Cherry Chocolate Chunk Brownies<br>Photography by Jeff Coulson Credits: Cherry Chocolate Chunk Brownies<br>Photography by Jeff Coulson
Bars and squares make a fun addition to any cookie exchange.
A thick layer of creamy mint icing is sandwiched between a crumbly chocolate cookie base and smooth dark chocolate ganache in these irresistible squares.
Get the recipe: Mint Chocolate Squares
The decadent flavour of butter tarts in the form of easy-to-make squares.
Get the recipe: Butter Tart Squares
The pride of Nanaimo, B.C., these bars have a crumb base layered with a creamy custard filling and a chocolaty topping. Best served at room temperature, the bars keep well refrigerated or frozen.
Get the recipe: Classic Nanaimo Bars
Enjoy these Australian squares just as they are, or dip them in a mug of hot cocoa for the ultimate treat. While they're traditionally made with sponge cake, our version uses easy-to-make chocolate pound cake instead, making them a sinfully indulgent dessert for chocolate lovers. To retain their moistness, store the squares in the fridge.
Get the recipe: Double Chocolate Lamington Squares
Sweet-tart cranberries are cooked with a hint of orange to make an easy jam-like filling, then sandwiched between layers of crisp almond pastry. Freshly ground almonds are crunchier than the storebought ground variety, so whirl whole nuts in a food processor for the ultimate nutty crust.
Get the recipe: Cranberry Almond Squares
The inside-out version of this classic square offers a classy white chocolate top with a rich dark chocolate centre. Use a vegetable peeler to make the chocolate shavings.
Get the recipe: Reverse Nanaimo Bars
These layered bars are like three desserts in one! Using a candy thermometer ensures you have the right consistency of caramel (not too soft and not too hard).
Get the recipe: Gooey Peanut Butter Squares
If simplicity is your style, look no further than these six-ingredient squares, made with ingredients you'll likely already have on hand. If you prefer, use seedless raspberry jam instead of strawberry.
Get the recipe: Crumble-Topped Jam Squares
A smooth and silky no-bake filling comes together in a matter of minutes for this easy crowd-pleasing treat. Be sure to top the squares with peanuts quickly, before the chocolate sets.
Get the recipe: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake Squares
Each layer of these bars is a delicious treat on its own; together, they become the star of any goodie tray. To make them gluten-free, be sure to use oat flour that's labelled as such. If you choose not to use pasteurized egg whites, whisk a fresh egg white until frothy and measure out one tablespoon.
Get the recipe: Sugared Pecan Fudge Squares
Vanilla wafer cookies, raspberry filling and white chocolate lighten up the traditional colour – and flavour – of the classic Nanaimo bar.
Get the recipe: Pink Berry Nanaimo Bars
Classic pecan pie gets a bite-size makeover with these crunchy pecan-packed squares. Toothsome shortbread is the perfect base, adding a delightful contrast. Chill the squares before cutting for a smooth, easy slice.
Get the recipe: Honey Pecan Pie Squares
Trust us, these easy-to-make squares will be the hit of your holiday parties and family gatherings. Wrap them in cute little boxes and hand them out as hostess gifts at all of your festive get-togethers.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Toffee Hello Dollies
Sweet glac? cherries and vivid pink icing give these sumptuous brownies a nostalgic retro look. Make them a couple of days ahead, then spread on the fruity icing just before serving.
Get the recipe: Cherry Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Sweet butterscotch squares hide a layer of crystallized ginger and velvety milk chocolate. These are pretty when packaged as gifts and are the perfect holiday treat to add to a bake sale.
Get the recipe: Ginger Butterscotch Squares
Photography by Sian Richards
Whether your holiday style is modern, romantic or more on the traditional side, we've got a new take on Christmas-tree decorating just for you.
A fabulous floral tree sets the scene for a pastel Christmas. Simply place several large faux blooms in shades of the same colour throughout the branches. The best part? The flowers can be popped into a vase when the tree comes down!
High Park seven-foot lifelike pine tree, canadiantire.ca. Faux flowers, michaels.com. Blåregn throw, ikea.ca. Forever Frenched art print, annawithloveshop.com. Cushion, tonicliving.com. Wispy Pink 2005-70 paint (on wall), benjaminmoore.com.
Adorn your tree with your favourite family memories. Flip through photo albums together (or scroll through images on your phone) to make choosing pictures part of the fun. Scan the images, print them in black and white on sturdy matte paper, then cut them out, leaving a white edge. Next, perforate each one with a hole punch, and use twine to make a loop through the opening to hang on a branch. It's sure to be a conversation starter!
The giving tree
Wrap your tree in mini gifts. Vary the size of the packages for visual interest, but keep the look unified by sticking to a simple colour scheme; in this case, we were inspired to create a traditional red-and-white palette. Once wrapped, presents were tied to branches using coordinating ribbon and twine.
High Park seven-foot lifelike pine tree, canadiantire.ca. Marcel sofa, Woodford coffee table and Hugo rug, urbanbarn.com. Cushions, tonicliving.com. Essex mantel, hearthmanor.com. Winter Retreat wall art, minted.com. Simply White OC-117 paint (on wall), benjaminmoore.com.
Our ultimate Christmas dinner guide
West Elm Holiday mantel
Whether your Christmas style is modern, traditional or rustic, we found the best ideas on the internet to make your mantel merrier.
This mantel from Front + Main feels fresh and modern thanks to layered art pieces and the soft colour palette. See more here.
Reclaimed wood, burlap and the natural colour scheme give this mantel a rustic feel. The free printable bunting and paper bay leaf garland add a DIY touch. Find instructions at The Tomkat Studio.
This buffalo check themed mantel from Landeelu is a modern take on a traditional look with the on-trend string lights and charming felt garland. Find out how to make the DIY red-and-white painted circle at Landeelu.
The DIY elements, from the confetti gold artwork to the adorable painted houses come together for a bright, festive look. See all the details (including DIY instructions) at The Decor Fix.
Hanging a TV over your mantel doesn’t mean you can't decorate it in style. This display of candles and bottle brush trees adds a decorative touch without overwhelming the screen. Take a peek at the rest of Diane’s holiday decor (including beautifully wrapped packages) at In My Own Style.
A white Christmas may be a rare event in Vancouver, but that didn't stop Heather Cameron from giving her dining room mantel a pretty wintery feel. See more of Heather's winter wonderland here.
Photography by T. Merriman Credits: Photography by T. Merriman