If there’s one thing we know about the holidays, it’s that it is a time for celebrating the spirit of eating. And maybe family and whatever else you’re in to. But mostly for eating.
With that in mind, we’ve scoured the Internet, both on an empty stomach and directly after a meal so as to not sway the results, and found 40 of the most delicious looking holiday cookies, candies and other treats.
A lot of them can be made yourself and given to friends. In fact, all of them can be. But why would you do that when you can make them for yourself? Remember: when there’s an emergency on an airplane, you’re supposed to put your own oxygen mask on first. Just keep that in mind.
Kidding! Without further ado, the top holiday treats that will make you the most prolific holiday baker around town.
Christmas Peppermint Bark
via shari blogs
Peppermint bark is basically a must-have Christmas candy, or if you celebrate other holidays, then you can pretend like you also celebrate Christmas just for the chance to partake in the deliciousness that it peppermint bark.
Also, it’s expensive when you buy it at the store, so it’s a great homemade treat to make that will save you money and make you one of the most popular treat-makers in your close or extended family.
Chocolate Christmas Truffles
via food network
Chocolate truffles, or little drops of reindeer poop? You be the judge, and in this competition, everyone’s a winner. Because even if it does turn out to be the lil poops of some domesticated but once wild animal (see: the difference between reindeer and caribou), then you’ll have just tasted some of the best edible excrement in the known natural world.
Seriously though, these are one of the more fancy Christmas treats you can make, and they taste even better than they look. An A+ treat all around!
Sweet and Spicy Cashews
Here at Mostcraft, we love nuts and around the holidays, they’re everywhere. Bars. Homes. Waiting rooms. Hospitals. You name it. But as much as we love them, we also like to see a fresh take on them because we get tired of the same plain old nuts.
We’ve included three nut treats here, and this one takes the cake because we’re from Arizona and love ourselves a little something spicy!
Christmas Shortbread Cookies
via chew out loud
These 3-ingredient shortbread cookies are so simple to make, and absolutely delicious. The only problem we foresee is them not lasting much further past the day you make them. If you can live with that, you can live with some of these awesome cookies from Chew Out Loud.
via food network
Candied orange peels are so decadent and delicious – and just so happen to be one of the easiest desserts to make! Sure, they may look like french fries covered in burnt rubber (just kidding), but they’re out of this world good and when you try them, you won’t go back to dipping any other fruits in any other candies.
Candied Christmas Pecans
via gimme some oven
Alright, on to our next nut treat. These candied pecans are great because, let’s face it, pecans themselves can be a little…well, boring. But add “candied” to anything and it makes things really different. If we had to read a “candied textbook,” for example, we might not be that upset. But this only works with some things.
Candy Cane Cookies
via the 36th avenue
We love the idea of giving cookies as a gift. These chocolate candy cane cookies in a jar are especially great for giving as a hostess gift, or any time you need to really “one-up” someone else in the gift giving department.
You see, at its core, giving gifts is about showing that you’re willing to go the extra mile, and if that means beating down your competition through sheer willpower and awesome gifts, so be it.
Saltine Cracker Toffee
Look, we’re not scientists. We’re bloggers. Else we’d be doing all sorts of science stuff. But alas, we are blogging. So take it with a grain of salt when we say that saltine cracker toffee is one of the most brilliant creations ever!
They are so simple and so delicious, and like a certain type of potato chip, which shall remain forever nameless here on Mostcraft, you cannot get away with just eating one. Two? Maybe. Three? You bet your buns!
Christmas Cookie Dough Tins
via mel’s kitchen
Preparing cookies and freezing the dough to give as a gift is genius. You are doing all the work so all the recipient has to do it pop a few in the oven when they need something warm and sweet!
Also, you can give them to your friends and family who are notorious for eating cookie dough before it has a chance to get baked, and then you’ll be associated with those feelings of guilt and shame when that person comes to the realization that they have a problem with cookie dough. This may or may not be good for your relationship with said person.
These Bourbon and brown butter brownies are the perfect adult dessert! When the kids go to bed, then it’s time to bust these out and get real weird. We mean, really go for it – do whatever you want. Maybe that means watching some Christmas movies, or if you’re really out there, it means dipping these bad boys into a steaming cauldron of hot chocolate!
