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Christmas Cookie Alternatives

Some fresh recipes to spruce up your dessert tray

Oatmeal Berry Bar, Christmas Cookie Alternatives

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These 10 creative holiday dessert recipes — from congo bars to homemade turtles — will shake you out of the cutout sugar cookie mold

These 10 creative holiday dessert recipes — from congo bars to homemade turtles — will shake you out of the cutout sugar cookie mold (with all due respect, of course). You're sure to find a sweet treat here that's perfect for everyone on your list.

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1. Cranberry Oatmeal Bars by Nick Malgieri & David Joachim

Along with dried cranberries, pecans and cinnamon, this recipe includes applesauce- — a secret ingredient that makes these cookies supermoist with less fat.

Per serving: 163 calories, 2g saturated fat, 24g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 2g fiber

2. Toffee Chocolate-Nut Wedges by Abby Dodge

These wedges are wonderful with after-dinner coffee and tea. Bake them in a tart pan for scalloped edges and a more sophisticated look.

Per serving: 187 calories, 6g saturated fat, 19g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 1g fiber

3. Cool Mint Patties by Elizabeth Gordon

These patties bring the refreshing flavor of mint to your Christmas table, and are great to make with kids. Top with crushed candy canes for an extra-festive touch.

Per serving: 107 calories, 2g saturated fat, 21g carbohydrates, 0g protein, 1g fiber

4. Berry Cheesecake Bars by Barbara Selley

A whole slice of cheesecake can be too heavy after a big meal, but these delicious bars won't leave you stuffed.

Per serving: 171 calories, 3g saturated fat, 27g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 1g fiber

5. Butterscotch Pudding by Diane Rossen Worthington

Transform a childhood favorite into a classy dessert with a touch of scotch. Serve in parfait or martini glasses.

Per serving: 347 calories, 9g saturated fat, 45g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 0g fiber

Next page: Try your hand at candied almonds. »

6. Candied Almonds by Penelope Casas

These nuts are supereasy to prepare and are always a crowd pleaser. They disappear so quickly, you might consider making a double batch.

Per serving: 160 calories, 1g saturated fat, 23g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 2g fiber

7. Congo Bars by Sarma Meingallis

There's no baking required with this coconutty recipe, which makes it ideal when you run out of oven space. The bars just need time to chill in the refrigerator.

Per serving: 350 calories, 15g saturated fat, 16g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 5g fiber

8. Peanut Brittle by Barbara Kafka & Christopher Styler

Peanut brittle needn't have perfect edges, so have fun (and ease some holiday tension, perhaps) smashing it up with a mallet or rolling pin.

Per serving: 159 calories, 1g saturated fat, 23g carbohydrates, 4g protein, 1g fiber

9. Turtles by David Guas & Raquel Pelzel

Turtles are one of the most popular Christmas treats. You can serve them in holiday glassware or give them as gifts in festive tins.

Per serving: 191 calories, 5g saturated fat, 24g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 1g fiber

10. Chocolaty Pumpkin Bars by Liz Weiss & Janice Newell Bissex

The combination of spice, pumpkin and chocolate makes this salty-sweet recipe a winner.

Per serving: 140 calories, 1g saturated fat

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