During the holidays, indulging in delicious seasonal desserts is a must. Baking or experimenting with holiday recipes for friends, family or colleagues is even more fun and can be quite meaningful. Sharing the holidays with family—whatever definition of family that is for you—is truly what makes the season special. This is what really defines “being home for the holidays.” Whether you’re trying out something new or perfecting an old favorite, guests are sure to enjoy the care you put into making something scrumptious. Get inspired with these five delicious holiday recipes…
Holiday desserts don’t have to be complicated, and they don’t always have to be baked goods either. A milkshake is the perfect choice for a middle-of-the-day indulgence or for those who are celebrating the holidays in a warmer climate. Milkshakes can be made with nearly any flavoring so making them seasonally appropriate is simple. Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg can be added for a festive flare. Specialty syrups can also be used to create nearly any flavor combination. Syrups such as gingerbread or pumpkin pie by Monin can elevate a normal milkshake into something spectacular.
Eggnog Snickerdoodle Whoopie Pies
These sweet treats are a combination of two classic favorites. The snickerdoodle cookies offer just enough spice to balance out the sweetness of the cream cheese eggnog frosting. Start the recipe by baking your favorite snickerdoodle recipe. Make sure you choose a recipe that makes soft cookies. You can also add eggnog to the recipe, replacing some of the other liquids, to tie all of the flavors together.
While the cookies are baking, mix up your frosting. Choose your favorite cream cheese frosting recipe. Something that includes milk in the ingredients is perfect. Replace the milk with a quarter cup of eggnog for a richer, creamier flavor and texture. Once the cookies have cooled completely, spread a layer of frosting on the flat underside of one and make a sandwich for the perfect holiday dessert.
Holiday-Themed Sugar Cookies
Sugar cookies remain a holiday favorite for good reason. They’re versatile, easy to make, and they can suit nearly any occasion. For the perfect seasonal cookies, first whip up your favorite sugar cookie dough. Choose something that’s firm enough that it can be rolled out. Then choose some of your favorite holiday cookie cutters and start making shapes. Larger, simpler shapes, such as stars or Christmas trees, often present better after baking. If you’re careful, nearly any shape can turn out well. After baking, the cookies can be decorated with frosting. Add a few drops of food coloring to add different colors. Use small candies or sugar sprinkles to adorn. These cookies are also a great activity to do with kids or any other family members that happen to be there.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate Cookies
Peppermint and hot chocolate are two of the most beloved holiday flavors, so combining them seems like an obvious choice. Bakers can choose any chocolate-based cookie recipe they like to make this dessert. Adding in peppermint extract and mixing marshmallows into the dough is perfect for tying together flavors and boosting the hot chocolate idea. Alternatively, large marshmallows can be placed on top of each cookie before baking. Once they heat up, the marshmallows will be soft and gooey.
The cookies can then be frosted with a simple icing of powdered sugar, butter, milk, cocoa, and peppermint extract. Drizzle the icing over the top of the cookies, and don’t worry about being messy. Before the icing cools, sprinkle some crushed peppermint pieces over each cookie for a beautiful garnish and delicious crunch.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Sticky toffee is a well-loved favorite because it’s warming and filling. It makes the perfect choice for a cold winter evening. Truthfully, almost any dense cake can be used to approximate this incredibly sweet dessert. However, a fruit cake or, according to Good Housekeeping, a date cake is more traditional and suits the dessert well. Date cakes can be made by creating a date puree—blending soft, warmed dates, espresso, and vanilla together—and folding that into the cake’s batter. To create the toffee sauce, melt butter in a pan, add brown sugar, then stir in lemon juice, cream and finally pecans. Cut the cake into square pieces and drizzle the toffee pecan sauce over it.
Try some of these holiday recipes or create your own. This is definitely the season for all kinds of delicious flavors.
–Sara Stringer is a freelance writer who most enjoys blogging about lifestyle, relationships and life as a woman. In her spare time, she enjoys soaking up the sunshine with her husband and two kids. Compensation was received for the editing and publishing of this article.
[Photos via Unsplash]