This year has dropped off a number of unexpected surprises, but the approaching holiday season rings in a time to celebrate with friends, family, and food. The winter cold and early sunsets can make the end of the year gloomy, but not with our favorite holiday sweets. Spread the holiday cheer with these top holiday dessert recipes for a festive gathering.
A freshly-baked, warm, and chewy chocolate chip cookie is a must for the holidays. Try toasting your butter on the stovetop to a light brown hue. By doing so, the sweet treat takes on a nuttier dimension that balances with the sugary component. Tasty’s recipe elevates the classic cookie into a fancy version every guest will love.
The endless boxes of gifted panettone may leave an underwhelming present. Try revamping the Italian sweet bread into richer, more flavorful panettone bread pudding . This reinvention aces the top holiday dessert recipes list. The Christmas bread gets a unique makeover with a quick bake tossed in a creamy custard and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. Bon Appétit’s Molly Baz introduces a creative cross between two traditional holiday desserts.
What’s a holiday without the infamous fruitcake? The subtle sweetness of the fruit combined with the aromatic spices serves an incredible dessert to share. Additionally, a splash of brandy lends a warming, boozy treat for the adults to enjoy. Fruitcake is the inevitable holiday classic that always finds a way to the table. The Spruce Eats takes this Christmas quick bread to the next level.
Who says holiday desserts can’t be drinks? Or even alcoholic? The warm welcoming of an eggnog-filled mug can provide the liquid courage for any holiday guest. Spike the rich beverage with brandy, dark rum, or even whiskey – it’s your holiday after all. And remember, nog tends to get better over time in the fridge. It goes without saying. George Mahaffey’s traditional spiced eggnog featured in Food&Wine may be the drink for the best holiday yet.
Buttery and flaky, a classic apple pie on the Thanksgiving table marries the warm, spiced flavors of fall with the holiday spirit of winter. A flaky crust embedded with rich butter yields a richness that complements the tartness of the apples. Serve up this classic holiday dessert with NYT Cooking’s world-class recipe.
A classic sugar cookie goes a long way on the top holiday dessert recipes list! The light, buttery flavor paired with the delicate icing makes for a simple, yet necessary treat. Invite friends and family to decorate your next batch for a fun bonding activity. Bon Appétit offers an easy, yet delicious recipe for this festive art project.
Just like in the Harry Potter movies, butterbeer tends to have a magical effect on those who drink it. Luckily, the holidays are the perfect time to sip the buttery, mulled beverage. Butterbeer comes from the old-world English method of infusing ale with spices. Cloves, ginger, and fresh nutmeg add a layer of warm spice to the ale while the butter brings a necessary richness. Check out the 1588 recipe from the modern perspective of Greg from How To Drink.
A homemade Crème Brûlée offers a rich, decadent winter dessert to cap off the end of any holiday feast. The glass-like sugar coating on top brings a sophisticated French spin on the typical custardy dessert. NYT Cooking’s crème brûlée brings the elevated dining experience home for the holidays.
Not the biggest fan of eggnog? The Brandy Alexander might be the holiday dessert cocktail for you. Rich, dark tones from the crème de cacao, a chocolate liquor, blends with the delicate sweetness of brandy. Top the homemade cocktail with freshly grated nutmeg and, voila! The decadent cocktail is ready to warm you up from the winter cold outside!
Between the warming holiday cocktails or the richness of dinner, you may be starting to fall asleep at this point. Luckily, a bitter yet creamy tiramisu awaits as the perfect “pick me up” for the rest of the night. Amaretti cookies soaked in fresh espresso makes for a perfect ending to a holiday meal. Top with whipped mascarpone cream mixed with dark rum and garnish with cocoa powder for a light, caffeinated treat.