Chocolate-Cherry Chunk Meringues
"For the meringues, you bake them in a sheet pan then break them off, almost like white chocolate bark. They make a great gift―I gave them as a gift to a friend who said she swore off a 20-year cookie habit thanks to these."
―Mary Kay Culpepper, Editor-in-Chief
Overnight Caramel French Toast
"I love this because it can be put together the night before and baked the next morning. It smells wonderful when it bakes. It is a great Christmas morning dish, and also nice to serve to overnight guests during the holidays. Serve with coffee and fresh fruit."
―Vanessa Johnson, Test Kitchens Director
"You really have to think ahead of time with this recipe, but it makes a great gift, and it's actually really simple to make. I gave it to my sister a few years ago. It's great to give with a set of nice martini glasses and a decanter. You can even attach a cute recipe tag for cranberry martinis."
―Mary Creel, Projects Editor
Cider-Braised Mussels with Bacon
"Mussels take about 5 minutes to cook, but they impress everyone you serve. I love the mix of sweet and meaty flavors the cider and bacon add to briny mussels in this dish. My favorite way to eat them is straight out of the pot with my fingers―no silverware―just a loaf of bread and some paper towels."
―Jason Horn, Editorial Assistant
Espresso Crème Brûlée
"It’s a favorite of mine because it is largely make-ahead, it’s very easy to prepare but makes a big impression. People love crème brûlée so I know guests will be happy, and I particularly like the espresso flavor. It’s a sweet dessert that isn’t too sweet―it’s just right."
―Kathryn Conrad, Test Kitchens Professional
Pecan Sticky Rolls
"I love sweet bread for Christmas morning, and I've tried just about everything. These are my new go-to. The dough is just divine, and they're ooey and gooey and everyone just loves them. This year will be my first time making them for Christmas; it's a Christmas tradition in the making."
―Ann Taylor Pittman, Food Editor
"I always bring this to parties. It was a 'Lighten Up' recipe, and it's the perfect way to illustrate to my friends that light can be deliciously deceptive!"
―Cindy Hatcher, Associate Editor
Pumpkin Pie Cake
"My boyfriend adores pumpkin pie, but I went out on a limb and made the Pumpkin Pie Cake last winter. Now he has a new favorite holiday dessert. The great thing about this cake is that it looks and tastes like you spent the whole day slaving over it, when in reality it couldn’t be easier or more beautiful."
―Holly Kapherr, Intern
Oven-Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Onions
"This dish roasts for a long time, which is great, because then the potatoes are very soft and sweet. Everyone we've ever served it to has absolutely loved it, and it's so easy to make."
―Maya Metz Logue, Art Director