Presented by Spoon University x Food Network Kitchen

Between freshly-baked cookies, warm cider, and infinite holiday rom-coms to stream, there’s nothing like enjoying the holiday season in all its nostalgic glory. This year, I’m ready to step up my holiday cooking game, so I promised myself I’d try some new festive recipes at home. Luckily, the Food Network Kitchen app is already making my new tradition easy. If you’re ready to celebrate the season with festive holiday dishes, here are 8 recipes to try this weekend: 

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Strawberry Santas

These are by far the cutest holiday treats I’ve laid eyes on. Seriously, I want to make a million strawberry Santas and give one to everyone I know. For these adorable snacks, all you need are strawberries, chocolate chips, and creamy frosting! This recipe from Food Network Kitchen shows you how to make the frosting from scratch with mascarpone (yum), but if you’re short on time, you can substitute with your favorite store-bought kind or classic whipped cream.

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Gingerbread Waffles

There are few things that get me out of bed in the morning apart from freshly brewed coffee, but the aroma of these delicious gingerbread waffles 100% does the trick. The secret to this spicy-yet-sweet breakfast treat is the festive blend of cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, pumpkin puree, and rich molasses. Spread some melted butter on your waffle iron, and make as many as your gingerbread-loving heart desires. Then top with fruit or whipped cream for extra flavor!

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Pizza Candy Cane Crescent

Okay, how fun is this candy cane-shaped pizza? It’s the perfect mix of savory and sweet, making it a great appetizer for a holiday gathering or a midday snack. For this recipe, you’ll need a tube of crescent dough, pizza sauce, shredded mozzarella, and pepperoni slices, along with sesame seeds and basil leaves for an extra touch. See the full recipe here for tips on how to prepare this holiday-inspired dish.

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Holiday Rum Balls

Any dessert with “dark rum” and “vanilla wafers” in the same recipe earns a spot in my recipe book. For this holiday-inspired delicacy, combine your favorite dark rum with vanilla wafer cookie crumbs, sugar, corn syrup or honey, and butter. You can even add walnuts or coconut for some added crunch! This recipe from Food Network Kitchen recommends rolling the batter into 1-inch balls on a baking sheet, covering well with plastic wrap, and letting them sit for 48 hours. 

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Candy Cane Chocolate Chip Cookies

When I saw this cookie recipe combining chocolate, pumpkin spice, and crushed candy canes, I was instantly sold. To make this dreamy dessert, you’ll blend butter, sugar, egg, flour, and pumpkin pie spice together before adding bittersweet chocolate chips and crushed candy canes. Then, scoop the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes. Soon you’ll have festive cookies that taste just like the holidays!

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Holiday Biscuit Wreath

Cheddar cheese and fresh Italian parsley combined with sweet fig, baked in fluffy biscuits...oh my goodness, talk about my dream holiday bread. If you’re ready to uplevel your breadmaking skills this holiday season, this nostalgic recipe is for you. You’ll need around 30 minutes to bake this golden brown bread, and it yields 8-10 servings, AKA perfect for sharing or leaving on your neighbor’s doorstep for a savory surprise.

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Cranberry Cream Cheese Stuffed Sufganiyot

A cross between a beignet and a jelly donut, sufganiyot are pillowy donuts enjoyed around the world during Hanukkah. Although they’re traditionally filled with jelly or jam, you can also use custard, apple butter, dulce de leche, or enjoy them plain — the possibilities are endless! In this recipe from Food Network Kitchen, you’ll need vegetable oil, biscuit dough, cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and powdered sugar to sprinkle on top.

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Eggnog Cookie Bars

If you love eggnog, these sugary cookie bars are a must-try. To make them from scratch, you’ll need 2 large eggs and 3 egg yolks, along with flour, salt, butter, sugar, and nutmeg. Add a few tablespoons of brandy and vanilla extract for flavor, and in just under an hour, you’ll have a sheet of festive eggnog cookie bars to ring in the holidays! Check out the full recipe here

If you’re ready to begin a new tradition and flex your holiday cooking skills, the Food Network Kitchen app is exactly what you need to get started. They have hundreds of festive recipes, from boozy seasonal cocktails to holiday cookies and more, plus a variety of classes that teach you how to make delicious meals step-by-step! Even if you’re brand new to the kitchen, you’ll be on your way to creating a solid holiday cookbook in no time. Happy holidays!