In the spirit of the baking, giving, and eating season, here are a few of our favorite holiday confections, all easy (so that you can handle making a few of them at once) and tasty (so that you’ll want to keep some for yourself).
1. Pumpkin Butterscotch-Chip Cookies have a rich buttery flavor, cakey consistency, and toffeelike sweetness that comes from canned pumpkin and butterscotch chips. They’ve been rumored to convert chocolate lovers.
2. If your chocolate lovers are not convertible, CHOW’s Intense Brownies, developed by food editor Aïda Mollenkamp, are some of the best we’ve tasted—and we’ve tasted a lot.
3. Super-Sized Ginger Chewies are all the things a spice cookie should be: thick and chewy, with a hint of molasses and a kick of ginger, cinnamon, and clove.
4. Mendiants are a traditional French Christmas candy—the colors of the nuts and fruits represent the robes of four monastic orders.
5. These Double Chocolate-Caramel Cookies are thumbprint cookies with a serious dose of chocolate and a chewy caramel center.
6. Cookie bars like these Sticky Peanut Cookie Bars simplify the cookie-making process: no baking sheets, no spooning dough, no batches. And what’s not to like about peanuts, caramel, and chocolate?
8. Barks are virtually klutzproof. While the basic recipe lends itself well to endless variations, we’ve removed some of the guesswork by creating some rocking combos: White Chocolate-Cranberry Bark and Chocolate Toffee Pumpkin-Seed Bark.
9. Rich and sweet, these Coconut-Date Icebox Cookies are a sophisticated, more grown-up riff on classic sugar cookies.
10. Rethink the common camping treat with these Charles Chocolates S’mores. Package the homemade graham crackers and marshmallows together with some good chocolate.