holiday cookies

Photo: Johnny Miller

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Dessert Topping Quartet
"Food gifts feel more meaningful to me than most store-bought things," says Barbara Lynch, the chef at five celebrated Boston restaurants, including No. 9 Park. "My favorites pack a double whammy: They encourage people to cook and make them feel like rock stars in the kitchen." These toppings can elevate almost any dessert, from a scoop of ice cream to a slice of pound cake. "I keep the serving suggestions really loose so nobody feels pressured," she says. "Like, the pineapple-vanilla topping pairs really well with snowy days."

Get the recipe: Pineapple Topping with Vanilla and Rosemary

Get the recipe: Salted Caramel Sauce

Get the recipe: Chocolate Sauce

Get the recipe: Candied Praline Pecans
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