Getting ready to do some holiday baking? You’ll want to check out these ideas! Here’s a big batch of recipes for squares, slices and tarts–perfect for gift giving and baking trays. This Hit List compliments 30 Holiday Cookies , 15 Pumpkin Bar Recipes  and 101 Fudge Recipes  nicely.
P.S.: You’ll want to bookmark this page since I’ll be adding to it again next holiday season ;).
*Note: Descriptions below are quotes from the sources
- Lemon Tassies : Being a lemon lover, and knowing that I had some cream cheese that needed using, these were a no brainer. The only complaint I had about these cookies was too much cookie and not enough filling. But as I looked on Martha’s website today, I saw that the recipe listed online has the same amount of filling, but the cookie ingredients are cut in half. I’m not sure why they changed this when they published the book. The recipe below is from the book, but I would suggest halving the cookie dough, or doubling the filling! Recipe found at Taste And Tell.
- White Chocolate & Cranberries Tartlets : For the tart shells I used dough recipe from La Tartine Gourmande that I already tried before and liked very much. This time I used ground walnuts instead of almond flour and was very satisfied with the taste. Recipe found at Palachinka.
- Mini Almond Joy Tarts : Since I’m not a huge pie crust type of person, I went the chocolate route and made Oreo crusts. Mmmm now that’s my type of crust. Inside the crust is a filling made of white chocolate ganache, coconut, and dark rum! From Gingerbread Bagels.
- Cocoa Tassies with Peppermint Creme Filling : Cocoa Tassies with Peppermint Creme Filling (Adapted from BH&G). Recipe from Culinary In The Desert.
- Prize Winning Butter Tarts : There’s nothing sweeter than good old fashioned butter tarts. Apparently, this decadent treat is a Canadian classic. Only in Canada, eh? Pity!This recipe won my mom top prize at a Fall Fair years ago. It’s my dad’s favourite, although we don’t make them very often. That’s how he stays so skinny. Recipe found at Christie’s Corner.
- Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chip Tassies : Recipe found at Hershey’s Kitchen.
- Apricot Cookie Tarts : This recipe calls for dried apricots simmered in a simple syrup spiked with a bit of liqueur. Regardless of the form they take, apricots will always be something I enjoy — especially baked between layers of a brown sugar crumble. Nothing compares to their perfectly sweet tartness. Recipe from Sass & Veracity.
- Mini Millionaire Shortbread Pies : They turned out to be as everybite as wonderful as pictured and described in the book. The size was perfect to enjoy them without being hit on the head by a spoon full of sugar. Recipe found at Tartelette.
Squares & Slices For The Holiday Tray
*Note: Descriptions below are quotes from the recipe sites
- Chocolate Carnutty Bars : Recipe from Betty Homes and Gardens.
- Oooey Gooey Taffy Tart Squares : They are so super easy, which is almost impossible to believe, considering their insane decadence. They are amazing freshly baked. They are amazing refrigerated. They are amazing frozen. From Sweetapolita.
- Layered Cookie Bars : Just imagine all of your favorite cookies layered into one bar of fabulousness! From Picky Palate.
- Cranberry Walnut Crumb Bars : They are quite wonderfully sour and sweet at the same time. From Making Life Delicious.
- Cranberry Cinnamon Chip Bars : This one is studded with cinnamon flavored chips, juicy pink cranberries and toasted nuts. From Our Best Bites.
- Cranberry Curd Bars with Walnut Shortbread Crust : Tangy-sweet cranberry curd meets buttery walnut shortbread for a twist on the classic lemon bar. A dash of cinnamon ties it all together. From The Kitchn.
- Tastes Like Almond Roca Candy : This batch makes plenty so whatever I don’t give right away I have stashed in an airtight bag in the freezer. From Not Without Salt.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars : I cut them into 2″ bars for the sale, but 1″ bite-sized bars would be ideal, as they are very rich.
- Mom’s Raspberry Bars : They’re not complex—just a mixture of raspberry jam, almonds and white-chocolate chips all nestled on a buttery cake base. From Homesick Texan.
- Homemade Chocolate Dipped Marshmallows : Homemade marshmallows are a fun and simple treat to make. You can cut them into simple rectangles and squares as seen here, or get adventurous and cut them out with different cookie cutters. From Craftzine.
