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Cool holiday desserts you make only for the people you love the very best

Save these holiday recipes for special occasions

There are a lot of things we love about the holidays, but Christmas treats definitely top the list.

However, sometimes it's easy to get stuck in a Christmas cookie rut. You know, when you make the same treats year after year. There's nothing wrong with keeping up a tradition, but why not add a little wow factor to your dessert spread this season with some unexpected sweets?

We've rounded up a list of our 20 best holiday dessert recipes that are sure to add a new element to your table this year — we're talking cherry-filled gingerbread tarts and a festive cream puff Christmas tree here. But don't worry; we've included the trusty staples we all know and love  — like cookies, cakes and pies.

More: How to make cracker candy, the super-easy salty-sweet holiday treat

Now your only problem will be picking which of these seasonal treats you want to make.

1. Gingerbread chocolate chip cookies

Save these holiday recipes for special occasions

Everybody loves a chocolate chip cookie. This one gives the classic a holiday spin with the taste of gingerbread.

2. Stuffed and baked pear dumplings

Save these holiday recipes for special occasions

Elegant baked pears can be stuffed with anything you like. They're wrapped with premade dough and are deceptively simple to make.

3. Caramel apple pie

Save these holiday recipes for special occasions

We've added depth and richness to ordinary apple pie by incorporating caramel into the filling. It will be a surefire hit at your holiday party.

4. Chocolate raisin apple pie

Save these holiday recipes for special occasions

With the smooth appeal of cake and the crunchy appeal of pie, this is a tasty combination dreamed up in holiday heaven.

5. Spice cake with apple cider caramel sauce

Save these holiday recipes for special occasions

Special is what you get when you mix a regular box mix with a homemade apple cider caramel sauce slathered on top of a Bundt cake.

Next: More holiday dessert recipes

Originally published December 2015. Updated December 2016.

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