Quarantine Week: The 5 Holiday Dessert Recipes To Make

Let’s be real. No one can resist the temptation of desserts, especially during the holidays. They’re a staple at Christmas dinner parties and New Year’s Eve celebrations. The problem is that too many of them to choose from, so it can be quite overwhelming to pick just one recipe to make for an upcoming event. Some of them are very simple, while others are very extravagant. Since we’re all about simplicity and quality, here are five dessert recipes that are perfect for the holidays.

  1. 1. Brownie Christmas Trees, Snowmen, and Reindeers

    Ingredients:

    1 brownie mix 

    3 large eggs

    ½ cup vegetable oil

    ¼ cup water

    Food coloring

    Sprinkles

    8 red candies

    8 small candy canes

    16 small Pretzel twists

    2 cans vanilla frosting

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 13" x 9" pan with parchment paper, letting the paper hang over edges slightly. Set aside. Prepare brownie mix according to package instructions (using 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of oil and 1/4 cup water). Pour into prepared pan. Bake as directed. (I baked it for 23 minutes.) Let cool. Meanwhile, divide frosting into 4 bowls. Color one orange, one green, one brown and leave the other white. (Note: You will need a considerable amount of green and white frosting. However, you only need a small amount of brown and orange.) Cut cooled brownies into 24 triangles. Decorate 8 snowmen using white frosting body, brown frosting hat, and eyes, plus orange nose. Add a pretzel stick for the hat brim. For the 8 Christmas trees, pipe a zig-zag line of green frosting (using a pastry bag with #16 tip or a zip-top bag with a tiny corner cut), add sprinkles and a candy cane stem. Lastly, make 8 reindeers by attaching two pretzel antlers with brown frosting to each cookie. Add candy eyes and nose with brown frosting (to make them stick). Cover and store for up to 3 days.

  2. 2. Sugar Cookies

    Ingredients: (cookies)

    1 cup sugar

    1 large egg

    1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

    1 cup unsalted  butter softened to room temperature

    2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

    ¾ teaspoon baking powder

    ¾ teaspoon salt

    Ingredients: (frosting)

    3 cups powdered sugar

    3-4 teaspoons milk

    2 tablespoons light corn syrup

    ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

    Gel food coloring (optional)

    Additional candies and sprinkles for decorating (optional)

    Directions for the sugar cookies: 

    Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl and use an electric hand mixer instead) and beat until creamy and well-combined. Add egg and vanilla extract and beat until completely combined. In a separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add dry ingredients into wet mix until all ingredients form an even mixture. Lay out a large piece of plastic wrap and transfer approximately half of the dough onto the wrap (dough will be quite sticky at this point, and that's OK!). Cover with clear wrap and mold into a disk.  Repeat with remaining cookie dough in another piece of cling wrap. Transfer dough to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2-3 hours. Once dough has finished chilling, preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Generously dust a clean surface with flour and deposit one chilled cookie dough disk onto the surface. Lightly flour the dough and roll out to 1/8" (for thinner, crispier cookies) or 1/4" (for thicker, softer cookies). Continue to add flour as needed both on top of and beneath the dough so that it doesn't stick. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and use a spatula to transfer shapes to prepared baking sheet.4 Bake on 350F (175C) for 9-10 minutes or until edges just begin to turn lightly golden brown.Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before moving and frosting.

     

    Directions for frosting:

    Combine sugar, 2 Tablespoons of milk, corn syrup, and vanilla extract in a medium-sized bowl and stir until combined. If frosting is too thick, add more milk, about a teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is thick but pipeable. If you accidentally add too much milk, add powdered sugar until desired texture is reached.  If coloring the frosting, divide into bowls and color as desired at this point. Transfer frosting to a piping bag with a piping tip (I used Wilton 5), or place in a Ziploc bag and snip a small piece of the corner off (not as neat, but this will still work, just take care that the frosting isn’t so thick that it breaks open the seam of the bag when you are squeezing). Pipe frosting on cookies and decorate with decorative candies, if desired. Allow frosting to harden before enjoying (this took several hours for me and may vary for you depending on the consistency of your frosting). Keep uneaten cookies sealed in an airtight container at room temperature.

  3. 3. Christmas Light Cupcakes

    Ingredients:

    Devil’s food cupcake mix, plus the ingredients on the box

    1 ½ cup heavy cream

    1 ounce block softened cream cheese 

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    Black decorating gel

    Mini m&ms 

    Directions: Preheat oven to 350° and line two muffin tins with cupcake liners. Make cupcake batter according to package instructions and fill liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake for approximately 18 minutes. Insert a toothpick in the middle of the batter, and make sure it comes out clean and dry.. Let cool completely. Make cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In another bowl, beat together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and salt until light and fluffy. Gently fold in whipped cream. Transfer to a large piping or Ziploc bag. Frost cupcakes, making sure they reach a good height. Trace a black line around  frosting with your decorating gel. Stick M&Ms along the black line, imitating rainbow lights. 

  4. 4. Oreo Truffles

    Ingredients:

    Crushed oreo cookies

    1 package softened cream cheese

    4 packages semi-sweet chocolate

    Directions: Use ¼  cup cookie crumbs. Mix the cream cheese and the remaining crumbs until evenly blended in order to shape into 48 balls. Freeze for about 10 minutes. Then, cover the baking sheet with wax paper. Dip the cream cheese balls in the melted chocolate. Lace them on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs. Finally, leave it in the freezer for about one hour or until it’s firm.

  5. 5. Skillet Apple Pie

    Ingredients: 

    2 Granny apples

    2 Braeburn apples

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    ¾ cup granulated sugar

    ½ cup butter

    1 cup brown sugar

    1 package refrigerated pie crusts

    1 egg white

    2 tablespoons granulated sugar

    Butter pecan ice cream

    Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel the apples, and cut them into ½ inch wedges. Toss them with cinnamon and ¾ cup granulated sugar. Next, melt butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat; add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes (until the sugar is completely dissolved). Remove the skillet from the heat, and place one pie crust in the skillet over the brown sugar mixture. Then, spoon the apple mixture over the pie crust, and top with the remaining crust. Whisk the egg white until you achieve a foamy consistency. Brush top of your pie crust with egg white; sprinkle with 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar. Cut 4 or 5 slits in the top for steam to escape. Bake at 350º for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly(shielding with aluminum foil during the last 10 minutes to prevent excessive browning, if necessary). Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with butter-pecan ice cream.

These holiday recipes are guaranteed to make an impact on everyone’s taste buds! They are fun, colorful, festive, and perfect for the holiday season, so it’s impossible to not share them with friends and family.