Wrap these chocolate-topped snowmen in colored tissue and place them inside holiday containers. Like real snowmen, they disappear fast! —Betty Tabb, Mifflintown, Pennsylvania
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Melting Snowman

After an afternoon of sledding, kids will love to warm up with hot chocolate and these special snowman toppers. The snowmen will disappear as they sip and so will the chill on their fingers and toes! —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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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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Daisy's Fruitcake

I added pecans and candied fruits to an apple cake recipe for my Texan take on traditional English fruitcake. —Daisy Corene McHorse, San Saba, Texas
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Coconut Yule Trees

People say they love my coconut macaroon-like Christmas trees because they look so festive. Once decorated, these trees light up a room—just like the real thing. —Michelle Retterer, Marysville, Ohio
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Chocolate, Peanut & Pretzel Toffee Crisps

My "crispers" are the ultimate combination of salty and sweet. They never last long because—trust me—they're addictive! Make the recipe the way it's written or sprinkle on any treats you like. —Jennifer Butka, Livonia, Michigan
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Red Velvet Candy Cane Fudge

My favorite kind of cake, red velvet, inspired me to create this fudge. If you'd like, spoon the candy mixture into paper-lined mini-muffin cups instead of spreading it into a pan. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Molasses Cookies

Making these soft, chewy cookies with a rich flavor has been a family tradition since my children were small. At Christmastime, I shape the dough into gingerbread men with tasty raisin eyes and buttons. —Sue Bartlett, Berlin, Wisconsin
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Peppermint Candy Cookies

Taking a cue from Star Mints, I created a buttery cookie with a holiday look. This one melts in your mouth faster than its candy cousin. —Gloria McKenzie, Panama City, Florida
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Candied Fruit Cookies

These no-fuss candied fruit cookies are both nutty and fruity, so they're always a hit at holiday time. —Florence Monson, Denver, Colorado
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Frosted Anise Sugar Cookies

These soft, cake-like cookies have a pleasant anise flavor that's distinct but not overpowering. I add red and green sprinkles for Christmas, but you could decorate them to suit any occasion.—Janice Eanni, Willowick, Ohio
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Heavenly Drinking Chocolate

The name says it all—sipping this beverage is like experiencing an out-of-this-world blend of dark and milk chocolate. The only thing that could make it better? A dollop of whipped cream on top. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Upside-Down Fruitcake

I get tired of people bad-mouthing holiday fruitcakes. It's one of my favorite holiday flavors and I look forward to it every year. This year, I decided to combine it with everyone's favorite, upside-down cake. Try to say no to this fruitcake; I dare you! —James Schend, Taste of Home Deputy Editor
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Christmas Gingerbread Trifle

Trifle desserts make eye-catching centerpieces. I garnish mine using candy canes and red and green M&M's. Think of the merry possibilities as a kid-friendly project. —Cheryl Tompkins, Kingsville, Missouri
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Santa Claus Sugar Cookies

Santa Claus Sugar Cookies

I've used this recipe for almost 40 years and love it because it's a little different than most. My mom always made Santa cookies, and we'd put them into little clear bags tied with ribbon to hang on the tree.—Ann Bush, Colorado City, Colorado
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Very Cherry Crescent Ring

My mother used to prepare this pretty coffee cake on Christmas Eve for our family to enjoy the next morning after opening gifts. It's an easy way to add an elegant touch to a holiday breakfast or brunch. —Karen Sevensky, Hackettstown, New Jersey
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Snow Angel Cookies

Get a little snow at the holidays, no matter where you are. Head to the kitchen and bake a batch of angel cookies swirled with heavenly frosting. —Carolyn Moseley, Dayton, Ohio
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Chocolate-Dipped Meringue Sandwich Cookies

These light, airy morsels are twice as nice with two meringue cookies and velvety ganache in between. —Donna Pochoday-Stelmach, Morristown, New Jersey
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Festive Holiday Punch

This refreshing holiday punch has a gorgeous raspberry color and tangy flavor. To complete the magic, we garnish the glasses with lime wedges. —Tahnia Fox, Trenton, Michigan
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Festive Guacamole Appetizers

For ages, my brother's family and I have gotten together on Christmas Eve, and we always eat Christmas snacks while we open our presents. This Tex-Mex spin on classic appetizer pizza is one we have again and again. —Laurie Pester, Colstrip, Montana
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Red Velvet Spritz Cookies

