41. Ginger-Lemon Cheesecake Bites Make Raspberry Cheesecake Bites (No. 40) using ginger wafer cookies instead of almond biscuits and lemon curd instead of raspberry preserves. Top each with a small piece of candied ginger.
42. Double-Mint Cookies Pulse 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons each room-temperature butter and light corn syrup, 1 tablespoon milk and 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract in a food processor until smooth. Spread the mixture onto chocolate wafer cookies and sprinkle with crushed candy canes. Chill until set.
43. Mint-Chocolate Meltaways Melt 1 cup chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons shortening in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract. Pour into a buttered, foil-lined loaf pan and chill until firm. Cut into 1-inch squares and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
44. Snowy Party Mix Melt 1 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 stick butter in a pot over low heat, stirring. Stir in 3 cups each rice cereal squares and oyster crackers. Let cool, then toss with confectioners’ sugar.
45. Raspberry Party Mix Toast 1 1/2 cups each unsalted peanuts, almonds and sweetened shredded coconut in a large skillet over medium heat until golden, about 6 minutes; let cool completely. Stir in 1 cup each peanut butter chips, semisweet chocolate chips and dried raspberries.
46. Coconut-Almond Haystacks Melt 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips. Mix with 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut and 1 cup toasted sliced almonds. Form into 16 small mounds and chill until set.
47. Tropical Snowballs Make Coconut-Almond Haystacks (No. 46) using white chocolate chips instead of semisweet and replacing the almonds with finely chopped dried pineapple. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons each grated lime zest and lime juice to the mixture. Top with more lime zest.
48. Crackly Almonds Simmer 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons water and a pinch of cream of tartar in a saucepan over medium heat, without stirring, until brown (280 degrees F on a candy thermometer). Stir in 1 1/2 cups toasted blanched almonds and cook, without stirring, until dark brown (305 degrees F). Spread on a buttered, foil-lined baking sheet; let harden.
49. Chocolate Almonds Make Crackly Almonds (No. 48). Once hardened, drizzle with 4 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate and toss to coat; dust with sweetened cocoa powder. Chill until set.
50. Eggnog Truffles Whisk 10 large egg yolks with 1/2 cup sugar and a scant 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, nutmeg, rum and vanilla extract in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Cook, stirring often, until very thick and glossy, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely. With oiled hands, roll the mixture into 3/4-inch balls. Roll in sanding sugar.
Photograph by Justin Walker