Sure, you could put out a cookie plate, but why not also make a show-stopping croquembouche? Or a modern version of the yule log? From the most dazzling centerpieces to a humble (but delicious!) cookie, this list of Christmas desserts has something for everyone.
Looking for even more holiday favorites? You’ll find something for everyone in these recipe lists:
A croquembouche (kroke-em-boosh) is a tower of profiteroles (cream puffs) stuck together with a thin layer of crisp caramel, which gives the dessert its name, “crocque em bouche” or “crunches in the mouth.” This dramatic pile of puffs is typically served at weddings, but I’ve taken liberties and find it a worthy dessert for any big occasion.
This Parsnip Cranberry Cake is the sophisticated cousin to Carrot Cake. It is just as satisfying and comforting as the carrot version, but it is all its own flavor and delicious. It is perfect with the tangy-sweet cream cheese frosting and tart candied cranberry garnish.
The hazelnut candies adorning this glazed cheesecake look like delicate little jewels and add a wonderful sweet crunch to the smooth and rich chocolate cheesecake. The result is a striking look and flavor.
These jelly filled doughnuts are served during Hanukkah. The pillowy fried dough can be filled to your liking, and jelly is the classic option. Dip them in ganache or glaze for a little extra sweetness and a picturesque look.
Basque cheesecake with its mahogany-colored top and super-rich custardy interior is one of my all-time favorite desserts. I was inspired by the season to add roasted pumpkin and spices to the cheesecake base and it may not be traditional, but it’s delicious.
This is like the most elegant brownie-cake you've ever had. That really doesn't do it justice, but you know that fudge texture of a perfectly baked brownie, where the top has a nice crust and the inside is smooth and rich? This is that, but even better and somehow lighter. I gilded the lily with candied hazelnuts.
This pie from Shauna Sever's book, Midwest Made, is all about the deep chocolate flavor. Be sure to use a high quality, bitter chocolate (70-75% cacao) or the pie can get very sweet, FAST! In her book the pie is topped with a homemade Cool Whip, which is 100% in keeping with the traditional pie. I left the cream unstabilized and unsweetened, because I like the contrast of the sweet filling to the clean, rich cream on top, you choose which way to go.
I think a pavlova is the perfect holiday dessert. It is beautiful enough to be a centerpiece on your table, so light that it can follow a big holiday meal and its flavors can change with your every whim.
This peanut butter pie recipe is oh-so delicious. With a graham cracker crust, a smooth peanut butter filling made with cream cheese, a layer of chocolate ganache, and a whipped cream and candied peanut topping, this dessert is deluxe and irresistible. Be sure to chill this pie for two hours or overnight before serving.