Fleur de Sel Caramels
Ina Garten is one of our favorite people on the planet and her salted caramels are just as amazing as she is! Call us biased, but these caramels will not only melt in your mouth, but they’ll melt in all the mouths of all the people you’ll feel need to try this firsthand, so when you go around town putting caramels into strangers’ mouths just remember that less is more.
Less is more.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Candies
via martha stewart
These peanut butter pretzel candies are a staple in our house every Christmas, and every Christmas we seem to get these weird far-off distant relatives that show up or write letters mentioning the pretzel candies and it’s like, look people, if you can’t have the decency to show up the rest of the year, don’t expect to get these candies at the end of it.
Salted Caramel Shortbread Bars
via annie eats
Salted caramel, chocolate and shortbread: what is there not to love? The answer is simple and it is a resounding “nothing.” There is nothing not to love about these bars, which is why they made the list and which is also why they currently take the number 2 spot in our Christmas treats queue in the kitchen. Don’t ask what number one is, you don’t want to know.
Or do you?
World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
via tender crumb
Again, it should be reiterated that we are not scientists, nor are we biologists or whatever else studies living things and stuff like that, but we have heard from a very good source that these are the world’s best cookies. They’ve won awards and now they can be yours, but only if you’re ready to take on such a lofty cookie journey.
Homemade Christmas Fudge Sauce
via one good thing
As far as we can tell, there is only one problem with this homemade hot fudge sauce: it is so insanely delicious, you will have a hard time not eating the entire batch straight from the pot. Then you’ll look like a real jerk as your friends and relatives quietly ask themselves what happened to you to make you like that, and then in their heads maybe they try to come up with some kind of explanation, but at some level they are just overthinking things.
Cranberry “Christ-bliss” Bars
These cranberry bliss bars are so AMAZING. We made them last year for Christmas and I am not even joking, my family has not stopped talking about them since.
This year I plan on tripling my batch and freezing some, and then selling to the highest bidder when things get ugly. I don’t mind being generous, but someone has to pay the cranberry bliss bars around here and it’s certainly not going to be me.
Turtle Thumbprint Cookies
via mom on timeout
We absolutely love turtles and these turtle thumb print cookies are on another level.
Like, if normal turtles were the ground floor of a parking lot, these cookies would be maybe level three or four, where it’s like high enough that some people have parked there but not everyone has, and at first it might seem like, well, that’s too high up, then you get there and realize you actually have a great view of the surrounding area because you’re that high up, and a lot of people might not even notice that because they’re too busy just trying to rush around to get to the quickest spot they see.
Caramel Christmas Candies
via martha stewart
This is a really great guide to caramel making, and even though it’s not Christmas specific, you can make them very much Christmas-like by adding your own holiday cheer, decoration or spices. You can also make a variety bundle of caramels, wrap them with some Christmas cheer and people will think you bought these because they’re so damn polished-looking and delicious. Only you will know the real truth. Unless you decide to spill your secrets. In which case the jig is up.
No-Bake Thin Mint Cookie Truffles
These no-bake thin mint cookie truffles couldn’t be simpler! They are perfect for the little ones to help with, and when all is said and done, if they are misbehaving, you can send them to their rooms to think about what they’ve done and you have yourself a nice batch of no-bake thin mint cookie truffles ready to savor. Life is good friends!
Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Almonds
And for our final Christmas nut treat, we bring to you the delicious and insanely addicting dark chocolate sea salt almonds. These are not only great, but they’re also good for you: dark chocolate helps your body and mind, almonds give you some great proteins and oils, and sea salt comes from the sad, everlasting tears of Poseidon, which has to count for something.
Raspberry Almond Shortbread Cookies
via cooking classy
Sure, these look like little red eyes when you see them from the other side of the kitchen, but don’t let that haunt you. These cookies are so good that there’s only way we can keep them around, and that’s to put them in a cookie jar with a time-sensitive lock that only allows us to open it once every thirty minutes.
Coconut macaroons are so simple to make and are every bit as delicious as the fancier french macaroon, which we’ll cover below. Suffice it to say, if you want to add a little cheery flavor to your Christmas treats in a unique way, these coconut macaroons will do the trick every time.
French Macaroons with Peppermint Frosting
via tried and tasty
French macaroons are very temperamental so you need to have patience to make them but if you take your time, it is well worth it! They are the most decadent desert, in our humble opinions.
My sister and I made them last year and they turned out better than I ever expected, so if you’re on a budget-crunch and need to make something fancy and affordable, here’s the way to go.
