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Dainty holiday desserts

Bigger isn’t better when it comes to watching your waistline during the holiday season. That doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself of indulgent treats, it simply means nibbling on modest mouthfuls of dynamite sweets. No need to woof down a slab of the usual apple pie – slowly savor these deliciously dainty holiday desserts.

Tiramisu in a Glass

Tiramisu recipe in a glass

Makes 8

Tiramisu served in champagne glasses gives this Italian dessert an eye-catching and portion controlled presentation.


  • 6 ounces premium white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 (8-ounce) container mascarpone cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brewed espresso, cooled
  • 2 ounces Kahlua
  • 16 ladyfingers
  • Shaved dark chocolate


  1. Place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat milk until bubbles just form. Pour milk over chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat cheese and sugar until combined. In a second medium bowl, beat cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Whisk chocolate mixture into cheese mixture and gently fold in whipped cream.
  3. In a shallow dish, combine espresso and Kahlua. Dip each lady finger in the espresso mixture and quickly press into the side of a champagne glass, placing two ladyfingers into each glass.
  4. Spoon mascarpone mixture into each glass and garnish with dark chocolate. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

Chocolate raspberry mousse spoons recipe

Makes 12

If you’re one of those dessert eaters who can’t resist any sweets within reach, limit your intake with these luscious little spoonfuls of whipped cream, chocolate and berries. Elegant in presentation on your favorite silverware, set them down in front of a dessert-hungry crowd and you won’t have a chance to over-indulge.


  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup raspberry preserves
  • 12 fresh raspberries
  • Dark chocolate sauce


  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream, honey and preserves until soft peaks form. Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with a round or star tip.
  2. Place a sheet of waxed paper on a baking sheet and set spoons on waxed paper. Pipe raspberry mousse onto spoons in pretty mounds.
  3. Set a fresh raspberry to the side of each mound and decoratively zig zag thin lines of chocolate sauce over mousse.

Chai cheesecake bites recipe

Makes 15

Miniature munches may be popular as appetizer offerings but mini desserts like these cheesecake bites are a nice change from the giant portions so often dished out during the holidays.


  • 15 mini phyllo shells
  • 1 (4-ounce) block cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons chai drink mix
  • 15 chocolate covered coffee beans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place shells on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and chai mix until light and fluffy. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a round or star tip.
  3. Pipe cheese mixture into the prepared phyllo shells. Top each with a coffee bean.

More holiday dessert recipes

Thanksgiving dessert cocktails
Unbelievable Thanksgiving pies
Christmas bread pudding recipes

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