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15 Sweets and Treats (30 minutes or less)

Nothing says ‘thoughtful’ or ‘thank you’ better than homemade sweets and treats, Perfect for special occasion like Valentines Day, birthday, holidays or a potluck.

We’re sharing 15 delicious sweet treats of chocolate, cookies, pastries & quick desserts and jams. All 30 minutes or less.

collage of 4 sweet treats 2

Of course, maybe you’re just craving something something to satisfy your own sweet tooth. No excuse needed. 

Whatever the reason, there’s no need to make a special order from a store. Try one of our tried-and-true homemade sweet indulgences that truly take little effort and little time. (Your taste buds will be happier.) Then step back and soak up the grateful-ness.

We’ve organized the sweets and treats into four categories so you can skip to the ones you like. Each recipe shows a prep time and total time (including chilling if needed).

Keep in mind that it always takes longer to make a recipe the first time. After that, you know what you’re doing and get more efficient. So it pays to make the recipe twice 🙂

If you’re looking at this post before an upcoming holiday, be sure to check out our holiday recipes. Now on to the yummy homemade treats…

Chocolate Sweets and Treats

Easy Chocolate Fudge

Prep time: 3 minutes; Chill Time: 1 hour

pieces of fudge stacked on cutting board
Question: How do you make easy chocolate fudge? Better question: How do you make creamy, melt-in-your mouth, no-fail chocolate fudge with 3 ingredients, 3 steps in 3 minutes? Read on…
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Microwave Brownie Recipe

Prep time: 4 minutes; Total Time: 8 minutes

microwave brownie with ice cream on plate
Company dropping by in 10 minutes? Craving something sweet pronto? Or need a quick potluck dessert? This chocolate-y, moist, fudgy microwave brownie recipe will do the trick. 
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White Chocolate Bark

Prep time: 5 minutes; Chill time: 30 minutes

white chocolate bark with almonds on plate 1
White Chocolate Bark (or any bark for that matter) is pretty much the easiest sweet treat you can possibly make. Endless flavor possibilities, 2-3 ingredients, 5 minutes to put together and 20-30 minutes to chill. Creamy, melt in your mouth, deliciousness.
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Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

Prep time: 10 minutes; Chill time: 1 hour

chocolate rice crispies on plate f1
Loaded with chocolate, nuts and raisins, these no-bake chocolate rice crispy treats are your answer to that after-dinner chocolate craving. Rich, chewy, crunchy, nutty, chocolate-y deliciousness. Just 10 minutes of hands-on time to prepare (plus chill time).
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Strawberries in White Chocolate (for beginners)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Easy Strawberries in White Chocolate (for beginners)

one strawberry in white chocolate on black cutting board
This is a simple recipe for strawberries in white chocolate for beginners. It is NOT tricky and finicky with perfect professional-looking results. It IS easy, still pretty and definitely delicious. Just 2 ingredients.
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Skor Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep time: 15 minutes; Total Time: 25 minutes

3 cookies stacked on plate f
Teeny toffee bits take these skor chocolate chip cookies over the top. Buttery, caramel-y, chocolate-y, chewy cookies with crisp edges (if baked longer). Wickedly good. Freeze balls of dough to make fresh warm cookies whenever you need them.
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Lace Cookies

Prep time: 8 minutes; Total time: 22 minutes

These delicate, crispy, buttery Lace Cookies have been in our family for years. Ready in under 30 minutes and perfect for a tea, brunch, shower or dessert.
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Elephant Ear Cookies

Prep time: 15 minutes; Total Time: 30 minutes

elephant ear cookies on a red plate
Serve these elegant elephant ears cookies (also called palmier cookies) for dessert or tea. Or for Valentines Day! Buttery and flaky with a hit of orange-lemon zest.
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Lime-glazed Easy Shortbread Cookies

Prep time: 14 minutes; Total time: 22 minutes

lime glazed shortbread cookies on a plate
It's hard to believe these buttery, zesty melt-in-your-mouth Lime-Glazed Easy Shortbread Cookies are made in 30 minutes with just 6 ingredients. Perfect for a tea, shower, potluck, or holiday cookie-exchange. And the perfect gift.
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Pastries and Quick Desserts

