Desserts to Test Your Baking Skills this Holiday Season

Your home from college for the holidays, and you're finally ready to join the grown-up table! Whether you have a big or small family, there are usually unique dishes your family members make. My dad makes the best mac and cheese; my mom is typically the one the makes the most delicious, tender meats, my sister is in charge of casseroles, my cousins banana pudding will rock your socks, and then there's little old me that can eat you out of house and home. This year I have decided that I will make a name for myself at our holiday gathering for the best treats! I recently tried some new desserts, and I think after a little tweaking here and there that I can finally add my name to our family holiday hierarchy. I'll be known as Gabby, The supreme overlord of brown sugar cookies or my aunts will boast "aht aht, let Gabby worry about those cupcakes, her cream cheese frosting is the best! ".
Below are some of my favorite new holiday treats that are not only delicious and easy but treats that you can make into your own!
  1. 1. Brown Sugar Sugar Cookies 

    These cookies are soft and chewy all by their selves so no need to add in any extra moistening ingredients!

    A necessary step is to let the batter sit for at least 2 hours before you make the cookie balls

    Important! Roll the unbaked cookies into brown sugar then bake them!! You'll thank me later!

    The overall price: $- $$ depending on how much you want to make.

  2. 2. Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting 

    I made these one Saturday morning, and I'm not going to lie to you, these slap hard! These were my first time making them, and while the instructions and ingredients look super tedious, these were well worth it!

    What I found about these:

    You can taste the pumpkin, but I recommend adding another 1/4th cup.

    To make them moist, use oil instead of butter. However, I did 1/2 butter 1/2 oil, and it worked out great!

    The cream cheese frosting doubles everything in the recipe! The icing is fantastic, and if you have mixer the consistency will be great!

    Use as much allspice as you would like !!

    Note that since there is a lot of pumpkins, these cupcakes will be a little denser, so they will not rise too much. When making cupcakes, you would fill it 65% to let it rise to get to 100. You can fill these about 80-85 % as they won't rise as much!

    To test to see if they are done, use a toothpick/fork. I would bake these at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. This way, they bake evenly!

    This recipe yields about 24 cupcakes

    Price: $$ ( this is because the whole thing is from scratch. So if you don't have most of the ingredients beforehand, it can get pricy once the price is totaled)

  3. 3. Pecan Pie Cheesecake 

    This recipe has potential! I love pecan pie, and I love cheesecake! What better way than to combine them?

    I usually don't like baked cheesecake, as I feel as though it changes the consistency, so I was hesitant to bake it. However, the texture didn't change at all! It was nice, moist and fluffy!

    If nuts are your thing, you can always substitute the nuts for your favorite cookie-like Oreos or chocolate chip cookies! Not a caramel person, you can easily use your toppings! like fudge or a nice drizzle of peanut butter

    The crust is usually vanilla wafers, but I enjoy graham crackers. Either way works just fine!

    What I love about this recipe is that you can customize it!! I put a lot of graham cracker crust because I love a thick crust at the bottom, I also put fewer pecans, and it came out perfect!

    Price: $-$$ due to the price of ingredients and how fancy you would like it to be!

These recipes are for sure going to be a hit for the holidays. I've already tested these out, and my mom (my biggest critique) didn't say she loved it, but her plate was cleaner than we first bought it, so I'll let you all be the judge. The best thing about these recipes is that they are super versatile; they can be served with other holiday desserts or by themselves! The best tip I can give is to read the reviews of other people who have recreated and see where they listed the pros and cons and base your decisions on those. I thoroughly enjoyed these and I hope you do too!