Quick and Easy Chocolate Holiday Desserts

Now that the Thanksgiving turkey has been picked clean and the mountain of dishes is finally washed and put away until next year, we can turn our attention to what we all really enjoy about the holidays: Having an excuse to sample a few new chocolate holiday desserts. Sometimes one a day. The most wonderful time of the year indeed.

There is something about falling snow mingled with the smell of fires burning and chilly toes that just begs for some self-indulgence. The whole season demands it. We brave the shopping malls. We scrape ice off our windshields. We spend countless hours bundling kids into and out of winter coats, hats, boots and mittens (bonus points if the mittens actually match).

And best (or perhaps worst) of all, we receive countless invitations to holiday parties. Which means we’d better come bearing desserts!

So we’ve found some desserts that are not only worthy of your taste buds, but that are also easy to make. Because when you’ve made a list, checked it twice, and realized that unless you can create more hours in your day, you’re in a serious holiday time-crunch, you want to spend more time enjoying the season and less time slaving over it.

Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups


Prep Time: 20 Minutes
 Cook Time: 14 Minutes


  • 1 package Pillsbury Sugar Cookie Dough
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons hot cocoa mix
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  • 12 mini pretzels
  • 1 cup Jet-Puffed Mallow Bits
  • *optional — granulated sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Put 1 tablespoon of the sugar cookie dough into 24 greased mini muffin tins.
  3. An optional step would be to roll the sugar cookie dough balls in granulated sugar before putting them into the mini muffin tins to help prevent sticking.
  4. Bake for 12–14 minutes at 375 degrees. Allow the cookies to cool completely in the pan before gently removing them.
  5. Make the chocolate ganache by bringing the whipping cream to a boil.
  6. Stir in the hot cocoa mix.
  7. Pour the hot cream over the semi-sweet chocolate chips and let it sit for 3 minutes. Then, stir until the chocolate chips are melted, and the ganache is smooth.
  8. Break off the loops on some mini pretzels to use as handles.
  9. Melt the white chocolate and use it to attach the pretzel handles to the cookie cups.
  10. Spoon the chocolate ganache into the cookie cups and top with mini marshmallows.
  11. For best results, store the hot chocolate cookie cups in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Saltine Toffee

saltine toffee chocolate

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
 Cook Time: 6 Minutes
 Cool Time: 1 Hour


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 sleeve Saltine crackers
  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • 1½ -2 cups chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles


  1. Cover a 9x13 baking dish with foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray or grease with oil. Arrange the saltines in one layer in the pan, leaving a little bit of room between each cracker, and set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a small nonstick saucepan. Bring to a boil and let boil without stirring for three minutes. Pour the hot mixture over the crackers and bake for 5 minutes.
  3. Drop the peanut butter onto the hot cracker and toffee mixture; bake for another 1 minute to melt. Spread the peanut butter. Sprinkle with chocolate chips; bake for another 1 minute to melt. Spread the chocolate evenly and top with sprinkles.
  4. Freeze or chill for 1 hour or until set. Break into small pieces for serving.

Hot Chocolate Meringue Cake

Hot Chocolate Meringue Cake

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
 Bake Time: 3 Hours
 Cool Time: 1 Hour


  • parchment paper
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp. cream of tartar
  • 1¼ c. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. Sifted Cocoa
  • .13 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 4 c. Whipped cream


  1. To make the cake: Heat oven to 200 degrees F. Line two baking pans with parchment paper and set aside. Draw two 9-inch circles in the center of the paper and set aside.
  2. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Stream in 1 1/4 cups sugar and continue to beat on high speed. Just as the whites reach their peaks, sprinkle in sifted cocoa and cayenne pepper and continue beating to stiff peaks.
  3. Spread the meringue within the circles. Bake for 3 hours, turn off oven and let sit for 1 hour.
  4. Cool on the pan on a wire rack. Store in a very dry, cool place.
  5. Fill the layers with whipped cream and serve within 2 hours.

Chocolate Eggnog Swirl Pie

chocolate eggnog swirl pie

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
 Cook Time: 12 Minutes
 Chill Time: 4 Hours


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped nuts
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-ounce semisweet chocolate grated
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 cups dairy or canned eggnog
  • 1 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 tablespoons rum or 1/2 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped


  • For the crust, in a mixing bowl, combine the flour, nuts, brown sugar and grated chocolate. Add melted butter and mix well. Press mixture into a deep-dish, 9-inch pie plate or 10-inch pie plate to form a crust.
  • Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  • In a small bowl, stir the gelatin into the cold water. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, mix the granulated sugar, and cornstarch. Stir in eggnog. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Stir in gelatin until dissolved.
  • Divide mixture into 2 equal parts. Stir the melted chocolate into one portion. Stir rum into the remaining portion. Cover the surface of both with plastic wrap and cool completely.
  • Fold whipped cream into rum portion. Spoon the rum-flavored cream portion into the cooled piecrust. Top with the chocolate mixture. Using a knife, gently swirl the chocolate into the white portion. Chill in the refrigerator at least 4 hours or until firm. Makes 8 servings.

These chocolate desserts are quick, easy, and can still look like you’ve spent the day sweating over the stove, patiently coaxing them into existence. Whether you want to admit how long they actually took is up to you. Just remember, Santa is watching. But he can also be bribed with a little plate of Hot Chocolate Cookie Cups. Just sayin’.

Originally published at Caldo Chocolate.