Mini Cinnamon Puff Pastry Rolls

Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 28 minutes

Pop one of these mini cinnamon puff pastry rolls into your mouth for a buttery, flaky, sweet, cinnamon-y explosion. Easy, quick and yummy.
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Berry Sauce on Pound Cake

Prep time: 8 minutes Total time: 30 minutes

Pound Cake With Berry Sauce in bowl with ice cream
Out of time and need a special dessert? Perhaps for your Valentine? With only 4 ingredients, this shortcut Berry Sauce on pound cake recipe is super easy, presents beautifully and is berry-intense.
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Puff Pastry Apple Tart

Prep time: 7 minutes Total time: 30 minutes

puff pastry apple tart cut in 4 slices
Whip up this puff pastry apple tart for a weeknight or weekend dessert. Simple and delicious. Just apples, puff pastry, butter and brown sugar (ok, ice cream too).
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Easy Strawberry Shortcake

Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 20 minutes

single strawberry shortcake on plate
Every year my husband anxiously awaits this easy strawberry shortcake that his mother made in the '50s. I make them in 20 minutes with local strawberries at their peak, fresh whipped cream and biscuits (with a shortcut – shh).
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Easy Peach Tarte Tartin (for beginners)

Prep time: 7 minutes; Total time: 30 minutes

finished peach tarte titin on plate
This simple peach tarte tatin is an easy peach tart recipe with only 5 ingredients. Beginners can whip it up in 30 minutes and look very accomplished with our step-by-step instructions and pictures. Juicy, caramelized peaches nested in a crispy buttery puff pastry crust.
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Jams (small batch)

You can use frozen fruit if you can’t get fresh. Frozen fruit is peeled and sliced and picked at the height of the season.

Peach Jam Recipe (without pectin)

Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 30 minutes

jar of peach jam s3
Stretch out the long-awaited peach season with an easy peach jam recipe without pectin. Just 3 simple ingredients, 30 minutes, no canning, no special equipment. Perfect for beginners. Transform those juicy ripe peaches into a summer classic. All you need is peaches, sugar and lemon. Delish!
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Low Sugar Strawberry

Prep time: 10 minutes; Total time: 30 minutes

strawberry jam over scones on plate
Make this no-fuss homemade low sugar strawberry jam without pectin this summer and you'll be enjoying it on toast, scones and ice cream long after. Just 3 ingredients, no pectin, no canning process, freezer friendly and half the sugar of traditional jams.
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Sweets and treats that take more than 30 minutes, but worth it

Here are a few special treats that are well worth the extra time. And easier than you think.

Holiday Sugar Cookies

Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 15 minutes; Chill and frosting time: 1 hour 15 minutes

christmas and chanukkah cookies on plate
Holiday sugar cookies – buttery, sweet and flaky – are a big tradition in our family – 25 years long. We make them for Christmas, Chanukah, Halloween, Valentines Day and other celebrations. 
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Best Caramel Popcorn

Prep time: 15 minutes; Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes

caramel popcorn in a jar on table
No, you can't just eat a handful. This homemade caramel popcorn recipe is addictive! Crunchy popcorn and nuts with a mouth-watering buttery salted caramel coating. Perfect for gifts, picnics & parties.
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Chocolate Toffee With Hazelnuts

Prep time: 15 minutes; Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes (with chill time)

Chocolate toffee stacked on board with hazelnuts f
Chocolate Toffee – buttery, nutty, chocolate-y, crunchy and scrumptious. Like Skor bars, but way better. And much easier to make than you think. 
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How to wrap a food gift

If you’re making a treat as a food gift, try one of this simple options for packaging: cellophane (or cellophane gift bags), pretty boxes, wine bags and paper or cloth gift bags. Line your container with wax paper, parchment or tissue paper.

And don’t forget to include a little note – from the heart, happy holidays, missed you, enjoy the indulgence – whatever the occasion.  

Here’s a more detailed article on how to beautifully package your edible gifts by Simply Recipes.

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