10 Cheery Recipes For Your Holiday Gatherings

Let the merrymaking begin with these easy and delicious recipes that will bring cheer to your holiday gathering.

Here, 10 recipes to help you add some delicious cheer to your holiday gatherings.

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Blondies

Looking for the perfect festive bite? You’ve found it with Bite Me More’s delicious White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Blondies, an edible gift for everyone on your list. These easy-to-make chunky white chocolate blondies are elevated to new heights when topped with a creamy white chocolate frosting and crunchy homemade peppermint bark.


Peppermint Bark

16oz white chocolate, chopped
½ cup crushed peppermint candies or candy canes

White Chocolate Blondies

¾ cup butter, room temperature
1½ cups brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
2 cups chopped white chocolate

White Chocolate Frosting

½ cup butter, room temperature
2½ cups icing sugar
6oz white chocolate, melted
1 tbsp whole milk
½ tsp vanilla extract


1) For the peppermint bark, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Melt half of the white chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments. Once melted, add the rest of the white chocolate, stirring well until melted and smooth. Pour onto prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle crushed candy over chocolate and let cool, about 1 hour. Once firm, the bark can be broken into smaller pieces.

2) For the blondies, preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a 13×9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and cover the bottom with parchment paper. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, brown sugar and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until well incorporated. Add flour, baking soda, salt and white chocolate to the mixer. Mix on low speed, just until the flour disappears. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake 26-28 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool for 20 minutes before removing from pan.

3) For the white chocolate frosting, using an electric mixer, cream butter and icing sugar until well combined. Add melted chocolate, milk and vanilla extract, mixing until smooth. Spread white chocolate frosting over cooled blondies and garnish with peppermint bark pieces.

Yield: 20-24 bars

Candy Cane Martini

Martinis and mistletoe! Let the merrymaking begin with this perfect, easy and delicious Candy Cane Martini, a holiday cocktail that combines vanilla vodka with white chocolate liqueur and peppermint.


2oz Vanilla Vodka
1oz Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
½ oz White Crème de Cacao
½ oz Peppermint Schnapps

Light corn syrup, to rim the glass
Crushed candy canes, to rim the glass


To rim the martini glass, spread a thin layer of corn syrup around the rim of the glass and press crushed canes around rim.

Fill a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice. Add vanilla vodka, white chocolate liqueur, white crème de cacao and peppermint schnapps. Shake and strain into prepared glass.

White Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Want to get teachers, bosses and mother-in-laws under your thumb? Forget brute force, blackmail or bitchiness. You need our 2 Bs – baking and butter. These shortbread-like thumbprint cookies are loaded with sweet white chocolate and mounded high with berry jam. Not only are these scrumptious, crunchy cookies simple to make (I had time to twiddle my thumbs), but they’re also excellent festive fare. These mouthwatering weapons will have friend and foe eating out of your hand.


Thumbprint Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp kosher salt
2¼ cups flour
½ cup finely chopped white chocolate

Jam Filling

6 tbsp strawberry jam
6 tbsp raspberry jam
½ cup chopped white chocolate, for drizzling on top


1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) For the thumbprint cookies, using an electric mixer, combine butter and icing sugar on medium speed, until well blended and smooth. On low speed, add vanilla, salt, flour and white chocolate, mixing 1 minute or until dough forms. Using 2 teaspoon of dough, roll into a ball. Place on prepared baking sheet and, using a ½ tsp measuring spoon, make a depression in the center of each ball. Bake 15-16 minutes or until light brown around the edges. Remove to a wire rack and cool completely before filling.

3) For the jam filling, in a small bowl, combine strawberry and raspberry jam. Fill each indentation with approximately 1 tsp of jam mixture.

4) For the white chocolate drizzle, use a double boiler or place a heatproof bowl across the top of a small pan with a small amount of water in it. Bring the water to a simmer over low heat. Place the ½ cup chopped white chocolate in the bowl and stir frequently until melted, making sure no water touches the chocolate. Remove bowl from heat and, using a fork, drizzle melted white chocolate over each cookie.

Yield: 35-40 cookies

Spiced Mulled Red Wine

The gloves are off (literally) as we sip on this warming, wondrous and perfect-for-the-holidays Spiced Mulled Wine.


