This is a knockoff of croquembouche, a traditional French dessert fashioned from cream puffs and caramel. Our secret? Doughnut holes by the box. The technique we use to form the base is from Julia Child.
Cranberry Cheesecake Squares
Chocolate graham crackers are a real time-saver when making the crust for these squares. And if the cheesecake cracks? We skip a water bath in favor of just using the cranberry topping to cover up any goofs.
Bonus recipe: Use crisp ladyfingers to make Tiramisu. Line a 9-inch square dish with cookies; moisten with coffee liqueur. Fold mini chocolate chips into sweetened whipped cream, and fill pan with cream mixture.
Coconut Yule Log with Meringue Mushrooms
A classic Yule Log recipe can take forever to put together, so we picked up a store-bought angel food cake to cut down on time.
Bonus recipe: Use the cake to make Baked Alaska. Split cake into 3 layers, spread ice cream between the middle layers, then wrap and freeze, Cover with sweetened whipped cream.
This foolproof layered dessert uses prepared sponge cake shells as a speedy shortcut. Tip: If fresh raspberries aren't available, swap in your favorite fruit and jam.
Bonus recipe: Use the cake to make Boston Cream Pie. Cut cake into 2 layers, fill with vanilla pudding and top with fudge sauce.