10 Healthy Holiday Desserts

Chocolate Walnut TartChocolate Walnut Tart

Making healthy taste greatMaking healthy taste great
Save the best for last with these incredible sweet treats that won't break your calorie bank.

1. Chocolate Walnut Tart
A riff on the classic pecan pie, this dessert is rich, chocolaty, and a little fancier with its freestanding fluted sides. Of course, you can use a 9-inch pie plate if you don't have a tart pan with a removable bottom.

1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light-colored corn syrup
2 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup walnut halves
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
Cooking spray

1. Arrange 1 rack in lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Combine brown sugar, flour, and salt in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in corn syrup, and bring mixture to a boil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Add butter and chocolate; stir with a whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature; stir in walnuts, vanilla, and eggs.
3. Fit pie dough into a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray, pressing dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
4. Spoon walnut mixture into prepared crust. Bake on bottom oven rack at 350° for 33 minutes or until set. Cool for 20 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove sides of tart pan; slide tart onto a serving platter. Cut into wedges.

View Recipe and Nutrition Info: Chocolate Walnut Tart

See More: 20 Lightened Chocolate Desserts

Caramel Apple PieCaramel Apple Pie2. Caramel Apple Pie
An iconic holiday dessert served with a quick caramel sauce, this pie won't be on your table for long. Who can resist the crunch topping that blankets the even more irresistible sweet and delicious apple filling?

View Recipe: Caramel Apple Pie

Gingerbread CookiesGingerbread Cookies3. Gingerbread Cookies
Get a head start by baking cookies up to four days ahead and storing in an airtight container. Frost one day before serving; after frosting is set, pack cookies in airtight containers between layers of wax paper. This dough also makes fine slice-and-bake cookies. Form the dough in two (8-inch) round logs, and chill; slice the chilled logs into 1/8-inch rounds, and bake at 350° for 8 minutes or just until set and golden.

View Recipe: Gingerbread Cookies

See More: 100 Best Cookies

Pumpkin Pie PuddingPumpkin Pie Pudding4. Pumpkin Pie Pudding
No time to make pumpkin pie? Try this pudding instead-a faster, easier, and healthier alternative.

View Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Chocolate-Cranberry ParfaitsChocolate-Cranberry Parfaits5. Chocolate-Cranberry Parfaits
The cranberry steeping liquid clings to the berries and helps the sugar adhere for the sparkling, jewel-like effect shown here. You can use the liquid (which is drained from the cranberries) in cocktails or over ice cream. If you can't find mascarpone cheese, use regular cream cheese for the topping.

View Recipe: Chocolate-Cranberry Parfaits

Ricotta SemifreddoRicotta Semifreddo6. Ricotta Semifreddo
"Semifreddo" is an Italian term that refers to any number of frozen or chilled desserts. Here we offer a frozen orange-scented mousse made with ricotta cheese. It's worth the effort to search out the best ricotta you can find.

View Recipe: Ricotta Semifreddo

See More: Our Best Healthy Pie Recipes

Peppermint Brownie à la ModePeppermint Brownie à la Mode7. Peppermint Brownie à la Mode
Candy canes are everywhere this time of year, so put them to use in your cooking. This recipe blends them into chocolate chip ice cream to top a dense and chocolaty brownie. A hint of coffee flavor makes the brownie itself unique, and the minty topping is a sure-fire hit. If you really love peppermint, substitute mint chip ice cream for an extra dose of minty flavor.

View Recipe: Peppermint Brownie à la Mode

Apple KuchenApple Kuchen8. Apple Kuchen
The sweet flavors of fall and winter are found in this dessert. Sweet fuji apples flavored with the fruit's classic spice of choice, cinnamon, will make for a pleasing after-dinner treat.

View Recipe: Apple Kuchen

Yellow Butter Cake with Vanilla Meringue FrostingYellow Butter Cake with Vanilla Meringue Frosting9. Yellow Butter Cake with Vanilla Meringue Frosting
The secret ingredient in this cake, you can find potato starch on the baking aisle at most of your local supermakets and health-food stores. Also known as potato flour, it helps ensure the cake will have a fine crumb and moist texture.

View Recipe: Yellow Butter Cake with Vanilla Meringue Frosting

See More: Luscious Layer Cake Recipes

Cranberry-Oatmeal BarsCranberry-Oatmeal Bars10. Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars
These bar cookies strike a nice flavor balance: not too sweet and not too tart. Be sure to zest the orange before you squeeze the juice.

View Recipe: Cranberry-Oatmeal Bars

Continue Reading: Find all 34 healthy holiday desserts.

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