If you agree that a highlight of every holiday party is the spread of sweets, you're going to love this week's roundup of recipes. Whether you pile your plate high with cookies or can't leave without a slice of cake, everyone has their go-to indulgences — and now you'll easily be able to make them at home. Cookbook author Jessie Sheehan stopped by TODAY to share her favorite festive desserts this season, plus baking tips and shortcuts.
If any of your upcoming gatherings have a rather extensive guest list, Sheehan's Texas sheet cake is the way to go. It easily feeds a crowd with 16 generous servings, but still has a Christmas-y twist with the addition of peppermint extract. Hosting at home and trying to avoid a sink full of dishes? Opt for her bite-size Oreo truffles to make entertaining a breeze. While all of Sheehan’s recipes can be whipped up rather quickly, an entire batch of chewy chocolate-ginger cookies bakes in just 10 minutes. And if your oven is full of other apps and mains, her no-bake rice cereal treats — complete with red and green nonpareils — will do the trick.
To further get you in the holiday spirit, we have some savory festive fare to round out the week. From a Christmas tree cheese ball to mini barbecue meatballs to a stuffed pork loin roast, let's just say that the next potluck will be lucky to have you.
Jessie Sheehan's shortcut holiday desserts
This is one of the easiest cake and frosting combos in the land. You couldn’t make this cake (or the frosting, for that matter) with a stand mixer even if you wanted to. And if you can boil something on the stove top and stir a couple of things together in a bowl, you, too, can make this cake.
Once assembled and served, these truffles will knock your socks off (and those of your friends and family) not only because they are so darn tasty and poppable (i.e.: once you taste one, you’ll be popping them into your mouth with abandon), but also because they take only about half an hour to assemble and are ready to serve as soon as their chocolate coating is set.
There is something about the way the chocolate plays with the slightly spicy, yet fruity, ginger that is literally that of which holiday cookie dreams are made. The cookies are assembled in a single bowl with a whisk and a spatula and require no resting pre-bake (you’re welcome) and the ingredients are everything you’d expect in a ginger cookie — and more.
Rice Krispies Treats are a forever favorite treat, particularly for those of us that remember making them for —and buying them from — elementary school bake sales. In short, the nostalgic factor is big when it comes to this easy kid-friendly recipe.
More recipes to make this week
Round out the week with these recipes from Theodora Kaloudis, Alejandra Ramos and Casey Barber.
You can never go wrong with a roast around the holidays, and this stuffed pork loin wins points for both taste and presentation. Not to mention, it can be made partially ahead of time, which makes getting dinner on the table that much easier.
If you're looking for a show-stopping appetizer for upcoming holiday parties, look no further than this Christmas tree cheese ball. The best part is that it tastes even better than it looks, with a blend of cream cheese, shredded cheese and fresh herbs.
Love a blend of sweet and savory flavors all in one bite? You need to try these mini barbecue meatballs that are baked (not fried) for an easier experience in the kitchen. Bring them to your next function and watch them fly off the table.