SPECIAL OFFER: - Limited Time Only! (The ad below will not display on your printed page)
Creamy cheesecakes, decadent pies, moist cakes and mouthwatering cookies are among our best holiday dessert recipes.
We took the red velvet cake that we love and gave it a creamy twist. Don't let the red color fool you: The flavor is all chocolate.
Red Velvet Cheesecake
This rich blend of two favorite holiday flavors - chocolate and mint -- might start a new dessert tradition in your house. Can't find the mint-flavored pieces? Use regular chocolate chips and add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract to the batter.
Peppermint Brownie Pie
These melt-in-your-mouth cookies come from the recipe file of Georgia Morehouse of Columbia, Missouri. Her family insists she bake at least one batch for New Year's Eve. Sprinkle them with colored sugar right before they bake to give them quick and easy sparkle.
Bet You Can't Eat Just One Sugar Cookies
These easy candies look elegant but are simple to make. The recipe comes from chef Anthony Schulz at the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in Logan, Ohio. He says kids, especially, have fun making these truffles.
This make-ahead dessert stores in the freezer for up to a month, ready to serve surprise guests. Vanilla or chocolate wafers form an easy base for the creamy filling. The center dips slightly after cooling, making an indentation to fill with whipped cream.
Baby Citrus Cheesecakes
A round cookie cutter with scalloped edges makes a nice shape for these cookies, but bell, tree or star cutters would also be good choices for the holidays.
Orange-Ginger Cookie Sandwiches
A yule log cake is the traditional centerpiece of the French Christmas dessert table. This version was created by a Keokuk, Iowa cooking school instructor. Add a dusting of powdered sugar for a snowy finish.
Iowa Buche de Noel
In 1985, Cafe Latte in Saint Paul created the Turtle Cake that's still on the menu today. It's a moist, rich, three-layer wonder. The cake layers are dark chocolate frosted with rich fudge and caramel and topped with a generous garnish of giant pecans.
Cafe Latte's Turtle Cake
Dream about all the ingredients you'd like to see in a dessert, and you'll see why we named this Fantasy Chocolate Pie. It's made with three kinds of chocolate pieces (milk chocolate, semisweet and semisweet-and-white-chocolate swirled) -- plus coconut, pecans and almonds. For extra indulgence, top with whipped cream and chocolate curls.
Fantasy Chocolate Pie
Fudge has a special place on many holiday tables.
Midwest Living® Travel Editor Kendra Williams shared this Easy Fudge recipe; her grandparents made it every year, and it's just not Christmas without it. The other recipes add a festive touch to fudge: One has peppermint extract and is topped with peppermint candies; the second blends white chocolate, almonds, and either dried cherries or cranberries.
Fanciful Peppermint Fudge
White Christmas Cherry-Almond Fudge
Chocolate, nuts, coconut and more fill our easy-to-make bar cookies. Mixed dried fruit bits and candy-coated milk chocolate pieces are among the layers that make this bar cookie distinctive.
Holiday Seven-Layer Bars
We gussied up chocolate cake mix with sour cream and red food coloring for this festive cake. Then, we crowned the cake with a white chocolate-cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut.
Fabulous Red Velvet Cake
"We use this recipe year-round for all of the holidays," says Laura Maychruk, co-owner of Buzz Cafe in Oak Park, Illinois (10 miles west of Chicago's Loop). "For Christmas, we make snowflakes and Christmas trees. The cookies are delicious even without the icing." If you want to store these at room temperature, use a butter icing.
Butter Cookie Cutouts
This four-layer cake, with a pudding-like filling and whipped cream frosting, is the most popular dessert at the White Gull Inn, Fish Creek, Wisconsin.
Poppy Seed Torte
Graham crackers form the base for this bar cookie with layers of marshmallows, brown sugar, almonds and coconut. "I've made these cookies each Christmas since 1984," says Georgine Simmonds of Genesee, Michigan. "They're one of my family's favorites."
Do you have a chocoholic in your family? Give them something to love with this über-rich pie. For pretty chocolate curls, warm a bar of milk chocolate in your pocket or hand, then shave with a sharp vegetable peeler.
Double Chocolate-Espresso Truffle Pie
Luscious and smooth, this elegant dessert gets a swirl of crimson raspberry sauce. The recipe is from Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota.
Russian Creme Custard
These three colorful cheesecakes are especially good to serve at the holidays.
Cranberry-Chocolate Cheesecake (top) uses cranberries both in the filling and in the sauce. White Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake (middle) is a variation on the mascarpone cheesecake made at Parkview Gourmet specialty foods in Libertyville, Illinois. Very Berry Cheesecake (bottom) uses both fresh berries and berry-flavored brandy, vodka or orange juice for its flavor.
White Chocolate-Candy Cane Cheesecake
Very Berry Cheesecake
This gooey-center, intense chocolate dessert is among guests' favorite treats at Kirby House Bed and Breakfast in Saugatuck, Michigan
Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
"This is a twist on a popular dish and is one of my personal favorites," says April Osburn from the Clabber Girl Bake Shop in Terre Haute, Indiana. Thinly slice the apples so they get done in the allotted baking time.
Ginger-Cinnamon Apple Crisp
Choose a chocolate or apricot filling for this swirled pastry that's a holiday tradition from the family of
Midwest Living Food & Features Editor Hannah Agran.
Chicago's MK the Restaurant used an English tradition as inspiration for this molasses-date dessert with honey-toffee sauce. Buttery toffee originated in England, but a Robinson, Illinois, company named Heath launched an empire when it began making toffee commercially in 1914.
Sticky Toffee Pudding
This dazzler from Big Cedar Lodge in Ridgedale, Missouri, tastes as good as it looks. The dark chocolate cookie crust and ruby red berries add dramatic flair to the orange-flavor filling. Because the cake keeps well for two days, this is a great make-ahead dessert.
You don't need a fancy culinary blowtorch to make the crackly top on this classic dessert. Our recipe includes a simple stovetop technique. The recipe comes from the French Lick Resort in Indiana.
White Chocolate Crème Brulee
Flecks of nuts and fruit make these buttery cookies perfect for a holiday cookie exchange or gift box. The recipe comes from the Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in Logan, Ohio.
Pistachio Cranberry Icebox Cookies
Links:  http://www.midwestliving.com/slide/red-velvet-cheesecake-11