65 Christmas Treats for the Holidays
The holidays are filled with sweet memories, gatherings, gifts, and of course, sweet Christmas treats. There are countless occasions when you’ll need to prepare something sweet for the holidays, and we’ve got you covered for all of them. Make these easy treats for kids to decorate on a cold Sunday afternoon. Prepare a batch of sweets as gifts for neighbors, teachers, and holiday guests. Need hostess gifts or homemade party favors? Look no further than our favorite recipes. With delicious ideas for chocolate lovers, lemon fanatics, salty-sweet cravers, and everyone in between, our Christmas confection ideas are the best. If you’re looking for a simple dessert that the kids can help out with, we’ve got plenty of crafty ideas that your little elves will love. From cookies to bars and trifles to truffles, these are the best Christmas treat recipes to make your holiday the sweetest yet.
Cornbread Pudding with Whiskey Caramel
You do the baking but let them spoon on that delicious Whiskey Caramel—how much or how little will be entirely at their discretion.
Snowy Tree Cookies
Recipe: Snowy Tree Cookies
Fudgy Pecan Bourbon Balls
Recipe: Fudgy Pecan Bourbon Balls
This recipe makes about two dozen bourbon balls, so you’ll have plenty to set out at your party and send home with guests as a favor.
Red Velvet Fudge
Recipe: Red Velvet Fudge
Add a little holiday cheer to your usual fudge recipe.
Basic Butter Cookie Dough
Ellender Mills of Raleigh, North Carolina, sent in this recipe, which ran in December, 1995. It’s a wonderful classic cookie dough recipe and the basis for the above recipes (pictured).
Mexican Hot Chocolate Mug Cake
Recipe: Mexican Hot Chocolate Mug Cake
This adorable mug cake would make a perfect stocking stuffer or holiday hostess gift.
Red Velvet Santa Hat Meringues
Recipe: Red Velvet Santa Hat Meringues
Red food coloring gel, not liquid food coloring, will give you the brightest red to match Santa’s suit.
Recipe: Almond Stars
These cookies made with almond flour and almond paste are unique among the same ole sugar cookies.
Cranberry Dreamsicle Trifle
Recipe: Cranberry Dreamsicle Trifle
This trifle might look impressive on the dessert table, but it’s extremely easy to put together.
Recipe: Potato Candy
Get nostalgic this Christmas with one of our favorite vintage recipes.
Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls
Recipe: Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls
Christmas treats aren’t just for dessert. Start the day on a sweet note with homemade cinnamon rolls.
Reindeer Marshmallow Pops
Recipe: Reindeer Marshmallow Pops
These adorable treats are the perfect afternoon activity for your little ones.
Hummingbird Oatmeal Cookies
Red Velvet Thumbprints
Recipe: Red Velvet Thumbprints
Santa will love these little cookies that match his suit perfectly.
Christmas Bulb Sugar Cookies
Recipe: Christmas Bulb Sugar Cookies
String several of these cookies together for the cutest party favor.
Pecan Bourbon Balls
Recipe: Pecan Bourbon Balls
Spiced toasted pecans add a hint of saltiness to these sweet bites.
Caramel-Stuffed Ginger Cookies
Recipe: Caramel-Stuffed Ginger Cookies
Serve these cookies straight from the oven so the ooey-gooey caramel centers shine.
Chewy Ambrosia Biscotti
Recipe: Chewy Ambrosia Biscotti
Enjoy a little holiday flavor with your morning coffee or afternoon tea.
Chocolate Cutout Cookies
Recipe: Chocolate Cutout Cookies
These dark chocolate cookies will stand out amongst their vanilla counterparts.
White Chocolate-Peppermint Blondies
The creamy mint icing on these Christmas-y blondies is to die for.
Spiced Molasses Drops
Recipe: Spiced Molasses Drops
Our Test Kitchen Professionals said these are the best molasses cookies they’ve ever had, and you should take their word for it.
Cranberry Shortbread Bars
Recipe: Cranberry Shortbread Bars
Try this new way to eat cranberries this holiday season.
Red Velvet Souffles with Whipped Sour Cream
These elegant souflés are ideal for a dressy Christmas dinner party.
Recipe: Peppermint Pinwheels
These cookies are just minty enough, but not too minty, if you’ve had peppermint overload this season.
