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4 Delicious Desserts in Time for Christmas

 'Tis the season to look forward to! With the holidays just round the corner, I am constantly on the look out for delicious treats to serve my guests. Here are four of my favorites, which I plan on serving up this Christmas:
1. Gingerbread Cheesecake Bites

• 1 tbsp. Ginger Coffee Creamer, store bought or home-made 
• 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
• 2 tbsp. powdered or granulated sugar
• 1 cup cool whip
• ½ cup gingersnap crumbs

1. Line a 13" x 9" baking sheet with a parchment paper, then set aside.
2. Place the cream cheese in a bowl, add the sugar, the creamer and whip with hand mixer. Add the cool whip and stir with a spoon or spatula until the ingredients have just combined. Spread the mix out evenly in the pan (when spread, the mix will be quite thin). Then, place in the freezer for an hour or two.
3. Add the gingersnap crumbs into a small bowl. Then, scoop the cheesecake mixture with a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon and roll it in the cookie crumbs.
4. Refrigerate for a couple of hours in the freezer until frozen. Then let sit out for 5 minutes at room temperature before serving.
These delicious treats can be prepared well ahead of time. 

2. Bailey's Chocolate Mousse

• 2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
• 2 tbsp. cold water
• ¼ cup boiling water
• ½ cup sugar
• 2 tbsp. cocoa powder (for a more intense chocolate flavor, add 1 additional Tbsp.)
• 1½ cup heavy cream, very cold
• ½ cup Baileys Irish Cream, very cold
• 1 tsp vanilla

1. Place the bowl and beaters in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes to chill.
2. Then sprinkle gelatin over cold water in a small bowl, stir, and let stand for 1 minute to soften. Add the boiling water and stir until the gelatin has dissolved completely. Let stand to cool.
3. Combine the sugar and the cocoa in a large mixing bowl then add the heavy cream. Beat at medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Gradually pour in Baileys, vanilla, and gelatin mix, beating continuously at a high speed until well-balanced and soft-peaks form. Let stand for 5 minutes until thick.
4. Spoon the mix into serving dishes and place in the refrigerator to chill for at least an hour. 

3. Easy Apple Pie Cookies

• 1 package refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
• 5 oz caramel topping
• 10 oz apple pie filling
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp nutmeg
• 1/4 cup sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile spray a cookie sheet with non stick spray and set aside. Allow the crusts to warm slightly, making them easier to work with.
2. Dust your work area with flour and roll out the crusts slightly. Spread a thin layer of caramel on one of the crusts. Use a knife to chop the pie filling into smaller pieces and spread the mix over the caramel.
3. Cut the crust into 1/2" strips and use the strips to create a lattice top over the pie covered crust. Cut out circles and transfer to a prepared baking sheet. 
4. Beat an egg in a bowl. In a separate bowl mix the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Brush the lattice tops with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.

4. Hot Chocolate Fudge

• 2 cups dark chocolate chips
• 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk - divided
• 1 cup white chocolate chips
• 1½ cups mallow bits (mini hot chocolate marshmallows)

1. Combine the white chocolate chips with three tablespoons sweetened condensed milk in a microwave safe bowl. 
2. In a separate bowl, combine the dark chocolate chips with the remaining sweetened condensed milk. 
3. Line a square 9x9 pan with foil and generously grease with butter or shortening. 
4. Meanwhile, microwave the dark chocolate for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave for a further 15 seconds, and stir vigorously until the chocolate is smooth. Transfer the mix into a prepared pan, spreading it out into an even layer.  
5. Microwave the white chocolate for 30 seconds and stir until smooth. Then spread the mixture on top of the dark chocolate later. 
6. Top with mini marshmallows, gently pressing them down. Refrigerate at least 4 hours to set. Remove the fudge and the foil from the pan. Then carefully peel all foil from the fudge. Cut the fudge into bite-sized pieces and serve. 

Cover image Depositphotos.com

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