- Ultimate Peppermint Ganache Brownies : Tweaked from Sunset Magazine, yields about 30 small brownies (small goes a long way with these). From Kiss My Spatula.
- White Chocolate Gingerbread Bars : There are a bunch of different, warm spices in the batter and the white chocolate is light and creamy and compliments in the gingerbread flavor perfectly. From Crepes of Wrath.
- Cranberry Pistachio Blondies : They are delicious, they sport the traditional red and green holiday colors and they look terribly fancy. From A Dash of Sass.
- Double White Chocolate Layered Bars : Double your chocolate pleasure! White chocolate is in the cookie bars and also drizzled on top. Recipe from Pillsbury.
- Nanaimo Bars : According to local legend about 35 years ago, a Nanaimo housewife entered her recipe for chocolate squares in a magazine contest. In a burst of civic pride, she chose to dub the entry not “Daphne’s Delights” or “Mary’s Munchies”, but “Nanaimo Bars”. The entry won a prize, thereby publishing the town as much as her cooking. Some American tourists claim sovereignty over the dessert, referred to as “New York Slice” which is sold in many other places in the world. Nanaimo residents refuse to accept this theory, however, believing that once you set foot on Vancouver Island, there are no other places in the world. The official Nanaimo Bar recipe was available as a handout as well as on quality tea towel and apron souvenirs. Recipe found at City of Nanaimo website.
- Montelimar Nougat : This is ooey, chewy honey goodness at it’s best. It may seem a bit tricky, but once you get over the fear of hot sugar, it’s really not too bad. Recipe from The Barmy Baker.
- Dark Chocolate Bark with Walnuts & Dried Cherries : It’s festive and pretty, simple and delicious, studded with chewy dried cherries, bits of crystallized ginger and meaty toasted walnuts. I can say with authority it would make an excellent addition to your holiday cookie tray. Recipe found at The Kitchen Sink.
- Cranberry Pecan Shortbread Bars : The base is buttery and melt-in-your-mouth tender, without crumbling to pieces when you pick it up. It’s also very flavorful, thanks to the cinnamon and pecans. The tart cranberry sauce on top compliments the shortbread perfectly so that the end result is something like a lemon bar, but with cranberries. In other words, delicious. From The Craving Chronicles.
- Mocha Toffee Bars : It’s from Gourmet Magazine but I’m not sure what year. I love the flavor of mocha and if you do too, you’ll really love these bar cookies. Found at The Cookie Scoop.
- Sweet Potato Brownie Bars : A perfect recipe to combine the flavors of sweet potato and chocolate. I think I’ve found one. It’s a layered bar inspired by a recipe for cookie dough brownies. Two of the layers are all about chocolate, and a few chocolate chips sneak into the third layer as well. From Sugar Comma.
- Butterscotch-Glazed Coffee Shortbread : The shortbread itself has finely ground espresso in it, the butterscotch glaze is made with brewed espresso, and the cookies are decorated with a chocolate-covered espresso bean. From Lisa Is Cooking.
- Almond Holiday Bars : They’re soft like a cookie on the bottom with a crunchy almond topping and no refined sugar, making them a refreshing change from the sweets you’re used to this time of year. From Weelicious.
- Chocolate Mint Fudge Brownies : These brownies are wonderful and exactly what I was trying to create. The texture of these fall somewhere between a ‘cakey’ and ‘fudgy’ but lean a little more toward the fudgy side. In my opinion they have the perfect texture. Recipe found at Baking Blonde’s Weblog.
- Rainbow Layer Bars with Almond Paste : They remind me of Christmas and also of an Italian flag with the red, green and white layers. All I know is have almond paste in them (which is a LOVE of mine) and I want to make these this Christmas! Recipe found at An American Housewife.
- Those Valuable Fruitcake Cookies (or Bars) : If you make bars, cut when cool into squares. Wrap cooled cookies individually in plastic wrap. They’ll survive mailing to relatives far away, travel in backpacks and pockets, and the brisk school trade. Have fun with them and Happy Holidays to all! Recipe found at The Garden Granny.
- Mint Chocolate Chip Rocky Road Bars : These bars are extremely fast and easy to make. From Bakers Royale.
- Sugar Cookie Bars : They taste like a sugar cookie but feel like a dense cake, which I loved since I like my cookies soft to begin with. From Love And Olive Oil.
