Everyone has their favorite thing about the holidays: the decorations, the family, or for me, the food. Cooking is such a big part of the holiday experience, and I've always loved the time I spend in the kitchen making desserts to share with my friends and family. Whatever your favorite treat may be, here are a few creative holiday recipes to help you switch it up and try something new this season.

1. Gingerbread Caramel Bars with Eggnog Frosting

pastry, cream, chocolate, cake
Ari Collura

Do you even need to make those traditional gingerbread cookies when you can have these bars instead?

2. Snickerdoodle Cookie Dough and Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches

coffee, dairy product, cream, candy, sweet, chocolate
Callie Carlson

As if ice cream sandwiches weren't good enough, using cookie dough in place of cookies makes this dessert irresistible. 

3. Peppermint Crunch Puppy Chow 

ice, marshmallow, candy, chocolate, milk, cream, sweet
Meredith Ross

Puppy chow is a quick, simple, delicious dessert that works for any occasion. This year, try making it with crushed candy canes instead of the traditional peanut butter. 

4. Mini Apple Pie Bites

Sherry Xiao

These cute desserts are the perfect size and a nice break from the traditional apple pie you always have. 

5. Pumpkin Cheesecake Truffles 

coffee, sour cream, yogurt, sweet, dairy product, cream, milk
Caroline Ingalls

As much as I love pumpkin pie, I think pumpkin truffles are even better. There's just something about the white chocolate that's so much more satisfying than a plain pie crust. 

6. Salted Toffee Brittle

Krista Stucchio

Salty and sweet toffee is a staple in my house all year. This dangerously addictive toffee brittle won't get stuck in your teeth, and is the perfect treat to send home with friends and family. 

7. Gingerbread Fudge 

cake, chocolate, pastry, candy, sweet
Caroline Ingalls

Now there's a brilliant way to combine two of the best Christmas desserts: gingerbread and fudge. This easy recipe will no doubt be a hit at your next party. 

8. Candy Cane S'mores 

pastry, cake, goody, candy, sweet, cannoli, cream, chocolate
Connie Fan

These s'mores are the perfect combination of summertime and the holiday season. Plus, you make them in the oven so you don't even have to brave the cold. 

9. Eggnog Pumpkin Pie

cookie, pumpkin, cake, chocolate, pastry, sweet, pie
Eva Reynolds

Adding eggnog to pumpkin pie makes this traditional Thanksgiving treat seamlessly transition into to the Christmas season. Not to mention it makes it even easier.

So next time you think about reaching for the candy canes or pre-sliced sugar cookie dough, try mixing it up with one of these easy recipes instead.