Better Homes & Gardens December 2014 Recipes

Blood Orange Toddy
The latest recipes from Better Homes and Gardens are a celebration of the season. We pulled together irresistible holiday sweets guaranteed to get you on the nice list, plus five divine cranberry dishes -- no jellied sauce here. Our inventive make-ahead breakfast casseroles include creative flavors like fig and goat cheese, and peanut butter and jam.

Make the holiday season oh-so-sweet with festive desserts like almond wreath cookies, orange-cream fudge, and reindeer palmiers. These festive recipes make delicious gifts and show-stopping party desserts.

Winter Wonderland Cake

Wow your crowd with this pretty-in-pink almond cake. Four frosted layers are topped with a forest of airy meringue trees for a truly unforgettable dessert.

Hanging Stocking Cookie

It wouldn't be Christmas without cookies and milk. These crafty sugar cookies are guaranteed to get you on the nice list.

Reindeer Palmiers

With a playful nod to everyone's favorite reindeer, these flaky, crispy cookies have just the right amount of sugar and spice.

Almond Wreath Cookie

Love marzipan? These cookies are a must -- you'll adore the toasty, nutty flavor. For gorgeous gifting, tie them up with a pretty red ribbon.

Malted Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Vanilla and chocolate get a remix. Vanilla malted milk powder in the dough pairs perfectly with the rich chocolate ganache filling.

Coconut Spritz Cookies

These rich, crispy spritz cookies get a double dose of coconut flavor. For the ultimate Christmas tree centerpiece, pipe the cookies in circles and stack.

Cherry-Coconut Angel Rolls

Plenty of coconut and candied cherries in the filling gives these rolls unmistakably festive color and flavor. Just one buttery bite and you'll know why we call them angel rolls.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Truffle Mice

Elicit oohs and ahhs from your guests with these cute chocolate mice. Kids (and adults) will love catching these fun sweets.

Candy Cane Cookie Sleds

This whimsical table topper adds festive flair to any holiday table and takes just a bit of assembly. We used oversize candy canes and tea biscuits for this version.

Cranberry Fruit Jellies

Add sparkle to your holiday table with these jewel-tone homemade candies. For effortless entertaining, serve them right from the refrigerator.

Gingerbread Mug Cake

This dessert is a cinch to make with the help of your microwave. Even better, microwaving results in an incredibly moist cake because it steams to bake through.

Candied Cranberries and Cranberry Syrup

Crunchy, sweet, tart -- cranberries aren't just for sauce. They're our secret to the ultimate holiday snack mix.

Test Kitchen Tip: Save the syrup from cooking -- it's great in cocktails and drinks.

Orange-Cream Fudge

We all love chocolate fudge at the holidays, but this orange-and-vanilla sweet is downright irresistible.

Test Kitchen Tip: Be sure to use high-quality white chocolate. It really shines here.

Puff Pastry Tarts

Layer upon layer of flaky homemade pastry gets a pretty pocket of jam-filled goodness. We're partial to the star, but these tarts can be cut in any shape you want.

 

Macadamia Nut Cranberry Shortbread

This simple shortbread is buttery and decadent. Cranberries add an unexpected zing while macadamia nuts add crunch.

White Chocolate Creme Dip

We love the combination of melted white chocolate and marshmallow creme. Get creative with your dippers -- our favorites include cookies, crackers, and even spoons.

Spiced Citrus Cocktail

Layer cranberry and lemon for a beautiful holiday cocktail. Don't forget the gumdrop garnish!

Marcona Almond Toffee

Buttery, thick toffee gets a layer of white chocolate and salted nuts for major crunch.

Cherry-Lime Pistachio Pralines

Pistachios and fresh lime zest give these nostalgic pralines a wonderfully unique taste and texture. The star ingredient here, though, is fruity cherry oil.

Polka-Dot Cheesecake Sandwich Bars

Spoonfuls of sweet jam give this silky cheesecake its playful spots. The double graham cracker crust makes it a handy treat.

Honey-Vanilla Cream Puffs

There's plenty to love about these airy cream puffs. In our opinion, nothing beats classic whipped cream filing -- but try jam and chocolate, too!

Wine-Poached Pears

Highlight the season's best produce by poaching pears in wine and spices. Our secret to presenting these pretty pears? Serve them in a quick sauce made from melted vanilla ice cream.

No pancakes allowed! Spend your Christmas morning with your family instead of at the stove! Treat your holiday house guests to these make-ahead casseroles and enjoy a leisurely homemade brunch.

Ham and Cheese Brunch Casserole

This melty casserole starts with ham and cheese sandwiches. A slathering of sweet pepper jelly cuts through the richness.

Peanut Butter-Berry Brunch Casserole

Everyone's favorite brown bag lunch is reimagined for breakfast. Bites of peanut butter, cream cheese, and jam are made even better with fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Fig, Pancetta, and Goat Cheese Brunch Casserole

This is no ordinary breakfast casserole. A few elegant ingredients rise and shine in this company-worthy brunch bake.

Kale, Chorizo, and Red Bean Brunch Casserole

Part breakfast, part lunch, this hearty casserole will keep you full and satisfied. A mix of kale, red beans, and flavor-boosting chorizo jump starts the day.

 

There's more to cranberries than sauce. Discover the sweet, tart versatility of winter's favorite fruit with these savory dinner recipes.

Cranberry Borscht

Think of borscht as a cold soup? Our winter-weather version is served steaming hot with the comforting flavors of cranberries, bay leaf, and horseradish.

Cranberry-Orange Chutney

This zesty chutney is perfect for topping fish, chicken, and pork. Cooking the fruit in bacon drippings gives this sauce rich, savory flavor.

Cranberry and Sage Squash Casserole

This vegetarian dish is loaded with the flavors of sage, cranberries, and blue cheese. Simply layer and bake until it's cheesy, brown, and bubbly.

Cranberry-Pistachio Meat Loaf

Give your meat loaf the seasonal treatment. The flavors of cranberry, curry, and pistachios ensure this familiar dinner dish is anything but expected.

Short Ribs and Cranberry Gravy

These sweet and savory short ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender. Even better, the whole meal comes together in just one pot.

This Hanukkah, set the table with traditional holiday dishes. Every dish here is classic but with a modern twist.

Beef Brisket with Dried Fruit

The secret to great brisket? Don't rush it! The meat needs to cook slowly until it's incredibly tender and flavorful.

Arugula Fennel Salad

We love the way peppery arugula and sweet pineapple play together in this light salad. Thinly sliced fennel adds crunch.

Jerusalem Noodle Kugel

An updated take on classic kugel, this version starts with vermicelli noodles and gets heat from cracked black pepper. We like to serve it sliced in big wedges and topped with parsley.

Blood Orange Toddy

Toast the season with this warm and wonderful party drink. Keep the winter chill at bay with spicy cinnamon and sweet orange.

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