I had never come across a red velvet spritz recipe, so I decided to create one. The hint of cocoa makes these taste like red velvet cake. Add peppermint flavoring for a little extra kick. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Santa Deviled Eggs

I love creating special deviled eggs for parties. These little Santas are easier to make than they look, and everyone raves over them. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Gingerbread Snow Globe

I make a big batch of these gingerbread cookies every Christmas to give to co-workers and family. For a festive decoration, arrange cutouts in a large clear jar to look like a snow globe. —Kelly Kirby, Mill Bay, British Columbia
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Meringue Snowballs In Custard

My family has passed down this elegant dessert generation by generation. It started with my Russian great-grandmother, who traveled to America more than 100 years ago. I love continuing the tradition with her recipe. —Tonya Burkhard, Palm Coast, Florida
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Christmas Lights Cookies

What better way to brighten chilly winter days than with light-shaped cookies? My classic dough recipe has been a holiday tradition in our family for years. —Carolyn Moseley, Dayton, Ohio
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Chocolate Cutout Cookies

I love gingerbread cookies, but my grandchildren don't like the ginger flavor. Now I use chocolate and watch them smile as they take that first bite. —Nancy Murphy, Mount Dora, Florida
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Icy Holiday Punch

Pull out the punchbowl for this rosy thirst-quencher that dazzles at Christmas parties. This fun prep-ahead beverage makes any occasion a bit more special. It's delicious with apricot gelatin, too. —Margaret Matson, Metamora, Illinois
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Holiday Danish Puffs

It's worth the extra effort to make this delightful candy cane-shaped dessert. Best of all, the recipe makes two pastries, so it's perfect for gift-giving. —Susan Garoutte, Georgetown, Texas
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Reindeer Track Cookies

I loved finding deer tracks in snow when I was a kid. One day I was looking at coffee beans, and I realized they look like little hoof prints. That's how I came up with this fun recipe.—Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Candy Cane Chocolate Mini Loaves

Having a bunch of leftover candy canes after the holidays inspired me to use them up by adding them to a chocolate bread. Coffee and cocoa intensify the flavor. —Shelly Platten, Amherst, Wisconsin
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Dipped Gingersnaps

I get tremendous satisfaction making and giving time-tested yuletide treats like these soft, chewy cookies. Dipping them in white chocolate makes much-loved gingersnaps even more special. —Laura Kimball, West Jordan, Utah
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Peppermint Biscotti

Dipped in melted chocolate and rolled in crushed peppermint candy, these flavorful biscotti are a favorite. They are among the many sweets I make for Christmas. —Paula Marchesi, Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania
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Gingerbread Sandwich Trees

Fun and festive, these cookie sandwich trees will be a huge hit with kids of all ages. They're a super-cute holiday treat! —Steve Foy, Kirkwood, Missouri
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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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Eggnog Cheesecake

I make good use of extra eggnog by creating this luscious cheesecake. A bit of rum extract adds a special taste. —Kristen Grula, Hazleton, Pennsylvania
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Rudolph Treats

These adorable goodies are a fun treat for kids, neighbors and friends. Get the little ones involved and let them help you create a new holiday tradition. —Abigail Vandersaul, Saint Paul, Missouri
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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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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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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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Double Chocolate Walnut Fudge

Anyone who's fond of chocolate will like this smooth, nutty fudge twice as much. I enjoy making several batches when Christmas rolls around. It doesn't last long at our house during the December festivities! —Florence Hasty, Louisiana, Missouri
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Santa Claus Cookies

Store-bought peanut butter sandwich cookies become jolly Santas with white chocolate, colored sugar, mini chips and red-hot candies. —Mary Kaufenberg, Shakopee, Minnesota
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Homemade Eggnog

Once, I asked my mother how to make eggnog, and she showed me this recipe. After just one taste, folks will know this homemade holiday treat came from the kitchen, not from the store. —Pat Waymire, Yellow Springs, Ohio
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Triple-Chocolate Peppermint Treats

Santa is sure to stop by your house if you leave these minty chocolate cookies waiting for him. They're quick and easy for the whole family to make together. —Teresa Ralston, New Albany, Ohio
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Snowman Treats

