Christmas dessert recipes from grandmothers, nanas, mimis, and nonnas around the globe.

By Karen Gaudette Brewer

Grandma-tested, grandma-approved!

Nothing beats Grandma's treats. But you can get awfully close with Grandma's favorite recipes. This holiday, add a taste of nostalgia to your Christmas dessert table and fill your home with the familiar scents and sweetness of the holidays. Grandma would approve.

1. Grandma Minecci's Snowball Cookies

These dainty delights melt in your mouth and play the perfect counterpoint to fudge and other richer treats in a Christmas cookie tin. For a fragrant twist, swap almond extract for the vanilla.


2. Italian Cream Cheese and Ricotta Cheesecake

"This is my grandmother's cheesecake recipe passed down to my entire family. It's the best," writes Allrecipes user April Caudle. "I can't believe I'm sharing it, but everyone needs to know how to make an authentic Italian cheesecake. It is creamy and not thick, which is why our family LOVES it!"

3. Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti

Just like your nonna used to make! "Italian friends have told me this tastes 'just the way biscotti is supposed to taste,'" writes Allrecipes user GZJ123. Her advice? "DON'T use butter or margarine. Find a light, good quality olive oil. Butter doesn't belong in biscotti — it won't age well and will become rancid instead of allowing the flavor to develop."

Rob Tanner

4. Ruth's Grandma's Pie Crust

No matter whose grandma's pie you bake this holiday season (looking at you, Grandma Ople!) this trusty pie crust recipe will serve you well.

5. Grandma Minnie's Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies

"This is a wonderful recipe — it is now my favorite sugar cookie recipe," writes Allrecipes user MARCIE4. "Make sure you do not use electric beaters to mix in vanilla, egg and cream — do it by hand."


6. Grandma Gudgel's Black Bottom Cupcakes

Ooey, gooey, chocolatey ... meet the cupcake of your dreams. "These were absolutely PERFECT! Even better than the expensive ones they sell at coffeehouses. I followed the recipe exactly and baked for 30 minutes for a picture-perfect product," writes Allrecipes user Mo. "Will make these over and over again, much to my family and coworkers' delight!" We wish we worked with you, Mo.


7. Rosenmunnar

Just like your favorite Swedish grandma used to bake! These jam thumbprints come together in a snap and call for only four ingredients.


8. Grandma's Caramel Popcorn Balls

"My mom made these delicious popcorn balls when I was growing up," writes Allrecipes user Kim1520. "I made the family recipe for the first time this year. My daughters, grown with their own families, asked why I hadn't made these sooner. Thirty plus years later, this recipe will now be a family tradition at Christmas."


9. Willard Family German Chocolate Cake

"My great-grandma could make this with her eyes closed," wrote Allrecipes user K-Dub. Says fellow home cook Rae "My family was sad when this cake was gone and there was a fight over the last piece (I won!). Thanks for the great recipe, it's a keeper."


10. Grandma's Gingersnaps

"Excellent cookie! Comes out thin and crispy on the outside, chewy in the middle," writes Allrecipes user surf's up. "Be sure to follow the directions and leave them on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack (or else they will fall apart!). And they spread out A LOT, so don't make them too big! Delicious!"


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