30+ Christmas Treats for the Holidays

Christmas Bulb Sugar Cookies
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

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 recipes 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 recipes to make your holiday the sweetest yet.

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Snowy Tree Cookies

Christmas Bulb Sugar Cookies
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe: Snowy Tree Cookies

Use a set of star-shape cookie cutters to make these special cookies.

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Fudgy Pecan Bourbon Balls

Fudgy Pecan Bourbon Balls Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez; Prop Styling: Karin Olsen; Food Styling: Kellie Gerber Kelley

Recipe: Fudgy Pecan Bourbon Balls

This recipe makes about two dozen bourbon balls, so you'll have plenty to send home with guests after the party.

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Basic Butter Cookie Dough

Cherry Chocolates Recipe
Laurey W. Glenn

Ellender Mills of Raleigh, North Carolina, sent in this recipe, which ran in December, 1995.

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Potato Candy

Citrus Mints
Photo: Alison Miksch

Recipe: Potato Candy

Get nostalgic this Christmas with one of our favorite vintage recipes.

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Reindeer Marshmallow Pops

Reindeer Marshmallow Pops
Southern Living

Recipe: Reindeer Marshmallow Pops

These adorable treats are the perfect afternoon activity for your little ones.

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Christmas Bulb Sugar Cookies

Christmas Bulb Sugar Cookies
Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

String several of these cookies together for the cutest party favor.

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Pecan Bourbon Balls

Bourbon Balls
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Pecan Bourbon Balls

Spiced toasted pecans add a hint of saltiness to these sweet bites.

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White Chocolate-Peppermint Blondies

White Chocolate-Peppermint Blondies
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: White Chocolate-Peppermint Blondies

The creamy mint icing on these Christmas-y blondies will steal the holiday show.

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Cherry Chocolates

Cherry Chocolates Recipe
Laurey W. Glenn

Recipe: Cherry Chocolates

Mold this butter cookie dough around a chocolate candy, top with half of a candied cherry, and bake.

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No-Bake Fudgy Toffee Bars

No-Bake Fudgy Toffee Bars
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: No-Bake Fudge Toffee Bars

If you're in a pinch this holiday season, no-bake is the way to go.

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Dark Chocolate Sablés

Dark Chocolate Sablés
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Dark Chocolate Sablés

These French butter cookies are elegant for dinner parties.

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Soft Sugar Cookie Trees

Soft Sugar Cookie Trees
Iain Bagwell

The dough for these cookies can be made up to two days in advance, so plan a decorating party ahead.

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Cracker Toffee

Cracker Toffee
Abbi Wilt

Recipe: Cracker Toffee

This five-ingredient toffee recipe starts with a sleeve of Saltines.

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Molasses Crinkles

Molasses Crinkles Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

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.

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Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes

Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes
Photo: Victor Protasio; Prop Styling: Missie Neville Crawford; Food Styling Torie Cox

Recipe: Beet Red Velvet Cupcakes

No artificial coloring here! These sweet treats get their red hue from beets.

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Brown Butter-Maple-Pecan Blondies

Brown Butter-Maple-Pecan Blondies
Linda Pugliese

Recipe: Brown Butter-Maple-Pecan Blondies

Move over, brownies. These blondies, made with 100 percent pure maple syrup, will get all of the attention at the dessert table.

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Cake Ball Ornaments

Cake Ball Ornaments
Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Claire Spollen; Food Styling: Torie Cox

Recipe: Cake Ball Ornaments

Although we used these ornaments to top the Snowy Vanilla Cake from our December 2017 cover, they can be enjoyed on their own and make a beautiful addition to any dessert spread.

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Molten Red Velvet Cakes

Molten Red Velvet Cakes, red velvet cake recipe
HECTOR MANUEL SANCHEZ

Recipe: Molten Red Velvet Cakes

These mini cakes are absolutely decadent for the holidays.

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Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
Southern Living

Recipe: Lemon Thumbprint Cookies

Brighten up your holiday dessert table with a touch of lemon.

