Two Tasty Holiday Recipes that Also Make Great Gifts

After years of preparing the same food over and over for dinner, I finally decided to venture out into new territory. Each week I’ve chosen two or three new recipes to make and so far I have not been disappointed. I think my meals have dramatically improved in these last few months. I seem to have a better idea of how much spice to add and what flavors mesh together.

From time to time my husband helps in the kitchen and it’s nice to have him chop and stir beside me. In fact, my husband has been enjoying our meals so much that he revised his Christmas wish list this year, rather than asking for a bunch of things, he simply asked me to continue cooking.

Here are two very tasty dessert recipes that I made during the Thanksgiving holiday and plan to make again for Christmas. I also plan to bake extra batches as gifts.

Cheesecake Bars

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg


  1. Melt chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler.
  2. Stir in the graham cracker crumbs.
  3. Press crumbs into an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan.
  4. In a mixing bowl beat cream cheese until smooth.
  5. Gradually beat in milk, egg and vanilla.
  6. Pour over crust.
  7. Bake at 325 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.
  8. Refrigerate 3 hours or until completely chilled.
  9. Cut into bars.
  10. Store in the refrigerator.

Five Layer Bars

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 stick salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl.
  3. Press into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle pecans and chips on top.
  5. Pour the sweetened condensed milk over the mixture.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Cool completely and cut into bars.

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