- Butterscotch Confetti Squares : This is probably hands down my favourite “sweets” recipe. My Grandma would make these when I was a kid. Recipe from Tales From The Fairy Blogmother.
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Confetti : I turned to the Company’s Company cookbook series, and selected this square from Best Loved Treats. The recipe was called Butterscotch Confetti, but I altered it to resemble another square that I had tried before. FOr a colourful and tasty treat, try this out. Recipe from Onions Make Me Cry.
- Lemon Bars : These are bold and tart lemon bars, ones I feel are best in smaller doses than Ina Garten suggests. I’ve made a few changes to the recipe–increased the salt in the crust, reduced the sugar in the lemon filling and an encouragement to grease your pan, as mine were all but cemented into their non-stick pan. For those of you who like the 1:1 crust to lemon layer ratio, use the second option. Recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
- Chocolate-Almond Fudge Squares : These rich, fudgy bites are basically almondy truffles cut into squares, and they are fantastic! Recipe from CookiePie.
- Eggnog Bars : It’s actually more of an eggnog cheesecake bar, but is delicious whatever you call it! It has no eggnog in it, but does have rum, nutmeg and cinnamon. The crust to eggnog cheesecake ratio is about 50/50 which I love, as I am a real crust lover. As for how it tastes, yes it is delicious but it’s not super eggnog-y. From Eat Me, Delicious.
- Cherry Mash Bars : This is a family favorite that my mom always makes every Christmas! Recipe found at Pretty Random Thoughts.
- Chocolate Caramel Bars : Because Oh.My.Caramel-y Goodness. They are rich and so I can only handle one of these, even though I would love more. They are just as good, if not better the next day. From Mandy’s Recipe Box.
- Cranberry Blondies : Granted these cookie bars are delicious year round, the bright red color of the dried cranberries in combination with the rich texture of the white chocolate creates the perfect winter treat. From Kate’s Thoughts For Food Blog.
- Date Squares Recipe : How we loved these squares with their two layers of buttery oatmeal crust sandwiched with a layer of pureed dates that have a hint of vanilla. Recipe found at Joy of Baking.
- Date Pecan Bars : These chewy, sweet bars are a great alternative to fruitcake — but they don’t contain any alcohol, making them a kid-friendly holiday treat. From Martha Stewart.
- Christmas Baking : Recipes for Toffee Bars, White Christmas Fudge, Mocha Toffee Cashew Bars and Coconut Macaroons. Recipes found at Kitchens Are Monkey Business.
- Nestle Walnut Coconut Slices : Recipe found at Niya’s World.
More homemade treats that make lovely gifts and are looked for on the goody tray: Peppermint Bark Recipes : Five different ways you can make this favorite including the basic white chocolate recipe, Peppermint Oreo Bark and Layered Peppermint Crunch Bark.
Mock Eatmore Bars, Peanut Butter Cups & Oh Henry Bars
*First published June 28, 2007 and moved to this page for better organization
Homemade Eatmore Bars
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup corn syrup
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 TBS molasses
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups chopped peanuts
2 1/4 cups Rice Krispies
- Melt together the first 4 ingredients in a large saucepan. Do not boil.
- Add remaining 3 ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Spread out on buttered cookie sheet. Cool, then cut into squares.
- Line squares layered between wax paper in an airtight container.
Makes 24 squares.
Can store in freezer.
Mock Oh Henry Bars
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Corn Syrup
1 TBS Butter
*1/2 cup Peanut Butter
2 cups Rice Krispies (cereal)
1 cup Peanuts
1 tsp Vanilla
- Mix all Part 1 ingredients in a bowl excluding the peanut butter. Microwave or heat until melted and is bubbling. Add the 1/2 cup peanut butter, mix well.
- Stir in Part 2 ingredients and mix well. Press into an 8″ x 8″ square pan.
- Cover top with chocolate icing.
Mock Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Caution: You may lose your mind and eat the whole pan in one sitting. I’ve done it and it’s not pretty!
1 3/4 cups icing sugar
1 1/2 cups graham wafer crumbs
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup melted margarine
1 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup peanut butter
- Mix all the ingredients for the base and press into a 9×13 pan.
- Melt the topping ingredients together, mixing well, and pour over the base smoothly and evenly.
- Refrigerate for a minimum two hours then slice into squares.