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Rum Balls

Rum Balls Recipe
Hector Manuel Sanchez

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.

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Key Lime Tassies

Key Lime Tassies
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Key Lime Tassies

Tart Key lime pie in one bite.

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Red Velvet Fudge

Sweet Valentine’s Day Treats Red Velvet Fudge
Alison Miksch

Recipe: Red Velvet Fudge

Add a little holiday cheer to your usual fudge recipe.

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Cranberry Dreamsicle Trifle

Cranberry Dreamsicle Trifle
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Cranberry Dreamsicle Trifle

This trifle might look impressive on the dessert table, but it's extremely easy to put together.

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Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Christmas Morning Cinnamon Rolls

Christmas treats aren't just for dessert. Start the day on a sweet note with homemade cinnamon rolls.

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Hummingbird Oatmeal Cookies

Hummingbird Oatmeal Cookies
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Hummingbird Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are a more portable way to enjoy our most popular recipe of all tlime—the Hummingbird Cake.

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Red Velvet Souffles with Whipped Sour Cream

Red Velvet Soufflés with Whipped Sour Cream
Jennifer Davick

Recipe: Red Velvet Soufflés with Whipped Sour Cream

These soufflés are a great choice for an elegant Christmas dinner party.

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Mrs. Floyd's Divinity

Mrs. Floyd’s Divinity
Southern Living

Recipe: Mrs. Floyd's Divinity

This classic holiday dessert lives up to its divine name.

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Chocolate-Dipped Praline Pretzels

Sweet Valentine’s Day Treats Chocolate-Dipped Praline Pretzels
Iain Bagwell

Recipe: Chocolate-Dipped Praline Pretzels

These treats have the ideal amount of salty and sweet.

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Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites

Crunchy Pecan Pie Bites
Jennifer Davick

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.

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Belgian Spice Cookies

Belgian Spice Cookies
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Belgian Spice Cookies

These cozy cookies, also known as Speculoos, will delight guests young and old.

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Praline Cream-Beignet Tower

Praline Cream-Beignet Tower
Photo: Linda Pugliese

Recipe: Praline Cream Beignet Tower

This brunch or dessert recipe is truly a show-stopper.

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Coconut Snowballs

Coconut Snowballs
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Coconut Snowballs

Six ingredients and 10 minutes of hands-on time is all you'll need to make these pretty little cookies.

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Pecan-Cranberry Shortbread

Red Velvet Thumbprints
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Pecan-Cranberry Shortbread

These cheerful cookies are ideal for a holiday luncheon.

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Triple Chocolate Brownie-Mousse Stacks

Triple Chocolate Brownie-Mousse Stacks
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Triple Chocolate Brownie-Mousse Stacks

Delight chocolate lovers with mini desserts that are easier to serve than slicing cake.

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Our Best Homemade Marshmallows

Chocolate-Peppermint Cheesecake
Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Our Best Homemade Marshmallows

For a holiday spin on classic homemade marshmallows, this recipe gives directions to make peppermint and bourbon-caramel variations. Pair with hot chocolate and a Christmas movie.

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Mini Chocolate Chess Tarts

Mini Chocolate Chess Tarts
Photo: Alison Miksch

Recipe: Mini Chocolate Chess Tarts

Consider this a warning: You'll want to devour all five dozen of the tarts this easy recipe makes.

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Chocolate-Peppermint Crackle Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Crackle Cookies
Hector Manuel Sanchez

Recipe: Chocolate-Peppermint Crackle Cookies

We think Santa would eat every last one of these crackle cookies on Christmas Eve.

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Ambrosia Streusel Bars with Shortbread Crust

Milk Punch Tres Leches Cake
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: Ambrosia Streusel Bars with Shortbread Crust

You'll never want to eat traditional ambrosia after you try it in bar form.

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5-Ingredient Sugar Cookies

5-Ingredient Sugar Cookies
Photo: Hector Sanchez

Recipe: 5-Ingredient Sugar Cookies

Let the kids get creative decorating half of these cookies, and decorate the other half for your own dinner guests.

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