My daughter, Hannah, and I came up with this recipe on Christmas Eve when she wanted to make treats for Santa. Building a real snowman is fun, but we think coating one in candy is even cooler! —Lori Daniels, Beverly, West Virginia
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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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Christmas Cutouts

Making and decorating these tender sugar cookies left a lasting impression on our four children. Adults now, they've all asked for my Christmas cutouts recipe so they can bake them with their own children. —Shirley Kidd, New London, Minnesota
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Holiday Eggnog Pie

I created this holiday pie one day when trying to use up a few things I had on hand. Everyone loved it! With pumpkin pie spice and eggnog, this creamy, dreamy pie has fantastic flavor. —Shirley Darger, Colorado City, Arizona
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Homemade Christmas Jam

A few years ago, I hit upon the idea of presenting family and friends with baskets of homemade jam as gifts. With cherries, cinnamon and cloves, this smells and tastes like Christmas! —Marilyn Reineman, Stockton, California
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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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Roly-Poly Santas

I tuck one of these fanciful Santas into every gift cookie tray I make. They're a guaranteed hit with kids—young and old. And I like that they're not too difficult to assemble. —Andrew Syer, Oak Ridge, Missouri
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Christmas Village Houses

Bring some holiday magic to your home with these cute gingerbread creations. The edible establishments are so easy to assemble and decorate with candies that your little elves can join in the fun. Serve them as a sweet snack or use to decorate a buffet table. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Caramel Pecan Rolls

Soft and sweet, these rolls will get a lip-smacking smile from everyone. They rise nice and high, hold their shape and have a gooey caramel sauce that's scrumptious. There's no better way to start the day! —Carolyn Buschkamp, Emmetsburg, Iowa
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Gingerbread Snowflakes

Cutting my favorite gingerbread cookie dough into snowflake shapes and decorating them with white icing was ideal for my theme get-together. I save these crunchy treats to enjoy on the way home from our Christmas tree outing. —Shelly Rynearson, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin
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Holiday Snow Globe Cake

I can change up the decorations on this cake depending on the holiday—or birthday. My daughter loves this Christmas version. —Marie Louise Ludwig, Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
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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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Maple Hot Chocolate

When I first developed this version of hot chocolate, my husband was quite skeptical. But after one taste, his doubts were erased. It really hits the spot on a chilly morning, especially when served with cinnamon rolls or doughnuts. —Darlene Miller, Linn, Missouri
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Holiday Cornflake Cookies

I can't seem to make enough of these cornflake wreaths around the holidays. The cookies firm up quickly, so you'll need to place the Red Hots right away. —Kathleen Hedger, Fairview Heights, Illinois
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White Christmas Cake

"Wow!" is the reaction from family and guests when they see and taste this lovely three-layer beauty. White chocolate, coconut and pecans make it so delicious. You can bake the cake layers in advance and freeze them. Then assemble and decorate the cake the day of the party. —Nancy Reichert, Thomasville, Georgia
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Pecan Cutout Cookies

My husband's grandmother made these buttery cookies using a star cutter. I've never tasted a cookie quite like it, so nutty and flavorful. —Louise Reisler, Bonduel, Wisconsin
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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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Raspberry Red Bakewell Tart

I fell for the Bakewell tart, a British dessert, while stationed in Dubai with the Navy. Jam with almond filling is traditional, but red velvet makes this a holiday dazzler. —Crystal Schlueter, Northglenn, Colorado
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Holly Berry Cookies

What would Christmas be without overflowing tins of cookies? These festive filled cookies are the all time favorites of my family. Back when our children were small, we began baking them the day after Halloween and put them away in the freezer. —Audrey Thibodeau, Gilbert, Arizona
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Eggnog Cranberry Pie

Here's an elegant pie that says “holiday” in every bite. The tart cranberries contrast nicely with the rich eggnog layer. It's a repeat dessert at our house. —Ruth White, Bedford, Ohio
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Candy Cane Hot Cocoa Mix

We make batches of this minty, malted milk-flavored hot chocolate to give as gifts. Be prepared—friends will return the jars for refills! —Sara Tatham, Plymouth, New Hampshire
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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
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Holiday Sugar Cookies

I add a hint of lemon to these delightful sugar cookies. For make-ahead convenience, freeze the dough up to three months, then thaw in the fridge before baking and decorating them. —Katie Koziolek, Hartland, Minnesota
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Banana Nog