Eggnog Whoopie Pies
Recipe: Eggnog Whoopie Pies
Make the filling for these fluffy pies up to three days in advance to save time.
Mrs. Floyd’s Divinity
Varied Thumbprint and Triple Mint Cookies
These thumbprint recipes offer crisp cookies, creamy fillings, and fun toppings. Our brownie-like Triple Mint Cookies fall in line perfectly with the thumbprints. All recipes listed above are pictured.
No-Bake Fudgy Toffee Bars
Recipe: No-Bake Fudge Toffee Bars
If you’re in a pinch this holiday season, no-bake is the way to go.
Peanut Butter-and-Jelly Linzer Cookies
These whimsical cookies are packed with PB&J nostalgia.
Chocolate-Dipped Praline Pretzels
These treats have the ideal amount of salty and sweet.
Recipe: Walnut Crescents
Leave a bowl of these snowy cookies out whenever guests drop in.
Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites
Recipe: Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites
With just seven ingredients and 15 minutes of hands-on time, you can serve these delightful bits of pecan pie.
Dark Chocolate Sablés
Recipe: Dark Chocolate Sablés
These French butter cookies are elegant for dinner parties.
Spicy Molasses Gingerbread People
Traditional gingerbread cookies get kicked up with warm spices and orange and lemon zests.
Recipe: Orange Palmiers
Enjoy these four-ingredient cookies from brunch to dessert.
Pecan Tea Cakes
Recipe: Pecan Tea Cakes
If you’re a fan of pecan Sandies, you’ll love these pretty tea cakes.
Red Velvet Crackle Sandwich Cookies
Recipe: Chocolate-Bourbon-Fudge Balls
You’ll love this rich twist on a classic bourbon ball.
Soft Sugar Cookie Trees
Recipe: Soft Sugar Cookie Trees
The dough for these cookies can be made up to two days in advance, so plan a decorating party ahead.
Recipe: Cracker Toffee
This five-ingredient toffee recipe starts with a sleeve of Saltines.
Recipe: Molasses Crinkles
These cookies were sent in by Ms. Alice Rhodes from Harrisonburg, Virginia, and published in our November 1992 issue. They’re bursting with every flavor you love about the holidays.
Cranberry Pull-Apart Bread with Orange-Cream Cheese Icing
Give this gorgeous bread as a homemade gift to neighbors, but make one to enjoy at your own Christmas brunch, too.
Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes
Recipe: Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes
No artificial coloring here! These sweet treats get their red hue from beets.
Brown Butter-Maple-Pecan Blondies
Only high-quality, 100 percent pure maple syrup will do for this amazing blondie recipe that you might trade for brownies from now on.
Cake Ball Ornaments
Sparkling Snowflake Sugar Cookies
Serve these bright cookies, made with a touch of brandy, at an adults-only cocktail party.
Recipe: Snow Flurries
This recipe was sent to us by Edith Askins of Greenville, Texas, and published in our November 1992 issue. Raspberry jam is a tasty and fruity filling for these snowy cookies.
Molten Red Velvet Cakes
Recipe: Molten Red Velvet Cakes
These mini cakes are absolutely decadent for the holidays.
Ambrosia Meringue Trifles
Recipe: Ambrosia Meringue Trifles
Ambrosia is a classic holiday dish in the South, and these 10-minute trifles are the prettiest and easiest way to serve it.
Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
Recipe: Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
Brighten up your holiday dessert table with sunny lemon.
Spiced Stars with Cookie Butter
Recipe: Spiced Stars with Cookie Butter
Instead of eating your cookie butter out of the jar with a spoon (although we love to do that, too), try it between two spice cookies this season.
Recipe: Rum Balls
Reader Lela H. Coggins from Brevard, North Carolina, sent us this recipe, which was published in our December 1993 issue. This six-ingredient stunner still holds up today.
Key Lime Tassies
Recipe: Key Lime Tassies
This recipe has everything you love about key lime pie in one bite.
Frozen Pecan Pie Hot Chocolate
Recipe: Frozen Pecan Pie Hot Chocolate
The name isn’t meant to confuse you. This concoction is part milkshake, part hot chocolate, and part pecan pie. Fully yum.