I don’t know about you, but Thanksgiving falling so late this year really threw me for a loop.  This past week I’ve been resetting my mind toward the winter holidays, and now I’ve finally got my sights set on holiday baking and planning my annual holiday party.  I may bake for friends and family all year long, but I especially love doing it at the holidays when I can do it in an organized, large scale fashion without getting the side eye from anyone.  Each year I struggle with choosing which treats will make the cut and be included in the packages I make for friends and family, and each year the choice becomes more difficult as I find a couple new must-makes each holiday season.

Next week I’ll have a few more new treats to offer you, but until then, here are some past favorites that I’ll be agonizing between when I finalize my list this week.  Once I have the list all finalized, I’ll be stocking up on packaging supplies from my friends at Garnish.  Read on down through the bottom for a chance to win some Garnish goodies for yourself!

Of all the incredible holiday cookies out there, in my book pretty much nothing can beat a sable. Simplicity is at its best in this crumbly, vanilla scented cookie.

This cappuccino fudge has been a favorite favorite of mine since childhood. It is so easy to make and has the best texture of any fudge I have tried.  You can’t go wrong with a classic, chocolatey fudge with a hint of espresso.

Except for this nutella cherry hazelnut fudge with sea salt. If anything can get me to stray from plain, unadulterated fudge, it is this.   It really needs no explanation.

If you’re into candy making, caramels are such fun to make and recipients love them! These apple cider caramels were new to me this year but the flavor is so incredible, I think they will be making it into my gift bags this year.  So, so good.  Of course, you also can’t go wrong with the classic vanilla bean caramels (now with step-by-step photos to help you along if you are intimidated by making caramels.)

When I’m baking such mass quantities of treats, I can always appreciate something that is simple to make but garners rave reviews every time.  That is these peppermint brownies.  One batch makes a large panful and goes quite a long way.

Truffles are one of my favorite holiday treats to make for gift giving and parties, and these peanut butter pretzel truffles are irresistible. What’s not to love?

For all the peppermint lovers out there, these mini chocolate candy cane cheesecakes are a sure winner.

Rugelach can sometimes be a rather homely, B list cookie, but this chocolate raspberry almond rugelach wins my heart and is a must-bake for me every year, usually for gifting but if not then at least for our family to enjoy.

I first made these pecan pie thumbprints last year and they totally wowed us.  Pecan pie in cookie form – oh yes, it’s a thing!

Candy cane macarons are one of my friends’ favorite holiday cookies.  I love seeing my friends get as excited about macarons as I do.  (Side note: now when I make these, I use the Italian method described in detail here but still fill and garnish as normal.)

This gingerbread recipe is the one that taught me that yes, I do love gingerbread.  And it is good…so very good.

And when in doubt, beautiful sugar cookies are a sure bet.  See my recently revamped royal icing tutorial for step-by-step instructions.  You CAN do this!

Alright, those are just a few (ha!) of my favorite holiday treats.  I hope that gave you some fun baking inspiration.  Now head on over to the giveaway page for a chance to win some Garnish goodies for packaging or parties.  I adore Garnish and am always glad to share their awesome products with you!

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