During my family's annual cookie exchange, we ran out of our beloved eggnog...much to everyone's horror! So into the kitchen I went to create this cool, creamy treat. —Jennae LeFebvre, Aurora, Illinois
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White Chocolate Christmas Torte

Talk about a scene-stealer! This raspberry-filled cake, an exceptional dessert for any meal, is an especially lovely ending for a holiday feast. —Carol Gillespie, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
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Chocolate-Dipped Candy Canes

I couldn't resist combining my two loves—peppermint and chocolate—in this recipe. These are so easy, but if one breaks in the process, just pop it in your mouth. —Sandra Baumgarten, Vancouver, Washington
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Lime Christmas Tea Cookies

Brighten your holiday cookie tray with these tangy frosted fir trees that are flecked with pistachios and flavored with lime juice and vanilla. They're a deliciously different cutout cookie. —Mary Ann Taday, East Lyme, Connecticut
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Calypso Cups

These cup-shaped cookies go over great at any occasion. I like to tint the frosting to coordinate with the event. —Lorraine Kaczmarek, Steubenville, Ohio
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Hot Chocolate Cake Balls

Serve these chocolaty delights and everyone will know yours isn't an ordinary holiday party. The little cakes are festive, fun and yummy. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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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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Snowman Christmas Cookies

Get the kids in on the action when you make these cheesecakey cookies—just roll away. The snowmen look adorable on a cookie tray. —Cathy Medley, Clyde, Ohio
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Peppermint Crunch Christmas Cookies

Several years ago, I took a basic shortbread recipe and turned it into a much more festive Christmas cookie. These gems are now a family favorite and are among the best Christmas cookies of the holiday season. —Heather Carter, Wasilla, Alaska
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Christmas Star Twisted Bread

Swirled with jam, this sweet beauty may look tricky, but it’s not. The best part is opening the oven to find this freshly baked star bread in all its glory. —Darlene Brenden, Salem, Oregon
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Callahan Christmas Wreaths

When my family asked for good old Norwegian wreath cookies, I studied several recipes for ideas, then added my own special touches. — Cassidy Callahan, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
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Meringue Santa Hats

My grandkids love it when I make meringues shaped like Santa hats. If they are here, they love to help—they like to put red glitter on the meringue and take such pride in knowing they have helped Grandma.—Bonnie Hawkins, Elkhorn, Wisconsin
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Snow Punch

As pretty as a fresh snowdrift, this frothy, fruity punch has been a Christmas tradition in our family for years - but it's a light and refreshing thirst-quencher in any season. —Eloise Neeley, Norton, Ohio
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Snowman Cutouts

As the song goes, "Frosty the snowman was a jolly, happy soul," and you will be, too, when you whip up this easy recipe! Kids of all ages will love rolling out the dough and mixing and matching pieces to make their very own snowman. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Christmas Cranberry Punch

Every year my grandma made her zingy punch for our Christmas Eve feast. —Helen Roland, Miami, Florida
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Christmas Crunch Candy

Treat family and friends to a yummy brittle for the holidays. Made with cashews and Rice Krispies, it's loaded with crispy-crunchy goodness. —Amanda McLemore, Maryville, Tennessee
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Gingerbread Cutout Christmas Cookies

Turn your cookie platter into a winter wonderland. One classic gingerbread boy cookie cutter can make a big batch of Christmas characters. —Donna Sasser Hinds, Milwaukie, Oregon
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Triple Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

This dazzling cookie showcases one of my family's favorite flavors, peppermint. It's always one of the first to disappear from the cookie tray. —Priscilla Yee, Concord, California
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Christmas Jam

I have a passion for cooking, and I can probably thank my grandmother for it. She was a marvelous cook who could really stretch a food dollar. —Jo Talvacchia, Lanoka Harbor, New Jersey
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Peppermint Twist Kisses

As rosy as Santa's cheeks, these merry morsels with chocolate kisses on top are a delightful yuletide favorite and one of my most-requested recipes. —Traci Wynne, Denver, Pennsylvania

Caroline Stanko
As Editor, Caroline writes and edits all things food-related and helps produce videos for Taste of Home. When she’s not at her desk, you can probably find Caroline cooking up a feast, planning her next trip abroad or daydreaming about her golden retriever, Mac.

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