Espresso Chocolate Truffles
If you didn’t think the first chocolate truffles were reindeer poop, you might think these are. They’re colored a little bit more like the real thing, but they taste nothing like it – they’re delicious, addictive and the perfect way to compliment more casual Christmas treats.
Salted Caramel Sauce for Apples
via jenny hobick
I could drink this salted caramel sauce, but there would be questions of whether or not I was fit to take care of myself as an adult, and my spouse would have to reconsider the way he thinks about me, so I don’t know if that’s really an option. But if you don’t mind dealing with those things, you really could sit down and chug one of these bad boys just for the pure pleasure of indulging.
Christmas Swirl Sugar Cookies
These are literally the epitome of Christmas treats. They look like they were hand-whipped by some angelic figure who came to Earth just to impart her cookie-making prowess. And we are forever grateful for that.
Eggnog Sugar Cookies
via cooking classy
Sometimes drinking eggnog all day can be, well, a little much. In these cases, you can make yourself a little less noticeable by snacking on some yum-tumble eggnog cookies. Guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit, even if you’re a real Groucho!
Peppermint Meringue Cookies
via moms dish
These look like you could pop maybe five in your mouth at once then just sit back and let the magic happen. We plan on doing this, as soon as we get through some of our Christmas treat queue (this one’s at #5).
Lemon Snowdrop Cookies
If you live somewhere that it doesn’t snow, like we do, then you can do some pretend time stuff and make these snowdrop lemon cookies. So good, they’re outlawed in three counties in Arizona.
Microwaved Peanut Brittle
via all recipes
Have you ever wanted to make peanut brittle, but only had access to a microwave? Us to.
Fear not, dear microwave enthusiasts. With this treat from All Recipes, you can get the peanut brittle you desire with the microwave you so enjoy. The rest is history.
Tiger Butter Christmas Candy
via cooking with k
When we first heard of these, we thought actual tigers were killed and then the blood was used to make tiger butter. Thank God it was all a misunderstanding, albeit an interesting one to consider.
Homemade Almond Roca
via chef in training
We had three nut treat recipes, and here’s a fourth nut-based treat to satisfy all you treat-meisters who love nuts but also want a little chocolate and other things going on. These are number 1 in our kitchen queue, and for that we thank you, chef in training.
Eggnog Christmas Fudge
via thrifty jinxy
These remind us of small sugar cubes, but they’re fudge, and not for horses, and so the first time we make them we will be sure to write on the package, “DO NOT FEED TO HORSES.” Unless you can feed fudge to horses, then we’re all in!
Chocolate-Dipped Peppermint Sticks
via country living
Anything-dipped anything is awesome in our book, so of course this treat makes the cut. Country living gives us a great dipped recipe that’s easy and should be a hit with all the dipped-loving people in your life.
Candy Cane Marshmallows
via martha stewart
Who else but Martha Stewart would give us these trippy looking marshmallow cubes? And who else but you all dear readers to take it upon yourself to make these yourself, and in an even better way?
Homemade Peppermint Patties
via oh nuts
Peppermint patties are a Christmas tradition in our households, and these ones are even better than our own. We know when to say that we’ve been outdone.
Well done, patty makers. Well done.
via living on a dime
Personally, bonbons aren’t our favorite desserts, but these are incredible – we made them last year and they were one of the fastest-eaten treats in our household. Our dog even got in the action, though we think he later regretted it.
Christmas Peppermint Patties
via mom on timeout
Want a more colorful twist on the classic peppermint patty? Here you are! These little delights are easy to make and make a great visual treat when compared to a lot of the brown and black treats you may see each holiday season.
Red Velvet Christmas Cookies
via a helicopter mom
When we think of Christmas, we think of all things red, so it makes sense that these red velvet cookies would be among our faves. These easy-to-make treats from A Helicopter Mom are the perfect way to satisfy your craving for Christmas treats and red velvet goodness.
via martha stewart
Truffles are one of our favorite things to give as gifts. They are simple to make, yet look and taste like you spent hours in the kitchen. Here is a basic recipe from Martha Stewart, and when you’re done, you can fully “forget” that you got the recipe from Martha Stewart, so when people ask, you say something nonchalant like, oh those? I just got some random old recipe from somewhere doing something. The key is to make things very ambiguous and as though they aren’t important to you. Stay cool. Stay distanced.