1 (750mL) bottle dry red wine, such as Cabernet or Merlot
8 tbsp brown sugar
1 orange, sliced
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise

4 cinnamon sticks, for garnish
1 sliced orange, for garnish


1) In a large saucepan, combine red wine and brown sugar over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.

2) Once sugar has dissolved, add 1 sliced orange, cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks and star anise. Simmer for 20 minutes, careful not to boil wine.

3) Strain wine through a mesh sieve and let cool slightly before serving, along with cinnamon sticks and orange slices.

Makes 4 mulled wine cocktails

White Chocolate Gingerbread Brownies

Lisa has huffed, puffed and blown the gingerbread house down with these moist and decadent White Chocolate Gingerbread Brownies.


1 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
¼ cup light molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
¾ cup cocoa powder, sifted
½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1½ cups white chocolate chips

Melted white chocolate, to drizzle, optional


1) Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 13×9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper.

2)In a large bowl, whisk melted butter, sugar and brown sugar until combined. Add eggs, molasses and vanilla extract and continue to whisk until smooth. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, ginger, salt, cinnamon and white chocolate chips. Stir just until flour has disappeared.

3)Spread into prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before drizzling with white
chocolate if desired.

Makes 25-30 Gingerbread Brownies

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

Hold on to your hat because this Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, the perfect mix of sweet and salty, is going to blow you away!


2 tbsp Dulce de leche
1/2 cup whole milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp sugar
Pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
2 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Dulce de leche, to rim mugs


1) In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk dulce de leche and 1/2 cup milk together until smooth. Whisk in brown sugar, sugar, sea salt and cocoa powder until well combined. Add remaining 2 cups milk, whisk well and heat through. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

2) To rim your mugs, rub the rims of 2 large mugs with dulce de leche and dip the rim of the mugs in coarse sea salt.

Serves 2

Easy Sugar Cookies

Calling all Pollock, Rothko and Mondrian wannabes: here’s your chance to unleash your subconscious. Lisa, your artistic enabler, supplies the ideal canvas – a sweet, soft-centered, sugar cookie. You can cut, shape, drizzle, dip, ice and sprinkle to your heart’s content or just be very “less is more” about it and let the buttery cookie shine au naturel.


1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar


1) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2) In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together icing sugar and butter. Once incorporated, add vanilla and egg, stirring well to combine. Add flour, baking soda and cream of tartar, stirring until flour disappears.

3) Shape dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to ensure easier handling.

4) After refrigeration, divide dough ball in half, keeping one half covered while working with the other. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to 1/4 to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter.

5) Place cookies 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Cool completely on a cooling rack.

Yield: 15 large cutout cookies or 30 small cookies

Apple Cider Sangria

Sangria isn’t just for summer. No Siree. With the addition of spiced cider, this fruity sangria is the perfect fireside cocktail.


Spiced Apple Cider

2 cups apple cider
1/3 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 orange, sliced


1 (750mL) bottle Spanish red wine (such as Garnacha or Tempranillo) or bottle of Zinfandel
2 cups spiced apple cider (recipe above)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brandy

Orange slices, for garnish
Cinnamon sticks, for garnish


1) For the spiced cider, mix all ingredients together in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Once comes to a simmer, remove from heat and cool completely. Once cool, strain using a mesh sieve.

2) For the sangria, in a large pitcher, combine all ingredients. Garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks. Serve over ice.

Serves 6

Raspberry Candy Cane Milkshake

Tis the season to be especially jolly thanks to this thick and creamy Raspberry Candy Cane Milkshake!


Corn Syrup

2 cups vanilla ice cream
2 candy canes, crushed (about 1/8 cup)
1 cup fresh raspberries
¼ cup Raspberry Iced Tea

Fresh raspberries, for garnish


1)Place sprinkles on a large plate. Rub the rim of a tall milkshake glass with corn syrup and dip glass in sprinkles set aside.

2)Using a blender combine ice cream, candy canes, raspberries and iced tea. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared milkshake glass and garnish with fresh raspberries.

Serves 1

Cranberry Martini

Looking for some holiday cheer? Shake up a batch of these delicious Cranberry Martinis (aka Crantinis), an easy cocktail recipe guaranteed to brighten up any celebration.


1 ½ oz vodka
½ oz orange liqueur
½ oz dry vermouth
3 oz cranberry juice

Fresh cranberries, for garnish


1) In a shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, orange liqueur, vermouth and cranberry juice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with cranberries.

Serves 1